Sorensens' 3-story building plan returns to Planning Commission

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Ted and Jerry Sorensen’s project at 40 Main St. includes a tower element.

Ted and Jerry Sorensen’s quest for a three-story downtown office building continues Thursday when the Los Altos Planning Commission is scheduled to consider plans that require variances to city limits on building height and parking.

Up for consideration are approvals of a design review, a use permit and an “exception for public benefit request” for the proposed 16,619-square-foot building at 40 Main St., near the north gateway to downtown. The proposed structure would stand 38 feet high and include a 45-foot-high tower element.

'Vision' for downtown LA nears finalization

It’s been more than a year since city of Los Altos officials kicked off the Downtown Vision project, and after a council meeting last month, that vision may soon be in sight.

Consultants from RRM Design Group, the company tasked with gathering feedback from residents and turning it into a future for Los Altos, presented their plan to the council at its May 22 meeting.

Los Altos Hills council weighs additions to scrutinized advisory committee rules

The Los Altos Hills City Council at its June 21 meeting will consider adopting new advisory committee rules, the current absence of which one local land-use attorney recently described as holding the town to a “lower standard” compared to neighboring communities.

New edits to the town’s Standing Committee Resolution are expected to include limiting residents’ membership to some committees and requiring annual training of committee chairs. To help eliminate bias and promote transparency, council members may also direct staff to add a question to committee membership applications pertaining to potential conflicts of interest and to create an online feedback process through which residents may submit comments and concerns about committee actions.

LA council orders report on Protect Our Parks initiative

The highly debated and widely circulated Protect Our Parks and Public Lands Initiative made its way to center stage at last week’s Los Altos City Council meeting.

Because the initiative petition garnered the required number of signatures, the council was forced either to adopt it outright, submit it for inclusion on the Nov. 6 ballot or order a report that could include anything from fiscal impact to its effect on the use of land. The council moved to order the report.

LA installs cigarette receptacles in parking plazas after smoking ban

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
After the Los Altos City Council expanded the smoking ban, a crew installed recycling bins for cigarette butts in city-owned parking lots.

When Los Altos banned smoking in public spaces downtown on March 27, it left an exception allowing tobacco use in city parking plazas. A new partnership with TerraCycle to aims to collect and recycle the cigarette butts anticipated in those plazas. City workers installed 12 receptacles in the 10 city-owned parking lots last week. City workers had removed all other ashtrays in the downtown area last month.

“The city’s new smoking restrictions raised concerns about proper disposal of cigarette butts,” Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins said. “This new program is a great and innovative way to collect and recycle the waste while ensuring our streets are kept clean.”

Parks & Rec nixes dog park, pursues off-leash hours

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The Los Altos Parks and Recreation Commission rejected a proposal for a dog park in the city, opting instead to explore establishing off-leash hours when dogs can roam free at certain parks, like this pup, playing at Rosita Park Thursday.

Despite a survey showing interest among residents, the Los Altos Parks and Recreation Commission rejected a proposal to establish a dog park in the city, opting instead to explore off-leash hours at existing parks.

At their May 9 meeting the seven-member commission dismissed the fenced-in dog park idea, saying no option met established criteria, including a minimum 10,000-square-foot space, sufficient parking, adequate shade and access to bathrooms. A commission subcommittee presented the dog park and off-leash options, along with the criteria.

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