Mountain View Leaders Discuss Google's Desire to Build Housing

Big changes could soon be coming to a busy Silicon Valley neighborhood.

On Wednesday night, city leaders in Mountain View are set to discuss potential changes to a neighborhood near the Google campus.

Google’s proposed plans to build apartments and expand its campus hinges on the City Council's decision.

Wednesday's meeting won't directly discuss Google's plans to expand, but if the East Whisman neighborhood is rezoned, it's very likely Google could build its first apartment complex.

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

Startups and tech giants line the streets of the East Whisman neighborhood. But very fews, if any, of the thousands of employees who work there are walking to the office.

Mountain View Senior Planner Lindsay Hagan will present a plan at the meeting, detailing the options for adding housing and retail to the industrial area near the Google campus.

"I think adding additional uses to an area near transit can make a lot of sense," said Lindsay Hagan, Mountain View senior planner. "It can bring a lot of activity and ridership in that area. We’ll wait and see what council endorses."

In December, the city denied Google's proposal to build roughly 300 housing units and expand their campus. But if the area is rezoned, the company could revisit those plans if it still has an interest in the area.

Some 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 are hoping the city green-lights Google's offer to build more apartments.

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

The council is expected to vote on a possible zoning change in two weeks.

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