Council Sets Goals for 2017-2019
Shortly after each city council election cycle, the Council adopts a small number of thematic goals and prioritizes a larger number of projects to fulfill those goals. On February 27th, the Council retained three goals with slight modifications and adopted a fourth new goal:
- Improve the quantity, diversity, and affordability of housing with an added focus on middle income and ownership opportunities.
- Develop and implement comprehensive and coordinated transportation strategies to achieve mobility, connectivity, and safety for people of all ages.
- Promote environmental sustainability with measurable outcomes.
- Promote strategies to protect vulnerable populations and to preserve the socio-economic and cultural diversity of the community.
The council advisory bodies will make project recommendations to fulfill these goals throughout the month of March, and the Council is tentatively scheduled to preliminarily approve a list of projects on April 18.
Rental Housing Committee Interviews
The Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (CSFRA), which Mountain View voters passed in November 2016 as Measure V, establishes a Rental Housing Committee (RHC) to develop a regulatory framework for the new rent stabilization law and to administer the program. The CSFRA authorizes the Council to appoint the five members of the committee, as well as one alternate, but a temporary restraining order currently prevents the City from implementing the CSFRA.
Although no appointments may be made yet, the Council has interviewed nearly 20 candidates for the RHC in two sessions. On February 21st, the Council winnowed the list to six people: attorney Julian Pardo de Zela, Human Relations Commissioner Evan Ortiz, mechanical engineer Emily Ramos, landlord Matthew Grunewald, former Mayor Tom Means, and homeowner James Leonard. Concerned about the lack of representation of landlords who own rental property in Mountain View, the Council reopened the application period for two additional weeks.
East Whisman Precise Plan and Downtown Parking Initiatives
On February 14th, the Council provided further input on the East Whisman Precise Plan, an exclusively commercial area bounded roughly by Whisman Road, Highway 101, the Sunnyvale border, and Whisman Station. A significant amount of residential and commercial development is envisioned for the area; the Council directed staff to study approximately 1.7 million net new square feet of office space and nearly 10,000 housing units.
Looking for short-term solutions to alleviate parking challenges in downtown, the Council approved two pilot programs on February 28th. Beginning the second quarter of this year, Mountain View residents will be able to take advantage of a 50% credit, up to $5, when they use Uber or Lyft to go downtown. Residents will be able to use the credit for 5 round trips per user per month in this six month program. The Council also authorized a twelve month valet parking pilot during peak hours on Thursdays through Saturdays (11am-2pm and 5pm to midnight).
—Lucas Ramirez, Observer