Letters to the Editor

Los Altos: The place development goes to die

I was incredibly disappointed to learn that Los Altos Community Investments has decided not to go forward with the First Street Green development. This project would have been transformative for downtown Los Altos, and I’m equally frustrated and appalled by how hard Los Altos made it for LACI to gift us a park.

Los Altos has earned itself a reputation as the place development goes to die.

On election night last year, I was troubled to learn that the city council changed the zoning for downtown to limit all development to 30 feet from the previous 45 feet. Councilmembers then acknowledged that the zoning change was intended to be in place of a moratorium on the downtown area, so any shock now as to why development has been made more difficult in the last year is simply revisionist history.

Simultaneously, moratoriums on El Camino Real and in Loyola Corners have also paralyzed development. The city council recently put in place code changes affecting Loyola Corners, which several councilmembers acknowledged on the record would ensure little to no development.

It’s a pattern and practice that has been encouraged throughout our town by a vocal minority of NIMBY neighbors. It can’t be tolerated by those of us who imagine a more dynamic and vibrant town. I’d love to work with others to break this cycle. The next election cannot come soon enough.

Elie Alcheck

Los Altos resident and Loyola Corners property owner

Los Altos Library setup inspires ‘total satisfaction’

In response to the letter “Reasons new library should move downtown” (Oct. 4), I must say I find the current library location and facility totally meeting our family’s needs.

The online reservation, notification and speedy checkout systems are superb. When I want to go read in the library, I have almost always been able to find a comfy chair. Wi-Fi works adequately well. And the multipurpose room seems to be well utilized.

So I see no compelling need to move or change the library. I’m sure there are additional amenities that I might enjoy if I were better informed, but I want to voice my total satisfaction with the current setup.

Barry Smith Los Altos Hills

LAHS alum takes issue with ‘taking a knee’

As a former resident and alumnus of Los Altos High School, I am greatly appreciative of such good fortune, more so due to the fact that I have lived for the past 40-some years in one of the most impoverished rural counties in our state.

My major concern over the photo and story that ran in the Town Crier about a few Los Altos High football players using the national anthem as a vehicle to express their disappointment over perceived American shortcomings has to do with the referenced coaches and school staff (“Los Altos High players take a knee,” Oct. 4).

While sympathy for the athletes is well and good, I fervently hope that it was accompanied with an explanation for the proper perspective.

Quite simply, the national anthem is an ode aimed at our aspirations, not our perfection. I believe my Los Altos High principal, Dushan “Dude” Angius, and head coach, Tom Burt, would have articulately conveyed that concept to the protesting athletes, and it would have inspired, not offended them.

I believe they also would have made absolutely clear that such displays would no longer be tolerated during the national anthem. The first time might have been free.

Ric Costales

Los Altos High Class of 1968

Fort Jones

Councilman clarifies rhetorical quote

I was incorrectly quoted in the Oct. 11 Town Crier as saying, at a meeting of the Los Altos Community Coalition Oct. 6, that I was in favor of 80-foot-high buildings on El Camino Real (“Meeting focuses on demand for affordable homes in Los Altos area.”)

My question was rhetorical. The speaker was a strong advocate of affordable housing. I asked the question this way:

“As an elected official representing Los Altos residents, am I not under the obligation to listen to what residents want?” The speaker retorted that it is my duty to support what I think is right. I said, “Yes, but if, for example, I am in favor of 80-foot buildings and my constituents are not, would I not be under the obligation to either convince them, or if this fails, should I not oppose such building heights?”

For the record, I am not in favor of 80-foot-high buildings in the central thoroughfare zone, but if the state forces us to do so, I would like to maximize affordable units as opposed to luxury condos.

Jean Mordo

Los Altos City Councilman

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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