Google is, for the first time, seeking permission to build an apartment complex in Mountain View, but there's a catch.
The plan, which also includes a massive office expansion, is in an area not currently zoned for residences.
If the City Council approves Google’s plan, a parking lot and offices on Logue Avenue in the East Whisman neighborhood would be converted into apartments, offices, shops and restaurants.
Google is eyeing a 3.9-acre site on Logue Avenue in the East Whisman neighborhood for the construction of about 330 apartments. The tech giant has promised that 15 percent of the new apartments will serve as affordable housing, the Mountain View Voice reported.
"Given that they’ve long advocated for residential, it is good to see them stepping forward to propose it," said Randy Tsuda, Mountain View’s director of community development.
But the proposal also includes stores and restaurants, and office space that exceeds 200,000 square feet.
"I think Google sees this as a way to catalyze residential development in the East Whisman area," Tsuda said.
But people who live near the Google campus say traffic has become unbearable in the last few years.
"You can’t go anywhere after 2 in the afternoon," said city resident Xenia Heldebrant.
Grace Deleon, who works in Mountain View, added: "That’s possibly going to add to the traffic, unless they were to expand the housing significantly."
The Mountain View City Council has already been mulling rezoning the East Whisman neighborhood to allow more housing — an issue they wil discuss at a public meeting on Saturday. Google's plan will be discussed at a meeting on Dec. 6.
While some are skeptical that one Google apartment complex will make a dent in in the commute, others think it’s a step in the right direction.
"The best mitigation for our traffic is to not have people drive to work, [it’s to] have them walk to work," Mountain View Mayor Pat Showalter said.
Palo Alto resident Jim Vadeboncoeur echoed the same sentiment.
"The idea of having people live where they work is a good idea," he said.