Los Gatos received its first official residential development project that invokes a state housing law designed to streamline the process.
The proposed 52-unit, mixed-use, multi-family development at 405 Alberto Way made its way through the planning commission earlier this month and is has moved past the pre-application phase. The development would include retail and fitness spaces, palm trees, a bocce court and central pool.
Newport Beach-based developers Bucilla Group Architecture invoked Senate Bill 330, a state housing law that prohibits cities from passing laws to prevent specific housing developments from being built, to expedite the permitting process.
The project, which was submitted to the city Aug. 28 and sits next to Highway 17 and Saratoga-Los Gatos Boulevard, would have a modern look similar to the controversial North 40 Phase 1 development on Lark Avenue. It includes 600 square feet of retail space, 625 square feet of fitness space and 52 housing units ranging from one to three bedrooms.
Five electric vehicle charging stations per building are proposed, as well as bike and car parking, and 57,443 square feet of open space that would house a dog park, bocce court and hot tub.
Greg. G. Bucilla III, the developer’s planner and architect, said the project aligns with the town’s General Plan and offers mixed-use residential, retail, open space and recreation.
In a letter to the city, developers said the project would “not impair integrity or character of zoning,” and is “in harmony with” the General Plan.
The developers are also invoking the Density Bonus Law, which allows increased density for projects in exchange for the development of affordable or senior housing.
SB 330 is designed to avoid controversies around developments like the North 40, which brought in more than 400 new units and was the subject of a years-long political and legal debate.
A judge ruled in a lawsuit that the town was wrong when it decided the project couldn’t move forward in 2016. In 2018, the council approved the first phase of the North 40.
Councilmembers at the time were upset with the significant dip in affordable units proposed at the site. Originally, more than 270 were proposed, but just 50 were built.