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Letter to Council on Strategic Plan

Dear Mayor Kamei and members of the council:

Mountain View YIMBY, a local volunteer advocacy group, expresses enthusiastic support for the following potential projects to achieve the strategic priorities from the workplan in the staff report:

1.1 Hold a Study Session on a displacement response strategy and net loss; develop a work plan for any desired follow up actions.
We support developing strategies and ordinances to help stem displacement in our community. There should never be incentives for a net loss development. Options should include: Replacement requirements for demolished rent controlled units, Tenant Opportunity to Purchase (TOPA) or Community Opportunity to Purchase (COPA) ordinances and Tenant right of return options. We believe that this project should be in conjunction with project 2.1: Revise R3 Zoning standards.

2.1 Review and propose revisions to the R3 Zone standards that consider form-based zoning, incentivizing stacked flats, and updated row house guidelines and Family Design Handbook.
We commend the R3 up-zoning effort to increase housing capacity by 12,000 units over the next 40 years and the City’s commitment to implementing tools that would allow these housing units to be built. We encourage the council to broaden its approach from simply incentivizing stacked flats and rowhouses to making a broad range of apartments and missing middle housing types more feasible. We applaud the upzoning of Mountain View’s medium density residential and believe the City must allow at least 3 stories to be built through the zone. As we upzone these areas, we should be careful of displacement impacts, which is why we believe this project should be implemented in tandem with project 1.1: displacement response strategy and net loss.

2.2 Work with MVLA to explore the possibility of the District acquiring the Shenandoah property and the opportunity for shared uses and affordable housing on the site.
We support exploring opportunities to build affordable housing.

2.4 Develop strategies for middle-income persons to afford different housing types.
Like many cities around the Bay Area, it is time for Mountain View to explore eliminating exclusionary zoning and enable multi-unit housing on all properties zoned for housing. Opportunity Housing may be a solution that cost-effectively expands housing options for Mountain View residents while maximizing land and infrastructure with duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, five-plexes and more.

2.5 Develop a City mobile home ordinance modeled on the CSFRA and administered by the RHC.
Mountain View YIMBY supports the protection of our vulnerable neighbors. We urge the council to grant rent stabilization and eviction protections to all mobile home residents as quickly, effectively and efficiently as possible.

2.8 Facilitate the development of affordable housing at the VTA Evelyn Site.
We support exploring opportunities to build affordable housing.

2.9 Facilitate the planning, entitlement and building permit process for Lot 12.
As we mentioned in our letter to council in October, we believe that Lot 12 is a rare opportunity to provide housing for our most vulnerable residents and are excited that it could be the first Measure A project in Mountain View. We urge the council to aggressively pursue this opportunity.

3.20 Continue the Feasibility Study of Automated Guideway Transportation System.
With the planned growth in North Bayshore, thousands more people will have to commute from/to this area. A reversible bus lane along Shoreline currently considered by the city wouldn’t address this issue, because people will need to go in both directions. Only an automated guideway system connecting NBS with Moffett Field and Downtown can provide high frequency and grade-separation needed to meet this kind of demand.

New: Create a Moffett Boulevard streetscape design strategy.
If this gives us an opportunity for more housing, we are in strong support. We would also like bike lanes included.

New: Partner with the County to explore the potential conversion of the Crestview Hotel to housing for unstably housed individuals and families.
We support exploring options to house our vulnerable neighbors.

New: Continue work on the Housing Element for the 2023-31 Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) period.
The housing crisis is a regional issue and we want to ensure that Mountain View does it’s part to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. MV YIMBY wants to work with community, staff and council to be sure Mountain View has a compliant Housing Element. As we zone for more housing, we also don’t want to rely on a single source for housing. Therefore, we ask that we also look into allowing multi-unit housing in R1 zones through this project as well.

Thank you for considering our input.

Kind regards,
Emily Ann Ramos
On behalf of the members of MV YIMBY