City Council

Los Altos City Council Agenda — Meeting Mar. 13, 2012

Written by lalahpolitico
Stop Pay Day Loans in Los Altos before they begin

Stop Pay Day Loans in Los Altos before they begin


Los Altos City Council Meeting
City Council Chamber, Los Altos City Hall
One North San Antonio Road, Los Altos, California

Attachments in a large single .pdf file can be downloaded here from
If you prefer the City’s individual .pdf  files go here. Click on the second of two underlined items.


Items 1-6 on the Los Altos City Council Agenda are not discussed  by  council but rather  are just approved by a single vote of council, unless a member of the public or a council member pulls them out of the consent calendar.  Items so pulled are usually discussed AFTER all the discussion items on the agenda. The consent items below could be approved, received, etc. as soon as 7:05 pm.


  1. Minutes of Council Meeting Feb. 28, 2012
  2. One Bay Area Grant (OBAG) ProposalCities want the Housing bar lowered for grants.
    Los Altos City Council will receive the letter from the Cities Association of Santa Clara County addressed to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in Oakland..  The letter requests that award of transportation monies NOT require being in a PDA ( Planned Development Area), or a GOA (Growth Opportunity Area), and NOT required certification for 2007-2014 Housing Elements.  Also NOT to require that cities revise the Circulation Element of their General Plan to  include “Complete Streets.” These are seen as design and reporting “ burdens for local agencies who are doing all they can to provide for sustainable development patterns.”
  3. Recommended Next Steps on Redwood Grovewill be reviewed by a Council ad hoc group.
    Council will approve advice from  (itself) namely from the Council Ad Hoc Redwood Grove Committee. This advice differs somewhat from initial advice of the Parks and Recreaction Committee. The ad hoc committee has injected more Historical Commission concerns. It will only ask City staff to “consider” adding P&R recommendation to the Parks Master Plan. It does ask staff to create a budget item (CIP) for boardwalk, pedestrian and creek bank improvements.  After the Historical Commission weighs in, City staff might create budget items (CIP) pertaining to the Halsey House and the Caretaker House. Council does not want to increase uses of Redwood Grove,  just provide/maintain facilities that are “consistent with its current use.”
    EDITORIAL COMMENT: Council appears to be slowing things down …in this prestigious residential Los Altos Neighborhood.
  4. Downtown Parking Plantowards a RFP to find a consultant costing 100k to 200k.
    Los Altos City Council will approve that staff draft an RFP that would hire a consultant  to develop a Downtown Parking Plan with consideration of financing options for additional parking if needed, such as a parking in-lieu program, assessment district and public-private partnerhsips. The cost of the consultant could range from $120,000 to $275,00. The draft will have to be approved by council in regular meeting later this spring. A budget item could be added in the June FY quarter.
  5. Los Altos Historic Preservation Awardfirst awardee Don MacDonald.
    The City is establishing an annual award for Historic Preservation. It will be awarded to 92 year-old Don MacDonald who was recently Los Altos Town Crier Man of the Year.
    EDITORIAL COMMENT:  Very nice and appropriate, but this needs balancing. Where is the annual award for Civic Innovator of the Year, or Best New Building of the Year?
  6.  First and State Streets/String Lights at the new Safeway– will move forward as planned.
    After considering concerns of James Wing, the City will approve string lights as designed.  The staff report says all the poles and wiring are already installed and paid for.  Editorial Comment: As we recall, there was a letter to the Town Crier where the author s thought the Safeway supply semis would not fit under the string lights.


7. Zoning Moratorium on Payday Businesses – Fishpaw and Casas are asking that the City Attorney be authorized to research banning or at least regulating such businesses. 
 Quashing financial predation is a goal of the Silicon Valley Foundation.  Other cities seem to be banning or regulating such businesses.  It makes sense to make sure there is no incentive for them to move to Los Altos.

8. Council Ad Hoc Committees: Expected Outcomes.  Los Altos City Council will either approve or amend the following Goals for 5 ad hoc committees.

60th Anniversary of Incorporation Planning Committee: Work with a committee of community volunteers to create a series of events during 2012 to celebrate the 60thanniversary of incorporation of the City of Los Altos on December 1, 2012.

Redwood Grove Committee: Review the facility requirements, restrooms and bridge improvements recommended by the Parks and Recreation Commission, and develop and recommend next steps to Council.

Stevens Creek Joint Cities Forum: Work with the Cities of Cupertino, Mountain View and Sunnyvale to support the completion of the Stevens Creek Trail.

Lincoln Park Committee: Negotiate with Santa Clara County the transfer of the title forLincoln Park.

Bus Barn Theater Ad Hoc: Renegotiate the agreement for lease of the Bus Barn Theater.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Residents of the University Ave. neighborhood will be able to breathe a sigh of relief after the title for Lincoln Park is transferred from the County to the City.  Only in the past few months, City Council rezoned the land from single-family residential to Community Facilities (passive facilities with no restrooms or other park investments).  It’ll be nice to know that for decades to come the land will remain a low-use green buffer between their homes and Foothill Expressway, thoughtfully maintained by all us Los Altos taxpapers. How nice of us.

 9. Ad-Hoc Contiguous Retail Committee – This will allow study of using an “Amortization” action to boot out banks, the costume bank from downtown in 3 years or so.  Since 1988 non-retail uses of the street level have been “non-conforming”.  See this post for more info and analysis.

10. City Manager  Goals — This appears to be a totally open ended, first pass discussion.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Public commenters could possibly have impact here.  But it is the last item, so probably few people will bother to show up.  Instead maybe send a letter that could be read into the record by the Mayor Val Carpenter.

RESOURCES: Attachments in a large single pdf file downloaded here from
If you prefer the City’s individual files go here. Click on the second of two underlined items.


About the author


Norma Schroder is an economics & market researcher by trade and ardent independent journalist, photographer and videographer by avocation. Enthralled by the growth of the tech industry over the decades, she became fascinated with the business of local politics only in the past several years.