Thursday, June 07, 2007

An "unfortunate" decision

Updated list of things the Mountain View City Council thinks are and are not worth saving:
  • Worth saving: contaminated hangars; abandoned office buildings
  • Not worth saving: farms
Matt Pear led the parade of horribles with a ridiculous assertion that the inheritors of a $27 million piece of property were losing money. (Pear apparently thinks everybody who was born on third base has hit a triple). Everybody else brought up generally good but rebuttable points.

Jac Siegel said it would be unfair for the council to spend more money on parkland south of El Camino, even though (lawyer Lex Watson's bloviating notwithstanding) the council would not have had to buy the land.

Margaret Abe-Koga said she didn't want to spend $500,000 of the city's money pursuing split-zoning, forgetting (as did the Voice) that changing the zoning to detached single-family houses won't be free.

Nick Galiotto pointed out that the farm was not really a link to the city's past, though I'm not sure how important that is.

Laura Macias correctly pointed out that this decision simply perpetuates a system that unfairly burdens residents north of El Camino, though I suspect her solution involves not building much new housing anywhere.

Tom Means told a joke, which often presages a disappointingly conservative vote.

Kudos to Ronit Bryant, for being the lone vote for my romanticized notion of childhood in Los Altos.

Kudos to the owners, for making a boatload of money.

And, most of all, kudos to the neighbors, who heroically overcame abuses of their civil rights to win a round for NIMBYism.

7 comments:

Mike Laursen said...

If the city isn't the current owner of the land, and it takes part of the land without paying the current owner, wouldn't that be theft?

Anonymous said...

I also thought my joke was funny and insightful. As to conservative, my vote supported free people and free markets, a somewhat liberal notion. All of my liberal friends thought the council was crazy to force annexation on the two sisters and then essentially condemn 5 acres.

When women say no, they mean it. Why do wealthy Los Altos residents think it means go ahead and rape my land?

As for you NOE, time to drop the law books, Paris Hilton, and your laid-back LA lifestyle and get in shape. The next time we meet on the streets of Mtn. View, you will be taken down and pinned. Loser buys the drinks.

The Professor

Nemesis of Evil said...

Mike,
You're starting from the premise that refusing an application to change zoning (in this case by annexation) is taking the land. Granted, that might be out of character or even misleading given its past actions, but it wouldn't be unconstitutional.

Nemesis of Evil said...

How about we do it during public comment period at a study session? Martello can referee.

Nemesis of Evil said...

An anonymous reporter at another local paper called my attention to this gem in the Voice article:

"Siegel said it was unfortunate that the Farmland Group's proposal for a tax break on donating the land for a five-acre farm wasn't 'real' according to the city attorney and other experts.

'That's really unfortunate,' he said."

Mike Laursen said...

I was responding to this paragraph:

Jac Siegel said it would be unfair for the council to spend more money on parkland south of El Camino, even though (lawyer Lex Watson's bloviating notwithstanding) the council would not have had to buy the land.

Which, come to think of it, doesn't make it clear who thinks the land would not have to be bought, or why they think that. That's it! I'm never responding to something written in The Voice ever again! (Until the next time I feel like spouting off.)

Mike Laursen said...

Oh, wait. You wrote that! No more commenting before drinking morning coffee.