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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)

Town of Los Gatos 7 Day Public Review of the Draft Revised 6th Cycle Housing Element

Town of Los Gatos 7 Day Public Review of the Draft Revised 6th Cycle Housing Element

Los Gatos Seven-Day Public Review of the Draft Revised 6th Cycle Housing Element - person inspecting documentsThe Los Gatos Planning Department sent out the information below on the public review of the housing element draft, which I received in an email today. They’ve given permission for me to repost it here. This is relevant to everyone in town who has any concerns about the California building laws and their impact on new developments, particular as they relate to the Builder’s Remedy.

Public review of the Housing Element Draft info from the Planning Department

On September 22, 2023, the Town posted online the Draft Revised 2023-2031 Housing Element with modifications in response to the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s (HCD) Findings/Comment Letter received by the Town on May 30, 2023.

The Draft Revised 2023-2031 Housing Element 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 September 29, 2023.  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 – Clean Copy
  • Draft Revised 2023-2031 Housing Element – Track Changes Copy
  • Response Memorandum to HCD’s Findings and Comment Letter

Written comments (including name, affiliation, telephone number, and contact information) can be submitted through September 29, 2023, 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

Additionally, the Housing Element Advisory Board (HEAB) will be meeting on September 28, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. to review and discuss the Town’s Draft Revised Housing Element addressing HCD’s findings/comment letter received by the Town on May 30, 2023.  The agenda and staff report is now available on the Town’s agenda center webpage.

 

 

 

Town Council Candidate Forum

Town Council Candidate Forum

Patriot Cat Vote the Los Gatos Election - Town Council Candidate ForumIt’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.

Watch for updates on the Chamber’s page for this event.

Town Council Candidate Forum should include the following candidates:

Mary Badame
Rob Rennie
Reza Tavana
Rob Stump
Margaret Smith
Rob Moore

Out of 6 candidates in 2022, 3 are named Rob. It will be very important to be clear if you are voting for one of them to be sure of your selection.

The town’s website has some election information:

 

Election Day is Tuesday November 8th, 2022. Mail in ballots can be sent beginning October 10th.

 

Related Reading:

2020 Forum

Los Gatos Housing Element – Public Commentary Period

Los Gatos Housing Element – Public Commentary Period

Town of Los Gatos Housing Element LogoIf 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!

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View Permits Online

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 view permits online 2022 revamp

 

Related reading:

Los Gatos homes: class and land use

What do you need to know before buying a home in Los Gatos?

Remember to vote by November 3rd!

voteElection 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.

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