Preschool move to church site OK’d by PTC
The Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) last week recommended approval for the relocation of a preschool and day care facility to the grounds of Foothill Covenant Church at 1555 Oak Ave.
The item is expected to go before the Los Altos City Council for final approval at an undetermined date.
“Who can be against a church and a preschool?” Commissioner Ken Lorell asked prior to his Jan. 23 vote, eliciting laughter from supporters who spoke in favor of the school’s relocation effort.
The PTC voted unanimously in favor of the use permit and design review application that essentially relocates the Mountain View Los Altos Parent Education Program from the Mountain View High School campus to the Foothill Covenant Church property.
Plans call for the construction of three portable classrooms and two playgrounds on a vacant lot next to the church.
“This is really in line with what we’re interested in doing, which is being a resource to our community,” Foothill Covenant Church Pastor Hans Eric Nelson told the commission.
An accompanying traffic report concluded that the school’s relocation would increase traffic on Oak Avenue by less than 1 percent.
School officials noted during the presentation that the facility would include student drop-offs and pickups on-site.
In addition, the facility will employ staggered start and finish times for the twice-daily sessions to minimize traffic conflicts with nearby Mountain View High and Oak Avenue schools.
“I see this as the best possible way of integrating what I think is an important, valued part of our community into a good location for it,” Commissioner Phoebe Bressack said.
Under the conditions of approval, the facility has a cap of up to 102 students per day. The facility, according to the city staff report, typically hosts two class sessions, capped at 48 students each, per day. The facility also offers a third session once per week in the late afternoon.
Commission OKs office building at 467 First St.
The PTC last week unanimously voted to approve an office-building project slated for the corner of First Street and San Antonio Road.
The project, which calls for the construction of a 15,000-square-foot office structure on the sites of The Barking Lot, Burger Town and a former Chevron Gas Station lot, will head to the Los Altos City Council for final approval at an undetermined date.
The landslide vote came approximately two months after the commission rejected a parking variance by developer Southgate Partners LLC because the project lacked parking spaces needed to meet city code requirements by seven spots.
At the time, several commissioners expressed concern that allowing the project to move forward with a variance would increase the already high demand for parking downtown.
However, the second time proved to be the charm for the project. It returned to the commission with a 315-square-foot reduction in building size and a reconfigured underground parking garage that netted an additional six spaces, allowing the three-story, 42-foot tall project to meet its 51-space requirement.
The project includes a new parking management plan for the property, which features a handful of tandem (two-car) parking spaces for office tenants, and a redesigned plaza feature at the corner of San Antonio and First.
– Diego Abeloos