LA Council gives final approval to climate plan

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The Los Altos Climate Action Plan, approved last week, includes bicycle and pedestrian measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
LA Council gives final approval to climate plan

The Los Altos City Council last week voted unanimously to adopt the city’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) – a policy that outlines reductions in Los Altos’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

In addition, the council voted 5-0 in favor of certifying a negative declaration of environmental impact for the plan.

The move comes after a unanimous vote in September to initiate an environmental review of the CAP, which aims to reduce the city’s emissions to at least its 1990 levels. The CAP specifically calls for a reduction of as much as 17 percent below the city’s 2005 level of 182,830 metric tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent.

Los Altos resident Gary Hedden, a member of the city’s Environmental Commission speaking on his own behalf, urged the council to move forward, noting that the CAP “makes sense” by including reduction measures such as pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements.

“We all realize that Los Altos cannot solve the greenhouse gas emissions problem on its own – no city can,” he said. “Nevertheless, we can do something. We can approve this plan.”

According to a city staff report, the Los Altos plan falls in line with the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act, passed in 2006, which outlines a statewide goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

The city council took the following additional actions at its Dec. 10 meeting.

Agreement allows ‘double badging’

The council voted unanimously to direct Los Altos City Manager Marcia Somers to develop an agreement that would allow some of the city’s police officers to work in a similar role at the new 49ers football stadium.

According to a staff report, the indemnity agreement among Los Altos, the city of Santa Clara and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority would allow the Santa Clara Police Department to officially hire – or “double badge” – off-duty Los Altos officers as reserve police. The purpose behind the practice, the report stated, is to allow some Los Altos officers – as well as those from other agencies – to serve as peace officers at Levi’s Stadium, the home of the San Francisco 49ers beginning in 2014.

The indemnity agreement essentially releases Los Altos from liability from actions taken by officers working under the Santa Clara Police Department’s double-badging system.

New commissioners fill vacancies

The council voted unanimously to appoint five new Los Altos residents to fill seats on the city’s Design Review, Financial and Senior commissions.

The council appointed residents Ray Ahshordi, Amy Pearl and Ritu Varma to serve on the Financial Commission, which had two vacancies with terms expiring in February 2018 and an unexpired seat that ends in February 2016.

Paul Gonella will fill an unexpired term through February 2015 on the city’s Senior Commission, and Tracey Moison a term that expires in February 2018 on the Design Review Commission.

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