Photo By: Town Crier file photo
Los Altos’ planning services manager previewed ongoing efforts such as the San Antonio Road streetscape project, above, at SILVAR’s district realtor tour meeting in May.
Los Altos Planning Services Manager David Kornfield offered Silicon Valley Association of Realtors members a preview of the city’s redevelopment plans at their local district realtor tour meeting in May.
Describing Los Altos as a “very special place” with a traditional downtown, Kornfield said the city has tried to maintain the village character while keeping up with the times. He conceded that in an effort to retain the community’s charm, the city had intentionally created cumbersome zoning regulations. Over time, officials came to realize that the city must evolve.
Los Altos has faced many challenges as a result of dated facilities, according to Kornfield. In the past few years, the city has focused on planning for the future with the help of committees comprising residents who represent all interests – from homeowners to business owners.
Kornfield said the city has come a long way in its mission to create a more vibrant downtown and increase its economic potential while keeping its traditional character intact. Over the past three years, he noted, the city has removed some zoning restrictions, eased regulations for office development and increased building height limits. In addition to zoning changes, the city has invested in infrastructure and underground utilities and improved its sewer lines, Kornfield said.
Money has been spent to revitalize downtown, he added, pointing to the city’s First Street and San Antonio Road streetscape projects, among other efforts.
“Now, everything is coming together,” he said.
Private investment soon followed public investment, Kornfield said, highlighting projects such as the Packard Foundation headquarters on Second Street and mixed-use and residential developments throughout downtown. He labeled other ongoing developments, including Enchanté, the boutique hotel at the corner of Main Street and San Antonio Road, “assets” for the city.
While Los Altos is in the midst of considerable redevelopment, it still faces some constraints – including a shortage of parking spaces, Kornfield concluded.
“This issue affects the business environment and needs to be addressed,” he said, citing the city’s ongoing development of a Downtown Parking Management Plan.