Effective today, library cards free again in Los Altos

Both Los Altos libraries should see a spike in use soon. After the elimination of an $80 annual card fee that had been in place since 2011, nonresidents will receive free library cards at local libraries, effective today.

Residents of Mountain View and other cities can freely check out books and use the Internet at Los Altos’ main library and Woodland Branch, along with all of the other libraries in the Santa Clara County Library District. The change is due in part to a better economy, healthier budgets and greater distribution of library users. Newly opened city libraries in Palo Alto and San Jose have eased the burden on the county district branches.


Water reductions could squeeze city's green assets

Alicia Castro/town crier
Phil Doetsch predicts that the city’s landmark apricot orchard will survive the drought.

When Phil Doetsch discusses the Los Altos apricot orchard, it’s with both reverence and pragmatism.

“This whole area grew up on apricots,” he said. “With the drought, we just have to learn how to manipulate nature.”


LAH residents fight for public road classification

Courtesy of Town of Los Altos Hills
The results of a Los Altos Hills debate over public versus private road ownership could have costly consequences.

It wasn’t until 2008, when residents of Deer Springs Way and Byrne Park Lane sought to bring Comcast into their homes, that they learned they lived along private – not public – roads.


Developer fee would fund public art

The Los Altos Public Arts Commission Thursday recommended amending the city’s zoning code to include a 1 percent development fee to fund public art.

The arts commission approved the proposal with three changes the Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) endorsed at its meeting a week earlier.


LAH water rates set to increase incrementally, effective July 1

Courtesy of Bartle Wells Associates
The graph shows proposed water-rate increases approved by the Purissima Hills Water District Board of Directors last week. Although monthly readiness-to-serve charges will remain the same, Los Altos Hills residents will notice an increase in water-consumption charges in bills mailed on or after July 1.

Los Altos Hills residents may start rethinking their water-use habits as rates begin a three-year upward trajectory next month.

With a unanimous vote, the Purissima Hills Water District’s five-member board of directors approved a resolution June 10 outlining rate hikes. The district’s customers – two-thirds of Los Altos Hills’ residents (approximately 6,150 people) and 10 businesses – will see the changes reflected on bills sent on or after July 1.


LAH council strikes down proposed development moratorium

With a divided vote, the Los Altos Hills City Council last week struck down a proposed moratorium that opponents claimed could lead to months-long delays on some housing projects.

Mayor Courtenay C. Corrigan and Councilman John Radford cast dissenting votes, opposing a pause on the approval of conditional development permits (CDP) – required filings when a residential lot is “substandard” or under a half-acre in size. At least four of the five councilmembers needed to vote in favor of the interim urgency ordinance for it to pass.


Case of the forged memo: Allegations deemed 'baseless'

An investigation into an allegedly forged city document concluded that the claims were “baseless,” according to a press release from the city of Los Altos.

The investigation centered on a memorandum Community Development Director James Walgren distributed March 16 to the Citywide Parking Committee. Committee member and downtown property owner Kim Cranston alleged that the memo was a forgery intended to mislead the committee about the history of downtown parking.


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