Civic center project needs new EIR
We would like to add two points to the Hillview Community Center articles by Alicia Castro (Aug. 19 and 26).
1. Measure A calls for building three pools in a multipool swim complex for a community that does not prioritize even one pool.
In the 2012 Godbe Research Survey of Importance of Local Issues, “Building a community pool facility” came last out of 10 choices and was ranked as “Not at all important.” A 2007 Community Survey showed that pools were again dead last in prioritized city services.
Why is the Los Altos City Council arbitrarily adding pools into city recreational facility decisions and asking us to pay for them? Because a highly vocal minority group, focused on team rentals and training (not recreational use), want residents to believe that pools are demanded and self-supporting.
2. The plan’s Environmental Impact Report has been recycled from the defunct 2009-2010 Master Civic Plan. The current plan is significantly different. It relocates an expanded 55,600-square-foot, conference-sized community center and a multipool swim complex to the residential side of the city parcel (closer to neighbors). It adds an additional entrance/exit, significantly impacting traffic, noise, safety and aesthetics. It also has undetermined impacts from underground parking.
A new EIR is required and has not been prepared. Accordingly, the neighborhoods surrounding Hillview Avenue do not have a good understanding of how their concerns with traffic, lighting and noise impacts will be addressed and mitigated. Why is this being completely ignored?
Maria and Bill Lonergan
TC makes point about nukes
In his “Editor’s Notebook” (“An ominous anniversary,” Aug. 19), Bruce Barton somberly lists important, and generally ignored, facts of the continuing danger inherent in a world with 15,000 nuclear weapons, mainly in the U.S. and Russia.
The horrors of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the anniversaries remembered, but only as a fact of history. Barton questioned if we are smart enough never to use them again. “By virtue of having them (nuclear weapons), you increase the risk of being killed by them.”
I wholeheartedly agree. We must urge our leaders to make the reduction – and eventual elimination – of nuclear weapons worldwide a priority.
The fact that this article was written by a small, affluent and peaceful town’s newspaper editor is commendable. Thank you, Town Crier.
Los Altos Voices for Peace
City has bigger fish to fry than hotel’s hours
Come on, ladies and gentlemen: Are the hours for serving food and drink at the Enchanté Boutique Hotel the most pressing and important thing facing Los Altos?
Owner Abigail Ahrens requested certain hours for serving the public food and drink. The Planning Commission approved the concept and extended the number of hours. Big deal. This is a good idea.
Should problems such as parking arise, then it could be revisited. But until that happens, mellow out. Los Altos is supposed to be a “charming village,” or so you all say. Let’s not look for trouble/problems on such a trivial matter. Surely there are more important things to spend your time on – even if it is just enjoying our town. My advice to you all is – chill.
Bus-only lane would cripple El Camino
On the Aug. 25 agenda of the Los Altos City Council, there was a proposal to join other cities in supporting a comprehensive re-evaluation of transportation plans for the county.
The proposal comes in response to a request from a bureaucracy called the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) for any projects cities might wish to be included in the VTA’s plan for another countywide sales-tax increase measure in 2016.
Ultimately, the cities and citizenry should oppose any future VTA tax measure that does not outlaw harmful projects – including the VTA’s plan to seize a lane (in each direction) on El Camino Real for its rapid transit buses only.
Reserving a lane for one bus at most every 10 minutes (3 miles apart) is a waste of space that would cripple El Camino as a transportation corridor. Even getting across El Camino would be greatly delayed.