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Sweet spot WEEKEND | 17 JUNE 21, 2013 VOLUME 21, NO. 21 650.964.6300 MOVIES | 20 Is flood protection project ‘political engineering?’ COUNTY SUPERVISORS TO VOTE ON FLOOD BASIN AT RANCHO SAN ANTONIO By Daniel DeBolt A s the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors mulls over plans for a flood basin at Rancho San Antonio park, a local civil engineer has raised questions about the legitimacy of a $34 million flood protection project designed to protect 2,720 Mountain View properties from a major flood. On June 25, county supervisors are set to vote on a flood basin at Rancho San Antontio County Park near Los Altos Hills. It is designed to catch flood waters in the event of a rare, 100-yearflood of Permanente Creek and keep a downstream diversion channel behind Blach Middle School from flooding its banks into Los Altos and Mountain View. But according to Los Altos resident and civil engineer Jerry Clements, the full-scale flood protection project has been unnecessary from the start, including proposed flood basins at the Cuesta Annex (since See CREEK, page 11 City agrees to share $50 million with schools By Nick Veronin and Daniel DeBolt A n agreement to share the property taxes of the likes of Google with local schools has been approved by the City Council and the local high school district — a win for Mountain View students, school and city officials say. Under the “joint powers agreement,” schools would receive an estimated $50 million over 10 years from Shoreline Community property taxes, or $5 million a year, slightly up from the $4.9 million a year received since 2011, when parents demanded the city share the revenue. “It’s very positive for both Mountain View Whisman and MICHELLE LE The Permanente Creek diversion channel, built in 1959, diverts water from Permanente Creek’s upper reaches to Stevens Creek. A valve controlling flows to lower Permanente Creek is shown at left, and is only opened during spring. our school district,” said Joe White, associate superintendent of business services for MVLA. White said that having a planned funding source locked into place is a big deal, especially considering how tumultuous the past five years have been. It isn’t common to get a 10-year agreement and having one means the district can make plans well into the future. “It’s going to be a great benefit.” As the Voice went to press on June 19, both the Mountain View City Council and the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District had signed the three-way agreement, leaving the Mountain View Whisman School District as the only party yet to approve the contract, which would lock in a revenue-sharing structure between the city and the two local districts for a decade. The MVWSD board of trustees was scheduled to vote on approval of the JPA at its June 20 meeting. The city’s schools would receive at least $4.7 million a year until 2023, possibly more, depending on property tax revenue levels, determined by the property values of companies like Google, which have been rising as the area redevelops rapidly. “The school district shares some of the risk of property tax fluctuation,” said assistant city manager Melissa Stevenson Dile. Under the agreement, the Mountain View Whisman district is guaranteed a minimum payment of $2.87 million per year for 10 years and the high school district is guaranteed a payment of $1.84 million over 10 See SCHOOLS, page 13 Cycle track to replace expressway ramp COUNCIL OKS CLOSURE OF CENTRAL EXPY. ENTRANCE AT END OF STIERLIN ROAD By Daniel DeBolt D COURTESY CITY OF MOUNTAIN VIEW The outlines of the Steirlin Road on-ramp are visible on the left side of this rendering. INSIDE espite outcry from neighbors over the possibility of increasing traffic jams on Moffett Boulevard, City Council members stuck to their promise of making the city more bike- and pedestrian-friendly Tuesday night. City Council members voted 5-2 to close an on-ramp to Cen- VIEWPOINT 15 | GOINGS ON 21 | MARKETPLACE 22 | REAL ESTATE 24 tral Expressway at the southern end of Stierlin Road, with members Jac Siegel and John McAlister opposed. In its place a lane dedicated to bikes and a pedestrian promenade would go in the middle of a 191-unit apartment project, making a gateway to a bike boulevard connecting the downtown transit hub to Google headquarters along Stierlin and Shoreline Boulevard. The apartment project replaces the county’s social services building at 100 Moffett Boulevard and auto shops on Stierlin. “What you have tonight is an opportunity to define the environment of Mountain View as far as connecting North Bayshore and the downtown transit center,” said bike advocate and resident See ON-RAMP, page 10

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