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Good morning! bonjour! learn a language, try yoga, learn to tap CLASS GUIDE | P.13 MARCH 11, 2011 VOLUME 19, NO. 10 650.964.6300 INSIDE: WEEKEND | PAGE 16 City pays growing bill for housing project MORE BACKING NEEDED TO WIN SUBSIDY FOR AFFORDABLE APARTMENTS By Daniel DeBolt T MICHELLE LE Roland Tice grinds down a bar at the skate park at Rengstorff Park on March 4. Skaters say skate park overhaul is long overdue By Daniel DeBolt As usual, the Rengstorff Skatepark was a busy place on Friday afternoon, with the sound of a dozen skateboards bouncing off the asphalt, ramps and rails. But underneath the surface is a common refrain. Politely put, the skate park could be better, much better. “People come here because it’s the only thing we have to skate,” said Roland Tice, a Mountain View High School student who, with his friend Denny Ianni, has been talking to city officials about the skate park since January. It’s not the relatively small size of the park that does See SKATE PARK, page 10 City begins to parse census data By Nick Veronin I n the past decade Mountain View’s population has grown by 3,358 — roughly 4.5 percent — according to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau this week. The numbers, made public on March 8, show that 74,066 people live in Mountain View, up from 70,708 in the 2000 census. “We have grown but it’s been a moderate growth,” said Kevin Duggan, Mountain View’s city manager. “We think it’s reflective INSIDE of that.” Duggan noted that California had estimated Mountain View might be at 75,000 by now. The city missed that mark by 934. Since 2000 Mountain View’s minority population has grown while the number of whites living in the city has decreased. In 2000 the census counted 45,090 whites living in the city, a number that dropped to 41,468 in 2010. Over the same period, the city’s Asian population grew from 14,613 to 19,232, and the total number of Hispanic and Latino residents increased from 12,911 to 16,071. Asians now account for 26 percent of the Mountain View population, Hispanics and Latinos account for 21.7 percent, and whites make up 56 percent. The number of black and African American residents of Mountain View dropped from 1,789 in 2000 to 1,629 in 2010. The growth in Mountain View’s See CENSUS, page 7 he City Council on Tuesday approved an additional city subsidy of up to $4.4 million for a 51-unit affordable housing project downtown that was approved last year. Developer ROEM corporation said an additional subsidy of $2.2 million is necessary to help the project compete for a lucrative tax credit the project was unable to receive last year. If the project does not win that tax credit, the council approved up to $4.4 million in additional city subsidy to make the project feasible. $11.2 million in “set aside” funds, and that the proposed state legislation could be passed within weeks that would seek to retrieve such funds spent after January 1, 2011, potentially creating legal battles across the state over the funding of such projects. Worth the cost? While more costly than some market rate projects at $450,000 per unit, Mayor Jac Siegel and others have touted the project’s quality, which will make it undetectable as affordable housing. That appeases downtown neighbors who have complained that the project would “I don’t see how spending more money really helps low-income people in Mountain View anymore.” JOHN INKS The Council voted 6-1 to release the funds, with John Inks opposed. The move brings the city’s costs for the $23 million project to $12.5 million, or $245,000 per unit. The four-story building will be located at the corner of Franklin Street and Evelyn Avenue. Responding to a proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown that would take redevelopment district housing funds and use them for schools and other local services, the City Council also approved a last-minute move to spend $8 million of the Downtown Redevelopment Authority’s “housing set aside funds” on the project instead of Below Market Rate housing funds as previously proposed. In a presentation on Brown’s proposal at the end of the meeting, City Attorney Jannie Quinn said city staff are concerned about losing GOINGS ON 20 | MARKETPLACE 21 | MOVIES 19 | REAL ESTATE 23 | VIEWPOINT 12 create a slum in their neighborhood and lower their property values. Inks, who has said he’d prefer a housing policy that makes all housing cheaper, said that he had been “talking to market rate developers building projects cheaper than this one.” “I don’t see how spending more money really helps low-income people in Mountain View anymore.” Council member Laura Macias defended the project, saying it would meet the council’s long time goal of building affordable housing downtown, while providing a safe place for low-income residents. Several members noted that much of the subsidy would return to the city in loan and lease payments, with See HOUSING, page 7

Mountain View Voice 03.11.2011 - Section 1

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