Mountain View Leaders Consider Rezoning Proposal to Add Housing Near Google - NBC Bay Area
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Mountain View Leaders Consider Rezoning Proposal to Add Housing Near Google

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    City leaders in Mountain View on Tuesday were set to discuss rezoning a neighborhood near Google headquarters to enable the tech giant to build apartments and expand its campus. Michelle Roberts reports. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017)

    City leaders in Mountain View on Tuesday were set to discuss rezoning a neighborhood near Google headquarters to enable the tech giant to build apartments and expand its campus.

    The city's planning commission has recommended additional housing for the East Whisman neighborhood. The area currently is zoned for offices only.

    Google's proposal is seen as a positive by some, especially those commuting into Mountain View for work. Emily Dong is one, and she like thousands of other Mountain View commuters say housing prices in the South Bay city and along the Peninsula prevent them from living where they work.

    "A lot of people work here, so if they can live close to work, that is a plus," Dong said.

    Mountain View Senior Planner Lindsay Hagan believes housing development is a logical direction for the city.

    "We are trying to utilize land that is in the city ... to look at smarter ways to increase development potential there," Hagan said. "In terms of businesses being interested in having the ability to work and live in the same environment, there is that potential."

    On Tuesday night, Hagan was set to present a plan to the City Council that would add 9,500 housing units and some retail in the East Whisman neighborhood.

    In December, the city rejected Google's proposal to build roughly 300 apartment units and expand its campus in the area, but if the neighborhood is rezoned, the proposal could be revived.

    "It would allow them to come back, if they still had an interest in this area," Hagan said.

    Meanwhile, some residents fear more neighbors could create a longer commute.

    "Every time you put in residential, you have the traffic that it adds as opposed to the traffic on the arteries," resident Geoff Thomson said.

    Others hope the city green-lights Google's plan.

    "The reason it’s expensive is because there’s not a lot of places to live," said Hana Kim.

    If the council advances the proposal, the next step would be an environmental study, which could take several months.

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