Wed10222014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Plan for three-story building on Main heads to city council


Photo By: Rendering Courtesy of Ted Sorensen
Photo Rendering Courtesy Of Ted Sorensen

Plans for the Sorensen project at 40 Main St., marked by the arrow, were slated for review at the Los Altos City Council meeting Tuesday, past press deadline.

Developers Ted and Jerry Sorensen – and their project at 40 Main St. – will have their day before the Los Altos City Council.

A revised version of their three-story mixed-use project was scheduled for review by the city council at Tuesday’s meeting, held after the Town Crier’s press deadline.

According to Ted Sorensen, the revised project features a multiple-story building totaling approximately 15,400 square feet. It includes a paseo (a storefront promenade) and a 4,000-square-foot mezzanine between the ground floor and the upper level.

The upper level, designated as Class A office space, is set back and features a balcony overlooking Main Street. The previous plan proposed a building totaling 17,500 square feet.

Sorensen said he believes the updated plans are in compliance with changes the Los Altos Planning Commission recommended in its January approval.

“Jerry and I have worked hard on this project for over five years,” Sorensen wrote in an email to the Town Crier. “We have listened to the staff, the planning commissioners and the councilmembers at every opportunity. We believe that this building meets or exceeds the expectations of all who have reviewed it.”

In addition to reducing the bulk and floor space of the building, Sorensen said they are offering an additional $300,000 to rebuild parking Plaza 10 in whatever way the city deems fit. Among the recommendations from the Planning Commission was finding a way to reduce the bulk of the building, thereby decreasing the project’s parking requirements.

If approved, Sorensen said a reworking of Plaza 10 potentially could include upgraded landscaping, restriped parking spaces and the undergrounding of utilities, as well new lighting, new bicycle racks and an enhanced circulation plan. He estimated that a reconfiguration of the plaza could yield up to 20 additional parking spaces.

“Whether an improved circulation plan is adopted, which could add 16-20 stalls or not, this reconstruction of Plaza 10 will be a model for an improved plaza parking experience,” Sorensen said.

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce planned to submit a letter in support of the project, calling it “an enhancement to downtown Los Altos, both economically and visually.”

The project, however, is not without its detractors.

Von Packard, who with his brother, Councilman Ron Packard, owns the 4 Main St. property next to the proposed project, has submitted a letter to the city urging the council to reject it.

Von Packard stated in his letter that the new project, at approximately seven times the size of the current 2,100-square-foot building at 40 Main, would make finding a parking spot even more difficult in Plaza 10. Packard noted that a parking study conducted by Pang Engineers Inc. in 2008 concluded that Plaza 10 already has a higher occupancy rate than the downtown’s other nine plazas.

In addition, Packard noted in his letter that the 40 Main building exceeds the city’s 30-foot height limit by approximately 5 feet and would create “a precedent for additional similar-height buildings in the Main corridor.”

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