Last updateWed, 06 Dec 2017 2pm

LA council addresses accessory units, community center plans

After the Los Altos City Council offered its support for a First Street park proposal at a study session June 27, the council addressed other matters at hand during its regularly scheduled meeting that followed. On the agenda were reaffirming setbacks for accessory dwelling structures, receiving an update on Hillview Community Center plans and approving new city commissioners..

• Accessory structures: Community Development Director Jon Biggs reported to the council on how the city’s accessory structure standards would dovetail with new state laws that require cities to permit any accessory structure to be converted into a dwelling unit if it meets minimum habitability standards of building height and square footage.

Lawyer claims LA can't curb developers' profits

Some Los Altos residents do not want housing developers to increase their profit margins as a result of the new State Density Bonus Law – but they may not have a choice.

According to Fred Haubensak, a Los Altos resident who has collected more than 200 signatures on a petition supporting lower building heights on El Camino Real, developers see density increases as a cash-grab.

MV council faces reality of rent control in budget discussion

Concern over reimbursement for costs from the rent control law dominated budget approval discussion at the June 20 Mountain View City Council meeting.

At issue is the cost of implementing of the Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act, a charter amendment voters approved last November. The act calls for the creation of a five-member Rental Housing Committee to run the program. The rent control law, limiting rent increases to between 2 and 5 percent per year, took effect after legal challenges were dropped in April.

LAH officials explore incentives for preservation

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A bicyclist pedals past Frenchman’s Tower, a 19th-century irrigation structure Peter Coutts built for his cattle that now hides a rainbow of graffitied images within. The tower, located off Old Page Mill Road, is featured on a list of historical Los Altos Hills sites – though it’s technically located in Palo Alto.

With romantic brick battlements reminiscent of a medieval fortress, Frenchman’s Tower is a prime example of the type of structure Los Altos Hills’ General Plan Appendix A recognizes as an important historical resource of the town. Technically, however, it’s located in Palo Alto, city councilmembers learned at their June 15 meeting.

“What we have currently in Appendix A is, to put it mildly, complete rubbish,” said Jitze Couperus, History Committee member. “We list properties that are not even in Los Altos Hills.”

Dog and skate park gaining momentum

Photos Megan V. WInslow/Town Crier
Mountain View’s Rengstorff Skatepark, left, provides a template for what could go in Los Altos’ Lincoln Park. Catherine Stansbury, below, who grew up in Los Altos Hills, wants a dog park at Lincoln for pet-loving residents.

Multiple petitions and an unofficial newspaper poll reveal that Los Altos residents are warming to the idea of a combination dog and skate park in Lincoln Park.

Reviving a proposal from 2012, Skateworks owner Jason Strubing is advocating construction of a skate park at the southern end of Lincoln Park, the 1.3-acre, city-owned slice of land that runs parallel to Foothill Expressway.

Group launches website to engage LASD community on land solutions

A group of Los Altos School District parents and community leaders have joined forces to advocate for exploring existing-land solutions to create a 10th school site for the district.

The group recently launched a website, Creative Facilities Solutions at creativefacilitiessolutions.org, to explore existing-land options in parallel with the district’s efforts to purchase a new school site.

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