Tue09162014

News

Commissioners slate second hearing tonight on controversial Pilgrim Haven expansion

Those supporting and opposing a large expansion project proposed by Pilgrim Haven Retirement Community will have another chance to speak their minds at a second Los Altos Planning Commission meeting, scheduled 7:30 p.m. today at city hall.

Commission Chairman Jon Baer announced a second hearing to accommodate members of the Santa Rita School community who might have missed the public hearing at last Thursday’s meeting due to a school open house scheduled the same night.

"Really, it was in response to a conflict," Baer said. "We want to make sure we hear from the community."

Santa Rita parents and nearby residents have expressed concerns about Pilgrim Haven's proposal, which involves demolition of 12 structures and construction of three new two-story buildings and one new three-story building. The K-6 school is located next to the retirement community.

"(Last Thursday's) meeting had already been scheduled and noticed," Baer said, noting that city officials found out afterward about the conflict with the open house.

He said residents who missed any part of last week's meeting would have access to a televised recording of the meeting, available at city hall, which includes the applicant's presentation.

An overflow crowd greeted commissioners last week as Pilgrim Haven officials sought approvals to build 31 new independent-living units, 19 new assisted-living units and 14 new "memory support" units to accommodate dementia patients. Expanded facilities would extend to the now vacant 1.2-acre Spagnoli property at the corner of Pine Lane and Los Altos Avenue.

Some residents oppose the scope and duration of the project, with its three-year construction timeline. Their concerns center chiefly on noise, traffic and pollution from trucks carrying debris from the site. A final environmental impact report notes that the only significant factor that can't be mitigated is construction noise.

Baer estimated that more than 30 people spoke at last week's public hearing.

"Anyone who wishes to speak who did not speak last (week) will be welcome to come and do so on the 27th," said Commissioner Kitty Uhlir.

Contact Bruce Barton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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