Sunnyvale police concerned about Google's growth

Google’s already sizable footprint in Sunnyvale is poised for expansion. The company is primed to purchase upwards of 200,000 square feet of office space in the city’s Moffett Park section. And that’s the tip of the iceberg of piecemeal growth, if a proposed one million square foot campus comes to fruition.

“Police officers and firefighters in Sunnyvale have watched these massive corporate developments come into town. They’ve dealt with the impacts of increased call volume, longer response times, increased traffic,” said Dustin Derollo of the Sunnyvale Public Safety Officers Association.

He says his president penned a letter to city leaders a few days ago, stating, "Google’s proposals will result in an explosion of daytime population, increasing traffic gridlock, and increase 911 calls.”

"Wanting to make sure the city is looking at what the problems are gonna be as it relates to public safety and making sure they get it addressed,” said Derollo.  “I think that they do have a point,” added San Jose State University Urban and Regional Planning professor Kelly Snider.

She says the blessing and curse of Bay Area living is the allure that brings companies here, followed in short order by the hassles of overcrowding. Snider says all municipalities need to plan for business development and all that comes with it..

“Better transit. More bus lanes. More bike lanes. Less parking options so that people are encouraged to take their bike or take the bus or take mass transit. We also have to figure out how to build more housing for all those employees,” said Prof. Snider.

Public safety union leaders say Sunnyvale’s mayor has already extended an olive branch. City spokeswoman Jennifer Garnett issued an emailed statement that reads in part, “We continually evaluate our service levels and work with the City Council during our budget process to balance resources and needs for our entire community.”

The statement goes on to say Sunnyvale is preparing to examine new studies including fiscal impact analysis to address requests for amendments to the Moffett Park site. The police union is hopeful they’ll have a sit-down with the mayor sometime this week.