A Los Gatos Council ad hoc subcommittee was recommending to planners Wednesday evening that future retail firearms sales be restricted to commercial and industrial zones in town.
The panel, made up of Council members Marcia Jensen and Joe Pirzynski, was tasked to work with staff to develop zoning and land-use regulations for gun shops in light of Los Gatos' controversy surrounding the opening of Templar Sports in December of 2012, without much notification to the community.
After holding two heated meetings in February of this year about the issue, the Council directed staff to research a potential ordinance related to firearms sales in town.
The Council directed staff to prepare an urgency ordinance on March 4 to temporarily place a moratorium on the opening of any new business engaged in the retail sale of firearms, ammunition and/or explosive devices and consider land-use issues related to such places of business.
The moratorium, which was passed, was extended on April 15 and is still in effect until Feb. 20, 2014.
Jensen and Pirzynski worked with staff on the firearms sales ordinance that the Council adopted Aug. 5 and requires all gun retailers to obtain a permit from the town before opening, establishes minimum requirements and standards for obtaining such a permit, provides a public hearing process for the initial permit and annual renewals and establishes grounds for suspension or revocation of such permit.
Now Jensen and Pirzynski have been working on developing zoning and land-use regulations for firearms sellers who will need to obtain a conditional-use permit to operate in town and will prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition for home occupation permits.
Prior to the moratorium being enacted, retail firearms sales were allowed in any zone that allowed retail sales.
The Council members have now reviewed all the zones in town and recommended to planners that the controversial use be only allowed in the commercial and industrial zones with approval of a CUP.
In such zones, the Council members found, there were no parcels outside the 500 foot buffer radius from schools, educational facilities, public parks and trails, government buildings, religious institutions and youth-oriented facilities such as dance and karate studios. It recommended a 250 foot buffer radius from what it deemed as "sensitive" uses.
Activities allowed in such zones include plumbing, heating and electrical contracting, equipment repair, laundry and dry cleaning plants, etc.