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Los Gatos Albright Way/Netflix Project Court Order to Be Appealed

'Citizens' set on continuing to challenge controversial office park project at corner of Albright Way and Winchester Boulevard.

A rendering of the future Albright Way Office Park project. Courtesy John R. Shenk
A rendering of the future Albright Way Office Park project. Courtesy John R. Shenk
Los Gatos Citizens for Responsible Development have announced they will appeal a judge's Dec. 10 order that controversial Albright Way Office Park project is consistent with town's General Plan. 

Santa Clara County Judge Joseph H. Huber ruled last month that the Town of Los Gatos' determination, made by the Los Gatos Town Council in June of this year when it approved the project, was consistent with the General Plan and not arbitrary, capricious or without evidentiary basis. 

The project calls for the construction of four Class-A office park buildings, two at 65 feet and two at 50 feet, plus a three-story parking garage for a total of 485,000 square feet. The Citizens claim the height exceeds their interpretation of the General Plan's building height provisions, which they believe caps them at 35 feet maximum.

The edifices will be located next to Highway 85 and near the planned end of the Vasona Light Rail Line. Netflix has signed leases for two of the buildings. 

Los Gatos resident John Shepardson, one of the petitioners on the latest round of litigation, said the Citizens are appealing because they believe California law states that standards that are clear, fundamental and mandatory in municipal general plans must be followed.

Shepardson, who's an attorney by profession, also said the land-use designation in the General Plan states that the Albright site was subject to a 35-foot "maximum" height "limit," with "rigid" development standards.

"It is our view the three terms, 'maximum,' 'limit' and 'rigid' indicate the 35-foot height standard was a clear, fundamental and mandatory term, and not merely a term that 'should' be followed or 'encouraged,' " he said.

"Unfortunately, none of Judge Huber's decisions directly discussed whether the 35-foot limit was a clear, fundamental and mandatory term," Shepardson added.

The Citizens now seek review of Huber's decision by the 6th District Court of Appeal.

"We, including our land-use attorney experts, believe our position is correct under California law," Shepardson said.

Meanwhile, a group in favor of the project, "We Support Los Gatos," submitted in mid December 2013 more than 4,100 signatures to the Los Gatos town clerk to qualify a citizens’ initiative in support of the Albright Way office park project for the June 3 ballot.

Los Gatos-based Netflix has signed 10-year leases for two of the four buildings, where it plans to expand in the future.

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Larry Arzie January 06, 2014 at 12:29 PM
SHEILA SANCHEZ, I think a lot of people agree with the "citizens" group. I understand they are not made of money and most likely will end up paying for expenses out of their pockets. Could you re-search where we can send a check to.
Marilyn Leonard January 07, 2014 at 02:20 PM
I hope this issue gets resolved soon to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

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