Thu04242014

News

LAH councilmen get early jump, declare quest for re-election

NEWS LAHCouncilSlate WaldeckRadford

When Gary Waldeck and John Radford first ran for Los Altos Hills City Council in 2010, they were political adversaries, each seeking a seat. Four years later, they not only get along well, Waldeck and Radford intend to run for re-election as a slate.

Waldeck and Radford announced their candidacies for the two open seats last week, well before the Aug. 8 filing deadline. The election is scheduled Nov. 4. They decided to run together to cut campaign costs and, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, suggested that it would burden residents with fewer election materials.

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Left in the dark, residents question power outages

As the season’s first major rainstorms swept through the area earlier this month, some Los Altos residents expressed frustration with interruptions in their residential power service.

“Neighbors had various experiences with flashes of electricity going on, then off over a few minutes,” wrote one resident of Fallen Leaf Lane of a power outage Feb. 9. “My house on Fallen Leaf was dark for at least 20 minutes before we gave up trying to finish cooking dinner in the dark and went out to a restaurant to eat instead.”

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Despite drought, LAH still swimming with pools


From Google Maps
Pools dot the landscape in Los Altos Hills, as demonstrated in this aerial view. The town has issued 241 pool permits over the past 15 years.

California may be experiencing chronic drought conditions, but local homeowners continue to build and use their swimming pools with no signs of stopping.

A quick glance at last week’s Los Altos Hills Planning Commission agenda revealed that each of the five development permit applicants request swimming pools onsite. If the permits are approved, the applicants will join 241 other homeowners in Los Altos Hills granted swimming-pool permits over the past 15 years, according to town records.

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LA council reviews 2009 Civic Center Master Plan

The Los Altos City Council last week took the initial step in a 10-month effort to update the city’s 2009 Civic Center Master Plan by hosting a public review of the document.

The nearly three-hour session was a standing-room-only affair that included a 45-minute presentation of the plan by Anderson Brulé Architects, hired to conduct the 2009 master plan process and the city’s current update. The review included a question-and-answer session with the public that addressed the motivations and processes behind the city’s plan.

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Food truck ordinance finalized


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
In a 4-1 vote on Jan. 28 the Los Altos city council voted to ban mobile food trucks, like the one above, from parking within 300 feet of public schools, parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted 4-1 in favor of an ordinance that would regulate food truck operations within city limits.

Councilwoman Jan Pepper cast the lone dissenting vote after asking her colleagues to forgo the ordinance in favor of a community workshop with the affected residents “to come up with something that’s workable for everyone.”

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Council approves funds for civic center update

The Los Altos City Council last week unanimously approved funding of up to $184,000 for the services of a consultant to lead the update of its five-year-old Civic Center Master Plan.

The decision to retain the services of Anderson Brulé Architects – a consultant for the original 2009 master plan – came after the council opted earlier in January to move forward with a 10-month time frame for the revamp design. As previously reported by the Town Crier, the update focuses primarily on replacing the aging Hillview Community Center with a new multiuse, multigenerational facility.

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Stormwater Master Plan in the works

A plan that could cost as much as $25 million for stormwater drainage improvements is winding its way through the city’s approval process.

According to Public Works Director Jim Gustafson, the Stormwater Master Plan essentially outlines the city’s maintenance and capital improvement needs over a 20-year period to address various drainage system problems and conform to federal regulatory requirements such as the Clean Water Act of 1972. An initial draft, which took approximately two years to complete, was presented last week during a Los Altos City Council session.

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