The Los Gatos Conceptual Development Advisory Committee (CDAC) met on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, to discuss the second phase of the North 40 project.
The virtual meeting, which was open to the public, included Committee members Planning Commissioner Jeffrey Barnett, Planning Commissioner Kathryn Janoff, Council Member Mary Badame and Vice Mayor Maria Ristow; representatives from the North 40 team; and several other Town officials.
Overall, members of the Committee and residents in attendance were pleased with the developer’s progress. They complimented the extensive community outreach process and commitment to soliciting feedback from residents. Several people expressed appreciation for the open space concept and incorporation of agricultural elements that celebrate the Town’s cultural heritage.
Building height restrictions were discussed at length, with Committee member Ristow noting that in hindsight, Phase I could have benefited from more variety in height, which she hopes to see in Phase II. All acknowledged that height restrictions may be reconsidered in exchange for more open space.
While it’s still early in the project to confirm layout or unit size specifics, members of the public and the CDAC expressed their desire for smaller, market-rate affordable units. All three public speakers expressed openness for increased height and density as a potential vehicle to provide more affordable units. Currently, the North 40 Phase II team has proposed a minimum of 100 below market price units, which is more than the requirement, but community members stated their preference for additional ones. It was asked if the developer would be willing to exceed the minimum requirement if the town provided incentives or other support.
The preference for a more mixed-use concept versus a purely residential concept was echoed by many. There was concern whether the amount of additional retail space proposed would be enough to complement the existing retail space created as part of Phase I, and some expressed the need for a mix of uses integrated into buildings.
Concerns over proximity of residential units to the freeway were discussed, but it was acknowledged that placing buildings in this location is preferable to open space.
The North 40 team reaffirmed its commitment to continue community outreach as it gears up to submit its application in the second quarter of 2022.
An audio recording of presentation and discussion is available on the Town’s website.