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Last updateTue, 21 Nov 2017 4pm

Hillview center task force seeks design input

The Hillview Community Center Task Force plans to offer recommendations to the Los Altos City Council on the building character and architectural design of the new community center.

The city rolled out a new survey last week soliciting residents’ input on everything from roof and window design to outdoor gathering spaces and trellises. The survey provides photographic choices, enabling respondents to select their preferences.

Dog supporters continue barking for park

The push for a Los Altos dog park just won’t go away.

Supporters of a dog park plan to make yet another pitch at today’s Los Altos Parks and Recreation Commission meeting. This time, they are armed with the results of their own online survey – one they conducted after growing impatient with city officials who were in the process of developing their own survey.

Know thy neighbor: LAH residents explore community building

When Scott Vanderlip moved to Los Altos Hills two decades ago, he was surprised by how few of his new neighbors knew their existing neighbors.

By some accounts, Los Altos Hills is even less friendly than it was 20 years ago; the Silicon Valley rat race means less time for casual socialization. The insatiable demand for Bay Area land – particularly acreage located on the fringes of the hubbub – has motivated members of the old guard to cash out and new families to take their place. Conditioned by periodic waves of targeted burglary activity and anecdotes about unsavory short-term rental customers, residents are wary of strangers, and more and more choose to cordon off their property with formidable gates and fences.

Commission reviews new First St. project


Taken from city of Los Altos staff report
A new application for a mixed-use office and housing development on First Street drew mixed reaction from the Los Altos Planning Commission last week.

While the First Street Green project may be out, there’s a possible new development just down the street.

The Los Altos Planning Commission held a Nov. 2 study session with the applicant, Steve Johnson with 1st Place Village LLC, for a new project at 389 First St.

MV council offers ‘symbolic’ protection of undocumented workers

The Mountain View City Council unanimously supported additional policy language at its Oct. 24 meeting that, at least symbolically, provides security for the city’s undocumented workers while offering passive resistance to the federal government’s efforts to stem illegal immigration.

The newly adopted language states that the city is prohibited from contributing to identity-based registries; detaining, relocating or interning individuals on the basis of religion, national origin or ethnicity; and will not enforce federal civil immigration laws.

The changes will be combined with the city’s Equitable Communities Resolution, passed earlier this year. New language proclaims that the city “does not use resources to … support any government program requiring the registration of individuals, creation of a database of individuals, and/or detention, relocation or internment of individuals on the basis of religion, national origin or ethnicity.”

Also added: “It is neither the city of Mountain View’s mission nor role to enforce federal immigration laws. Members of the city’s police department will not detain or arrest any person on the basis of a person’s citizenship or status under civil immigration laws.”

Supporters, opponents weigh in

The council approved the new wording after hearing from a series of supporters, many with green tags reading “Yes Sanctuary, No Registry.” Speakers conveyed instances of living in fear. One parent underscored the impact on children of immigrants at her child’s school, noting that some were “afraid to go to the park.”

From a practical standpoint, councilmembers acknowledged that the wording would have no effect on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency “doing what it wants to do,” as one member put it.

Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga offered the problematic scenario of the city’s immigration stance hampering joint task force efforts with the FBI.

The city’s action drew strong reaction from those in favor of enforcing federal immigration policies. An Oct. 26 Mercury News article on the issue generated reader comments such as “Treason under our Constitution,” “They have no business here,” “How about an ordinance asking ‘immigrants’ to respect the laws?” and “The (Mountain View) councilmembers have joined the ranks of the criminals they harbor.” None of the readers used his or her name in commenting.

Abe-Koga and Councilman Chris Clark expressed reservations about curbing the ability of the city’s police officers to exercise discretion.
“I hope the symbolic value is worthy of taking away that discretion,” Clark said.

Abe-Koga wondered about the “unintended consequences” of the city’s policy.

But Councilwoman Pat Showalter said even symbolic support could reduce some of the anxiety of undocumented residents, knowing the city was on their side.

“I’m trying to think about ways we can help them with the fear,” she said.

Councilmembers directed city staff to implement five action items related to undocumented residents, prohibiting staff from requiring anyone to report their immigration status before providing city services, unless required by law; reviewing all policies to ensure that information collected is limited; removing questions regarding immigration status from all city forms unless required by law; making information about the city’s immigration policies easy to access; and allowing the use of country-of-origin documents for identification instead of requiring a U.S. driver’s license or ID card.

For more information on the Equitable Communities Resolution and other city initiatives to support local immigrant families, visit mountainview.gov/communityforall.

LAH mulls online service options

Back in April, when Los Altos Hills leaders formed the Emerging Technology Ad Hoc Committee, they hoped to explore the kind of cutting-edge opportunities that define so-called smart communities, advancements like early fire detection sensors.

Committee members have since dialed back expectations – at least temporarily – after recognizing a more pressing need: making reliable, affordable broadband internet accessible to everyone in town who desires it.


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