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Publication Date: Friday, February 28, 2003

City council briefs City council briefs (February 28, 2003)

House or history?

The city council will hold a public hearing on March 25 to decide whether to allow development on the historical home at 340 Palo Alto Ave.

Last year, the council passed an ordinance that would protect 94 houses in the city that have been considered historically important. Douglas and Robert Byer, the owners of 340 Palo Alto Ave., which is on the list, are the first to ask for exception from the ordinance.

Prior to the passage of the ordinance, the Byer family made plans to demolish the Queen Anne-style house and build a new one that is more accessible to wheelchair-bound Douglas. The Byers are also asking for permission from the city council to take down a heritage tree.

Council gets stood up -- again

Mountain View is home to its own little Vatican: the Army's Shenandoah Square Housing Annex. It's completely contained within the city, but follows its own set of federal rules and regulations.

This has proved frustrating to the city because of its efforts to zone and develop the area consistently. It is now slated for private redevelopment to improve the housing for military personnel and their families.

"This is 16.5 acres in the middle of the city that we have no control over," said Council member Rosemary Stasek. "That is the issue."

The issue will continue to remain unresolved since the negotiation team, the army's Residential Communities Initiative (RCI), was scheduled to appear but was detained in Southern California by bad weather. The RCI representatives had also missed a meeting with the council last month.

Stasek said she plans to lobby congressional representatives in Washington next week on the issue during a conference of the National League of Cities.

-- Candice Shih


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