Housing on the brain: Los Altos council weighs exemptions to story-pole policy, park in-lieu fee

Story poles
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Workers remove story poles from Ted and Jerry Sorensen’s three- story office building project at 40 Main St. Dec. 7. Developer Jeff Warmoth requested exemptions to Los Altos’ story-pole policy.

With a full agenda, the Los Altos City Council Jan. 8 spent nearly four hours discussing pressing topics such as the city’s story-pole policy and its park in-lieu fee.

City surveying residents for council priorities

The city of Los Altos is surveying residents to determine what they consider top priorities for the city council to adopt in 2019.

Each year, the council discusses and decides on priorities at its council retreat. A council priority is defined as a topic that will receive particular, unusual and significant attention during the year. Priorities for 2018 included:

Los Altos Hills changing-of-the-guard ceremony fraught with friction

George and Stephanie Tyson
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Newly elected Los Altos Hills City Councilman George Tyson, left, takes the oath of office Dec. 13 as his wife of 39 years, Stephanie, beams.

Los Altos Hills’ final city council meeting of the year – at first a jovial parade of presents and proclamations for outgoing members John Radford and Gary Waldeck – took an awkward turn Dec. 13 as two remaining figures on the dais scrapped for the vice mayorship.

Councilwoman Michelle Wu ultimately secured the title with four of five votes, including one from challenger Courtenay C. Corrigan, but the conflict exposed a rift between the two council members.

Cities brace for proposed housing legislation

Los Altos and Los Altos Hills leaders are publicly expressing fears over the way the CASA Housing Compact, a proposal presented at the Dec. 3 Metropolitan Transportation Commission meeting, could negatively impact city government decisions.

Convened by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments, the CASA committee’s Housing Compact aims to urge leaders from diverse communities to reach consensus and provide solutions to the jobs-housing imbalance.

LAH city staff makes case for expanded facilities amid meeting-room hopscotch

Los Altos Hills town hall
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos Hills Community Service Supervisor Sarah Robustelli and members of the Parks and Recreation Committee last week pack up their things to vacate the staff lunch room so that the Investment Club could meet. Proposals circulating to expand town hall would provide additional space for residents to meet and for city employees to work.

The Dec. 10 Parks and Recreation Committee meeting, centered on a potential Los Altos Hills Town Hall expansion that could provide additional meeting and activity space for the overtaxed facility, had been underway for a quarter of an hour when members of another group began trickling in and hovering around the table. Wasn’t a Public Art Committee meeting scheduled to commence at that same table in mere minutes?

The room was double booked.

Los Altos council looking to fix traffic problems at Blach

Although police at the Dec. 11 Los Altos City Council meeting confirmed that the “No Stopping” signs on Carmel Terrace and Altamead Drive have not been enforced since 2010, council members decided the signs will remain until there’s a public meeting to discuss a better traffic-calming plan for the area around Blach Intermediate School. 

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