For the past year the City of Los Altos has been studying various ideas to improve the level of activity and vibrancy in the downtown area.

The City’s consultant team recently released an economic analysis and 4 possible scenarios to transform the downtown, gradually, over the next 10-20 years. Each scenario reflects a different level of vibrancy from very little change in Scenario 1 to the most change in Scenario 4. The scenarios also include different approaches to connect the downtown to the Civic Center and Lincoln Park. At a recent public meeting, the consultant team explained that none of the scenarios are exclusive and they want the community to pick and choose among features and land uses they would most like to see in the final plan.

The scenarios were developed recognizing the transition of retail to on-line shopping and the changing focus of American downtowns. Today, downtowns are less about shopping and more about recreation, dining, events and community gathering. These trends are likely to continue into the future.

From the League perspective it is important to note that some of the scenarios call for workforce/affordable housing on City-owned parking lots, which the League has long supported. As the City process progresses, the League will be reviewing the scenarios from the perspective of its positions on housing, comprehensive planning, transportation, environmental sustainability and healthy schools and communities.

Information about the various scenarios is on the City website along with background materials. The City will be posting an on-line community survey to see what possible features and ideas resonate with residents. It will be important for all Los Altos League members to participate and encourage their friends and neighbors to do the same.

And finally, it is important to remember that this exercise is not really about us, but rather about creating a healthy future for the City and its future generations.

Below is a link to the city website where you can review the scenarios and background materials.

Here is a link to the survey on the subject. You do not have to be a Los Altos resident to take it.