Blindsided by new lights at LASD schools

Solar panel lights
Paul Erickson / Special to the Town Crier
Lights affixed to Santa Rita School’s newly installed solar panels triggered a recent wave of complaints from residents.

The Los Altos School District installed light shields on its schools’ parking-lot solar panels after neighbors complained about the glare shining into their homes.

A resident-generated online survey indicated that 95 percent of the 38 respondents found the new lights intrusive.

MVLA officials play down cost of bond measure

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees voted Feb. 5 to place a $295 million bond measure on the June ballot to fund its Facilities Master Plan, leaving residents to wonder how much it could cost them if it passes.

Anticipating the question, district officials were armed with an answer: Homeowners’ contribution will be based on the assessed value of their homes.

MVLA trustees consider bond to fund facilities plan

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees was scheduled Monday to consider approving a resolution to place a General Obligation Facility Bond on the June ballot. If passed, the bond would fund the $295 million Facilities Master Plan the trustees authorized Jan. 22.

The Facilities Master Plan directs the construction of at least 24 classrooms at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools. Each school also would get a new food court, student union and wellness center, as well as new or expanded performing arts spaces and athletic facilities – including an auxiliary gymnasium. In addition, the plan proposes a new Freestyle Academy of Communications Arts & Technology facility to replace the aging portables that house it on the Mountain View campus.

LASD, city of Mtn. View to collaborate on 10th school site acquisition

The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees gave district officials the green light to formally pursue land acquisition for a 10th school site.

At their Jan. 22 board meeting, trustees approved a letter of interest to engage with Miramar Capital, a prospective purchaser of the transfer of development rights (TDR) of the future school site, and authorized Superintendent Jeff Baier to execute a memorandum of understanding with the city of Mountain View regarding the TDR framework.

MV signs off on partnership, paves way for LASD site purchase

Los Altos School District officials last week touted a solidified partnership with the city of Mountain View for a 10th school site in the city’s San Antonio neighborhood.

Meanwhile, speculation continued as to who would occupy the site, as Mountain View City Council members declined to impose the condition that it be a neighborhood school as part of the deal.

LASD parents raise concerns about 10th school site

Old Mill Building
Megan V. Winslow / Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s 10th Site Committee recommended a site that includes the Old Mill Office Center, above, on San Antonio Circle in Mountain View, but the owners the building do not want to sell.

Fifteen residents and an attorney spoke at the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees meeting Monday (Jan. 8), primarily to express their opinions on the prospect of the district invoking eminent domain to acquire property for a 10th school site.

The district is targeting the so-called Old Mill/Safeway site in Mountain View – near the northeastern corner of San Antonio Road and the California Street – but the property owners have refused to sell the site to the district.

Only one of the 16 speakers favored the use of eminent domain – the right of the government to take private property for public use.

District resident Jen Benebeim said securing a new site would give the district flexibility in planning, whether it is used for Bullis Charter School or a neighborhood school, so she urged trustees to move forward with the purchase.

“I know some people are concerned about lawsuits, but this is what eminent domain laws are there for,” she said. “I don’t think you should be afraid of that.”

Nearly all of the other residents who spoke at the meeting asked trustees to avoid litigation.

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For the complete story, see next week’s Town Crier.

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