Saturday, September 5, 2009


OMVNA the one in the same that is holding meetings with Prometheus Real Estate Group’s
It's a FOR PROFIT CORPORATION and claims to be serving the public interest without conflict of interest.

OMVNA Steering Committee Update Monday, June 16th, 2008 -->
At the January meeting of the OMVNA Steering Committee, it was decided that we need a post office box to serve as a permanent physical address for this corporation.

Our new mailing is:OMVNA 650 Castro Street #120-500Mountain View, CA 94041
This mailbox will be checked every couple of weeks, so urgent financial business should still be delivered [...]

What's New at FPPC?
The Mission of the FAIR POLITICAL PRACTICES COMMISSION is to promote the integrity of representative state and local government in California through fair, impartial interpretation and enforcement of political campaign, lobbying, and conflict of interest laws.
FPPC's Toll-Free Number:1-866-ASK-FPPC(1-866-275-3772)
Telephone Advice is Available:
Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. -11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
428 J Street, Suite 620
Sacramento, CA 95814

How Interesting:
I found nothing about this meeting on the;
city calender
, the OMVNA website,
or city documents.

Further nothing to address the Evelyn area update proposed to install high density housing here:
Central Neighborhoods Area Workshop
Mountain View City Hall, 500 Castro Street
Thu, Sep 10th, 2009 / 6:30 pm-9:00 pm

Where are we in the General Plan Update process?
The City of Mountain View's General Plan Update began with a visioning process in Summer
2008, when community members engaged in discussions about a common vision for the future
of the city and how to best direct and design growth and development to achieve the
community vision. In Spring 2009, the City hosted a round of community meetings and
targeted outreach forums in neighborhoods across the city to inform general land use
directions. These ideas were then refined by the City and are now being presented for review
at seven community workshops and additional targeted outreach meetings to confirm broad
planning direction and gather specific feedback regarding land use, built form and character,
and other key topics, such as village node prototypes and neighborhood-specific planning
issues. This feedback will help shape the forthcoming General Plan land use alternatives.


I had a conversation with Nancy Minicucci, the Deputy Zoning Administration in charge of the redevelopment of the Minton properties, on Friday.

You should have all received cards in the mail announcing the “General Plan – Community Meeting” on Thursday at 6:30PM. According to Nancy, (I have her permission to be quoted on this), this is the single most important meeting this year that anyone in the public can attend who wants to give input into the future of our neighborhood zoning. As you know, part of Prometheus Real Estate Group’s strategy in getting their massive apartment blocks built in our neighborhood is to change both the general and precise zoning plans for our neighborhood to allow high density housing. If the general and precise plans are amended, we will lose the protection by law that prohibits building something that is more than 5 times the density of the surrounding neighborhood.

How you spend the 2 hours from 6:30-8:30PM on Thursday, September 10, could make a bigger difference on our future quality of life than anything else you do this year. Please seriously consider attending this meeting and stating firmly that you want no changes in our zoning laws and no high density housing (this means 3x density of Houghton St/Minton Lane/Front Lane or higher) in our neighborhood.

I asked Nancy some questions about the meeting format. Here’s some basic information:

(1) There will be an presentation updating the neighborhood on the results of the previous meeting
(2) There will be comment cards on which questions can be addressed to people in the Mountain View city government
(3) There will be a small group activity where people in the group can discuss the General Plan in smaller groups
(4) There will be an opportunity for public comments at the end of the meeting.

So, we have the opportunity to

(1) Write a comment card asking our government officials why they believe higher density is good for our neighborhood
(2) Stand up during the public comment period and say we don’t want changes in the zoning laws that protect our quality of life and we don’t want the current Prometheus apartment block proposal approved
(3) Persuade the members of our small groups that keeping the existing zoning laws is essential to preserving our quality of our neighborhoods, and that they too should oppose the Prometheus apartment block proposal.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all there, and making a strong statement in favor of preserving or neighborhood! Let’s commit to keep all that is good in Mountain View and only accepting changes that improve our city and quality of life!

Here’s the meeting info from the card, in case you missed it:

General Plan -- Community Meeting

Join us! Participate in a second community workshop for the Central Neighborhoods Area as part of the City’s General Plan Update Explore concepts and images developed from previous community workshops and input on how different areas of the City could change in the future.

Thursday, September 10, 2009 – 6:30PM and 8:30PM, City Hall, 500 Castro St.

For further information, including dates and locations of community meetings for other areas of the City, please visit, e-mail or call (650)-903-6306.


In our conversation with Nancy Minicucci, Deputy Zoning Administrator in charge of the redevelopment of the Minton properties, I asked her some questions about the density of the project and got some insightful answers. I’m going to reproduce this in question and answer form from memory. My apologies if it is not 100% verbatim, but rest assured that I am doing my best here to accurately reflect the content of the conversation.

NMVNA: I wanted to touch base with you on some of the things that I heard at the meeting with the Prometheus representatives yesterday. Near the end of the meeting, they mentioned that they had met with the council members a year ago, and that they believed that they had a green light to go ahead and explore higher densities in the redevelopment of the Minton properties. You have said repeatedly that the Prometheus plan has not been approved, and yet many of us wonder if there is some sort of understanding between the city council and Prometheus that the higher densities are basically acceptable to the council, and that if Prometheus puts forward a proposal at those densities it will be approved, perhaps after some minor modifications. Given that, it seemed to me that your role is to evaluate that Prometheus’s design given that same understanding. Is this an accurate assessment of the council’s view and your position?

Nancy: Well, to get a firm answer on the council’s opinion, it would be best to ask them. There is no such understanding between the council and Prometheus, and council hasn’t definitively laid out their position on the density issue.

NMVNA: Most of us are having a hard time understanding why the council believes that high density is good for our neighborhood and Mountain View in general. We’ve even started brainstorming about this, and one of our group suggested it might have something to do with VTA funding. Is the push for higher density around VTA motivated by a need to boost VTA usage in order to maintain the viability of the Mountain View’s VTA station?

Nancy: No, not at all. There are people who honestly believe that the best place for high density development is around public transportation hubs. There have been a lot of studies done and articles written about this, and many experts advocate this a path toward sustainable development.

NMVNA: And yet the house that I live in was built according to the current precise plan, and is part of a development that was zoned at 11 units per acre. I understand that the precise plan permits up to 25 units per acre, but the Prometheus people are asking for more than 40. That’s shocking to some of us.

Nancy: Actually, their plan calls for more than 50 units per acre. It’s true that the thinking is different these days. It’s possible that if the conditions had been as they were today back when the precise plan was written, that where you live might have been developed differently.

NMVNA: Still, it’s hard for many of us to believe that Prometheus’s current proposal, if carried out as they intend, won’t lead to serious parking and traffic problems. I personally think it could overwhelm the neighborhood.

Nancy: It’s up to them to prove that it won’t. That’s why we’re having the meetings to discuss these issues.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The 2008 Mountain View City Council campaign statements.

The office of Mayor and Vice Mayor are selected from the City Council. The City Council is elected to four-year terms. The City Clerk is appointed.
500 Castro StMountain View, CA 94041Tel: (650) 903-6304Fax: (650) 903-6039
City Council
Margaret Abe-Koga, term ends 2010
Ronit Bryant, term ends 2010
Jac Siegel, term ends 2010
Laura Macias, term ends 2012
Means, term ends 2012
John Inks, term ends 2012
Mike Kasperzak, term ends 2012
City ClerkAngee Salvador

Gate Keeper Request to open the High Density Effort

The Start of the Minton High Density Proposal

We, the homeowners and residents of the NEW Mountain View neighborhood believe that the overwhelming majority of our membership opposes the high density levels proposed for the Minton’s property by the Prometheus Real Estate Corporation.

We favor development which is consistent with the City General Plan and with the Evelyn Area Precise Plan which aim to maintain the character of the Old Mountain View neighborhood.

Procedurally, we oppose the Prometheus Corporation application to destroy heritage trees and demolish the existing buildings until the environmental impact reports are completed and have been subjected to public review as is normally required by State and local law.

Density : The developer proposes to build 64 apartments per acre (214 units on 3.36 acres ) which is double the City’s current limit of 25. This level of density is unfair to neighbors who live in the Neighborhood with the assumption that the City would adhere to its General Plan.

The plan was adopted to promote Mountain View’s sustainable growth while maintaining the charm that attracts people to live there and patronize its businesses. It is unfair to the people of Mountain View to sacrifice the long term future of the city by issuing waivers and variances that deviate from that plan.

Street Set Backs & Loading Zones:
That the buildings will be so close to the streets on every side shows that the developer has not left any access for garbage and recycling services. If the project is built at the current density, and we assume that each unit changes renters every two years, there will need to be a moving truck blocking one of the city streets, three days of every week.

The project’s high densities of apartments and parking are based on untested assumptions that many or most of the project’s tenants would embrace a one car per household model. That hasn’t been the case with apartment complexes located near the Whisman Station. Even in households where commuting by public transport is feasible, people still need a car for medical emergencies and simply to shop for groceries.

Parking: We think that reduction the City’s parking requirement from 2.3 spaces per unit to 1.5 spaces would create serious and intractable parking problems in the neighboring areas. While the burden of these problems would fall on the project’s neighbors, we also believe that the 1.5 parking formula would adversely affect the Castro area. Adequate parking is one reason that Mountain View has become an attractive destination.

Traffic : The Evelyn Avenue Corridor Precise Plan seeks development that protects
neighborhood areas from traffic intrusion. This proposal to build 214 apartments will create a traffic trap. The project will flood Evelyn and Villa with traffic which will be hemmed in by the railway tracks. Traffic congestion will make it difficult for people to reach the downtown area and depress commercial activity.

If we assume that 25% of the residents of the apartment complex took public transportation that leaves 160 new apartments generating traffic. If we take the City’s Engineering department figures that each single family home generates 10 trips per day, and if we make allowances for the different demographics at play here that leaves, nonetheless, a significant increase in vehicles traveling Evelyn, Villa, West Dana and Bush streets.

Design: Achieving a balance with neighboring structures is cardinal principle architectural planning. The Evelyn Corridor Plan seeks to improve Evelyn Avenue as an attractive gateway to Downtown. The developer’s proposal to build a four story building undermines that goal.

The importance of aesthetics for this project was dismissed at a recent City Council meeting. That perspective fails to appreciate the importance architecture has played in contributing to Mountain View’s charm.

Architecture should be central to any considerations of new development. As the architect Charles Gwathmey once observed:
Architecture is the mother art, it affects all our lives subconsciously and consciously... its impact is conscious, and the perceptual parameters of one’s existence is total.

Alternative Proposals: We are not opposed to development. We don’t propose to memorialize a lumber yard. Indeed, we believe that some mix of townhomes, single family homes along with apartments would make sense for this site.

Conclusion: We note that the Evelyn Plan calls for “architectural and site design excellence”. We ask that the City maintain its high standards of residential development for Mountain View. An essential step in that process is for the City to remain loyal to its General Plan and to adhere to all existing zoning laws which apply to the Minton property


Homeowners and Residents of New Mountain View