Last updateThu, 27 Apr 2017 4pm

Developers warn of lawsuit as moratorium extended

Image Courtesy of Luxone LLC
The planned housing development at 4856 El Camino Real in Los Altos sits in limbo due to a temporary moratorium enacted last year. The Los Altos City Council voted to extend the moratorium another eight months at its March 14 meeting.

Before the Los Altos City Council voted unanimously to extend the moratorium on El Camino Real development, a developer warned that such a move could put the city in legal jeopardy.

A letter delivered to the council criticized the “deceitful and fainthearted policy” on behalf of the Building Industry Association (BIA) Bay Area, a regional trade group that promotes development.

I-280 bottleneck proves both dangerous and frustrating

Megan V. WInslow/Town Crier
Southbound Interstate 280 between the El Monte Road and Magdalena Avenue exits has proven to be a dangerous stretch of freeway as four lanes funnel into three.

It was rainy, dark and windy as California Highway Patrol Officer Art Montiel traversed Interstate 280 toward a major vehicle accident in Los Altos Hills last month. While the weather conditions limited Montiel’s speed to between 55 and 60 mph, other motorists buzzed past his unmarked personal vehicle at 80 mph and faster.

“Unfortunately, it was raining, and people were just driving a little too fast for the conditions,” Montiel said.

6 stories rise on San Antonio, with theater to follow

Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
Dogs play in the foreground of construction at The Village at San Antonio Center. The center is currently in its second phase of building.

The latest phase of development at The Village at San Antonio Center is beginning to show its shape. The stretch of San Antonio Road once occupied by a vast parking lot, Ross and BevMo has given way to cranes, construction pits and – most recently – the skeletons of six-story buildings.

The two six-story office buildings facing San Antonio are contracted to house commercial retail tenants on the ground floor and LinkedIn offices above.

Downtown visioning to proceed apace

Town Crier File Photo
Los Altos’ downtown will be the subject of a new visioning project led by city official Jon Biggs and a group of outside contractors.

The city of Los Altos and its many partners for downtown visioning will begin the project in early December.

The Los Altos City Council cited formulating a downtown plan among its highest priorities in 2016, with the goal to develop and implement a visioning process that will provide the foundation for the process.

Loyola Corners at crossroads as council looks for clarity on growth

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
City officials hope to move JP Liquors and build new housing in its place. The relocation is part of Los Altos’ updated Specific Plan for Loyola Corners.

The updated Loyola Corners Specific Plan is expected to offer guidance once the area’s yearlong moratorium is lifted in July. Adopted in 1990, the Specific Plan needed an update, according to city staff.

The new Specific Plan recommends three-story buildings with a “small-scale, warm, human quality” along Fremont Avenue to take advantage of Loyola Corners’ central location.

Moratorium extended on El Camino Real

The Los Altos City Council voted to extend the moratorium on development along the El Camino Real corridor for an additional four months. The measure passed unanimously, with Councilwoman Mary Prochnow voting by phone.

Councilwoman Jan Pepper expressed her concern that “four months is not enough time.” She emphasized that the council should better understand how to build additional affordable housing units in the downtown area.

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