A resource for folks living in or moving to Los Gatos, by Mary Pope-Handy

Land Use

What's happening with the North 40 in Los Gatos?

On Tuesday evening, the Los Gatos Town Council took a look at the North 40 development proposal. Needless to say, with this being the last large open space in town, what to do next is controversial. A couple of developers have ideas on what should be there – but the townsfolk aren’t really in accord. There are concerns about traffic, over crowding at schools which are already struggling, plus the concern about the simple fact of disappearing open space.

At stake Tuesday night was the Environmental Impact Report, which had to be approved for the project to move ahead.

As the EIR was not well supported, a motion was made to delay the decision while more information was gathered and that motion passed 3-2. Read more on the San Jose Mercury News website (at least for now – the articles do not stay up forever).

http://www.mercurynews.com/los-gatos/ci_26555516/los-gatos-town-council-votes-postpone-certification-eir

Have you voted on your preferences for the North 40 yet?

June 30, 2011

Just a couple more days to do this and it only takes about two minutes – if you haven’t provided your feedback yet, the town wants to hear from you!  What type of architectural style would be most appropriate in the “North 40”?  If you’re new here, this is the last, large open space in Los Gatos.  It is nearly 40 acres and is bounded by Los Gatos Boulevard, Lark Avenue, Highway 17 and Highway 85.  Please be heard – how should look when it’s developed over the next few years?

If you’re a resident of Los Gatos, please take a few moments to answer the 33 question survey on your preferences for the North 40.  The survey closes in early July, so don’t wait!

http://www.losgatosca.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=666

Dittos Lane, Los Gatos: Best Little Whorehouse That Never Opened – Soon to be Low Income Housing?

February 02, 2011

Old sign for 20 Dittos Lane "Alpine Chalet" along Main Street (near the El Camino Real Bell) in Los GatosLand use is always a big deal in Los Gatos. Right now, a controversy at the forefront is what to do with 20 Dittos Lane. The town wants to put 32 units, low income housing, on a site that is presently zoned for 5 single family homes (previously rejected was an application to put 6 homes there). Public review and comment will happen on February 4, 2011, at 5pm (see link above).

Neighbors don’t seem to object to the low income angle (it’s well understood that we need more affordable housing) but the density is at issue. The “lane” is no wider than a driveway in most areas, so it’s questionable how all these people will come and go from the proposed one and two bedroom apartments.

Where is Dittos Lane?

Dittos Lane is tucked away between the Penthouse Apartments complex and the Los Gatos Creek and Highway 17 off of Main Street (see map of Dittos Lane here). If you climb up College Avenue, close to Main, you’d be looking down on Dittos Lane. Easy to miss, the entrance to it looks just like a driveway. It is a lush but very noisy location.

Pillar near entrance to Dittos Lane in Los Gatos.  Clearly it was once an elegant spot!The 1.5 acre property was, until recently, the setting of a very run down old building that seems to have been originally intended as a brothel. I had heard this rumor (actually had been told it had functioned as a “house of ill repute”) but while checking my facts I found that Alastair Dallas stated in his book, “Los Gatos Observed” that Ed Ditto sold the property to a San Francisco group which built a lovely estate and yard and planned to make it into a brothel (page 60 – find the book affordably priced at our local Border’s). However, the idea became known and apparently that derailed the business venture. (That said, there were other such operations in town, as you you might imagine.)

Back in June I snapped a few pics, which I’ll share here today. The dilapidated structure was bulldozed maybe a week or two later.

The house at 20 Dittos Lane, Los Gatos, which has since been demolished.

The little road which is Dittos Lane was a little bit creepy the day we drove back there. Part of the ambiance was due to the decay of the place generally. The weeds were enormous, they had covered over some of the nicer elements of the place. A dog was loose. “No Trespassing” signs were littered about – both stuck to the stop sign and strewn about the ground. It was far from inviting. (You can view an image of the site post-demolition – with orange netting for proposed building location – on the Inside Los Gatos site.)

Stop sign on Dittos Lane, Los Gatos.  Not welcoming!Redevelopment? It’s overdue, I’m afraid. What must have been a grand and glorious site in its day had been allowed to decay and become a blight.

Low income housing seems like a great idea. Having peered down the road, though, I don’t see putting 32 units of any kind along this lane, though. The street’s not wide enough, from what I saw, and the land’s just not that big.

Let’s see what happens on Thursday.

 

UPDATE:

On March 9th, the town planners rejected the apartment complex proposed for Dittos Lane after hearing from many neighbors, residents and busienss owners. It seems virtually unanimous that Los Gatans want affordable housing, but the density is the #1 issue. Apparently, too, the plan was in conflict with several points of the Los Gatos General Plan.

What’s next? On April 4th it will go to the Los Gatos Town Council, albeit without the backing of the planning commission.

What Will Happen to the Land near Office Depot?

June 18, 2007What Will Happen to the Land near Office Depot?

Date: Jun. 18, 2007
Tags: None


The area near Los Gatos Boulevard and Lark Avenues in Los Gatos is full of potential and promise. On one corner, there lies a large (40 acre) orchard – the last large orchard in Los Gatos, actually. (Info on that parcel will be the material for tomorrow’s blog entry. Stay tuned!)  Kitty corner from that there’s a big retail area that was once a Flames restaurant and later an auto dealership (until an explosion and fire changed the course of history).

Homes line the back wall of this property and homeowners have not been happy about most of the proposals on how to develop the land, which now resembles an abandoned parking lot.

But recently, some headway was made here. The Mercury News reported that a large retail project has now been approved by the Los Gatos Town Council. Third time was a charm!

What’s on the way? A retail center and restaurant. And no, not everyone is happy.

Mary Pope-Handy

Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805

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