Water district brings tax debate to Los Altos Hills

Among the agenda items the Los Altos Hills City Council will mull over during their specially scheduled March meeting is a water tax some property owners have paid the Santa Clara Valley Water District for more than three decades without receiving water from the district.

The meeting, scheduled both Monday and Tuesday, will include a brief presentation by Purissima Hills Water District Board of Directors member Steve Jordan on what he deemed the “inherent unfairness” of the State Water Project tax.


Los Altos affordable housing program could see changes

The Los Altos City Council directed staff March 10 to pursue means of supporting – and possibly altering – the city’s affordable housing program.

The city currently has 149 below-market-rate (BMR) living units: 105 multiple-family living units – apartments, condominiums and townhouses – and 44 affordable second-living units, usually considered small, backyard dwellings.


MVLA tenure denial generates tears, questions about process

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High students wield signs professing their support for drama teacher Rob Seitelman, who was denied tenure by the district.

Last week’s denial of permanent employee status to a Mountain View High School drama and English teacher left his students in sobs and their parents furious.

The announcement also led to questions concerning how the high school equivalent of the tenure process works and how a beloved instructor might be deemed unworthy of the designation.


Citywide Parking Committee to take stock, seek solutions

Location, location, location – it’s nothing without adequate parking, and the new ad hoc Citywide Parking Committee aims to even out the ratios.

At the Feb. 24 Los Altos City Council meeting, councilmembers voted 4-1 in favor of forming the group, which plans to review how development has impacted parking and consider how to eke out more spots.


Dusty debate: Pathways Element resurfaces for review

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos Hills boasts 85 miles of pathways, including the above path in Byrne Preserve, used for the annual Pathways Run.

After a heated referendum debate in 2002 and an update in 2008, Los Altos Hills’ Pathways Element has come under the microscope once again.

Mayor Courtenay C. Corrigan initiated a conversation at the Feb. 9 city council meeting about amending the language of the Pathways Element document. A former Pathways Committee member, Corrigan said the “confusing” policy needs editing to reflect the town’s actual intent for its 85 miles of pathways.


Council inspired by straightforward strategy on selling civic center redo

Keep it simple. That’s the message Los Altos City Councilmembers needed last week to take a big step forward in putting a civic center master plan before voters.


City reminds retailers of paper-bag fees

Town Crier File Photo
Former Los Altos Economic Development Director Kathy Kleinbaum hands out reusable bags in 2013 ahead of the city’s plastic-bag ban ordinance. The city last week issued a notice reminding retailers that the price of resuable bags will remain at 10 cents.

The Los Altos City Council last year voted to amend the city’s bag fee ordinance so that the price charged customers for a reusable or recyclable bag remained at 10 cents. But it seems that some retailers didn’t get the memo, according to city officials.

Last week, the city distributed a notice to retailers, reminding them that the council approved the amendment to the city’s reusable bag fee ordinance in November. Specifically, the council unanimously voted to keep the charge of 10 cents per bag in place – negating the planned increase to 25 cents per bag originally slated for Jan. 1.


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