The continued to move forward Tuesday night when the Los Gatos Town Council voted 3-2 to approve the demolishing of five existing buildings on the 21-acre property located at the corner of Winchester Boulevard and Albright Way.
Los Gatos Mayor Joe Pirzynski, Vice Mayor Steve Rice and Councilwoman Diane McNutt voted in favor, while Councilwoman Barbara Spector and Councilman Steve Leonardis voted against.
relating to materials, landscaping and traffic mitigation for the
Spector and Leonardis have opposed the project due the buildings' height, which is against the town's three-story limit or about 55 feet.
Planners sent designs for the two Mediterranean-style buildings to the Council under the condition that applicant John R. Shenk and his team make some minor changes relating to traffic, landscaping and building materials.
Since that meeting, town planners and the town's consulting arborist have worked out the details. Redwood trees on the lot near Highway 85 will be saved and a new stoplight will be placed at Winchester Boulevard and Albright Way to allow traffic to flow into the future Netflix campus by synchronizing it with other stoplights on Winchester.
With little opposition during public testimony, mostly concerns about the project's traffic impacts and one nay-sayer predicting that Netflix will be forced to downsize due to the global economic crisis, the council OK'd razing the buildings at the Los Gatos Business Park
Netflix Chief Financial Officer David Wells was present during the meeting and spoke to the Council and audience about his company’s commitment to stay in Los Gatos.
“We would still like to stay here,” Wells said. “We don’t have any other option of anywhere else to go.”
If all goes as planned, Netflix could move into its new campus in the spring of 2013. The online movie rental giant is the town's biggest sales tax contributor. It's offered financial incentives to the town in exchange for the project's support that total almost $3 million.
Los Gatos Town Manager Greg Larson has said approving the project will help migrate the town from declining DVD tax revenues to a more stable fiscal future, including more than $1 million a year for local schools generated by increased property and business license tax revenues. Another $1 million is expected to be generated by the project once finished.
The town currently receives about $3 million a year in Netflix sales tax, however that revenue is expected to decline and more and more customers abandon by-mail DVD rentals for the online streaming option.