Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ready those pointing fingers

There is going to be a lot of blame to go around if the Mayfield Mall project falls through, something that's looking quite possible after Tuesday's night city council meeting, which left Mountain View nonsensically poised to preserve the vacant office building and surrounding parking lots while developing one of the city's last farms.

The Voice's account of the meeting makes it all seem like a lot of standard negotiation posturing (read: bullshit) from both sides:
Toll Brothers spokesperson Kelly Snider repeated a cautionary message about the financial viability of the project several times, saying that fewer units or more park space would "push us towards the tipping point of non-viability," and make it "difficult to move the project forward."

Honestly, what else would you expect them to say? Every single concession Toll Brothers has to make pushes them "towards the tipping point of non-viability." The issue is how close they are. This the equivalent of asking for a raise and, when the boss returns with a counteroffer, saying that is going to make things "difficult"

[Jac] Siegel shot back.

"I think it's an absurd project as it's proposed," he said, after declaring he had "no baggage" connected to the project as a new council member.

Jac Siegel, of course, was the chair of the environmental planning commission during the environmental impact report hearings. Granted, he only oversaw the environmental review, but, as baggage goes, he has quite a lot of it.

"It's going to hurt the entire area." He added that if Toll Brothers needed more than 500 units the developer "should look in a different area."

Siegel invoked an image of grid-locked streets when he talked about San Antonio Road, Central Expressway and nearby Rengstorff Avenue as already having some of the worst traffic in the city. He said he preferred that the site remain office space.
Here's a win-win solution for both sides. Drop the minimum parking requirements for the project. Just eliminate them altogether. Toll Brothers can adjust their plans to make a little more profit, Monta Loma can move to a permitting program for on-street parking to keep Mayfield residents from overflowing onto neighborhood streets, and the city can stop encouraging people to drive everywhere.

1 comment:

blondebomber said...


A great suggestion on the parking but unlikely to happen given the special interest groups that dominate this project. My own solution would be to shut done access to the site from ML and then we will really see who values what in terms of access.