Tonight: Council Study Session regarding San Antonio development
- Tonight the Mountain View City Council is holding a study session on the San Antonio Shopping Center at 7:00pm at City Hall. If you’re free, please attend and share your thoughts on the plan. Can’t make it? Send Council a letter. They are very open to public input. For more details, you can check out tonight’s council meeting packet and read the background document by going to the City of Mountain View’s website, clicking on “City Council,” then “Council Agendas and Public Records”. You can also read an article in yesterday’s Daily News
Below and attached is the comment letter we will submit to Mountain View City Council regarding the project, feel free to reference any of the points in our letter in your own public comment. This was written by Riad Elbdour, a Mountain View resident who received his Masters in Urban Planning from SJSU and volunteers for the Sierra Club.In service, Megan--
September 7, 2010
Dear Honorable Mayor and City Council of Mountain View,
The Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter greatly appreciates the opportunity to comment on the San Antonio Shopping Center Redevelopment proposal. We thank City Council, staff, and project development team for their efforts to make this central shopping center into a more walkable and transit-oriented area.
We realize the developer is working to balance the interests of the community and the already- secured tenants Safeway and Rite Aid, as well as ensuring an economically successful shopping center. The current proposal is a huge improvement over the existing automobile-oriented conditions and we are glad to see walking paths crossing the property, green space at the Hetch Hetchy parcel, rooftop parking, and mixed-use apartment/retail building. Though these are all great elements, we cannot give the project as it stands our support, and offer the following suggestions so the project can be considered for our endorsement.
Located on El Camino and within walking distance of San Antonio Caltrain, this shopping center is Mountain View’s opportunity to meet the challenge set out by Grand Boulevard Initiative: to create a “grand boulevard of meaningful destinations.” The vision of El Camino is a place for residents to work, live, shop and play, creating links between communities that promote walking and transit and an improved and meaningful quality of life.
At present, the center is under-utilized and represents post World War II, car-oriented urban planning. We want to see this project developed in a way that will ensure the highest and best use of the land and espouses good smart growth and environmental principles. This redevelopment opportunity may be a once-in-a-generation chance to make this central location of Mountain View vibrant, walkable and transit-oriented that can be a catalyst to great future smart growth development in the area.
City Council, staff, and the development team need to work together to improve this project and we recommend you consider the following recommendations:
- The “jewel box” buildings near the corner of San Antonio and El Camino Real would better serve pedestrians if they were oriented towards the street rather than the surface parking lot. Orienting the buildings inward blocks out pedestrians. To accomplish this, the buildings should be brought close San Antonio and El Camino Real and face El Camino. In addition, the parking lot should be behind, under, or on top of the buildings. This will encourage pedestrian activity along the street front of the center much like downtown Mountain View.
- Reduce the minimum number of parking spots, this shopping center does not require as many parking spaces as ones which are not near public transit routes. The San Antonio Center is a regional center that is accessed by many people from outside the region by public transit. This transit connectivity is sure to improve with the addition of VTA’s Bus Rapid Transit line in the coming years.
- Consider additional mixed-used jobs/housing opportunities to address the regions severe housing shortage. Putting more people and jobs close to public transit and services will contribute to the financial success of this shopping center as there will be additional customer activity during the day (employees) and at night (residents).
- The Open Space along the Hetch-Hetchy parcel is too isolated to work as part of the complex. To use this gift of mandated open space effectively, it should be fronted by uses such as retail and housing. Retail with housing over it like Santana Row would work great - so as to provide “eyes-on-the-street” on the open space at all times of the day and night. This will make it a truly public space that is animated and safe to use by employees, workers, and parents with young children during the day and residents and general public during the evenings. Properly designed, it could provide a truly focused urban public space for the neighborhood – an automatic “Village Square” for one of Mountain View’s “villages.”
The Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter is committed to partnering with the city of Mountain View and the developer to meet these recommendations to achieve a high functioning transit-oriented development that will result in reduced vehicle miles travelled.
Mountain View resident
Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter volunteer
Sierra Club, Loma Prieta Chapter
3921 E. Bayshore Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
(650) 390 9604
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Re: [ALPA_Forum] Tonight: Council Study Session regarding San Antonio development
I’m surprised the letter didn’t indicate a problem with the proposed drive-up window for prescriptions at the Right Aid store. The vehicle emissions will be horrendous from all those cars waiting for their drivers’ prescriptions to be filled and delivered to the window. I understand that some old folks like the idea. A little exercise getting out of their cars and into the store would be good for them.
I have a conflicting meeting this evening so won’t be there for the meeting.
Tonight the Mountain View City Council is holding a study session on the San Antonio Shopping Center at 7:00pm at City Hall. If you’re free, please attend and share your thoughts on the plan. Can’t make it? Send Council a letter. They are very open to public input. For more details, you can check out tonight’s council meeting packet and read the background document by going to the City of Mountain View’s website, clicking on “City Council,” then “Council Agendas and Public Records”. You can also read an article in yesterday’s Daily News
Below and attached is the comment letter we will submit to Mountain View City Council regarding the project, feel free to reference any of the points in our letter in your own public comment. This was written by Riad Elbdour, a Mountain View resident who received his Masters in Urban Planning from SJSU and volunteers for the Sierra Club.