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.

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.


Rejected Loyola developer's case considered "not ripe"

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.


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.”


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.


Water officials notify consumers of hard water

Town Crier Report



Seniors discuss program needs with city

Photos Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Seniors like Los Altos resident Kathryn Price, above center, provide feedback on city programs for the 50-plus crowd. Los Altos Mayor Jeannie Bruins, right (standing in red), with Councilwoman Mary Prochnow, listens to input.

The voice of seniors resounded last week during two gatherings at Grant Park and Hillview community centers. Approximately 110 event attendees turned out to offer city leaders their opinions on programming and city representation.


Residents energized about collective clean-energy option

Approximately 80 local residents attended a community meeting Jan. 13 at the Los Altos Youth Center to learn more about Community Choice Energy, a system that allows jurisdictions to pool their electricity purchasing power to buy cleaner energy than provided by traditional utility companies.

Under the program, PG&E would continue to deliver the electricity, and energy consumers could choose to opt out of the program.


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