Mountain View Transit Center Master Plan
To improve capacity, safety, bicycle/pedestrian connections, and integration with Downtown, a dramatic redesign of the Transit Center is underway. In the first phase of the planning process, the Council directed city staff to study closing Castro Street to vehicular traffic, creating a bicycle/pedestrian undercrossing to connect Castro with Moffett Boulevard, realigning Evelyn Avenue across Castro, and constructing a ramp connecting Evelyn to Shoreline Boulevard.
The second phase includes a comprehensive evaluation of many other elements of the Transit Center, including parking needs, land use, joint development, Centennial Plaza design, and shuttle pickup and drop-off facilities. On March 21st, the Council directed staff to explore a concept that includes underground parking, maximum joint development opportunities fully integrated in the Transit Center, bus and shuttle loading facilities along Central Expressway, a significantly expanded multi-level plaza area, and a ramp connecting Central Expressway to the underground parking garage. Much work remains to be done in this planning process, and there will be many opportunities for public input.
Regulation of On-Demand Mobile Fueling
In the same meeting, the Council considered regulations for a nascent industry: on-demand mobile fueling. This service allows individuals to submit a request for a gasoline fill-up through a mobile application, and the providers transport the fuel directly to the customer’s vehicle at any site. Although company representatives and satisfied customers both attested to the safety precautions taken by the fuel providers, the Council supported the recommendation of city staff and adopted a resolution enacting strong regulations of the industry based on the International Fire Code. The regulations include a site permitting process, which requires a permit for every address at which mobile fueling is provided, and effective prohibition of service in residential areas.
Strategies to Assist the Homeless
On March 7th, the Council approved a number of expenditures for programs and staffing increases to assist homeless members of our community. These include funding for an Outreach Worker and a Case Worker, exploration of a pilot RV waste disposal program, funding for Permanent Supportive Housing assistance and Rapid Rehousing for unstably housed residents, and funding for a Porta-Potti at Rengstorff Park to serve residents living in vehicles on Crisanto Avenue. The Council also supported strategies to encourage the development of interim and permanent supportive housing, including consideration of modifications of the Industrial to Residential Conversion Policy to make housing for the homeless easier to develop in areas currently zoned for industrial uses.
Gatekeeper Process & Long-Range Planning
Gatekeepers are development proposals that must go through a preliminary approval process because a discretionary action by the Council, like a General Plan or Precise Plan Amendment, is required. The Council must first authorize the use of staff resources for such a proposal before it can proceed to the entitlements process. Given an unprecedented number of gatekeeper proposals over the past few years, the Council directed staff to modify and standardize the process, which has been largely ad hoc. The Council supported requiring public noticing of gatekeeper applications (previously, only noticing in the Council agenda was required), adopting a rating system to evaluate applications, enforcing a time-limit for applications, and requiring applicants to resubmit a proposal if there is a transfer of ownership.
—Lucas Ramirez, Julie Lovins, Observers