Tue02092016

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Bullis crosswalk to remain as task force considers safety improvements


Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
Gardner Bullis third-grader Claire Pettit addresses the Los Altos Hills City Council Dec. 16 in defense of preserving the crosswalk in front of her school.

With parents, students and an impassioned school principal testifying on its behalf, the Fremont Road crosswalk in front of Gardner Bullis School received a reprieve Dec. 16.

“I think it’s unsafe, but I certainly don’t want to fight the school district and the principal, whom I have a tremendous amount of respect for, and the parents,” said Los Altos Hills City Councilman John Radford, expressing an opinion echoed by fellow councilmembers.

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LA Council puts off Halsey House repairs to consider more options


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council will soon hold a study session on what can be done to repair the shuttered Halsey House.

The shuttered Halsey House, a historic home in Redwood Grove Nature Preserve, will remain as it stands for now – though possibly not for long.

After weighing adaptive reuse versus demolition and reconstruction, the Los Altos City Council Dec. 8 agreed to hold a study session in the coming months to consider variations ranging from minimal repairs to total renovation.

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"Respect" central to council debate on Senior Commission

A split vote last week divided the Los Altos City Council as councilmembers disagreed on how to address the needs of seniors.

The council was slated Dec. 8 to discuss the structure and charter of the Los Altos/Los Altos Hills Senior Commission and its existing vacancies, but conversation turned to matters of respect and authority.

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Bruins as mayor to prioritize dialogue, trust, collaboration


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos City Clerk Jon Maginot, from left, swears in Mayor Jeannie Bruins as her mother, Milu Campbell, and sons Jay Neal and Eric look on.

The Los Altos City Council last week arrived at a new perspective.

During the annual reorganizational meeting Dec. 1, councilmembers swapped seats at the dais after unanimously electing Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins as mayor.

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LAH takes step to restrict substandard lots

It required some wrangling, but the Los Altos Hills Planning Commission finally settled on recommended municipal code amendments restricting the development of substandard lots, a topic of much local debate in the past year.

With a 4-1 vote, Commissioner Jim Abraham dissenting in favor of stricter restrictions, commissioners Thursday advised the Los Altos Hills City Council to add to existing setback variance requirements and to reduce the allowable floor area of homes built on substandard lots, those smaller than the town’s 1-acre standard. City councilmembers will consider the recommendations at a future council meeting.

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Los Altos Hills Planning Commission approves Google CEO's home design


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Anjali Pichai, left, owner of a proposed Westwind Way estate, confers with her architectural team of Robert Swatt and Phoebe Wong-Oliveros at Thursday’s Planning Commission meeting. Here

Google Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai’s new 9,717-square-foot estate will include an infinity pool, an 840-square-foot garage, underground nanny quarters and a whole lot of glass, according to plans reviewed by the Los Altos Hills Planning Commission last week.

“While it’s a contemporary building, it’s been designed to echo the contours of the land,” said Robert Swatt, partner of Swatt Miers Architects, the Emeryville firm behind the design. “So it works, in our opinion, very well with nature, even though it’s in a contemporary language.”

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Trail to bypass Los Altos

The Los Altos City Council has voted unanimously to support the findings of the Stevens Creek Trail alignment identified by the Joint Cities Working Team, effectively precluding Fallen Leaf Lane and other Los Altos streets from trail designation.

“This was a huge issue for south Los Altos, where 800 people signed a petition against any trail designation in their neighborhood,” said Councilwoman Jan Pepper.

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