The Los Gatos Town Council discussed major affordable housing opportunities during its regularly scheduled meeting on August 7th—the Affordable Housing Overlay Zone (AHOZ) tool, the North 40 Specific Plan, and a proposed extension of a moratorium.  Here is a quick recap of the Council’s actions.

AHOZ: Affordable Housing Overlay Zones (AHOZ) typically provide a package of incentives to developers in exchange for the inclusion of affordable homes. We are disappointed to report that the Council voted to reduce the number of AHOZ sites from five to one. The AHOZ sites would have increased and diversified affordable housing opportunities in Los Gatos, and this action significantly diminishes the capacity for new affordable homes. With the loss of so much AHOZ capacity, every opportunity to develop affordable housing within the Town is even more important.

North 40: The Council also heard public comment and discussed potential amendments to the North 40 Specific Plan. Proposed amendments would increase the maximum allowed units on the site, consistent with the adopted Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which allows up to 455 new homes. The current version of the plan caps the total number of units at 270 units.

Given the reduction of AHOZ capacity, North 40 currently presents the primary opportunity to develop housing and has the added benefit of a 20% affordable housing requirement per the Town’s ordinance. The proposed increased density would help compensate for the diminished  affordable opportunities.

On August 15th, Council decided to maintain the North 40 Specific Plan as is. Unfortunately, no additional units were added to the plan. On September 4th, Council will discuss amending the Specific Plan to include the option of a Planned Development or Development Agreement option. This allows the Council and community to have more input on what is developed, and could be the housing community’s final opportunity to increase the density on North 40.

Moratorium: On August 15th, the Council took no action to extend moratorium on North 40 entitlements, allowing it to discontinue. This is great news, as an extended moratorium would have slowed development of housing and drawn out the entitlement process.

Thank you for weighing in! Your support kept affordable housing at the forefront of the discussion, demonstrating its continued importance in the Los Gatos community.

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