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Opinion: Vote No on Albright Way Project Initiative

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Los Gatos Patch would love to publish your letters to the editor. Email them to sheila.sanchez@patch.com.
Los Gatos Patch would love to publish your letters to the editor. Email them to sheila.sanchez@patch.com.

—Submitted by Los Gatos resident Jak Van Nada

About those developers and their initiative [to put the Albright Way development project on the ballot], there are three huge, very wealthy firms, at least one of whom is suing another town.

Is this what’s starting to happen to Los Gatos with this initiative? Is more coming? Do you want this kind of development to happen where the developer takes over our planning and zoning?

They come, they develop, they make money and they leave us with the high density development and the traffic that comes with them. Wham! Bam! Thank you Ma’am!

They will be receiving monthly rent checks while you sit in traffic that’s nearly doubled the commute time this year. 

Is unfettered growth good? Is this progress? Why plan if a planned development wipes out the planning? Do you want developers taking over for your Planning Department and your Town Council?

We need your help to keep Los Gatos development within the bounds set by the General Plan. We need to keep the developers out of our town government.

This is a great place to live and you have some huge, extremely wealthy developers forcing their way into our town processes with an initiative. None of them are based here. None of them will suffer the consequences of their actions. Even commercial developments bring more students to the schools.  Where will you build new schools in a built-out town?

If you vote for that initiative, all developers can use this precedent to run our town planning, forever. They’ll tell you this initiative is only for this piece of land. Do you think the other developers have their ears plugged and eyes wide shut?

We’re longtime Los Gatos residents asking you to look at the facts and don’t listen to the hype. We, too, want Netflix, but we want them to follow the same rules all the rest of the businesses have to follow. The tail should not wag the dog. The developers should not run our town government.

Will Netflix bring jobs? Maybe, but they won’t get many people from Los Gatos.  The Los Gatos unemployment rate is 4.28 percent, the lowest in the Bay Area, well below the county average of 8.9 percent. 

How many of the 4.28 percent can qualify for a job at Netflix? Will they bring business to Los Gatos when they eat on campus and bus to and from San Francisco?

Will the schools lose money? Absolutely not. From the top projects started since Blue Bird started, the schools will get a lot of money in the form of first year fees and taxes, and large, new recurring revenues every year thereafter. 

The developer is giving you a lot of hooey if he's giving you the impression that the schools will go broke without their tax revenues. The difference in the tax revenues between the project size they want and the environmentally preferred project size is positively miniscule compared to the revenues coming to the schools.

The town has been receiving the property tax increase ever since the property was sold years ago. That comes whether or not a brick is laid. Of the four proposed buildings, they’re only building two now, 50 percent of the project. 

The rest of the revenues won’t come until the other two buildings are built. When is that going to happen?

This initiative is a hijacking of our town planning and zoning. Don’t vote for this initiative if you care about Los Gatos and have any respect for our town government.

By the way, though I am exempt from paying the parcel tax, I voted for the last one,  just like I will vote for the upcoming bond. I have always been a strong supporter of the Los Gatos school system.


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