We hereby register our opposition to the draft planning proposal for Affordable Housing Overlay Zone (AHOZ), which segregates new affordable housing to the northernmost parts of Los Gatos. The location of the AHOZ parcels in this area is reckless planning on the part of the town, a travesty for the local residents and a missed opportunity for the town of Los Gatos.
The area north of Lark accounts for only 14% of the town’s total area but currently accounts for 67% of the town’s affordable housing. With this new development, the area will account for 86% of the affordable housing with no increase anywhere else in the town!
The site selections will have disastrous effects on local traffic and schools; yet the decision process and staff work by the Planning Commission have attempted to minimize and obscure these effects. The Commission also appears to be inexplicably responsive to the demands of commercial interests, while dismissive of concerns of residents, local schools, and nearby communities.
We therefore call on the Town Council to adopt the following:
Los Gatos Town Council
(1) rejects the current proposed AHOZ plan and returns it to the General Plan Committee;
(2) instructs the Committee to return with a balanced proposal which integrates affordable housing into all parts of Los Gatos, ensuring that all Town communities contribute their fair share to the solution;
(3) instructs the Committee to develop three alternative approaches to meet RHNA goals – one based on AHOZ, one based on rezoning, and one based on increasing required affordable housing ratios throughout Los Gatos – and provide a detailed comparison of the relative advantages and disadvantages of each of the approaches;
(4) guides that the draft FEIR Addendum be revised, to capture the entire impact of the proposed approach (not merely as adjustments to the 2020 General Plan EIR), while properly adjusting traffic and school impact analysis based on input provided in recent weeks;
(5) demands that the revised draft EIR addendum be provided for review and comment by affected agencies and entities in Los Gatos and neighboring towns (especially Campbell) for effect on school, traffic, and emergency services (fire and police), and be properly adjusted to incorporate all feedback from such entities;
(6) recommends that the Committee form a resident advisory board and rely on it extensively as it develops its new proposal(s); and
(7) reminds the Committee and staff to avoid any appearance of undue influence of commercial interested during the preparation of public policy proposals.