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Beyond Text bookstore

Beyond Text bookstore

The Beyond Text bookstore has opened in downtown Los Gatos!  This newly launched, independent bookstore is very bright and wonderfully laid out. If you haven’t been, plan to visit it soon, you will be delighted that you did!

Exterior of Beyond Text bookstore on North Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos

 

Beyond Text has a creative, welcoming feel from the moment you step inside. It reaches out to all ages, with children’s books being impossible to miss. The books themselves include a wide variety with classics, beautifully illustrated pieces, and new releases included among the offerings.

There’s tons of natural light, but also cozy (and still bright) nooks for reading and exploring. The books and other merchandise are creatively presented.

 

Book nook at Beyond Text

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Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series Collage Summer 2023

Today’s heatwave is a reminder that Summer 2024 is just around the corner, and Los Gatos is gearing up for a season of music to remember! The last couple of years have transformed Los Gatos’ free music scene, with some favorites returning and new events to look forward to, while others have taken their last bow.

Some of our old favorites, like Jazz on the Plazz and Music in the Park, are back, with performances from long-time favorites and some new performances taking the stage. Knowing that you are as excited about these as I am, I have compiled a calendar of free outdoor music events for us all! (Not all artists and schedules have been announced, so please check the official event pages for the latest news).

Below please find a compilation of the three different Los Gatos free musical concert series and a few one-day festivals. As always, the information below is believed to be reliable, but as with any concert or outdoors event it is subject to change, so double check the website (and the weather) prior to going and always read the rules, especially if you plan to picnic. Hope to see you there!

Note: It’s still early in the season, so not all events have their schedules and lineups published. We will update this list later in the season, but be sure to check each event’s website and social media for the latest information!

2024 Summer Concert Series: Free Music and Fun in Los Gatos

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Wedgewood-Rinconada neighborhood

Wedgewood-Rinconada neighborhood

The Wedgewood-Rinconada neighborhood in west Los Gatos offers a very pretty approach along a gorgeous golf course. If you aren’t familiar with this part of town, you’ll want to get to know it!

 

Wedgewood-Rinconada neighborhood view - La Rinconada Country Club greens and golfers as seen from Wedgewood

 

Where is the Wedgewood-Rinconada neighborhood?

 

Wedgewood-Rinconada neighborhood map with notes - map by Mary Pope-Handy and Clair Handy * Click on image for larger view

 

This neighborhood is more or less a triangle or wedge shape. It skirts along the La Rinconada Country Club and its gorgeous greens on the south, Highway 85 (as well as the Union Pacific Trail, the train tracks, and high voltage power line easement) on the north,  and the Rio Rinconada neighborhood to the west. (There’s a jagged piece of land between Rio Rinconada and this area which belongs in part to the town and in part to the water district. It is for storm water or drainage. It is not the town’s border.)

The best known part of this neighborhood is Wedgewood Manor, a large condo complex off of Lora Drive.

The streets included are Wedgewood Avenue (most of it), Browns Lane (private), La Rinconada Drive, Mulberry Drive, and Lora Drive.

What is the neighborhood like?

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This community is entirely residential except for one small church, the St. Basil the Great Byzantine Catholic Church (an eastern rite Catholic church).
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Housing Element

Housing Element

Housing Element Update Community MeetingUPDATE on May 9th: today I received the following from the Planning Dept in an email that went out to their mailing list I’ve put into italics):

Hello,

On May 3, 2024, the Town received a letter from HCD stating that the Town’s Draft Revised Housing Element (May 2024), as submitted to HCD on March 18, 2024, along with the specific technical modifications directed by HCD and submitted on April 26, 2024, meet the statutory requirements of State Housing Element Law (See Attachment).

As required by AB 215, the Draft Revised Housing Element is being made available to the public for a seven-day review period prior to the anticipated formal submittal of an adopted Housing Element to HCD in June.

The Draft Revised Housing Element (May 2024) is available to the public for a seven-day review period prior to HCD re-submittal.  The seven-day public review period runs until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. 

The following items can be viewed on the Town’s Housing Element Update website at: https://www.losgatosca.gov/1735/General-Plan—Housing-Element

  • Draft Revised 2023-2031 Housing Element (May 2024) – Clean Copy
  • Draft Revised 2023-2031 Housing Element (May 2024) – Track Changes Copy*

*Please note track changes showing the specific technical modifications directed by HCD are highlighted in gray and are located on pages 10-62, 10-63, and D-44

Written comments (including name, affiliation, telephone number, and contact information) can be submitted through Wednesday, May 15, 2024, by 5:00 p.m., by email to HEUpdate@losgatosca.gov or by mail to:

Town of Los Gatos
Community Development Department
110 E. Main Street
Los Gatos, CA 95030

On May 22, 2024, the Planning Commission will consider the Draft Revised Housing Element and will make a recommendation to the Town Council.  On June 4, 2024, the Town Council will consider the Planning Commission’s recommendation and take action on the Draft Revised Housing Element.  Once adopted by Town Council, the Housing Element will then be submitted to HCD.

 

 

 

Good news to report on the Los Gatos Housing Element: on May 3rd, our town got preliminary approval from the state for the Housing Element Plan. This has been a very long time in coming!

Housing Element update from the town

Per per the town’s website:

On May 3, 2024, the Town received a letter from HCD stating that the Town’s Draft Revised Housing Element (March 2024), as submitted to HCD on March 18, 2024, along with the specific technical modifications directed by HCD and submitted on April 26, 2024, meet the statutory requirements of State Housing Element Law.

If this is the first you’ve heard of the Housing Element in Los Gatos, this phrase refers to our “strategic plan for housing the Town’s present and future residents,”

The state requires us to prepare for both the current and future housing needs and the plan must be updated every 8 years.

Once again, there’s a 7 day period of time for the public to weigh in (the quote below is from the same link above).

As required by AB 215, the preliminary review revisions to the Draft Revised Housing Element will be made available to the public for a seven-day review period prior to a formal resubmittal to HCD.  The seven-day public review period will run concurrently with the public noticing for the Planning Commission’s consideration of the Housing Element.

San Jose Spotlight shared that:

The plan identifies Los Gatos Boulevard, Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, Oka Lane and Burton Road as future development sites for housing. The housing element must still go through final Los Gatos Town Council approval before heading back to the state for certification.

Los Gatos has some unique challenges since much of our town’s land is in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, and except for the addition of ADUs, construction appears to be discouraged by CalFire in those areas. Even parts of town not in that precise zone are still in higher fire risk areas. It will be interesting to see how this is factored in to the long range real estate planning for our area. (I’m concerned about safety above all.)

To get more details, please click through the two links above.

 

Related reading

Los Gatos neighborhoods – links to articles for MANY parts of town, posts on this site

Updated fire zone map (this site)

The Monte Sereno real estate market

The Monte Sereno real estate market

Monte Sereno Stained Glass Click Here
The City of Monte Sereno is a popular community bordering Los Gatos, Saratoga, and the Santa Cruz mountains. It’s also quite small, with just about 3,500 residents, so tracking the real estate market trends for the area can be tricky.

Info at a glance (details further below):

  • This city is currently in a seller’s market with severely low inventory, just 3 available homes at the end of April, according to the RE Report (linked below).
  • The sales to list price ratio dropped to 102.1%, falling -9.1% from the month prior, but up +2.5% year-over-year.
  • As of today, May 8, 2024, the MLS shows that there are 14 available Monte Sereno homes for sale (of those, 3 are Member’s Only: Show and 6 are Member’s Only: No Show), 2 pending sales, 0 contingent sales, and 1 closed sale so far this month in Monte Sereno.

The number of houses sold in any given month will always be extremely small making the data tend to jump around. Checking the Los Gatos market will also help, but the best pulse on the market will come from identifying particular sales in particular neighborhoods to track relevant micro markets.

Houses make up most of Monte Sereno – there are no commercial buildings, just a post office, city hall, some churches or religious grounds, and an elementary school. There are also extremely few residential properties that are not detached single family homes. We don’t track the condo or townhomes in this area as we do in other communities because there just wouldn’t be enough (if any) data for it!

First up for the market analysis is the Altos Research weekly profile for Monte Sereno (uses list prices, not sales). This is updated automatically, so feel free to check this article weekly to see what’s happening now with list prices.

 

 

 

Below is the Monte Sereno Real Estate Report (click to view the complete Real Estate Report).

Trends at a Glance from the RE Report:

 

The number of home sales is very small in Monte Sereno. Even when there are sales, one or two outstanding properties could cause major waves in the data, so take this summary with a grain of salt.

April: 4 Sales

Trends At a Glance Apr 2024 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $5,150,000 (+13.2%) $4,550,000 $2,905,000 (+77.3%)
Average Price $6,162,500 (+35.4%) $4,550,000 $3,505,000 (+75.8%)
No. of Sales (+100.0%) 2 (-33.3%)
Pending (0.0%) 3 (N/A)
Active (-40.0%) 5 (-50.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 102.1% (-9.1%) 112.3% 99.6% (+2.5%)
Days on Market 12 (-11.5%) 13 24 (-51.7%)
Days of Inventory 22 (-71.0%) 75 29 (-25.0%)

 

While the lack of sales and listings can make the data in these charts swing wildly, the overall chart shows an active spring market that’s moving a little slower in this high-end community. When inventory and sales are this low it’s crucial to track the neighboring Los Gatos market as well, to gain additional insight.

 

What does it cost to live in Monte Sereno? With an average sale price of roughly $4 – $5 million, you may wonder if anything sells that’s not in the stratosphere – can you buy an entry-level Silicon Valley home in Monte Sereno? The short answer is this: it’s not easy to find anything for under $2.5 million in Monte Sereno. Even a “fixer” often goes well above that. It can happen, although it’s rare, and the home will certainly be priced that way for a reason.

We also keep track of this market over at the Valley of Heart’s Delight blog, in addition to many other communities around Silicon Valley.

Other pricing consideration: what about schools?

Something else to be aware of is that most Monte Sereno houses are in the Los Gatos Union School District, but a small pocket of properties lies within the Campbell School District. Those with Campbell schools usually sell for a little less. Additionally, most of this city is within the 95030 zip code, but again, there’s a small pocket which is in the 95032 area.

Next, what kind of home is available to purchase in Monte Sereno now?

Click here to view Monte Sereno Homes for Sale

 

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See all Monte Sereno, CA Homes for Sale & Recently Sold.
(all data current as of 5/26/2024)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.