Sure, it may be a Superfund site, but the former military housing compound known as Orion Park is still a lucrative piece of land near Moffett Field. The U.S. Army has been working to lease out the 30-acre site to generate revenue, but its process is raising concerns among Mountain View officials.
Elected officials are requesting a “pause” on efforts to lease Orion Park, saying the current process seems destined to result in more offices and more traffic. In a letter sent to Army officials, Mountain View Mayor Ken Rosenberg pointed out the property should be used to help address the community’s need for parks, schools or affordable housing. He echoed these concerns last month in letters sent to U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo and Ro Khanna.
“The Army has proceeded hastily with the marketing of this strategic property for private development without the level of intergovernmental coordination and cooperation we would hope for,” he wrote. “The city feels strongly that it and its citizens and other local stakeholders should have a voice in approving the type and density of development being proposed.”
Orion Park was once a neighborhood of about 450 homes for military families, but the residences were demolished in 2009. Since then, the site has remained vacant.
Typically, federal agencies looking to offload unused land would first declare it as surplus property. That would then allow other local government agencies, such as cities or schools, to have first dibs to purchasing it.
But in the case of Orion Park, Army officials decided to go through a separate process to lease out the land specifically for commercial development, or possibly educational purposes….
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