- Published on Tuesday, 11 March 2003 19:59
- Written by Tim Seyfert - Special to the Town Crier
The Los Altos Hills City Council considered a plea from residents of West Loyola Drive last week to have their neighborhood - in the unincorporated San Antonio Hills area - annexed to the town.
Last week's request is among numerous attempts by annexation proponents over the years to move county-controlled properties into either Los Altos or Los Altos Hills. This push for annexation was sparked by Santa Clara County's practice of not providing the area with access to public sewer systems. West Loyola residents have instead relied on individual, private party septic systems, which have been gradually failing and in need of replacement for years.
The county, meanwhile, is directing property owners to incorporate into Los Altos Hills so that West Loyola residents could gain access to the town's Los Altos and Palo Alto sewer connections.
West Loyola's request comes on the heels of last year's approved annexation of the 54-acre Ravensbury Avenue neighborhood, where the town's sewer connections were also the driving factor.
This time around, Los Altos Hills stands to gain 65 acres from the San Antonio Hills territory, which comprises nearly 200 acres of what the council has deemed part of the "sphere of influence," or neighboring lands.
It was this very notion that perked up the ears of Los Altos Hills City Councilman Mike O' Malley during the March 6 town hall meeting.
"We have an obligation as good citizens of this town to annex them," he said. "Any area within the sphere is our duty to look after."
Obligated or not, gaining annexation could prove to be a bumpier road than West Loyola residents may have realized. The town has already reached its capacity for sewer contracts with the city of Los Altos, according to the town's planning director, Carl Cahill.
In addition, Los Altos Hills has typically stood by a policy of no city services to unincorporated areas in the past.
Another concern on the table is whether or not annexing the neighborhood would be advantageous for the town.
"Fiscally, there are very few developments that'll go on in that area," Councilman Breene Kerr said. "We have to ask whether this will be a benefit or a burden for us."