Los Gatos government officials have stopped live concert performances at The Woodshed after they received a code enforcement complaint from a nearby neighbor regarding potential traffic and parking impacts from the business operating out of the popular Keith Holland Guitars studio.
And now business representatives are saying the move will cost them thousands of dollars and the cancellation of at least 12 groups that were scheduled to perform through April.
On Feb. 6, Keith Holland wrote on the business' website that he could no longer present concerts until the town comes up with a new alcohol and entertainment policy.
Los Gatos Town Manager Greg Larson explained that Keith Holland Guitars, 16905 Roberts Rd., has taken over the larger space previously shared with King Amplification, an associated amplifier and musical instrument repair, sales and distribution business.
The location, he said, is in the town's restricted commercial highway zone, adjacent to and across the street from residential zoning and properties.
Holland Guitars expanded into their new space with music and other classes and performances, under the name of The Woodshed.
"The town followed up with Holland Guitars/The Woodshed and found, indeed, that they were violating the town code with the added services on that property. Specifically, music instruction and classes require a conditional-use permit in that zoning and live entertainment is not currently an allowed use, even with a CUP," Larson said.
The town has provided the business with several options for pursuing their interests, including providing music instruction within the limits of the town’s policy for incidental retail instruction, Larson explained.
The business could also submit a new certificate of use and occupancy application for the expanded location with their desired services. The fee is $299, Larson said.
"Town staff would need to deny the certificate if it still does not comply with the town code, but then Holland Guitars/The Woodshed could appeal that denial to the Planning Commission (the appeal fee is $671).
Should the Planning Commission deny the appeal, then Holland Guitars/The Woodshed could appeal to the Town Council or pursue other alternatives such as filing for a CUP to provide music classes, which would be considered by the Planning Commission. The fee would be $6,231, according to Larson.
Staff also believes the proposed entertainment permit process presented to the Los Gatos Town Council Dec. 17, 2012 may provide a new avenue for Holland Guitars/The Woodshed to pursue a legal entertainment and performance venue subject to some level of public review, he added.
The proposed entertainment policy will be returning for the Planning Commission and Council review and action later this year, Larson said.
The Council has also tentatively scheduled consideration of a potential abatement of code enforcement against Holland Guitars/The Woodshed for the March 18 meeting. If approved, this could suspend the current complaint-based code enforcement actions pending Holland Guitars/The Woodshed pursuit of one or more of the alternatives above.
"We lost money due to the town's actions," said Jeff Maus, a sales and marketing representative for Keith Holland Guitars, adding that the business had concerts booked all the way to April involving 12 groups. "We can't have any more concerts here ... The town told us we don't have the right permits ... They're trying to figure it all out."