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Los Gatos-North 40 Specific Plan Approved

By Judy Peterson

 The Los Gatos Town Council has approved a North 40 Specific Plan that’s designed to guide development of the town’s last large undeveloped parcel of land.

The property consists of roughly 44 acres bordered by Lark Avenue, Los Gatos Boulevard and highways 85 and 17. Some of the land has already been developed.

The specific plan was approved June 17 on a 3 to 2 town council vote.

Councilman Steve Leonardis and Vice Mayor Barbara Spector voted no. “It actually breaks my heart,” Spector said.

Spector wanted more information on conditional-use permit requirements for businesses. “Show us how uses–i.e. a super drugstore–are controlled in other parts of town,” she said.

Her proposal was nixed by a majority of council members.

Instead, a table outlining permitted North 40 land uses will be included in the specific plan. The vote means the orchard that can easily be seen from Los Gatos Boulevard will eventually go away.

However, the plan includes a 30 percent open space requirement.

On the commercial side, buildings are mostly limited to 35 feet in height. However, if a hotel is built it can go to 45 feet. And if a portion of the 270 approved homes are low income, then the threshold is also 45 feet.

Future medical uses on the North 40 are prohibited by the specific plan.

The council also decided that 66,000 square feet of commercial, office and retail space that’s already been built would be in addition to the 435,000 square feet of commercial space they previously approved. That brings the total commercial, retail and office space allowed to 501,000 square feet.

The primary North 40 developer is Grosvenor Americas. Their main representative, Don Capobres, said he’s hoping to sign an anchor store like REI or Crate and Barrel to the development’s shopping center component.

Grosvenor is working with SummerHill Homes on North 40 housing.

Grosvenor and SummerHill are now revising their plans so they’re in alignment with the specific plan.

Los Gatos-North 40 Specific Plan Approved

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