Mountain View City Council Reorganization
On January 10th, 2017, the Mountain View City Council bid outgoing members Mike Kasperzak and John Inks farewell and welcomed aboard Margaret Abe-Koga and Lisa Matichak. The Council then selected the Mayor and Vice Mayor for the year, voting unanimously for Ken Rosenberg and Lenny Siegel.
Although the Council had no significant business to conduct during this ceremonial meeting, roughly a dozen members of the public used the opportunity to urge the Council to defend Measure V, the citizen-initiated rent stabilization ballot measure that was approved last November, against a lawsuit filed by the California Apartment Association. The speakers thanked the Council for adopting emergency protections against no-cause evictions for renters shortly after Measure V passed, but lamented the City’s refusal to oppose a temporary restraining order that blocked the implementation of the law in late December, including the rent stabilization and rent-rollback provisions.
End of 2016 Recap
The Council discussed several major items before the holiday recess. Perhaps the most controversial was the food scraps and waste diversion program; the Council unanimously approved the staff recommendation to implement the program, but also to retain weekly garbage pickup. In the same meeting, the Council decided against extending the urgency ordinance establishing a temporary moratorium on outdoor cultivation of marijuana. Now, without the ordinance, residents are allowed to cultivate marijuana outdoors under the marijuana legalization ballot measure that passed in November. They also accepted a recommendation from the Human Relations Commission to adopt a resolution designating Mountain View a Human Rights City, a largely symbolic gesture. The Council agreed to consider developing a human rights policy analysis framework during the goal setting session in the first quarter of 2017.
The Council also reviewed over a dozen gatekeeper requests – a record number. These are development proposals that require Council approval in order to proceed to a more comprehensive review process. Due to the unprecedented amount of development occurring throughout the city, there is insufficient staff capacity to review all of the requests for development. The Council allowed two proposals to proceed: a small increase in the number of units in a residential project the Council already approved on Fayette Drive, and large apartment complex at two adjacent properties, 525-569 East Evelyn and at 769 East Evelyn.
—Lucas Ramirez, Observer