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Tacos take some time WEEKEND | P.20 JUNE 15, 2012 VOLUME 20, NO. 21 650.964.6300 MOVIES | 23 City tells developer to scale back COUNCIL SHOCKED BY SIZE OF PROJECT By Daniel DeBolt vide public benefit,” said council member Laura Macias. “None n a study session Tuesday, of that type of public benefit has City Council members reject- been proposed here.” ed a new redevelopment proThe developer has said that posal for San Antonio shopping the hotel is a public benefit and center, telling the developer to that the size of the office buildcome back with a project that fits ing was necessary to pay for the the city’s standards for density cost of developing the full service and height. hotel, something the city has At the corner of California long sought and once considered Street and San Antonio Road subsidizing with $30 million at a developer Merlone Geier pro- different site in North Bayshore. poses a 150-room hotel, 300,000 A pedestrian tunnel under square feet of retail, and space for California Street was suggested as 3,000 employees in three office a potential public benefit, while buildings, one of which would be council member Margaret Abethe tallest in the city at 160 feet Koga suggested the developer and 11 stories. contribute to a new community The project could center at Rengstorff mean $2.6 million a Park. year in hotel, prop“I understand ‘Our city is erty and sales tax the demand for a revenue for the city, not for sale.’ hotel because you Merlone Geier’s Mike could rent a yurt JAC SIEGEL Grehl told the City in Mountain View CITY COUNCIL MEMBER Council Tuesday. today to Google,” “Our city is not for said Doug Delong sale,” said council of advocates for member Jac Siegel, affordable housing. who said he was shocked by “I don’t think there’s enough the project’s density and scale. public benefit lipstick that can be “You can’t have somebody come put on this pig to make it salable. in and say ‘we’ll give you this The hotel is jammed into this much revenue; let us do what we corner and the land use mix is want.’” wrong. This is the first proposal Council member Ronit Bryant I can recall in front of the city I said heights of six to eight stories would describe as obscene.” were supported by the city’s draft City Council members said general plan guidelines for the they had received a letter from site, and “suddenly we have 11. Merlone Geier assuring officials That makes no sense.” that the firm was following the City planners said the proposal law after several business and was “significantly above” the property owners accused the density of 3.0 floor area ratio developer of using a cyclone called for in the draft precise fence to force them to sell their plan for the shopping center, and land. The fence, now removed would therefore require a “sig- after city officials said it was nificant public benefit” to meet unpermitted, blocked access to city guidelines. a parking lot at Ross and BevMo. “We’re talking about multiSee SAN ANTONIO, page 10 millions if you are going to pro- I MICHELLE LE Hitting the trail Bicyclists exit from the newly open Permanente Creek Trail tunnel following the June 12 public dedication ceremony for the trail. See story, Page 7. Affordable housing plan may push out two taquerias By Daniel DeBolt M embers of the City Council voted to continue planning a $9.3 million affordable housing project Tuesday that will displace 48 low-income residents and two popular taquerias at the corner of Rengstorff Avenue and Old Middlefield Way. Council members voted 6-0 to move forward with the project, with Mayor Mike Kasperzak absent. City officials say the city attorney’s office has spent many hours dealing with the existing building’s numerous code violations, INSIDE and a court order that could slowly empty the building is expected soon. “We’ve got to fix it, and to me the easiest way to fix it is to go to another project that is compliant,” said council member Tom Means. “My feeling is we just move ahead and get this to be a better site. It gets rid of a headache to some extent.” The 1940s building known to house La Costena and La Bamba taquerias would make way for 51 studios above a 2,700 square-footretail space developed by ROEM and Eden Housing, the same developer building 51 affordable family homes on Evelyn Avenue at Franklin Street. The studios would be rented to those making between $21,800 and $32,625 a year, with rents ranging from $521 to $793 a month. Up to two people can rent a studio, and city planners estimate 57 tenants based on occupancy rates of similar projects. Building owner Charles Gardyn had initially promised that the building’s existing tenants could return to the redeveloped building, but it was revealed at See HOUSING, page 10 VIEWPOINT 14 | GOINGS ON 24 | MARKETPLACE 25 | REAL ESTATE 28

Mountain View Voice 06.15.2012 - Section 1

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