LAH Council Briefs

The Los Altos Hills City Council took the following actions at its Oct. 17 meeting. The next council meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Tuesday at town hall, 26379 W. Fremont Road.

Trust lowers cost of sewer connections

When the Malavalli Revocable Trust signed onto a sewer reimbursement agreement with the town in June 2011 – fronting the costs for the estimated $2 million, mile-long Natoma Road Sanitary Sewer Main Extension – the trust’s representatives drafted a plan for 25 future users to share in the cost of the project. Several years later and with no other users signed on for a sewer connection, the trust’s representatives approached the council with a proposal to entice more users to sign up for sewer connections.

According to an amendment presented to the council, offering a month-long “discount incentive” would reduce each future user’s share of project expenses or usage fee from $85,000 to $35,000, plus administrative fees and a percentage of the construction cost index. With no cost to the town, councilmembers approved the request, recommending that the trust extend the discount window from 30 days to 90 to allow potential users more time to assess the full cost of a sewer connection.

The council directed staff to create a template to advise future sewer-connection applicants who may not be aware of all the steps and fees involved in the process.

Council approves variance, sticks homeowners with bill

After much back-and-forth, the council voted unanimously to approve a variance allowing an illegally constructed 10-foot-by-12-foot utility shed to remain on a residential property.

According to a staff report, when the homeowners built their 3,200-square-foot house in 2003, they were required to dedicate an additional 30 feet of right-of-way along Moody Road as well as 0.52 acres of their property for conservation easement. During a staff inspection of the property in January following heavy December rains, staff discovered the shed and reported it to the town.

Noting the half-acre for conservation, the council approved the variance and decided that the property owners should pay the $7,800 variance fee, bucking the Los Altos Hills Planning Commission’s 4-1 vote in favor of waiving the fee. Councilmembers expressed reservations about absolving the property owners from paying the fee, as it would condone violating the town’s planning and building codes.

Public invited to weigh in on Page Mill project

When Caltrans signaled its intention to install traffic lights at the north- and southbound off-ramps at Page Mill Road and Interstate 280 to improve safety for motorists, Los Altos Hills recommended additional safeguards for non-vehicular traffic.

In collaboration with the city of Palo Alto and Santa Clara County, Los Altos Hills staff drafted two preliminary design proposals – a long-term “ultimate” plan and an interim “concept” plan. With the goal to make the intersection safe and functional for all users, including motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians, the plans propose design modifications, additional striping and a bike lane, among other elements.

The town plans to present the recommendations to Caltrans after soliciting feedback from the community. Local residents can review the designs and add input at a meeting scheduled 6 p.m. Nov. 12 at town hall.

To view the concept plans and submit comments to the town online, visit

Arastradero Trail opens Nov. 1

Los Altos Hills trail users will be connected to their neighbors in Palo Alto after the $1.19 million Arastradero Trail Improvement Project opens next month.

Funded by Stanford University, the project includes the rehabilitation of existing town pathways and the construction of a new one to link the intersection of Purissima and Arastradero roads in Los Altos Hills to the Pearson-Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto.

A dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting are scheduled 9 a.m. Nov. 1 at the footbridge near the Park and Ride lot at Arastradero and Page Mill roads.

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