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Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimously at its Aug. 26 meeting in favor of installing two identification signs to direct motorists to the Woodland Plaza shopping district. The signs would be placed at the Arboretum Drive intersection and face both directions of Foothill Expressway, at a cost of $2,500 each.

The council declined a request by the district’s business and property owners for a third directional sign at Homestead Road just before it intersects Foothill Expressway, where there is an entry onto Grant Road and the Woodland Plaza shopping area. Grant Road originates at El Camino Real and provides an arterial road to Foothill Expressway. A couple of yards before the light at the junction, Grant Road makes a 90-degree turn east toward Homestead Road. It narrows to a frontage road for the Woodland Plaza businesses parallel to Foothill Expressway. The only break is at the Arboretum Drive intersection where there is a traffic signal.

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Loyola bridge renovation delayed until next year


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Work on Loyola Corners bridge is slated to begin in February after several months of delay.

The anticipated renovation of the Loyola bridge, thought earlier this year to wrap up in September, still has yet to launch. The project won’t kick off until a vibrations monitoring consultant renders an assessment, with construction predicted to begin in February.

Vibration monitoring detects vibration-related damage to surrounding structures that could occur during construction.

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City rejects parking reconfiguration proposal


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week rejected a policy that would give downtown property owners the ability to expand their parking supply by funding the restriping of public parking plazas.

The Los Altos City Council last week nixed a policy proposal that would allow downtown property owners to redevelop their land to add more public parking – on their own dime.

The council voted 5-0 against the policy, a mechanism for owners to simultaneously redevelop downtown properties and meet the city’s parking mandates by funding the restriping of plazas on a “first come, first served” basis. The council’s vote came after its March directive for city staff to develop the draft policy. The city’s 2013 Downtown Parking Management Plan outlined the cost of reconfiguring plazas at $8.3 million for a gain of 76 spaces – an average of $110,000 per stall. Conversely, the plan noted that a stand-alone parking structure downtown could likely cost $10.3 million and add up to 276 spaces.

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Council approves BevMo! relocation


Photo Courtesy of City of Los Altos
BevMo! is moving to 4700 El Camino Real, left, after the Los Altos City Council approved its 3,600-square-foot expansion plan.

The Los Altos City Council last week approved a commercial expansion and renovation plan that will bring BevMo! from Mountain View to Los Altos.

The council voted unanimously in favor of the proposal by the West Coast alcohol retailer to add 3,600 square feet of retail space to an existing 4,700 square-foot structure at 4700 El Camino Real at the corner of Sherwood Avenue. The upgraded building will serve as a new home for the Mountain View BevMo! store currently located at 423 San Antonio Road. The project appeared before the city council after receiving a narrow 4-3 vote of approval in July from the city’s Planning and Transportation Commission.

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Draeger's eyes expansion


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Draeger’s Market management recently submitted plans to expand the storage and loading dock areas of its Los Altos store on First Street.

Draeger’s Market has its sights set on expanding its grocery store at 342 First St., according to city planning officials.

Los Altos Senior Planner Zach Dahl told the Town Crier that the family-owned grocer – which has additional locations in Menlo Park, San Mateo and Danville – submitted plans in early July to expand the rear portion of its existing 21,000-square-foot store. Draeger’s has called its First Street store home since December 1986, when the company purchased the former Whitecliff Market property and remodeled the building. A call to Draeger’s management was not returned by the Town Crier’s press deadline.

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Miranda project tackles Gunn High congestion


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
The Miranda Avenue project offers vehicular traffic a second legal drop-off at Gunn High School.

Bumper-to-bumper traffic on Arastradero Road – which runs through Los Altos Hills and Palo Alto – is common during the morning rush hour, especially when school is in session. Having only one official drop-off location for students attending Gunn High School on Arastradero didn’t help the situation.

“It’s pretty hectic when we’re looking at 8:25 a.m.,” said James Lubbe, dean of students at Gunn, of the scene on campus. “We tell students, ‘If you’re planning on coming up Arastradero Road from El Camino Real (approximately 1 mile), you need to start coming up the street at least 20 minutes early.’”

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LAH council hears request for tennis court lights at Fremont Hills


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Fremont Hills Country Club asked the Los Altos Hills City Council to allow the club to install lights at five of its 10 tennis courts.

The Los Altos Hills City Council is slated to discuss a proposal calling for tennis court lights at Fremont Hills Country Club.

At a public hearing scheduled 7 p.m. Aug. 21 at town hall, councilmembers will consider the club’s request to install metal halide lights at five of its 10 courts. With the addition of lights, the club could accommodate more tennis players after dark and host United States Tennis Association interclub meets.

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