LAH council picks priorities to roadmap town's future

Goal-setting votes
Grace Hase/ Town Crier Staff
At a Feb. 23 goal-setting workshop, Los Altos Hills councilmembers set out and voted for their priorities for upcoming years, seen above. All five members voted that maintaining public safety was of the utmost prioritiy for Los Altos Hills

When it comes to ranking goals for Los Altos Hills, maintaining public safety is city council members’ top priority. That proposed area of focus received all five council members’ votes, the only one to do so at a Feb. 23 goal-setting workshop.

Voting by each affixing six colored-dot stickers to presentation board paper, council members ranked “employee value proposition,” “pathways” and “road maintenance” next in importance (three votes each), followed by “community engagement,” “code enforcement,” “effectiveness and transparency of advisory committees,” “facility and space needs assessment” and “sanitary sewer system district oversight” (two votes each).

Los Altos makes changes to 'granny unit' law

More accessory structures and dwelling units could be popping up in Los Altos after the city council amended regulations last week, an effort aimed at easing the housing crunch.

An accessory structure is a nonlivable structure such as a pool house, shed or enclosed patio, while an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) – often referred to as a “granny unit” – is a backyard apartment someone physically inhabits. The amendments were brought before the council at its Feb. 27 meeting in part to comply with new state legislation.

Mtn. View tackles issue of free speech

The city of Mountain View Human Relations Commission is scheduled to host the Civility Roundtable discussion “Free Speech: How Far Is Too Far?” 6:30 –9:30 p.m. today at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St.

The roundtable will tackle the concept of freedom of speech in modern-day culture.

LA council to consider all-encompassing citywide smoking ban

The Los Altos City Council is scheduled to consider an ordinance March 13 to ban smoking in the city.

The proposed ordinance expands an existing no-smoking statute that covers public recreation areas and their parking lots, and the Los Altos Civic Center. The proposed law would extend the ban to all places visited by the public, including privately owned areas, enclosed and unenclosed.

Q&A: Portola Valley leader on surveillance

Los Altos Hills City Council members’ decision to nix a proposal for installing license plate readers in town has failed to quell some residents’ interest in the technology.

As some continue to explore its capabilities, they’re looking to Bay Area communities that have already purchased automated license plate readers (ALPRs) to learn more.

LAH council buries plan for license plate surveillance

Photos by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Automated license plate readers keep watch on Arastradero Road in Portola Valley. Los Altos Hills recently nixed a proposal for installing similar devices in town.

In the parable of the two hikers fleeing a bear, one man pauses to secure his laces; he knows he need only outrun his friend to survive.

Rajiv Bhateja thinks it’s a valuable lesson applicable to his town: Los Altos Hills is the doomed other guy, the bear’s future lunch – at least when it comes to communitywide vehicle surveillance.

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