Thu11272014

Letters to the Editor

Where’s benefit with Third Street building?

Regarding the proposed 5,500-square-foot building headed for city council review, I must agree with the dissenting Planning Commissioners Ronit Bodner and Jon Baer that the building has an inappropriate “look and feel” for downtown Los Altos (“Third Street building proposal heads to council,” April 10). I would go even further than that.

I examined the site closely and noted that every building on the block is no more than two, maybe three stories. None is four. In addition, the office and residential buildings adjacent have generous (I would estimate 20-plus feet) setbacks.

The proposed building directly abuts the sidewalk, big-box style. How on earth does this fit in downtown Los Altos? This will create a “canyon” effect for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.

Numerous mature trees will be removed. The new ones are fewer in number, smaller and, from the drawing, confined to a narrow strip adjacent to the concrete walkway.

In addition, although underground parking will be added, 18 above-ground spaces (which currently lend an open, airy feeling to the site) will be lost.

I see no benefit whatsoever to anyone who currently resides in Los Altos or Los Altos Hills. Instead, we will be forced to put up with months of construction and its attendant noise, dirt, trucks and street closures.

Does the loss of open space, trees, skyline, and so on, make up for 20-30 additional bodies in town who might spend a few dollars at Los Altos shops or restaurants?

I personally would prefer to see the site left undeveloped for the foreseeable future to preserve just a little more of our small-town feel.

Kathy Brady

Los Altos Hills

Include larger setback for Third Street project

I want to express my thanks to Zach Dahl, senior planner for the city of Los Altos, for helping me understand the building plans for the project at 86 Third St.

Third Street is now lined on both sides with expensive and stylish condos that are set back far enough to make a nice walk to downtown Los Altos.

The big-box-style mixed-use redevelopment project, built out to the sidewalk, would totally change the beauty of this area. I know that removing trees is a major discussion at this point, but I am more concerned that putting a three-story wall only 2 feet from the sidewalk would ruin the walk to downtown for those of us who use it on a daily basis.

I appreciate the plan to section the change by going from a 13-foot setback that matches the nearby Chartwell condominiums to a 6-foot section, but then it’s 55 feet of a three-story wall with a few windows, only 2 feet from the sidewalk.

The proposed changes would make Third Street look like a walk through an industrial park, not the nice residential area it is today.

I understand that city zoning allows the 2-foot setback, but I hope that the Los Altos City Council will judge how this would change the entire street and the entrance to downtown.

If they keep at least a 6-foot setback rather than the proposed 2 feet, it would keep Third Street as a nice walk to downtown. Isn’t that what we all want – a nice-looking town?

Bob Moore

Los Altos

Collective Roots thanks De Martini Orchard

We wish to publicly thank Craig Kozy, owner of De Martini Orchard, for his kindness and generosity in hosting Collective Roots’ annual seedling sale for the second year in a row.

This fundraiser plays an important role in providing resources to support our cooking, nutrition and gardening programs in East Palo Alto.

Both Mr. Kozy and his employees were critical to the success of the event by providing space at the front of the market, publicizing and promoting the event to customers and helping us to market our plants in the best possible way.

We’re grateful to be connected to concerned community leaders like Mr. Kozy and his employees, who play such an important role in our communities.

Sally Chaves

Board vice president;

Kris Jensen

Executive director

Collective Roots

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