Los Altos City Council members face a packed agenda at next Tuesday’s (Nov. 30) meeting, where issues ranging from a downtown theater to the fate of downtown parklets and an unusual reconsideration of a just-approved Packard Foundation application await their discussion.

Also on tap: a draft of objective standards for single-family homes in the wake of the passage of controversial State Senate Bill 9. The bill allows subdivision of single-family lots, allowing up to four units with ministerial approvals.

On Tuesday, the council will consider a memorandum of understanding between the city and Los Altos Stage Company that would “hold” downtown parking plaza space for a potential theater in the years ahead.

Mayor Neysa Fligor proposed the idea as a way to help the New Theater Working Group attract donor interest. Fligor emphasized that the move did not include a financial commitment from the city, but opponents feared a theater could be a financial drain on the budget. In the wake of projected city budget constraints, one speaker at the Nov. 9 council meeting referred to the theater proposal as “a right idea – it’s just the wrong time.”

Theater supporters, however, touted the idea as a boon for downtown social and economic vitality.

The council also is set to discuss the future of the parklets, which have provided additional downtown restaurant seating in the wake of indoor COVID-induced restrictions. The council is scheduled to consider a permanent program, one that could involve fees. Due to pandemic hardships, restaurants have been using the street space free of charge.

“Prior to the pandemic, Los Altos had an approved parklet ordinance,” City Manager Gabriel Engeland said. “During the pandemic, the regulations on the current ordinance were changed to make it easier for businesses to place a parklet and comply with the program. The request on (Tuesday) is to adopt a new permanent ordinance based on what we learned from the first program and the one that is in place now.”

Elsewhere on the agenda, the Packard Foundation design review application for its downtown Los Altos headquarters, approved by the council at its Oct. 26 meeting, is back before the council after Councilmember Jonathan Weinberg, part of a 3-2 vote in favor, asked for the item to be reconsidered. He based his request on his belief that information regarding protected trees to be removed under an application for a parking lot expansion at 374 Second St. “did not find their way into the staff report and, therefore, into the record.”

Weinberg joined Vice Mayor Anita Enander and Councilmember Lynette Lee Eng, both of whom opposed the initial application, in voting to agendize the item for Tuesday’s meeting.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the council will review draft objective standards developed in the wake of SB 9’s passage. The law is set to take effect Jan. 1.

A subcommittee involving two members of the city’s Design Review Commission aided city staff in drafting the standards, which include setbacks and building sizes, among other elements.

“Since more than 75% of Los Altos is zoned for single-family residential use, this will have an immediate impact on the review of design review applications by the Community Development Department,” according to a city staff report. “After adoption of the immediate standards by the city council, a more detailed set of regulations can be prepared in 2022 to enhance the criteria Los Altos uses to review single-family homes.”

The council meeting is set for a 7 p.m. start, and is being held virtually.

To access the meeting, visit the city’s website at losaltosca.gov.