Mon11242014

News

Spate of affordable housing coming soon to Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Randy Lamb’s First Street condominium development includes five below-market-rate units for sale.

Three significant construction projects in Los Altos should be completed within the next 12-18 months, and all include affordable housing units.

According to Los Altos Planning Services Manager David Kornfield, the city is slated to add 24 below-market-rate (BMR) units – including 17 rentals – in the next year and a half. The new BMRs will be offered at the 48-unit condominium project at 100 First St., the Colonnade apartments at 4750 El Camino Real and the mixed-use office and 20-unit condo development at 86 Third St.

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VTA bus lane plans back for more feedback

The Valley Transportation Authority’s plans to update bus service in Los Altos and Mountain View has some commuters fearing the “fast, frequent and reliable” service that VTA touts could bring gridlock to an already overloaded thoroughfare. Supporters claim that the plans would ease auto traffic as bus trips increase.

VTA has proposed a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan for a 17-mile stretch of El Camino Real from San Jose through Mountain View and Los Altos to Palo Alto. VTA officials have scheduled two meetings in Mountain View Nov. 20 to solicit feedback on the recently released draft environmental impact report for the project.

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Theater and parking garage concept gets positive response from council


Rendering
The Los Altos City Council expressed support for a downtown theater, left, and parking garage concept, presented by former Mayor King Lear at an Oct. 28 study session. courtesy of city of Los Altos

The Los Altos City Council reacted favorably last week to a downtown parking garage and theater concept proposed by a former mayor.

During a 45-minute study session Oct. 28, some councilmembers voiced interest in exploring former Mayor King Lear’s idea to construct a 400-space parking garage in Downtown Parking Plaza 3 (next to Los Altos Grill), including condominiums on top. Lear’s concept also calls for the construction of an 11,600-square-foot movie and live-performance theater across Third Street in Parking Plaza 2. The theater, he noted, could include a setback, plazalike front.

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County unveils potential expressway improvements


Image courtesy of Santa Clara County Road and Airports Department
County officials unveiled several potential design concepts for Foothill Expressway, including a squared-off corner at the El Monte Avenue intersection.

County officials last week disclosed potential improvement concepts for Foothill Expressway intersections in Los Altos.

During an hour-plus public meeting Oct. 21, officials from the Santa Clara County Roads and Airport Department presented the local improvement concepts included in the county’s ongoing Expressway Plan 2040 plan. The plan is essentially an update to the long-term 2003 Comprehensive County Expressway Planning Study, which itemizes improvement projects, maintenance and funding needs for the county’s 62-mile expressway system.

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Council approves new crosswalk for West Portola


Courtesy of Google Maps
Installation of a crosswalk on West Portola Avenue, circled in red, is designed to improve safety for students traveling to and from Santa Rita, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools.

The Los Altos City Council Sept. 14 voted 3-2 in favor of moving forward with a new crosswalk installation on West Portola Avenue. The crosswalk would be installed as part of the city’s annual street restriping project, slated to kick off Monday.

According to the city staff report, the crosswalk was a late addition to the West Portola Avenue sidewalk construction project this summer in response to the more than 20 school parents who expressed safety concerns for students walking to and from nearby Egan Junior High, Bullis Charter and Santa Rita schools.

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A bridge over troubled traffic


Courtesy of the Santa Clara County Roads and Airports Department
Santa Clara County officials provided an updated renovation schedule for Loyola Bridge last week. Work on the structur is expected to take one year.

A Santa Clara County official last week said he anticipates lane closures and traffic delays on Foothill Expressway for at least two months – starting in January – during the Loyola Bridge renovation.

During a joint meeting of the Planning and Transportation (PTC) and Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory (BPAC) commissions, Santa Clara County Roads and Airports Department Deputy Director Dan Collen said construction on the bridge is scheduled to begin in January and require one year for completion.

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Le Boulanger seeks building facelift


Rendering Courtesy of City of Los Altos
A remodeling plan for Le Boulanger calls for a collapsible storefront. The downtown bakery and cafe, below, was last remodeled in 1992.

A new look may be in store for downtown bakery and cafe Le Boulanger.

According to a staff report by Los Altos Senior Planner Zach Dahl, Le Boulanger owner Dan Brunello is planning an interior and exterior remodel at 301 Main St., which served as the original home of Los Altos Pharmacy.

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