It’s an election year, and the Town Council Candidate Forum is scheduled!
This will be a virtual, video meeting. Audience members will have audio access only, and not be able to speak or be on screen. Only the candidates and moderator will be onscreen.
Los Gatos Town Council Candidate Forum date and time
Mark your calendars for Thursday, October 6, 7:00-8:30 P.M.
The event is hosted by the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce, and it will have the registration link available by September 15th. You must register to be able to attend.
If you want a say in shaping the blueprint of Los Gatos’ future, now is your opportunity to comment on the Housing Element.
If you’re reading this article, you probably live or work in Los Gatos and have a real interest in it’s future. Like much of California, Los Gatos has been in a housing shortage for decades. The Housing Element will determine how to meet the needs of the Town’s future, and engagement from locals will help direct how it meets the needs of the community.
Every 8 years the state requires each municipality to create a plan for future development, especially housing development, to meet the needs of current and future populations (read about it on the Town’s page on the General Plan). Back in March we shared information about one of the first community meetings on the Town of Los Gatos Housing element. As of late August 2022, the first draft has been published and is in the public review and commentary period.
To view the plan draft, visit EngageLosGatosHousing.com/. There you can find a copy of the plan as well as a timeline, scheduled public events, sign up for email updates, and even submit commentary on some of the selected sites. Read to the end of this article for a quick list of ways to engage, including in-person and virtual opportunities to ask Town staff questions about the plan.
Affordable Housing In Los Gatos
For this planning cycle, it has been determined that Los Gatos needs to increase housing by 1,993 units. Nearly 58% of that has been allocated to moderate and above moderate income housing and the other 42% is allocated lower income household. We need all of those homes!
Have you heard of the Housing Element in Los Gatos? That phrase refers to our “strategic plan for housing the Town’s present and future residents,” per the town’s website. (LOTS of info on that page also.)
The state requires us to prepare for both the current and future housing needs and the plan must be updated every 8 years.
This morning I was emailed about the community meeting which will take place at the end of the month, and asked to help spread the word. Most of us would like a say in what happens in our neighborhoods, so I’m very happy to communicate the meeting’s info to you. Here’s what was shared with me:
The Town of Los Gatos is updating the Housing Element and we are reaching out to interested members of the public to spread the word regarding an upcoming Housing Element Update Community Meeting. This meeting will focus on the Site Selection process and assisting the Town in choosing where to focus future housing opportunities. The Town’s Housing Element is a strategic plan for housing the Town’s present and future residents. This meeting will take place via teleconference (Zoom) on Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
Webinar ID: 893 4924 4451
We ask that you share this upcoming community meeting with your colleagues, neighbors, friends, and family. If individuals are unable to attend the community meeting, a recording will be available at https://EngageLosGatosHousing.com/. We look forward to your participation and input.
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.
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).
Election Day is less than two weeks away, and in addition to the presidential election, there are a number of other candidates and issues on the ballot. Please remember to vote!
This year voting is being done a little differently here in California. Back in 2019, Santa Clara County became the 10th county in California to adopt the Voter’s Choice Act, adopting practices to make voting in elections more convenient, expedient, and accessible. Ballots and booklets on the propositions were mailed out to every registered voter early this month. All voters have the option to vote in-person or remotely by mail or official Ballot Drop Box. The Act also replaces designated Polling Places, assigned by address, with universal Vote Centers, where any Santa Clara County registered voter can vote.
Due to the pandemic, residents have been encouraged to vote early and vote by mail to reduce crowds at Vote Centers. In-person voting remains available throughout the county, but locations have been reduced for the upcoming election. If you aren’t sure where to go, or have more questions about voting, please check the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters website or phone them at 408-299-8683.
There are two types of locations: drop off only Ballot Drop Boxes, and Voting Centers where you can either drop-off your mailed ballot or fill one out in-person.
Ballot Drop Box locations in and near Los Gatos
Ballot Drop Boxes are open 24 hours a day between October 5th and November 2nd, and on Election Day, November 3rd, from midnight to 8pm when polls close. You can also find your nearest Ballot Drop Box location using the County Registrar of Voters search by address using the tab on the left titled “Find Ballot Drop Off” or by checking the complete list of locations. All of the boxes listed below are outdoor sites.
Registered voters in California will begin to receive ballots in the mail on October 5th – that’s less than 2 weeks away! So let’s have a look at what’s going on in the local, Town of Los Gatos this voting season.
The Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce wants to make sure your voice is heard. Their campaign, Vote LG, and it’s web page are set up to answer all of your election questions. Visit that page for a timeline of important dates, links to register online, information on candidates and measures, and most importantly how to vote whether you submit your ballot in-person, by mail, or by drop box.
Another resource for the local election is the League of Women Voters Southwest Santa Clara Valley division which hosts a variety of events for voters. Coming up on October 5th, they will have a non-partisan discussion of the Pros & Cons of the state propositions, county, and local measures that affect this area. Recordings of their past Candidate Forums for this election year are also available online.
Town of Los Gatos Election
This year, voters for the Town of Los Gatos have 3 open seats to fill in the Town Council and 2 Los Gatos specific measures in addition to a few County measures, state propositions, and federal elections to consider. But let’s just focus on the Los Gatos election. Who’s running and for what position?
It’s an election year for the Town of Los Gatos! The Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce is hosting a virtual seminar for voters to meet the candidates. This is a free event, but you must sign up to receive the link to view. Public questions can be submitted at registration (one question per registration) and all questions will be curated for relevance to the topic of focus: local business and economy. This is not a town-hall style meeting, but a moderated forum presented in a Zoom webinar.
Wednesday, September 30th, 2020
7pm – 8:30pm
For information, changes, and registration, please go to the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce page for this event, called Candidate Forum or through the URL listed below.
If you missed the League of Women Voters Candidate Forum for the Town of Los Gatos that happened on September 21st and you would like to view it, a recording of the session is available on the LWV Southwest Santa Clara Valley Youtube page through this link.
And remember to cast your vote on November 3rd or sooner!
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