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Old treat with a new twist WEEKEND | 18 JULY 11, 2014 VOLUME 22, NO. 24 650.964.6300 MOVIES | 21 Council shifts gears on San Antonio plan HOUSING A HIGHER PRIORITY IN SHOPPING CENTER AREA By Kevin Forestieri A MICHELLE LE DOWN TO EARTH EXHIBIT What do they get up to at NASA Ames? A window into the workings of the Moffett-based research center can be found in downtown Mountain View this month. Exhibits popped up in local businesses, including this space suit, part of a space biosciences display hosted by Empire Vintage Clothing on Villa Street. For more on the exhibit, go to page 8. fter sharp public opposition delayed phase two of Merlone Geier’s Village at San Antonio Center project last week, City Council members showed signs on Tuesday of making housing a higher priority in the San Antonio shopping center area. At the study session meeting in the Mountain View Senior Center on July 8, council members came to a rough consensus that the San Antonio precise plan should put more emphasis on a mix of housing and retail in the San Antonio shopping center, with limited exceptions for small office space and fewer restrictions on office space north of California Street. The precise plan is a document guiding future development in the area, which is southeast of the corner of El Camino Real and San Antonio Road and includes the San Antonio shopping center. Mayor Chris Clark said city staff was directed to expand areas where housing would be allowed, and make an overall reduction in office space in the San Antonio precise plan. Clark said although the city cannot require developers to build affordable housing, the wording in the precise plan will emphasize that they want a range of housing options. Support for more housing by council members was an aboutface from the February study sesSee SAN ANTONIO, page 9 Milk Pail deal goes sour SAN ANTONIO CENTER DEVELOPER MERLONE GEIER PULLS OUT OF PARKING AGREEMENT By Kevin Forestieri I t didn’t last long. The lastminute deal announced July 1 between developer Merlone Geier and Milk Pail Market owner Steve Rasmussen to save the popular European-style market, Merlone Geier was rescinded just two days later, putting the future of the Milk Pail in jeopardy. The deal would have allocated 11 additional parking spaces at the San Antonio shopping center to the Milk Pail, enough to meet city requirements for the Milk Pail market to stay in business past 2016, when its current parking agreement expires. The deal was revoked following the July 1 City Council meeting, where the council voted 6-0 in INSIDE favor of delaying the second phase of Merlone Geier’s Village at San Antonio Center development, with John Inks recused. The council asked for the project to include 150 housing units in place of one of the two office buildings proposed. In a revocation notice to Rasmussen by Michael Grehl of Merlone Geier, it said one of the conditions of the agreement was that phase two be approved on July 1. In an email to the City Council, Rasmussen said there was a “false illusion” in the community that the Milk Pail has an amended parking license that would allow it to stay in business beyond 2016. Rasmussen said the confusion may be because everything was decided so quickly leading up to the July 1 meeting. “It was all last-minute stuff,” Rasmussen said. “A lot of stuff happened in the meeting.” When reached by phone, Merlone Geier spokesman Ron Heckman declined to comment, and no one else representing the developer was immediately available to answer questions. While the July 1 deal is now history, Rasmussen said he and Merlone Geier made pretty good progress, and there’s still a possibility of a long-term solution. He said he expects there will be a follow-up with the developer for a deal in the near future. Lenny Siegel of the Campaign for a Balanced Mountain View VIEWPOINT 14 | GOINGS ON 22 | MARKETPLACE 23 | REAL ESTATE 26 MICHELLE LE A shopper makes her selections at the Milk Pail Market. Relief over a parking agreement to keep the market in business was short-lived, as it was rescinded by the developer two days later. called the deal with the Milk Pail political posturing by Merlone Geier to try to get the phase two development of the San Antonio shopping center passed by the City Council that night. He said Merlone Geier representatives must have thought that attaching the Milk Pail deal would garner enough council member votes to pass. “To me, this letter was a political faux pas,” Siegal said. As proposed, phase two of the controversial development project includes two office buildings See MILK PAIL, page 13

Mountain View Voice July 11, 2014

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