Last updateWed, 24 Aug 2016 12pm

LAH council, residents reach cost-sharing internet agreement

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Deputy John Prado met members of the Los Altos Hills City Council last week. Prado, a motorcycle officer, is assigned to traffic enforcement in town.

Julietta Lane’s getting the hook-up, parts of Mora Drive are entering the fold and the town’s welcoming a new traffic patrol officer.

Thursday’s Los Altos Hills City Council meeting wrapped up a few loose ends town officials have grappled with for months, though the substandard lot debate will continue at a future meeting – likely in September – allowing time for affected residents to receive proper notice.

Downtown visioning

The deadline for submissions for Los Altos’ downtown visioning project was July 29. Councilwoman Jan Pepper said there were eight proposals, half of which she found promising.

Jennifer Quinn, the city’s economic development director, agreed, telling the Town Crier that “we have several great candidates to choose from.”

Interim city manager hopes to keep position

Chris Jordan has served as interim city manager since April 28, replacing Marcia Somers. His contract expires Sept. 30, but he is a candidate to assume the role permanently.

Jordan has experience in the city manager role, essentially working as a chief administrative officer for the city. He was city manager of West Linn, Ore., for 10 years before coming to Los Altos. West Linn, a Portland suburb with a population of approximately 25,000, is known for its urban forested areas. He has expressed strong interest in maintaining his role in Los Altos.

Mtn. View voters to consider dueling rent-control measures

Mountain View voters will be seeing double when deciding on rent-control proposals in the Nov. 8 election.

Depending on whom you ask, the city council’s Aug. 9 decision to offer its own alternative ordinance to the tenant-sponsored initiative was either a move to give the city flexibility or an effort to defeat the tenants’ proposal through voter confusion.

Buffalo milk will roam in Main Street cafe starting in 2017

Courtesy of Yulia Morsey
Yulia Morsey, above, and her husband, Kal, own a herd of water buffalo. They plan to incorporate buffalo milk in their Los Altos cafe.

One of the first things the new tenants at 134 Main St. did was take down the red-and-green awning that had been gathering dust for months.

Los Altos Hills residents Kal and Yulia Morsey plan to remodel the former site of downtown Los Altos’ Main Street Cafe & Books, creating what Kal called “the first dedicated shop in the United States” for a food that’s beloved internationally: water buffalo milk.

Conservation eases LAH water restrictions

Los Altos Hills’ expansive front yards and backyards – and orchards and vineyards – are notoriously thirsty. But if 2015’s water consumption data is any indication, residents now appreciate the severity of California’s drought.

“Last year was pretty severe, but this year, there’s lots of good news,” said Raylene Collins, Purissima Hills Water District secretary.

LAH commission welcomes new member

Attendees of the Aug. 23 Los Altos Hills Special Planning Commission meeting will notice a new face on the dais: Jamshid (Jim) Basiji.

Basiji, a town resident for 27 years, replaces Commissioner Jim Abraham, whose term expired in June. Like commissioners Jitze Couperus and Susan Mandle, both reappointed to their seats, Basiji will serve through June 2020.

LAH officials nix transient occupancy tax proposal

A number of factors played into the decision by the Los Altos Hills City Council last week to abandon pursuit of a local short-term rental tax. But perhaps the most persuasive argument arrived via a July 13 webinar, “Best Practice for Ensuring Short-Term Rental Ordinance Compliance.”

In New York City, the compliance rate of short-term rental permitting is 25 percent, according to the webinar, a production of local government management company iCompass. In San Francisco, the rate is 24 percent. In Hallandale Beach, Fla., it’s just 1 percent.

Mtn. View council considers competing rent control ballot initiative

Members of the Mountain View Tenants Coalition make themselves heard – and noticed – prior to the July 14 city council meeting at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Courtesy of the Mountain View tenants coalition

Backers of a charter amendment proposal for rent control are unhappy with the Mountain View City Council’s July 14 vote to proceed with a competing rent control ballot measure on the Nov. 8 ballot.

“What a message to be sending to their people,” said Juliet Brodie, an attorney representing the Mountain View Tenants Coalition. The group, comprising tenants struggling with rising rents, introduced a Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act in April. The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters validated the necessary signatures required to put the act on the ballot – on the same day the council elected to push a dueling measure.

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