Notes for Los Altos City Council-October 2017

October 10, 2017

The City Council adopted the ordinance for Density Bonus Regulations and the ordinance for Commercial Transit Zone amendments which had taken up much discussion time in the September city council meetings. In addition, City Council authorized and adopted under the consent calendar, notice of completion of the illuminated crosswalk replacements, the Covington Road bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and the annual pathway rehabilitation project.

The main discussion concerned the lease renewal proposal from Children’s Corner which has leased rooms in the Hillview Community Center since 1981. The current lease is up in September 2018, and Chris Jordan, City Manager, has recommended that the council not agree to the proposed terms for a new lease.

Parents of pre-K children filled the chambers to support the terms for renewal of the contract. Speakers for Children’s Corner discussed its options: negotiate with the city for space, find a new location, or go out of business.

The City Council’s Financial Commission asks both Children’s Corner and the council to consider the exclusive use of public space for the pre-school vs. maximum use of the public land; the risk of long term contract with a private entity; and the problem of transparency in the process of selecting tenants. Also at the September 26 study session before the council meeting, 3000 additional square feet for the new Hillview Community Center and $2 million had been approved. With this information the City Council asked staff to renegotiate with Children’s Corner a lease to include a monetary contribution from Children’s Corner to build the space and the lease to be included as part of a 10-year financial plan discussion.

October 24, 2017

The City Council discussed a citizen’s proposal for amendments to the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance. They requested additional information from staff and the City Attorney before further decision. Item was continued to a future meeting date.

The City Council considered an elevator tower height waiver for the project at 4880 El Camino included in the affordable housing design. Looking at reports from the Planning and Transportation Commission, the problem was disagreement among members about the building heights in the neighborhood and extending the original project height for disability access to the rooftop deck structure open space. The council considered and adopted a waiver allowing elevator height to 16 feet eight inches above the structure’s rooftop.

The Council appointed Council Member Jean Mordo and Council Member Lynette Lee Eng as alternate to the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on South Flow Arrivals to San Francisco International Airport to focus on aircraft noise. They authorized the City Manager to work with neighboring cities to hire a consultant to assist in this effort. Also, Council authorized the City Manager to retain the services of an expert consultant to assist the city in evaluating the situation with aircraft noise related to SFO arrivals.

— Claire Noonan, Observer