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LAH Council Preview

The Los Altos Hills City Council is scheduled to meet 5:30 p.m. Thursday at town hall, 26379 W. Fremont Road. In addition to the agenda items below, the Water Conservation and Education committees are slated to give presentations.

Caltrans project update

Los Altos Hills city engineer Richard Chiu Jr. is scheduled to provide the council an update on the proposed Caltrans signalization project for the intersection of Interstate 280 and Page Mill Road.

The proposal, which Caltrans first presented to the public in early 2013, recommends installing up to six signals at the north- and southbound exits. The proposal generated much public opposition, including a petition drive launched in February that included approximately 332 signatures as of Friday.

According to Caltrans project manager Fariba Zohoury, Caltrans is in the process of assessing the “purpose and need of the project as well as different viable alternatives.” Caltrans plans to host an informal open house to share details with local residents.

Building fee increases?

The council is slated to vote on a proposal to raise building and impact fees by as much as 20.4 percent, effective May 21.

In a report from Yulia Carter, the town’s administrative services director, an independent user-fee study by a consulting firm revealed that Los Altos Hills’ current building permit fees are lower than those charged by a number of neighboring municipalities, including Los Altos.

If the council approves the new fee rates, total building permit fees would jump from $12,396 to $16,783, a 35 percent increase. The new fee rates reflect the staff’s recommendation of a 100 percent recovery rate for the direct cost of labor and materials the town provides.

Traffic-calming guide

With the intent to create a policy framework for addressing traffic-calming measures on Los Altos Hills’ streets, the Traffic Safety Committee seeks council approval for a guide members drafted last fall.

The guide provides a process for residents to lodge complaints with the town regarding traffic safety issues in eight categories – signage, speed, line of sight, road configuration, curvature of the road, road interferences, occurrences of property damage and violations, and emergency vehicle access.

If approved, the town would implement a series of progressively more aggressive steps to address traffic safety problems, starting with neighbor education and enforcement, signage improvements and – under “extreme circumstances,” according to the guide – physical modifications to a street.

– Ellie Van Houtte

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