September 17, 2014| Nathan Donato-Weinstein| Silicon Valley Business Journal| Link

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The Los Gatos Town Council on Tuesday night sent city planners back to the drawing board on the North 40 specific plan, declining to pass an environmental impact report and instead asking for “more information” on potential traffic and school impacts.

The 3-2 vote is a major blow to the development team of Grosvenor, SummerHill Homes and Eden Housing because the environmental report was crucial to advancing a process that would allow the area to be redeveloped. They’ve been working for years on a development proposal for a portion of the North 40, which is actually a little larger than 40 acres and is considered the last large undeveloped site in the town. (St. Anton Capital, a Sacramento-based apartment builder, also controls several acres of land but has not turned in an actual development project.)

The council on Tuesday was actually only taking up the issue of planning guidelines for the area, not the Grosvenor-led group’s specific project. But by declining to certify the plan’s environmental impact report, the council essentially delayed the timeline by months while town staff and consultants open up the report to add more detail. That will likely mean that the report comes back for consideration after a new town council is elected.

Council members Diane McNutt and Joe Pirzynski voted to certify the EIR, while MayorSteven Leonardis, vice mayor Marcia Jensen and council member Barbara Spector voted against it. The no voters asked city staff to study the impact of new projects in the area, which they said were not included in the EIR and could bring traffic to the area that would be much worse than anticipated. They had particular concerns about the Dell Avenue area plan, a study being undertaken in Campbell that would add development capacity to that city’s R&D district. They were also concerned about the impact on schools, which they said were already overcrowded. See More]]>

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