Bullis Charter School 10th Site Solution
…or Just Trustee Theatre?
UPDATE June 28, 2016: Closed session outcome –The LASD Board took no action. Read a summary of the public comments here.
Tonite June 27, the Los Altos School District Board may take action to pursue 4 acres at 5150 El Camino for a 4-story school building plan for North of El Camino or perhaps for a Bullis Charter School 10th site. Our analysis of the situation is here – ” A plan or procrastination?.
The only opportunity for public comment is at 6pm — before the Trustees go into a closed session to craft a term-sheet.
If they agree in closed session, they will announce that action at 7pm, the scheduled beginning of the open session. The “term-sheet” may involve non-refundable earnest money — millions of dollars is rumored — when the contingency period uncovers its myriad problems.
Recommended Reading – Cheaper Site Alternatives
Lalahpolitico: Smart, creative people in the community continue to come up with much cheaper alternatives to the purchase of questionable expensive sites.
1) See this serious page about the design of Cupertino’s Montclaire School as an approach to easily and cheaply siting two one-story schools on the 16 acres Covington site or the 11 acre Santa Rita site, while leaving adequate room for unshared outdoor space. Author David Roode.
2) See this “tongue in cheek” page about two perfect places to site a school in Los Altos Hills. Trigger warning: eminent domain is involved! Author: Rob Fagen.
Los Altos City Council – Keeping 45 feet on First?
The design of condos at 4880 El Camino could set a precedent for extra height on First Street beyond 45 feet as is the limit now. At the 7 pm meeting, Council will consider approving plans for 4480 El Camino, a 5-story, 62 foot, 21 unit condominium building located just down from Whole Foods, almost at the corner of Jordan. The developer is slated to get “incentives” for putting in a low income BMR affordable unit, in addition to two moderate income BMR units. Units apparently have 11 foot ceilings.
People in the community are concerned that the specific state law that permits this kind of height incentive on El Camino could also be applied to First Street… 45 feet could become 55 feet or more. A comment from Councilmember Megan Satterlee seems to suggest, yes that is the case.
People in the community are also concerned for resident safety in the event of a fire. The closest county fire trucks with long ladders are in Cupertino.
Diagram 1: Side view of 4880 El Camino Plan
Lalahpolitico: The Downtown Buildings Committee recommendation for a 35 foot height limit on First Street is starting to make sense to me. If this “BMR incentives” law applies to First Street, with a lower 35 foot limit, at least we will be keeping the final height at ~45 feet to not further upset that portion of the community who dislike tall buildings. Prior Lalah analysis of the Downtown Building Committee is here and here.