After a two-hour discussion, a split Los Gatos Planning Commission voted 3-2 Wednesday night in favor of sending the first-phase design of a new development that will house online movie rental giant Netflix back to the Town Council for approval in early September.
Commission Chairwoman Marico Sayoc and Commissioner Joanne Talesfore voted against the motion, admitting that they were not ready to approve the design proposed by developer John Shenk in front of a crowded audience at Town Hall.
Commissioner Charles Erekson was absent while Commission Vice Chairwoman Marcia Jensen abstained because of spousal conflicts of interest.
The commission approved details relating to two proposed Mediterranean-style buildings that will stand four and five stories tall, respectively, on property located at 90-160 Albright Way and 14600 Los Gatos Blvd.
Shenk, along with his architectural team, stated that the proposals that dealt with the buildings' windows, plastering, color, trees and development entryway and exit were well in compliance with the Los Gatos town architect and arborist.
A condition of the motion made by Commissioner John Bourgeois was to include a more detailed traffic and landscape study for the Town Council.
Though approved by a slim majority, the commission was most concerned with traffic turning into the development from two separate entrances as well as the demolishing of large already-existing trees along the backside of the development and replacing them by planting smaller ones.
Shenk said his team looked at all the angles and did not take both situations lightly.
“If anything, it is me who has everything to lose,” Shenk said. “If this doesn’t work, then the employees, the community and my tenant won’t be happy.”
With very little opposition from meeting attendees, the commission went on to make its motion.
“This is just a purview of the project,” Sayoc reminded the crowded room. “We are very limited on what we can approve tonight. The decision is the council’s; more architectural insight is not to be discussed.”