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Town of Los Gatos Issues Statement on New Gun Store

The following information was released Friday afternoon by Town Manager Greg Larson after the announcement that Templar Sports will open this month at 611 University Ave.

1. Planning Approval—Retail enterprises are allowed as a matter of legal right under existing zoning at that location, which is not in the central business district (i.e., downtown) nor a residentially zoned property. There are no existing requirements in the town code for a conditional-use permit or any other discretionary approval for this retailer at that location. Consequently, there is no existing authority by which town staff, the Planning Commission and/or the Town Council could deny the operation of this retailer at this location. Future retailers could possibly face additional restrictions or processing requirements if the Town Council so amends the town code, but those changes could not be applied retroactively to this existing establishment.

2. Business License—The commercial enterprise has applied and paid for, and received, the required business license for both 2012 and 2013. This is not a discretionary act and any business in Los Gatos is required to obtain a business license. The Finance Department, which administers the business license program, could not legally deny providing a business license to this establishment.

3. Police Approval—The Police Department has received all required federal permit applications and notices required for the sale of firearms at this location.  The Police Department has been and will be in regular contact with the business to ensure compliance with all federal and other firearm requirements and restrictions, including severe restrictions on the sale of certain types of firearms and the sale of any firearms to felons, juveniles and certain others, as well as required background checks and safe operations.

For further information, please contact the Chief of Police at (408) 354-6840 or Police@LosGatosCA.gov.

Greg Larson, town manager

Larry Arzie December 08, 2012 at 04:49 PM
The area this operation is located was zoned light commercial. I am not sure how retailing started going on here but it has since about 1995. I wonder when the zoning was changed and retailers were allowed to operate without a conditional use permit. I think you can answer this quickly Mr. Larson without much research. Thanks again for participating in this public venue. Getting involved should be one of your primary goals.
kate williams December 08, 2012 at 09:54 PM
gun shop? great! maybe the next thing to open in lg is a pussycat theater?
sinti December 09, 2012 at 02:24 AM
This is ridiculous, This is unsafe for our town it should not happen.
Larry Arzie December 09, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Sinti and Kate, Our bureaucracy allowed this to happen. It is our staff that runs this town, not you , me or our elected officials. If you want a better explanation, contact our town manager: manager@losgatosca.gov . Hopefully he is reading this. Ask him how he allowed his staff to grant permission to allow retail in a commercial zoned district. If the rules were followed this would have required a public hearing at the planning commission level with public notice given so that we all could have given testimony. I congratulated him for participating in this public forum but I really doubt he has the cajones to reply to our concerns more than he has. So don't wait for an answer on this forum, email your questions now.
Phillip Salfen December 09, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Please explain how this is "unsafe for our town". And, why it "should not happen". Rational, factual explanations would be best.
Phillip Salfen December 09, 2012 at 07:20 PM
"Town of Los Gatos Issues Statement on New Gun Store" And yet ANOTHER misleading title. Sheila, Templar Sports, is opening a "Sporting Goods Store"! Firearms will be only one line of products they will be offering. To state "New Gun Store" is to make it sound like that is all they will retail. PLEASE stop your attempt to hype the firearm sales and focus on ALL of the facts. "Sporting Goods" does NOT equate to JUST firearms.
Larry Arzie December 09, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Phillip, I assume your asking Sinti to explain her safety concerns. I will clarify my position only. I have no problem with a sporting goods store or even a gun store in Los Gatos. I questions the location of this shop. This is a industrial zoned district. Others have tried to open retail here and they were subjected to $2000.00 (est) filing fees to apply for a variance of use permit and a public hearing. I have a need for a exercise ball and a new handgun. I will be visiting them soon. Our town staff has a propensity to not follow the rules as they are biased and subject to cronyism and self serving decisions. I merely want to point out that they are being observed . This gun/s.goods operator has every right to apply to open business where ever he wants, but if it does not meet town code then open hearings are required and should not be waived by staff. I wish them well in their venture, but rules are made to be followed, and the integrity of zoning districts should not be changed without approval of the planning commission and council.
Phillip Salfen December 09, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Larry, You may, or may not have a valid point regarding the zoning issues. Not my department. And there certainly isn't a lot of parking at/near the 611 UA address. You are correct in that I am trying to figure, in my head, what peoples fears are. My Significant Smother is one of the worlds most irrational woemen on the planet, when it comes to firearms* and when I read her sinti's post, the only thing she said was "How?". So, even irrational people question unsubstantiated fears. *Her fear/s come from an incident where her father, due to his own carelessness, blew off most of one of his biceps. I live with her fear/s and, mostly, keep my firearms out of sight. However, a gun in the safe doesn't do you any good when someone kicks in, or walks in, your front door, with bad intentions.
Don Wolf December 10, 2012 at 07:33 AM
I welcome a sporting goods store in Los Gatos. I can now buy my ammunition locally and thus make our community more save more conveniently. For those who are not familiear with firearms and only have liberal scare propoganda to base their feelings on, I offer to anyone over 21 to take them to a range and both demonstrate and have them practice fire arms safety. All they need to do is pay for the entrance fee to the range and the ammunition. I will furnish the guns.
Phillip Salfen December 10, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Larry, If the property is zoned C-1, retail sales establishments are allowed, per SECTION 29.60.210. If zoned other than C-1 a conditional use permit "may" have been required. Like you said, "without much research".
Phillip Salfen December 10, 2012 at 07:02 PM
My bad. Finally found the zoning. It is "LM". SO.... Per SECTION 29.70.100, retail sales establishments are allowed.
Larry Arzie December 10, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Philip, the property is zoned LM not C1. If you google "zoning map los gats ca" you will see the area designated in purple. It is confusing as there is a adjoining parallel strip in pink of C1 zoning. I had to do a double look myself. The local gossip is that a town employee is a partner in the business. Perhaps that's why the permit was issued without following the rules. Thanks for looking it up though and I doubt the town manager will even go that far.
Phillip Salfen December 10, 2012 at 09:56 PM
It appears you had not read my second post here. I don't see, even if a town employee IS a partner, how the rules were not followed. Retail businesses are allowed there, per the Town Ord I stated, and NO special use permits or citizen notifications were/are required.
Phillip Salfen December 10, 2012 at 10:13 PM
THAT would be AWESOME!
Larry Arzie December 10, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Phillip, I do not disagree with you. Yes retail is allowed anywhere in town, but if you are opening something other than what the district is zoned for, then a conditional use permit must be applied for, as you are changing the condition of use. These are land use laws allowed for by the State. To my knowledge there was no C.U.P. applied for and that is what I am questioning. We have rules and our staff needs to follow them.
Phillip Salfen December 10, 2012 at 10:45 PM
"Thanks for looking it up though and I doubt the town manager will even go that far." Or you, it appears. If you take the time to read the Ord, NO CUP required. If the state has CUP requirements you should take that up with the state, and not dis the town leadership without even reading the ord for yourself. Those who feed on rumors are small, suspicious souls. CHARLES R. SWINDOL
Tia December 20, 2012 at 09:43 PM
As a resident of Los Gatos,I consider this issue important enough and would simply like to have the right to have a voice on the matter in the form of a vote. Consequently, I request the City Council, to give it equal regard and take all steps required to bring this within votable preview. Not leave it saying, it is out of their hands.
Tia December 20, 2012 at 11:40 PM
As a resident of Los Gatos,I consider this issue important enough and would simply like to have the right to have a voice on the matter in the form of a vote. Consequently, I request the City Council, to give it equal regard and take all steps required to bring this within votable preview. Not leave it saying, it is out of their hands.
Tia January 29, 2013 at 04:22 PM
The Los Gatos patch, quoted the town representatives statement with regards to Templar sports, which would be selling guns. "There are no existing requirements in the town code for a conditional-use permit or any other discretionary approval for this retailer at that location.” Firstly, this raises the question was a loophole created by using some creative zoning manipulations. Secondly, this indicates that a loophole was very calculatedly exploited, in 5 ways: 1) Requesting/ selecting a location 2) In which town staff, the Planning Commission and/or the Town Council had no existing authority to deny the operation of this retailer. 3) It did not require adequate public notice and approval procedures 4) Cannot be granted restrictive or conditional license 5) Lastly cannot be touched retroactively though otherwise brown act provides provision for it.
Phillip Salfen January 29, 2013 at 04:39 PM
I love conspiracy theories!
Bob Rosenthal February 07, 2013 at 03:07 AM
Alcohol is unsafe for our town also. Let's close all the bars.
Bob Rosenthal February 07, 2013 at 03:10 AM
I agree. Templar Sports is a SPORT SHOP which happens to also sell firearms.
William Martin February 09, 2013 at 07:03 AM
Yep... The ill-informed reterique breeds! Please get educated...........!
William Martin February 09, 2013 at 07:06 AM
and Thank God they did!

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