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Los Gatos Planner John Bourgeois Moves On

Longtime member of Los Gatos Planning Commission predicts traffic and development intensification will continue to be challenging issues for the town in the coming years.

Los Gatos resident John Bourgeois at a ground-breaking event while serving as a member of the Los Gatos Planning Commission. Courtesy John Bourgeois
Los Gatos resident John Bourgeois at a ground-breaking event while serving as a member of the Los Gatos Planning Commission. Courtesy John Bourgeois
After serving on the Los Gatos Planning Commission for more than eight years, Los Gatos resident John Bourgeois has resigned and has already been replaced by Mary Bedame.

Bourgeois was appointed to serve on the commission in September of 2005.

As part of his Planning Commission duties, he also served on the General Plan Committee (serving as chairman for the last two years), the General Plan Update Advisory Committee, and the North 40 Specific Plan Advisory Committee.

Why is he walking away from a job many think he did well?

"The Planning Commission is very rewarding, but it is also a lot of work. It was a difficult decision, but my two jobs keep me very busy, and so I felt it was time to take a little break after 8½ years," he said.

His term officially ended Dec. 31, 2013.

Asked what the hardest issue he dealt with while serving on the commission, Bourgeois said it was difficult knowing his decisions affected people’s lives.

"However, our job is to make the best land-use decisions for the town, and not get caught up in the personal reasons behind people’s choices," he explained.

Asked to name some of the planning, land-use challenges facing Los Gatos in the near future, Bourgeois said traffic and development intensification will continue to be challenging issues in the coming years.

About the Los Gatos General Plan/Albright Way office park/Netflix future campus controversy, Bourgeois said compromise is difficult and can often leave all sides feeling unsatisfied.

"There have been many nights the Planning Commission left the chambers with all parties upset at us because no one got 100 percent of what they wanted," he noted.

Although he's walking away from the Planning Commission, Bourgeois said he hopes to continue to stay involved in the town.

In addition to a strong environmental background, he's been involved in affordable housing issues for many years and hopes to participate in the upcoming Housing Element cycle.

Bourgeois moved to Los Gatos from Louisiana in January 1999 with his wife Susan.

He is a wetland ecologist and currently serves as the executive project manager for the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration project.  

The effort is the largest tidal wetland restoration project on the West Coast.

When complete, the restoration will convert more than 15,000 acres of former commercial salt ponds to a mix of tidal marsh, mudflat, managed pond, and other wetland habitats, he explained.

The project will also provide flood-risk management for critical Silicon Valley infrastructure and opportunities for wildlife-oriented public access and recreation.

Bourgeois is also passionate about health and fitness and works as a trainer at CrossFit Los Gatos.

Prior to the Planning Commission, he served on the Parks Commission for almost two years.


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