Summer 2019 is here, and, of course, we’re all thumbs.
• Thumbs-up: To the actual start of work on a new Hillview Communty Center. Demolition and construction will soon begin on a 24,500-square-foot, $34.7 million center to replace old, run-down facilities that formerly housed an elementary school many years ago. Estimated time for completion is December 2020. After decades of talking about it, Los Altos is finally getting something done.
• Thumbs-down: To the predicament the Friends of the Los Altos Library finds itself in. The Friends use 1,200 square feet at the old Hillview center for processing book donations – space soon unavailable in the wake of impending demolition. Without it, Friends members said they can’t operate. A revered nonprofit group that has funded millions of dollars in library programs for more than 60 years could cease to exist. A council meeting set for Tuesday (after the Town Crier’s press deadline) could provide some clarity on what happens next.
• Thumbs-up: To the Los Altos School District for finalizing its 9.65-acre land purchase for what will be the K-8 district’s 10th campus. Some skeptics will point to unanswered questions – traffic and commute issues, and which group (and which grade level) of students will occupy the site, for instance. But we do know that in the face of the rapidly rising population in Mountain View, we will need the school and it will be filled with students. And with money from the city of Mountain View and funding from transfer of development rights deals, the initial district payout in the deal is a mere $27.7 million. That still leaves the district with more than $122 million in Measure N facilities money.
• Thumbs-up: To the Mountain View City Council for moving ahead with a phased-in restrictive parking ordinance on oversized (RVs) vehicles. Lost in the narrative that poor people are being kicked out of the city, its leaders have actually taken great pains, more than other neighboring communities, to help vehicle dwellers through a range of services. These include an expanded safe parking program approved at the same June 11 meeting as the parking ordinance. At the same time, the city shouldn’t tolerate a situation where people are permitted to live in parked vehicles in perpetuity. We think the council’s path forward is both a pragmatic and compassionate one.