Mon09152014

Questions for 2013: Editorial

With every new year comes new questions about what’s in store for Los Altos. Following are examples of questions we hope we can provide answers to as the year moves along.

How will downtown Los Altos fare with the ongoing new construction? As noted this week, the city’s San Antonio Road streetscape project is already under way. The entire year promises construction, mostly for projects along First Street. How will existing businesses and downtown visitors handle these growing pains?

How many more residents will be added to the city as a result of this year’s new housing construction? How many new children will be added to the school district? Combined, 331 new Los Altos housing units are in the pipeline. Another 330 apartment units are planned for the new Village at San Antonio Center in Mountain View, located within Los Altos School District boundaries.

What will become of the Civic Center Master Plan? Five years and $450,000 later, the city has nothing to show for its investment. We’d like to see our leaders stay actively involved in the civic center plan discussion. Perhaps it needs major changes. Perhaps plans need to be better prioritized. Whatever the effort, the worst thing that could happen is the plans gather dust in a drawer.

Will Los Altos make even more of a “green transition”? In addition to a new plastic-bag ban set to take effect as early as Earth Day (April 22) and as late as July 1, 2014, the city could become more attractive to electric-vehicle users, thanks to GreenTown Los Altos. The grassroots group hopes to plan an EV event with the ultimate goal of making EV charging stations available in Los Altos. Find out more at a GreenTown meeting scheduled 7 p.m. today at Neutra House.

What lies ahead for Passerelle Investment Co.? The community-minded development group has brought positive change downtown since its arrival in 2009. Fast becoming the largest property owner in downtown Los Altos, Passerelle has attracted long-sought-after businesses catering to youth and young families. Now, eyes are turning to its 170 State St. properties to see what comes next.

And finally, when will people involved in the Bullis Charter School facilities debate find tangible solutions and stop sniping at (or suing) each other? It’s a question we ask yearly that still presents no ready answer. Let’s all work together for a change in 2013.

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