Safeway officials eye June opening

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Safeway officials anticipate a grand opening in late June for the new 45,000-square-foot market at 160 First St.

Safeway officials reported last week that construction of the new 45,000-square-foot grocery store on First Street will wrap up in time for a grand opening in late June.

According to Wendy Gutschall, Safeway’s Northern California Division public and government affairs manager, the podium-style market’s construction remains within the timeline officials originally set. Construction crews began razing the former single-story Safeway store – which served Los Altos for more than 45 years – in June 2013, more than a year after the Los Altos City Council approved the national grocer’s plans to rebuild at 160 First St.


Downtown pop-up park returns this summer

Town Crier File Photo
While the State Street Green will grace downtown Los Altos again this summer, negotiations continue over its precise location.

The State Street Green pop-up park is making a comeback this summer – though it may need a name change.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted 4-1 in favor of reviving the temporary park in the downtown area after the completion of the annual Arts & Wine Festival this summer.


LA City Council approves drafting parking plaza reconfiguration rule

Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council is drafting a policy to address persistent parking problems downtown. The proposal gives property owners the ability to fund the reconfiguration of public parking plazas and satisfy minimum parking requirements.

Downtown property owners simultaneously trying to redevelop their land and meet city-mandated parking requirements may soon have a mechanism to accomplish their goals.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted 4-1 in favor of developing a policy that would give property owners on Main and State streets the ability to fund the reconfiguration of public parking plazas and satisfy minimum parking requirements imposed by the city on developments.


Solution or snafu?: Residents, council rebuff traffic lights at Page Mill Road and Interstate 280

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Caltrans proposal to install traffic lights at the north- and southbound I-280 off ramps onto Page Mill drew protest.

When Caltrans introduced a project that would add traffic signals at the exit ramps from Interstate 280 onto Page Mill Road to the Los Altos Hills City Council last April, a city planning commissioner predicted the arrival of residents with “pitchforks and torches.” Metaphorically speaking, the mob arrived at Thursday’s council meeting.

Councilmembers quelled the fears of anxious residents by emphasizing that they also had reservations with the proposal.


Longtime First Street auto shop closing in April

A First Street business familiar to longtime Los Altos residents will soon be closing its doors for good.

California Automotive Service owners Alan and Amanda Pickett told the Town Crier that they’re closing their business after calling 139 First St. home for more than 20 years. The auto shop is tentatively scheduled to close at the end of April. Alan, who began working as a mechanic at the shop 25 years ago before taking over as its owner 10 years later, noted that he and his wife chose to close the longtime business after “some opportunities presented themselves.”


City eyes traffic-light fixes at some intersections

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The intersection at Foothill Expressway and San Antonio Road in Los Altos frequently backs up during peak commute hours. The city is targeting mitigation measures.

The city is hoping to ease the stress – if only a little – for local commuters bogged down in traffic near Foothill Expressway.

A Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission meeting March 6 revealed that city engineers are working to repair equipment that has led to faulty timing at some signalized intersections.


LA City Council approves downtown office project

Rendering courtesy of City of Los Altos
The Los Altos City Council green-lighted the design for a building at First and San Antonio.

By a 3-1 vote, the Los Altos City Council last week approved a downtown office project for the corner of First Street and San Antonio Road.

Councilwoman Jan Pepper cast the lone dissenting vote; Councilman Jarrett Fishpaw recused himself because he owns property within 500 feet of the project.


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