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A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

Creating great communities for all

Los Gatos residents attempt repeal of 2040 General Plan

By Hannah Kanif, Mercury News, August 9, 2022

“The Los Gatos Community Alliance filed a referendum in July against the town’s recently approved 2040 General Plan … saying it calls for an unnecessarily high number of housing units and needs specific incentives for affordable housing and a fiscal impact analysis.

“The 2040 General Plan concentrates the majority of new housing growth in mixed-use and higher-density developments, like apartments with shops on the ground floor. It keeps the town’s low-density neighborhoods and allows more housing types in high-density residential like small, multi-unit housing.

“ ‘If [the resident group collects enough valid signatures], then the land use and community design elements are suspended per the referendum, because they are only referending those two sections of the General Plan,’ town manager Laurel Prevetti said.

“At that point council would have three options: put the question on the November 2024 ballot, hold a special election in 2023, or rescind the elements in question and start … over.

“The alliance called for reducing planned growth to account for the current RHNA cycle plus a 20 percent buffer, resulting in 2,392 new units. The town’s General Plan calls for 3,196 housing units to be developed over the next 20 years.

“ ‘The state of California plans new housing in eight-year cycles. The General Plan should reflect this eight-year planning cycle (i.e., 2023-2031) and be amended every eight years when new information and future RHNA allocations become known,’ reads a statement from the alliance. ‘This thoughtful approach assumes that incremental change is best and is made only when new information is available.’”

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