The decision about whether the Los Gatos Planning Commission will recommend a face-lift for Riviera Terrace has been continued until Aug. 10 by a 3-1 vote.
During a meeting Wednesday evening at Town Hall, the commission voted to give property owner The Sobrato Organization more time to iron out the project's details.
Commissioners Marico Sayoc, Joanne Talesfore and Jane Ogle were absent.
The 5.89-acre, 123-unit complex—at 135 Riviera Dr.—was first constructed in 1960 and was bought by Sobrato in 2000, which considers the property outdated.
“There's no clubhouse, there's no real leasing office,” explained Tim Steele, Sobrato's senior director of real estate planning. "We use an existing unit of the 123 units as our business and leasing office. The pool is dated; there is no spa; there is no fitness center; there is no front door."
Proposals were made in 2001 and 2010 to the town's Conceptual Development Advisory Committee to add 120 and 56 units, respectively, leading up to the current 50-unit plan addition, which would be contained in four buildings on the property, bounded by Roberts Road, Highway 17, Chester Street and University Avenue.
Among issues raised by speakers Wednesday evening were lack of so-called story poles, erected to give the public an idea of how high the apartment buildings would be and the aesthetic differences from the rest of the town.
Other concerns included obstruction of the view of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the effect on the environment of the Los Gatos Creek Trail.
Courtney Cooper, a resident at Riviera and in a wheelchair, said, "There is nothing wrong with old."
However, after a discussion about the project's proximity to Los Gatos Creek, which sits to the east, commissioners Thomas O'Donnell, Charles Erekson and Vice Chairwoman Marcia Jensen voted to have the matter return for their consideration in four weeks. Commissioner John Bourgeois voted against the continuance.
Also on the agenda for review by the commissioners was the future of Pizza Simpatico, a low-cost pizza parlor whose owners have asked to operate next to Los Gatos Gourmet, adding outdoor and indoor seating as well as beer and wine service.
Los Gatos Gourmet, with no seats, sells deli items for takeout and provides catering and wine tasting. Pizza Simpatico, according to a staff report, would have 38 indoor seats and six outdoor seats, and would serve wine during hours of operation.
Unlike , which dealt with something similar in its plan to expand into retail space, Simpatico's Lisa Rhorer's restaurant would not have a kitchen, unless you count a pizza oven as such. This would make the space easy to revert back to a retail space, she said.
“This has a pizza oven, which does not, in my judgment, make it a kitchen," said commissioner O'Donnell.
Commissioner Erekson helped the restaurant even further by motioning for Pizza Simpatico to be identified as a mixed-use establishment. The motion passed 3-1, with Bourgeois again opposing.