Rent control law gains supporters as battle wages

Image Courtesy of City of Mountain View
The proposed design for the new Google campus on Shoreline Boulevard in Mountain View features a futuristic canopy roof.

The co-signers of a Mountain View rent control measure have joined the fight to preserve the voter-approved law under a legal challenge from a statewide group representing landlords.

Residents Joan MacDonald and Steve Chandler, who signed the original petition to put Measure V on the Nov. 8 ballot, will partner with Linda Williams and groups Urban Habitat and Faith in Action Bay Area to battle efforts to render the rent control initiative invalid. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge William J. Elfving last week granted their request to intervene in the suit.

“They are now defendants in the lawsuit and will prepare an opposition to the motion for a preliminary injunction,” said City Attorney Jannie Quinn.

The California Apartment Association has filed a request for that injunction, with a hearing date set April 4. Implementation of Measure V is suspended as a result of the lawsuit.

The Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act, which passed with 53.57 percent (15,393 votes) of the vote, limits rent increases to between 2 and 5 percent annually in most cases, and creates a five-member rental housing board to oversee implementation and resolve disputes with binding arbitration. It also rolls back rents to October 2015 levels. As an amendment to the city’s charter, it cannot be undone by city council action.

Google campus a go

The Mountain View City Council March 7 gave its blessing for Google Inc. to move forward with a new 595,000-square-foot campus on 18 acres at 2000 N. Shoreline Blvd.

Among council approvals were building permits, an environmental study and removal of 196 heritage trees on the property. Also approved is the extension of a sublease between Google and Live Nation for interim parking in Shoreline Amphitheatre lots C and D.

The internet search giant is pulling out all of the cutting-edge design stops in its campus plans. The LEED-platinum design includes two floors of office space, with the entire building area covered by a canopy roof structure. The canopy comprises separate roof panels, supported by a grid of poles.

“Clerestory windows are placed between the gaps in the roof panels to illuminate the interior office space with natural light,” according to a city staff report to the council. “Vertical glass curtain walls would enclose the structure on all four sides, further allowing the inside to be illuminated by natural light.”

Other features include a 2-acre public plaza at the southeast corner of the site near the intersection of Shoreline and Charleston Road and a pedestrian-only public pathway through the heart of the campus.

Google officials expect construction to take 28 months and the first employees to move in before the end of 2019.

Flood basin work begins

Santa Clara Valley Water District contractors are expected to begin work next week on a flood detention basin project at McKelvey Park in Mountain View.

Residents can expect temporary lane closures along Miramonte Avenue during the course of the project.

According to district officials, initial work will include tree and vegetation removal, light grading and construction of a temporary fence. The work is expected to take two weeks. Construction is scheduled 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The next construction phase will include filling potholes along Miramonte Avenue, according to district officials. Work includes surveying, saw-cutting the pavement and excavating to verify the locations of underground utilities. One lane on Miramonte Avenue will be temporarily closed during work hours, and traffic controls will be set up to maintain two-way traffic.

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