Recently my family and I paid a visit to Pottery Planet in Los Gatos. We were impressed by the large selection and the friendly staff, so wanted to share our experience. Our landscape designer had recommended it to us and that was a great call.
The Los Gatos Pottery Planet showcases pottery of all kinds, garden art, fountains, pots, Talavera tile pots and art, and statuary. If you are thinking of updating your yard, this is a wonderful place to browse and start to formulate ideas on what would be just the right enhancement.
As soon as we parked, we were given a friendly welcome and an invitation to ask if we needed any help. A couple more times, various employees offered to be of assistance to us. It was the right balance of them being present if needed but also giving us our space to take a look around at our own pace. No pressure, just help!
Also, I should note that we parked right next to some of the Los Gatos Cats. These can be hard to find – but not easy to miss here!
We did park inside, where there were several spaces available. There’s also some street parking available on Winchester.
Checking out Pottery Planet
Near the front of the parcel, which some locals may remember as a nursery before Pottery Planet was here, we found a nice display of bubbler fountains. That’s what I was most interested in checking out, so it was our first stop. I love this cobalt blue one!
Did you know that you can view permits online for Los Gatos properties? Go to the Town’s website and look under the Building Division for the link, or click through this link to get there a little faster. You’ll just need a few things to start your search and the list of permits can be seen on the next screen.
Not every city or town in Silicon Valley has this digitized, though most do now. San Jose’s can be accessed via SJPermits.org. You don’t need to register or provide any information to check out the permits. Property records are part of the public domain.
Why view permits online?
If you are a homeowner, it’s a good idea to check this site to make sure that work you’ve done with permits and finals is reflected there. If you have permits and finals for work and it’s not showing up online, contact the building department to see how you can get the records corrected. Normally the originals would be brought to the department for viewing. A photo or pdf may suffice, though, so please contact the building department directly to see. (A lot of procedures have changed with Covid.)
It’s also wise to make sure that someone else’s work was not inaccurately attributed to your home. A few years back we saw a re-roof ascribed to our house that didn’t belong – it was probably a neighbor with a slightly different house number. One quick call to the town’s building department and it was corrected.
If you are a Los Gatos home buyer or a real estate agent, it’s a helpful tool to view permits online to get a sense of what permitted improvements have been made and when. It is possible that items not on the town’s site are permitted even if not listed, but it would be good to investigate. This is especially true if someone added square footage to the living area and it’s not showing as permitted in the county’s living space records. It could be an insurance liability.
The new site, or revamp of the old one, is now in kind of a gray-blue color (the old was green and yellow).
Los Gatos homes: class and land use
What do you need to know before buying a home in Los Gatos?
If you are house-hunting and find yourself looking at new or recently developed homes in the Bay Area, you may have seen properties advertised to have a “California Room,” but what exactly is a California room?
What is a California Room?
Sometimes when a house has beautiful views, large sunny windows, and plenty of access to outdoor spaces we might promote it as “bringing the outdoors in.” With the popular trend of California Rooms, however, Bay Area new homes are bringing the indoors outside!
Outdoor living features are as old as the art of architecture itself. The California room is very similar to the classical loggia. It is a living and entertaining space open to the outdoors on at least one side and always covered by a roof. More protected than a lanai, not fully enclosed like a sunroom, and more multi-purpose than a patio, the California room is a luxury space that can be described as a hybrid between a porch and a room.
The Los Gatos Library will host an online class, Landscaping for Wildfire Protection
Coming up Thursday, September 24th from 6-7pm Pacific.
Does your garden fight fires? With fire season growing longer and fiercer each year with devastating losses, you might be wondering what you can do to lower risks and protect your property against wildfires. Especially if you live near one of the Bay Area’s beautiful greenspaces! Join the Los Gatos Library with speaker Barbara Hunt, UC Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County, to learn about how wildfires spread and how to landscape to protect your home, from hardscapes to fire-resistant plants. This is a free lecture aimed at California homeowners but open to all.
For more information and the Zoom link, please view the event page.
Join the event on Facebook and set a reminder.
Want to learn more about fire in Los Gatos? Check out some of my other posts on this topic:
Los Gatos Fire Risk
Wildfire Evacuation Route Signs Being Installed (2016)
Fighting Fire With … Wine
A History of Los Gatos Fires and the Los Gatos Fire Department
The lower strap is required to be at least 4 inches away from the controls. This is an example of one that is improperly done as the controls are closer than 4″.
The state of California has water heater bracing requirements for both gas and electric water heaters, but so do individual cities and towns. Some of those municipalities have rules that go beyond what is required by the state. (Permits and finals are required everywhere, by the way.)
Recently I found the requirements for the town of Los Gatos, and a couple of them surprised me, so I’m sharing the link here in case I’m not the only one caught a little off guard by it:
TOWN OF LOS GATOS WATER HEATER BRACING REQUIREMENTS (link to the town’s page)
San Jose’s requirements can be found here (for comparison and because they are pretty thorough by comparison to ours):
City of San Jose requirements for water heater installation (strapping, bracing, anchoring, blocking, etc.)
One concept that seems to differ between Los Gatos and San Jose has to do with the pressure release valve.
Los Gatos requirements for the pressure release valve state:
“Pressure relieve valve shall terminate to the exterior, 6 in. to 24 in. above grade with a nothread fitting pointing downward. Minimum ¼ in. per foot downward slope shall be maintained at pressure relief drain line.”
San Jose requirements for the pressure release valve:
There is a full page, and 12 numbered requirements, for the temperature & pressure relief value (T & P). Item 6 conveys that if the water heater is in a garage, the T & P does not have to drain to the exterior: “When a water heater is located in a garage, the T&P drainpipe may terminate in the garage. The piping must extend from the valve to within 12 inches but not less than 6
inches above the floor and point downward.”
Los Gatos has no such exemption for water heaters located in the garage!
BOTTOM LINE: if you are replacing your Los Gatos water heater, you might want to double check the town’s requirements to be sure that yours will be in line with the requirements of the town. There are a lot of odd water heater strapping cases around Santa Clara County, don’t let your home be one of them!