'Lots' of potential Parking areas present opportunity for growth without height

Asher Kohn/Town Crier
The city of Morgan Hill built a central parking garage before seeking investment in the rest of its city-owned lots. Many Los Altos residents think such a recipe could help create a more vibrant downtown environment featuring a theater or library.

Several Los Altos residents, activists and developers have set their sights on bringing more feet to downtown streets, pinpointing city-owned parking lots as potential sites for amenities such as affordable housing or a theater.

Few people who frequent downtown, however, would sacrifice any currently available parking.

LAH council reviews town analysis results this week

Los Altos Hills has too many advisory committees and too many members on those committees, according to a consulting firm report the city council will formally review at its monthly meeting Thursday.

In fact, the number of advisory bodies (17) and appointees (181) in Los Altos Hills is the highest among seven comparable Silicon Valley municipalities – including Los Altos, Atherton and Half Moon Bay – and roughly double the average of those peer towns, reported Management Partners, the San Jose-based consulting company the town hired in March to evaluate town operations.

LAH officials drive to alter commuters' 'Waze'

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Commuters drive east on Arastradero Road past the Page Mill Road intersection. The “No Thru Traffic” sign pictured is one of three recently installed at key entryways to Los Altos Hills to prevent cut-through traffic.

For years, Interstate 280 commuters have relied on Los Altos Hills surface streets as shortcuts to avoid one of the highway’s most infamous bottlenecks: the southbound squeeze from four lanes to three between the El Monte Avenue and Magdalena Avenue exits.

So bad is the afternoon jam that motorists entering the interstate at Magdalena can rely on open roads to Cupertino and beyond, thanks to all that merging mayhem just to the north.

Art conference looks to tap the potential of Los Altos

Courtesy of Amanda Golden/Designing Local
Chris Flink of the Exploratorium, center, speaks at the “smART Planning” conference last week, which featured a panel discussion on how to incubate creativity in Los Altos.

Last week’s discussion about public art in Los Altos often touched on whether the city itself was willing to change with the times.

Cathy Kimball, executive director of San Jose’s Institute of Contemporary Art, pointed out how few regional draws Los Altos has. She was among a group of panelists participating in a “smart Planning” conversation, held May 24 at the Los Altos Youth Center.

Need for new facilities presented to Los Altos council

City representatives charged with keeping track of Los Altos’ funds recently reached a consensus on how the city council could use its money wisely: Spend more of it.

Gary Kalbach, spokesman for the Financial Commission, argued at the May 23 city council meeting that councilmembers should use the $60 million Los Altos has available to rebuild city facilities as part of a strategy to entice people to work in Los Altos and to invest taxpayer dollars in the community.

After long fight, LAH residents gain "public" distinction

Deer Springs Way resident Colin Knight fought for years to have his road officially accepted into Los Altos Hills’ public street system.

public roads

Residents of Byrne Park Lane in Los Altos Hills lobbied town officials for years to reclassify their street from private to public.

He attended nearly every council meeting on the subject and even wrote several letters to the editor of the Town Crier to explain how clerical errors robbed his road and others like it of town-provided maintenance and Comcast internet service.

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