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SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise overhead. And they’re not the only ones.

Midpeninsula residents have banded together in the past year to combat the increase in aircraft noise caused by the implementation of NextGen, a Federal Aviation Administration program that converts ground-based radar systems to satellite-based navigation.

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Marijuana ordinances adopted just before deadline repealed

Gov. Jerry Brown has removed a deadline pressuring California cities and counties to address medical marijuana regulations – but not before local officials moved toward establishing their own rules to avoid state ones.

Late last month, the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills city councils both voted unanimously to adopt urgency ordinances largely banning medical marijuana operations in each town.

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Residents' group focuses on Hillview and gathering spaces


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The newly formed Community Center Alliance plans to lobby the Los Altos City Council to plan for recreation facilities, parks and gathering spaces, like at Hillview, left, that meet residents’ expectations.

Following the overwhelming defeat of Measure A last fall, the bond proposal to overhaul Hillview Community Center and Park, a group of residents is looking toward the future of all of Los Altos’ recreation assets.

The Community Center Alliance hosted a kickoff meeting Jan. 23 attended by more than 40 residents.

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LA, LAH green light local energy partnership

Los Altos and Los Altos Hills are planning to pool their purchasing power to buy renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CCE
Courtesy of Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority
The Silicon Valley Community Choice Energy option allows local jurisdictions to pool their purchasing power.

Both city councils agreed last week to move forward with joining the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority (SVCEA), a new public agency that intends to cut greenhouse gas emissions and set competitive electricity rates. The energy-supply model known as Community Choice Energy (CCE) creates an option for consumers where before there was none. Instead of automatically receiving energy from investor-owned PG&E, local jurisdictions are joining forces to buy renewable energy. And unlike PG&E, SVCEA is a public agency with no shareholders, so revenue can be reinvested into regional projects and programs.

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Rejected Loyola developer's case considered "not ripe"


STEPHANIE SMITH/TOWN CRIER
A sign for property owner Gregg Bunker’s development still remains at his Loyola Corners site, despite being denied by the Los Altos City Council and mired in litigation.

A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge issued a tentative ruling last week on a lawsuit alleging unjust development denial in Loyola Corners, finding the petitioners’ argument to be “not ripe” for litigation.

Following a hearing Jan. 28, Judge Theodore Zayner opted to reconsider his tentative ruling. As of the Town Crier’s Monday press deadline, Zayner had not given an updated deliberation.

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LAH council mulls Byrne Preserve bicycle ban


Megan V. WInslow/Town Crier
An estimated 31 people spoke at the Jan. 27 Los Altos Hills City Council meeting on a Byrne Preserve bicycle ban. Residents fill out speaker cards at the meeting, above.

Blame it on Strava. The mobile app – and the cyclists who use it to brag about achieving top speeds on trails – weighed heavily in Los Altos Hills city councilmembers’ unanimous decision Jan. 27 to entertain an ordinance prohibiting bicycles from Byrne Preserve.

“I’m done with this as far as I’m concerned,” Councilman John Radford said. “The speed numbers that were talked about tonight are just incredibly unacceptable. I can’t even believe. Sorry, whoever’s done those apps and whoever puts that together – that just put a hole in the whole argument.”

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Neighborhood may emerge as city's first historic district

NEWS EichlerLarger
Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Margot Gordon is part of a group seeking to preserve Eichler homes.

For Los Altos resident Margot Gordon, home is where the Eichlers are.

She has lived in one of the mid-century modern residences on Clay Drive for nearly 48 years, and in another for seven years before that.

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