LA City Briefs

Residents explore downtown of future

Los Altos residents had another opportunity last week to weigh in on what the future of their downtown could look like.

Residents offered input on four planning scenarios Nov. 29, during the second of two Downtown Vision workshops.

The scenarios ranged from least impactful – similar to what the downtown triangle looks like today – to a major overhaul that would include multiple three-story buildings. Various elements include paseos, pedestrian-focused streets, underground parking, workforce housing, a movie theater, a Foothill Expressway undercrossing linking the downtown with Lincoln Park and a pedestrian bridge across San Antonio Road connecting downtown with the civic center.

Led by consultants with RRM Design Group of San Luis Obispo, workshop participants sat at tables in the Los Altos Youth Center and pored over the proposed features in each scenario before sharing their opinions.

More than 25 meetings have been held since the process began in December 2016, with additional input coming from an online questionnaire that yielded more than 1,500 responses.

Based on feedback thus far, the consultants said residents’ top suggestions for increasing downtown vibrancy include a greater variety of restaurants, evening entertainment options, microbreweries or wine bars, a movie and/or performing arts theater, more parking, more special events and more gathering spaces.

Another workshop is planned for mid-March. The city is targeting next July for completion of the Downtown Vision project.

For more information, visit and click “Downtown Vision.”

Council appoints new mayor this week

Los Altos City Councilmembers were scheduled to appoint a new mayor at Tuesday’s meeting, after the Town Crier’s press deadline.

Councilman Jean Mordo was next in line to serve a one-year term as mayor.

Tuesday’s meeting was expected to be largely ceremonial, with medals given to the new mayor and to outgoing Mayor Mary Prochnow for her service in 2017.

Mordo served eight years on the Los Altos Hills City Council before moving to Los Altos and waging a successful campaign for Los Altos City Council in 2014.

Planning Commission tackles ‘granny units’

The Los Altos Planning Commission is slated at Thursday’s meeting to discuss proposed updated regulations for accessory dwelling units (ADUs), also called “granny units,” in single-family zone districts.

Among the proposed changes are adjusting the backyard setback requirements from the current 2.5 feet to 5 feet, and limiting ADUs to a maximum of 800 square feet and a height of 12 feet.

The item was continued from the commission’s Nov. 16 meeting after questions arose over how the updated regulations would impact a pending ordinance the city is considering for ADUs.

Thursday’s meeting is scheduled 7 p.m. at Los Altos City Hall, 1 N. San Antonio Road.


– Town Crier Staff Report

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