News

Zoning administrator OKs Mayfield development

258-home plan on its way to City Council

The large Mayfield residential development is on its way to the Mountain View City Council for a vote on June 21, thanks to a decision Wednesday by the zoning administrator.

Mountain View Zoning Administrator Peter Gilli recommended that the City Council approve the project, which has been scaled back to 258 homes for the the 27-acre site. The council will consider a master plan for Mayfield on June 21 to allow up to 260 units. Detailed plans would come before the council in the fall, City Planner Melinda Denis said.

The proposal includes 3.62 acres of park space and a pedestrian tunnel under Central Expressway, which the council required in a previous 450-unit iteration of the project. The tunnel was estimated to cost $6 million.

No changes have been proposed to the 45 homes on a small western portion of the site in Palo Alto that were approved several years ago.

The project was perhaps the most contentious residential project in city history before the council approved 450 units at Mayfield for developer Toll Brothers in 2008. That design included two- and three-story homes and four- and five-story podium buildings atop parking garages, all in a neighborhood of mostly one-story Eichler homes. But recently Monta Loma neighborhood opposition to the project, once ear piercing, has become inaudible. Neighbors have been saying the new proposal -- which goes no higher than three stories -- is a better fit for the neighborhood and will create far less traffic.

Some still have concerns about the site's beloved trees and the plans for a year-long demolition of the existing buildings -- once home to the Mayfield Mall -- which may occasionally close several streets through the site used by neighbors, Denis said.

Summit Land Partners agreed to take on the project last year and scaled the project back to fewer than 260 units, citing the financial risk of tying up funds in dense development during a recession.

Denis said the new project will follow new city regulations for water conservation and landscaping, likely saving significant quantities of water. Summit is proposing 613 new trees for the site, but will remove 163 trees, a few more than Toll Brothers had proposed. A lack of maintenance on the site by owner Hewlett Packard has caused several more trees to deteriorate, Denis said. Summit will also relocate 58 large redwood trees from the site.

The 3.62 acre park space is slightly larger than the the 3.59 acres the council approved in 2008. It is also relatively generous in size. At the lower housing density Summit proposes, the city's park space requirement would only be 1.59 acres, Denis said.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Irritating
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 24, 2011 at 10:40 am

They'll build it...along with the proposed 350 units plus retail proposed at San Antonio Shopping Center and then Caltrain will close the San Antonio Train Station.

The effect will be lots of new auto traffic in this portion of Mountain View and south Palo Alto. The EIRs for these projects (through the magic of CEQA math) project no impacts on the Middlefield/San Antonio Road intersection so there will be no mitigation.

Developers dance a jig to the bank at our expense...again. Thank you Sacramento.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2011 at 11:00 am

I, for one, look forward to the work here being completed as well as the work at the San Antonio Center.

With Sears about to close and the other businesses on San Antonio frontage already closed, there will be ugly blight along this section of road. San Antonio is a through route and needs to lose the derelict image it is in danger of becoming.

Likewise, Alma Plaza has turned into a construction site without construction. Not to mention Edgeware Plaza too. The old Western Marine site is still empty and abandoned.

It is time to smarten the place up and get usable, affordable retail back into the Palo Alto/Mountain View borders.


Like this comment
Posted by a promise is a promise
a resident of Midtown
on May 24, 2011 at 11:48 am

Hopefully the developer will follow through on their promise to build a bicycle/pedestrian tunnel between the housing development and the San Antonio shopping center and Caltrain station. That will reduce car traffic a lot.

Don't let them renege on the promise like Stanford did to the promised pedestrian tunnel under I-280 to the Arastradero Preserve.

Note that the Mayfield site is the gateway between Palo Alto's Bryant bicycle boulevard and Mountain View's Mayfield-Whisman bicycle boulevard. If the city needs to build more housing, this is a great place to do it.


Like this comment
Posted by close resident
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on May 24, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I am relieved they scaled the down the number of housing units, that will help.

I do agree that San Antonio and El Camino will turn into parking lots with the increase in autos using them

What about bike paths? The area is presently inhospitable to biking.


Like this comment
Posted by bike paths
a resident of Midtown
on May 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm

close resident - you're wrong about the Mayfield area being inhospitable to bicycling. The Palo Alto Bryant bicycle boulevard starts downtown and ends right across the street from Mayfield (take the crosswalk across San Antonio). The Mountain View Mayfield-Whisman bicycle boulevard starts right there at Mayfield (and heads south to downtown Mountain View and the Stevens Creek Trail and beyond). And they are promising to build a new bike path under Central Expressway and the Caltrain tracks to the San Antonio shopping center. Those bike routes make this development more accessible to bicycling than almost anywhere else in Mountain View or Palo Alto.


Like this comment
Posted by Edouard
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 25, 2011 at 12:46 am

Aha! I should have known. Anytime there are any improvements to streets or highways in the name of reducing congestion and helping traffic flow then next thing that happens is development along the, supposedly, improved corridors which more than negates any improvement leaving the traffic situation in worse shape than before.

260 units x (at least) 2 cars per unit is 520 more cars trying to get to 101. At least the light at San Antonio and Middlefield isn't retarded anymore and actually works.

Both Palo Alto and Mountain View should consider round-a-bouts instead of our traditional red light/green light intersections. If ever there was an inefficient way to move traffic its intersections. They cost you time, money, gas, and momentum.

I'd rather not see any more housing built but since it will be get used to more and more back-ups and sitting at lights burning your $5 a gallon gasoline.


Like this comment
Posted by Edouard
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 25, 2011 at 12:51 am

PS: Why does it have to be an $8,000,000.00 tunnel? Wouldn't an overpass be cheaper and faster? Or, God forbid any forethought, why aren't they adding an overpass right now to the San Antonio/Central Expwy overpass? They've been working on that thing forever.


Like this comment
Posted by Irritated
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 25, 2011 at 11:07 am

Try walking your bike across San Antonio. Don't bring your kids. It's a dash to get across. Cars coming off the expressway overpass zoom at you. If you live at this end of town, the amount of housing that has already been built in the last seven years(300% over Comp Plan estimates) and what is projected to be built on our border in Mountain View (653 units plus 100,000 new square feet commercial)is overwhelming.

There will not be any improvments to the San Antonio arterial in Palo Alto because the project EIRs (controlled by MV)say that there will be no transportation impacts that need to be mitigated. San Antonio will be a parking lot.

The developers will enjoy enormous profits at our expense AGAIN.



Like this comment
Posted by Too much traffic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 25, 2011 at 11:21 am

"Try walking your bike across San Antonio. Don't bring your kids. It's a dash to get across."
There are only two locations where you can LEGALLY cross San Antonio in that area--at California and at Nita. Any other place an dit is illegal, so I am not sure what the point of your dashing across San Antonio.
Let's try to keep away from over exaggeration and phony scare tactics.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 25, 2011 at 11:49 am

Agreed, San Antonio is not pedestrian or bicycle friendly either to use or to cross.


Like this comment
Posted by crosswalk
a resident of Midtown
on May 25, 2011 at 11:57 am

I cross San Antonio all the time at the crosswalk/stoplight in front of the Mayfield complex. Never had a problem, though it would be nice if the city built a larger pedestrian waiting area at the north side of the crosswalk.


Like this comment
Posted by Irritated
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 25, 2011 at 11:58 am

At Nita, which is the only convenient place to cross from my neighborhood, cars on San Antonio often blow through the light at high speeds 40mph+. Don't bring your kids. It is not for the faint of heart. No exaggeration.


Like this comment
Posted by Irritated
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm



You can also legally cross at Alma, going under the overpass,another uninviting pedestrian route.

Forgot to mention...It's hard to cross San Antonio at most times of the day because of speed and light runners. But during the peak hours San Antonio already is congested. It will get much worse.

If they are going to build all of this housing, a solution is needed, but the developer won't have to pay for it because they have been excused from that responsibility by Mountain View's approval of an EIR that doesn't recognize impacts on the Palo Alto portion of San Antonio. Very neighborly.

The truth is you don't see many pedestrians out there because the crossing is pretty awful...and that won't change.


Like this comment
Posted by Too much traffic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Irritated--you forgot to mention how the portion from California to Nita is not meant for pedestrians at all, so not sure where people are dashing across and where it is hard to cross given the lights at California and Nita.
Care to explain your claims???


Like this comment
Posted by crosswalk
a resident of Midtown
on May 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Yes, speeding and red light running are big problems in many parts of town. Please complain to the police department and request better enforcement. Also ask the transportation department for better pedestrian protection (more lighting, narrower road widths, raised crosswalks, etc.) at specific locations.


Like this comment
Posted by jardins
a resident of Midtown
on May 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm

re comment by Resident, yesterday (May 24): "Likewise, Alma Plaza has turned into a construction site without construction."

I've wondered why that development's not been "progressing." What's blocking it? It looks awful.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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