The Los Gatos Town Council voted unanimously Monday evening to approve a set of guiding principles for the use of the old library building that stress the facility should add to the quality of life of its residents and be synergetic with other uses.
The guidelines were established by a Council ad-hoc committee made up of Vice Mayor Barbara Spector and Councilmember Diane McNutt to establish the best use of the 47-year-old building and the process for how community organizations could apply to use it as a gathering place.
According to the staff report prepared by Town Manager Greg Larson, the two-story library building, built in 1965, is approximately 11,900 square feet.
In the report, the town says it needs office space for three human resources employees, meeting rooms, council constituent meeting areas, council meeting overflow areas, a community room, storage and a Developmental Services Center that will combine engineering with building and planning. Currently, homeowners and developers have to go to both the Community Development Department and the Engineering division on Miles Avenue to obtain permits for projects.
Spector said that a new building-use application process will also require the town to apply to use the building.
“One of the entities that the committee has expressed [the need] of going through the process is the town itself,” she said. “The town would also be filling out a form to use the building.”
The report also states that the town is eligible to receive $1.9 million from its Capital Improvement Program and an additional $80,000 from Community Development Block Grant money for renovations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The costs associated with remodeling the building is not known at this time, the report said. However, the town will spend between $100,000 to $130,000 to replace its air handling system.
The old library re-use guiding principles are:
- Add to the quality of life to Los Gatos residents
- Be synergistic with other Civic Center uses
- Building remodel will:
Meet ADA access requirements
Avoid imposition of higher building standards
Minimize potential environmental impacts
Minimize the town's operational and maintenance costs
Eliminate any existing safety hazards
Meet town parking requirements
Incorporate green building practices as feasible
- Community collaborations and partnerships shall be explored
- Creative ways to use the space for multiple purposes shall be encouraged
In other news, the Council voted unanimously to adopt a vision statement and a set of guiding principles for the ambitious a huge swath of privately owned land bounded roughly by Los Gatos Boulevard to the east, Highway 85 to the north, Lark Avenue to the south and Highway 17 to the west.
The vision will guide the development and completion of the North 40 Specific Plan. Surprisingly not one single person addressed the Council during the public speaking portion of the agenda to give feedback on the guidelines during the sparsely attended meeting.
Los Gatos Mayor Steve Rice appointed Spector and McNutt to form an ad-hoc committee to write the statement and guidelines for the North 40. The committee met with Larson, Assistant Town Manager Pamela Jacobs and Community Development Director Wendie Rooney to help write the vision statement.
The North 40 vision statement states: "The North 40 reflects the special nature of our hometown. It celebrates our history, agricultural heritage, hillside views, and small town character. The North 40 is seamlessly woven into the fabric of our community, complimenting other Los Gatos residential and business neighborhoods. It is respectful of precious community resources and offers unique attributes that enrich the quality of life of all our residents."
Guiding principles to achieve the vision are that the project will:
- Look and feel like Los Gatos
- Embrace hillside views, trees, and open space
- Offer opportunities needed by the community
- Minimize or mitigate impacts on town infrastructure, schools, and other community services