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Downtown visioning scenarios lack vision, critics say


Town Crier File Art
An early visioning plan reveals a pedestrian crossing linking downtown Los Altos with the city’s civic center.

After months of collecting community feedback, RRM Design Group presented three scenarios for the Downtown Vision project at last week’s Los Altos City Council meeting. However, the scenarios seemed to be lacking a critical attribute: vision.

The goal of the Downtown Vision project, which kicked off in April, is to revitalize downtown Los Altos. Consultants from RRM Design Group attended the Aug. 22 meeting to seek direction from the council before analyzing the economic feasibility of certain aspects of the project.

PTC sends density-bonus ordinance to council


Town Crier FIle Image
The Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission sent a density-bonus ordinance to the city council last week, despite concerns from residents that the ordinance could permit construction of buildings that exceed city height limits, like the proposed complex at 4880 El Camino Real, above.

Furrowed brows and perplexed looks over the term “density bonus” seemed to be the theme of Thursday’s Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission meeting.

At one point, Commissioner Alex Samek stumbled through a hypothetical structure-height situation, struggling to do the math without a calculator in hand.

LAH council: Volunteers, subdivision and Waze make waves

Yep, the wounds inflicted by that consultant’s report are still raw.

Public speakers at Thursday’s Los Altos Hills City Council meeting said as much during discussion to redefine term limits and appointments for the volunteer-run town committees a San Jose consultant recently described as overpopulated and taxing of city staff time.

City appoints teen to Parks and Rec Commission


When the city of Los Altos appointed Grace Lilygren to the Parks and Recreation Commission early this summer, she made history. At 16, she is believed to be the youngest resident ever to serve on the commission.

The Los Altos High School junior applied for the position in May, and, after being interviewed by Los Altos City Councilmembers in June, she secured one of the two open positions.

First Street Green project heads to city commissions

LACI
Courtesy of LACI
Renderings of Los Altos Community Investment’s First Street Green project show a three-story office building next to a public village square above underground parking.

Early Friday morning, nearly two dozen Los Altos residents gathered on the Downtown Green to learn about the plans for another one – the First Street Green.

The Los Altos Community Coalition hosted the Los Altos Community Investments presentation at the pop-up park, where LACI development adviser Kelly Snider told attendees that the First Street Green project is scheduled for its first public hearing – after 17 months of planning. Snider said the project is on the agenda for the Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (tentatively scheduled Sept. 6) and Planning and Transportation Commission (Oct. 19) meetings.

ZIP-a-dee-doo-dah: LAH mayor pushes for unique postal code

LACI
Courtesy of Zipmap.net
Los Altos and Los Altos Hills share three zip codes: 94022, 94023 and 94024.

Los Altos and Los Altos Hills currently share three ZIP codes – 94022, 94023 and 94024 – but Hills Mayor Gary Waldeck is campaigning to secure five digits exclusive to his town. He formally proposed the idea at last month’s Los Altos Hills City Council meeting.

“It turns out, there’s quite a number of people who’d like to do it,” Waldeck said. “There’s a number of people who, I think, are fearful of what it would mean.”


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