Los Gatos Community Alliance recently presented the results of an October 2021 survey that measures LG residents’ attitudes to the Los Gatos General Plan to Town Leaders. According to the survey conducted by EMC Research, an independent SF-based research firm, 62% of Los Gatos residents familiar with the LGGP 2040 have an unfavorable opinion of it. Click here to see a slideshow of the full survey results: https://lg-ca.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/EMC-SURVEY-RESULTS-DRAFT-GENERAL-PLAN-2040.pdf. Following is our letter to the town council, staff and planning commission on survey results, in preparation for the Town Council Study Session.
To: Town Council, Staff and Planning Commission
For: Tuesday, December 7, 2021 Town Council Study Session
Attached to this email you will find the slides that we presented to our group to give them the results of our October 2021 community survey as it pertained to the General Plan. These are the results of a survey LGCA did to better understand the thoughts and concerns of the public as they pertain to the 2040 Draft Los Gatos General Plan.
As you will see in another email from us, also presented for this meeting, we have been very concerned about the escalation of the number of housing units to be planned for the 6th cycle. Several Councilmembers and the staff have told us this will never happen. However, never before have we seen the town so wide open to development. Perhaps “it never happened before” because the old rules made it too laborious. Now the developers are operating under a whole new set of rules. Who knows what’s next?
As of Sept 2019, we were given the impression that the 2020 plan was serving us well and it would be fine-tuned to create the 2040 plan. About one year later, an unanticipated escalation started to form, eventually raising the RHNA required from 1993 to 3904! One year after that in October of 2021, we decided that we had heard enough dissatisfaction from our fellow residents that we decided to incur the cost of another poll to measure the temperature of the Los Gatos residents.
We hired EMC Research out of San Francisco. This was the firm who had also conducted the poll when we presented two initiatives in the 2020 election; one for Term Limits and the other for a permanent citizens Finance Commission. Council told us no one wanted Term Limits and the Finance Commission would never pass. Both passed easily. Their polling results were extremely close to the actual voting results, and both were passed easily by the public in November 2020.
This past year, the school district also hired EMC to poll the citizens as to whether the parcel tax would pass or not. That parcel tax passed well above the 2/3 majority needed and the votes even exceeded the prediction of EMC.
The reason for telling you this is that though polling is not always perfect, it has been a great tool for us to measure public sentiment and give us confidence that even if we do not have the buy- in from the politicians, the public understands that we want what works for them. We are giving it these results far in advance of when we intended to release it because the results are important to understand in this Study Session.
The attached survey will tell the Council and Planning Commission the residents’ thoughts and opinions on this 2040 Draft General Plan.