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

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.

Stevens Creek Trail repairs targeted for Nov. 17 finish

Image Courtesy of city of Mountain View
The above map shows the area where fixes to the Stevens Creek Trail bypass are underway.

Repairs to the Hotel Bypass portion of the Stevens Creek Trail in Mountain View are scheduled for completion Nov. 17, with the trail reopened to walkers and cyclists a few days after, according to city staff.

In the meantime, trail users are being rerouted along Yuba Drive and El Camino Real.

LA council reviews smoking ban, El Camino project

A proposal for an outdoor dining smoking ban and the approval of a height increase to accommodate an elevator tower on the 4880 El Camino Real project were among the agenda items discussed at last week’s Los Altos City Council meeting.

The city originally placed the smoking-ban proposal on the consent calendar at the Oct. 24 meeting. However, during a public comment section at the beginning of the meeting, Los Altos resident Roberta Phillips requested that the item be pulled for discussion.

Survey reveals car volume -- not speed -- plagues LAH roads

Courtesy of town of los altos hills
The above graphic shows vehicle counts and speeds measured on Los Altos Hills streets.

While cut-through vehicles continue to clog Los Altos Hills’ streets, a recent traffic survey seems to suggest that interlopers, are, at least, not excessively speeding.

Data collected during the two weeks bookending a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office traffic enforcement operation in September reveal that drivers, on average, did not exceed 6 mph over the posted speed limit.

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