The Mountain View City Council designated the property at 771 N. Rengstorff Ave. for park use at its Sept. 24 meeting.
The council voted 6-1 to use the land as open space, with Mayor John Inks dissenting. The city purchased the property earlier this year for $3 million.
Councilmembers had previously considered using the 1.22-acre property for affordable housing, among other options, before deciding to leave the tree-filled site more or less as is.
The council concurrently agreed to relocate the 1880s-era Immigrant House to the newly ordained parkland.
That’s good news to Los Altos resident Mary Kay Marinovich, the leading force behind the successful quest to preserve the 400-square-foot historical structure. The house was moved from its original location on Bryant Street earlier this year to a temporary city-owned site as it awaited its fate.
“Old Mountain View neighbors can be proud to have conserved one of the city’s original structures, representing the common folk that helped build this city,” Marinovich wrote in an email to councilmembers.
Marinovich’s relatives lived in the small house decades ago after they emigrated from Croatia to the U.S.
“Those of you who have been in Mountain View for 30-plus years will be amazed at 771 N. Rengstorff, because it looks like a throwback to Old Mountain View from 50 years ago,” she said. “Being on the property and in the presence of its natural beauty is simply magical. For that we can thank former owner (Frances) Steiper. I think the city council is wise to leave the property as undisturbed as possible.”
The council’s approval directs staff to generate specifics on how the site will be used as parkland. In addition to Immigrant House, the property’s garden and 150 trees, many of them fruit-bearing, will be part of the park. The city plans to demolish the 1950s-era house that remains on the site, which the city claims has structural problems.
There is no parking on the property, so councilmembers indicated that the land should incur minimal use to avoid attracting major traffic. The city did not offer a timeline for opening the new park.