Sat10252014

News

Office development plan navigates city approval process


Courtesy of City of Los Altos

Southgate Partners LLC submitted plans for a three-story, 17,156-square-foot office building at 467 First St. If approved, the structure would be built on the corner of First Street and San Antonio Road, former site of a Chevron gas station.

A development proposal for the construction of a downtown office building is making its way through the city’s approval process.

According to Los Altos Senior Planner Zach Dahl, Southgate Partners LLC submitted plans earlier this year for approval of a three-story, 17,156-square-foot office building at 467 First St. The project as proposed would include 16 surface-lot parking spaces and 29 parking spaces on one level of underground parking.

The structure would be built on land that includes the lot at the corner of First Street and San Antonio Road, former site of a Chevron gas station, in addition to parcels that house the Burger Town restaurant and The Barking Lot, a pet grooming and boarding service. The site also contains an alley owned by the city that would be sold to the applicant as a condition of final approval, Dahl said.

He noted that the development – if approved – could be a beneficial addition to the downtown triangle.

“It’s nice to see a development for a site that has been largely vacant,” said Dahl, referring to the empty corner lot. “Office use definitely provides more feet on the street for businesses in the downtown core.”

The project has already been through an initial study session by the city’s Planning and Transportation Commission and review by the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission in September, according to Dahl.

The project’s next step is to undergo the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review process. Dahl noted that previous owner Chevron conducted remedial cleanup work on the site in 2010 – the result of old underground gasoline tanks that contaminated water.

“That’s really what kept the site from being developed sooner,” he said.

Dahl added that he doesn’t foresee “too many issues” that can’t be mitigated during the environmental review. The Planning and Transportation Commission is slated to review the project again after the CEQA process – possibly in November – for a recommendation of approval before it heads to the Los Altos City Council.

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