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Letters to the Editor

No mystery in downtown parking

The city of Los Altos Downtown Parking Management Plan and the Downtown Public Parking Data sheet both accurately report the number of parking spaces, despite comments to the contrary (“Los Altos mysteries explored,” Jan. 29).

In the mid-1990s, the city purchased two downtown parcels – 400 Main St. and 230 First St. The private businesses operating in those locations were allowed to continue, and the city opened up 54 of the existing parking spaces for public use. While preparing for the eventual sale of the property, the city demolished the buildings in 2010 and used the site as a staging area to minimize construction impacts of the downtown beautification and First Street streetscape projects.

In 2012, with those projects complete, the city chose to allow, on a temporary basis, unregulated parking on the empty, unimproved lot while the site plan was under development. From April 2012 to August 2013, a total of 96 parking spaces were available.

The city’s Downtown Urban Design Plan identifies the First and Main site as a key gateway to the downtown and indicates that future development of the site should incorporate a “mixture of land uses, with retail on the ground floor” (Downtown Urban Design Plan, page 35). The development underway accomplishes that goal and will provide a welcoming entry into the downtown, which will promote vibrancy and economic vitality in downtown Los Altos.

To review the Downtown Parking Management Plan and the Downtown Urban Design Plan, visit losaltosca.gov/masterplans.

Marcia Somers

Los Altos City Manager

Leaf-blower violations merit citations

I am responding to a letter in another local newspaper regarding the Los Altos police beat, which reported 11 persons cited for illegally using gas-powered leaf blowers in Los Altos. The letter writer indicated that this was a waste of police time and taxpayers’ money.

Does the letter writer know about pollution?

The California Air Resources Board documents that the exhaust pollution from one gas blower used for one hour equals the smog produced by 17 cars driven for one hour.

Green alternatives include an electric blower, which has less power to stir up dangerous particulate matter, and a rake and a broom, which provide healthful exercise for the user.

The Los Altos City Council and other councils in the state and the U.S. acknowledged the detrimental environmental effects of these machines and banned them.

We commend the police for taking care of our citizens and citing the lawbreakers who violated our local ban, in effect since 1991.

Myra Orta

Los Altos

Yes to bond measure – if BCS goes to Morgan Hill

After receiving multiple survey phone calls on the wording of the school bond measure, my response has become somewhat brief.

I am all for it, up to $40 million, with one stipulation: Bullis Charter School must reside in Morgan Hill.

What? Oh yes – Morgan Hill! The legal requirement for a location in Santa Clara County would be met.

Bullis Charter School can continue to provide quality education services while cherry-picking enrollment and avoiding those with special needs, less-fluent English and substandard affluence. The obligatory $5,000 tuition will be paid without question.

It does beg the question of why Los Altos Hills doesn’t seek private financing for its own students as a strictly private school, which by all other aspects it is. Land is available.

Oh – by the way, if the stipulation of Morgan Hill isn’t met, my answer to the bond measure is no.

Kurt Ayers

Los Altos

Kudos to The European Cobblery

As a former mayor of Los Altos and downtown property owner, I extend a very special thanks to the many Los Altans and the Town Crier for quietly and politely letting both The European Cobblery and its landlord, Passarelle Investment Co., know how special the shop is to our village.

It provides a unique service, and they are staying – a welcomed development.

A final special thanks goes to The Cobblery and Passerelle.

Ron Packard

Los Altos

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