The Mountain View City Council took the following actions at recent meetings.
• Utilities cost more: Mountain View residents will notice increases in their utility bills. The council voted June 18 to boost electricity, sewer, waste management and water services for fiscal year 2013-2014, effective July 1.
Rate hikes include 9 percent for water, 7 percent for sewer, 6 percent for recycling bins and 9 percent for trash carts. According to city staff, residents can expect their 32-gallon trash-cart service to increase approximately $1.90 a month. Single-family homeowners will note a $9.80 increase for water, or 21.9 percent (based on 10 units of water plus meter charge), and a $1.85 hike for sewer. City officials said the hikes were necessary to offset increases by utility providers.
• Starting from scratch: Following public backlash over their approval of an animal control ordinance that required licensing for cats, councilmembers backtracked on the ordinance at their June 11 meeting.
The new action allows city staff to start from scratch on a proposed law that would allow beekeeping and leave cats alone. Councilmembers vowed to address the matter again in the fall and give ample notice to residents, several of whom complained that they had no advance notice of the June 4 meeting, when the initial ordinance passed.
In the meantime, city staff will review potential ordinance revisions that include microchipping versus tags, clarification on the issue of dogs in city parks and the number of animals allowed.
• Flood basin stays at Mc- Kelvey: Efforts toward a revamped McKelvey Park, complete with flood-detention basin, are moving forward. Following the council’s approval of revised designs in early May, the Santa Clara Valley Water District is set to begin construction on the basin and park improvements next summer. The improvements, including new bleachers, dugouts and bathrooms, are in effect an exchange for district use of the park for digging the 18-foot-deep basin. The estimated cost of the project is $9 million.
The water district board May 28 signed off on the McKelvey basin and one proposed at Rancho San Antonio County Park as part of the Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project. The city and district have proceeded despite relentless criticism from a small cadre of Los Altos and Mountain View residents closely following the project. Critics claim that the district’s calculations and rationale for the basins are flawed and that the basins are not needed. Water district officials conceded in the cases of Cuesta Park Annex and Blach Intermediate School, where plans for basins have since been shelved.
• Latest developments: The council July 2 approved plans for a three-story, 67,772-square-foot office building on 1.13 acres at 250 Bryant St. in downtown Mountain View. The project, by Smith Equities of Palo Alto, includes two levels of underground parking, totaling 153 spaces. Construction on the new building is scheduled to begin next month and wrap up by December 2014.
SummerHill Apartments plans to build a 150-unit project at 865 E. El Camino Real, following council approval and building-permit application. The city anticipates construction beginning in November.
Prometheus Real Estate Group received council approval for a 169-unit apartment project on 2.51 acres at 1720 W. El Camino Real, the site of the former Tropicana Lodge and Western Appliance. The company is expected to apply for a building permit this month, according to city staff, with construction set to start by December.
The city’s zoning administrator earlier this month approved the Sobrato Organization’s application for a 156,900-square-foot, five-story office building on a 10-acre site at 1255 Pear Ave.
A 19-unit rowhouse project at 1958 Rock St. received the council’s greenlight June 18. The Dividend Homes project would, pending building-permit approval in the fall, begin construction next spring. Dividend plans another 18 rowhouses on the 1-acre property at 111 and 123 Fairchild Drive. The council is slated to consider final approval in the fall.