Housing development, racial justice and climate change, and forest fire mitigation are some of the major changes in Los Gatos’ overall plan.

The draft update of the 2040 Master Plan, approved by the planning committee last month, will serve as a framework or constitution for the city for the next 20 years, covering issues such as affordable housing, diversity, justice and inclusion and transport.

Although these changes have been taking years, some – such as housing type and density updates – are causing discomfort,

The council held a special meeting Monday night to contribute to the plan and is scheduled to hold a final vote on June 30th.

The most significant changes to the plan include a new element of racial, social and environmental justice and changes in land use to encourage the development of mixed use in commercial areas. Officials have also shifted the focus of transportation policies and street design to support bicycles and pedestrians, as well as motor vehicles to reduce mileage.

“The draft Master Plan for 2040 is only a draft, even at a time when we have had extensive discussions,” said planning manager Jennifer Armer. “The planning committee even recommended additional changes and modifications. The municipal council may decide whether to accept these amendments in full, in part and may include other modifications or additional modifications in its decision. “

The master plan includes housing and commercial development plans, including 3,280 homes to be built by 2040.

The staff’s strategy to achieve these housing goals is to focus on medium-density and mixed-use buildings, such as apartments with street-level restaurants, grocery stores and cafes, to promote passability.

The master plan is separate from the Housing element, in which the city has to plan 1993 housing units to be built over the next eight years.

A handful of residents expressed concern during a public comment on the proposed high-density, mixed-use housing complexes, especially near mountains and high-risk areas of forest fires.

Longtime Los Gatos resident Rob Stump has spoken out against the increase in housing density, which will give the green light to build more homes in a smaller area.

“The approach to the overall expansion of the area is not reasonable from the point of view of public safety,” said Stump, noting that nearly 3,100 homes in Los Gatos are located in wildland city interface (WUI) zone. “This whole area and even areas outside the WUI live with the threat of forest fires. If the increased housing density is approved in the WUI, there could be catastrophic effects on residents.

The municipal council went through the changes in the General Plan recommended by the planning committee before the council members proposed their own.

Mixed-use, high density housing could be Los Gatos’ future

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