Los Gatos does not have a strong town government. We have an elected Council with a titular mayor, not a real mayor that directs our town employees.
By law, the Council is not allowed to tell the town staff how to follow regulation. This is our town manager's responsibility.
The Council makes decisions based primarily from the information, or lack of information, our town manager provides.
Our manager, who runs our town, does not live here, having little history of what has gone on in the past. He must accept that the information his staff gives him is well researched and is free of bias. He, in my opinion, sometimes unwittingly passes on incorrect information for our Council to make important land-use decisions.
The North 40 fiasco, when our manager and his staff knowing full well that a regional shopping center a la Santana Row was not wanted, pushed for this anyhow. Our manager did this again in the recent approval of an event center in the closed movie house giving the Council incorrect information on how the property can be legally used.
An upstairs bar with food was allowed because the manager told the Council that this space was in the parking district. As it turns out, the upstairs space was never calculated into the parking district.
In previous conversions, the property owner was made to provide real parking spaces, or pay fees into the district, i.e. the Opera House. I do not want to lose the movie house, but at what cost. There is little enough parking downtown to support new upstairs bars and restaurants.
The precedent of having to provide parking for conversions wanting to be in the parking district is well established.
How on earth did our town staff and manager come up with this new interpretation that does not demand parking, fees or even first-run movies be shown? Our Council, in its desire to maintain some form of a movie house, was presented with the emperor's new clothes.