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Council OKs house design – with conditions

The Los Altos City Council last week upheld a Ray Avenue resident’s appeal to construct a new home deemed too bulky by some neighbors.

The council voted 4-1, with Councilwoman Jan Pepper dissenting, May 27 to uphold homeowners Anand and Stefi Ganesan’s appeal of a design review application for a 3,278-square-foot two-story home at 1055 Ray Ave. – provided that its overall mass is reduced to fit in with the surrounding neighborhood. The home’s design meets the city’s zoning requirements for the area, according to a city staff report, and includes a 2,337-square-foot basement not considered part of the overall floor area.

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MV police chief to leave

vermeerAfter a public safety career spanning 28 years, the last 12 with the Mountain View Police Department, Police Chief Scott Vermeer announced today he is leaving the force.

Vermeer said he has accepted an executive position with Security Industry Specialists, a San Jose-based private security firm.

“I want to thank my Mountain View police family, the City of Mountain View, and the community for an outstanding experience as Chief that has exceeded all my expectations,” Vermeer said on a Mountain View police blog. “The personnel of MVPD lead locally and nationally on many issues and enjoy a wonderful partnership with our community. I move on to the next chapter in my career so proud of an organization that sets the standard for police professionalism.”

Chief Vermeer started his career with the Redwood City Police Department in 1986. He promoted through the ranks in Redwood City to the rank of Captain. In March of 1999, he accepted the position of Chief of Police for the City of Menlo Park. In January of 2002, Vermeer then joined MVPD where he continued his community oriented leadership and team focus.

Vermeer's last day on the force is Aug. 3.

Anti-drug group linked to Scientology back in school – for a day

An anti-drug program tied to Scientology reappeared in Bay Area classrooms this school year – including at Los Altos High School – after a decade-long absence.

Free classroom talks by Narconon made their way back into public high schools throughout the state almost a decade after the state Department of Education rejected the program for promoting phony science. Los Altos High hosted a Narconon presentation during the fall semester for a health class mostly serving 10th-graders.

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Commission offers lukewarm review of plaza reconfiguration


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission offered mixed opinions on a policy proposal that would allow developers to reconfigure the city’s nine downtown parking plazas. File photo

A proposed policy allowing developers to reconfigure downtown parking plazas to meet their city-mandated parking requirements received mixed reviews from the Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC).

PTC commissioners offered a host of varied opinions May 15 – and ultimately a handful of refinements and additions – on a draft version of the policy. The Los Altos City Council in March voted 4-1 to move forward with drafting a policy that would give downtown property owners a way to redevelop and meet city-imposed parking requirements – by funding the reconfiguration of a downtown parking plaza to create more spaces.

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Residents face $900 million in proposed bond measures Tuesday

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Town Crier File Photo
Polls are scheduled to open Tuesday to allow voters to cast their ballots for candidates for office and several ballot measures.

Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View residents are poised to vote Tuesday on several candidates and issues.

 Measure AA, the $300 million bond for the Los Altos-based Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, would improve visitor access to local preserves, protect wildlife and reduce fire danger. The measure requires approval from two-thirds of voters to pass.

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Council upholds controversial design appeal – with conditions


Rendering courtesy of City of Los Altos
Anand Ganesan’s home design proposal for 1055 Ray Ave. includes a basement and 3,278 square feet of space on the first and second floors.

A proposed home reconstruction project in Los Altos is creating tension among neighbors, the applicant and the city.

Residents in the Ray Avenue neighborhood expressed concerns about a potential “bulking” that could occur if the city approves an application to build a larger home at 1055 Ray Ave.

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New nonprofit aims to elevate schools dialogue

Local residents have launched a nonprofit organization that vows to promote strong leadership, fiscal responsibility and transparency in the Los Altos School District.

Comprising parents and other voting residents in the district, Each Student Counts defines itself as a 501(c)(4) organization – a nonprofit, tax-exempt group formed to promote social welfare causes or local associations. The designation is typically given to civic leagues and political action committees.

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