A Letter From Vice Mayor Hudes With a Los Gatos Housing Update 2-12-24

We have recently made some progress on our Housing Element document that needs to be certified by the State.

As you know, the document failed to gain approval 4 times, but obtaining this approval ASAP is imperative, since the fact that it is overdue for State certification has opened the door to developers claiming that they have the right to a Builder’s Remedy. In fact, a Builder’s Remedy has already been claimed in at least 9 of the 11 new proposals to the Town, as listed below.  (If granted, a Builder’s Remedy limits the Town’s ability to alter/guide the proposed development, providing “almost automatic” approval.)

During the February 6 Council meeting, we made progress responding to the State’s requirement to spread housing throughout the Town.  Some members of the Council proposed opening all single-family residential neighborhoods to multi-unit housing.  This expansive approach, added to our already included housing sites, could allow a maximum possible 5,250 new housing units in Town, going far beyond the State requirement of 1,993 units. Of course this large number is not likely, but it illustrates the uncontrolled nature of an approach with no constraints.  And yet, this approach would still not necessarily result in any of the small multi-unit housing actually being affordable housing. I proposed a more guided approach, which passed on a 3-2 vote. The guided approach steers this denser development to areas that are more fire-safe and more transit-available and that are less likely to disrupt the historic and natural beauty of Los Gatos.

This progress on the Housing Element is part of the more efficient approach to getting our entire Housing Element approved as quickly as possible.  Over the last 18 months, the Town failed 4 times to get its 800-page document approved, each time going through a cumbersome 3-6 month cycle.  Now, in order to obtain State approval more nimbly and efficiently, the Town is following a process (that I proposed and the Council unanimously approved) to “fix” the State’s concerns, piece by piece, in manageable “bites” that can be readily, informally reviewed and approved by the State.  This should save months of time as compared to our previous approach.  I believe that it is not how quickly we submit, but how quickly we are certified that matters.

Our next meeting is on February 20, and your involvement and engagement are welcomed.  We will continue to push forward until we obtain certification.



Vice Mayor, Town of Los Gatos


I am always open to information provided at public hearings. I will not express a final opinion until the Council votes on these matters.  Any expression is by me as an individual, not by the Council.


On Dec 31, 2023, at 12:06 PM Matthew Hudes <matthew@matthewhudes.com> wrote:

Hi Jak,

Some good news about the Housing Element document that needs to be certified by the State (and has failed to gain approval 4 times):

On December 19, the Los Gatos Town Council met and adopted a new, more effective process for revising and obtaining approval from the State.  This new process is structured to better engage the community, the Council, the housing consultant and the State.  This will enable the community to be more involved in the decisions that are made regarding the locations for housing as well making more effective, directed progress toward State certification.  By a 5-0 vote, the Council adopted a motion that I made, outlined as having the following actions:

  1. Prioritizing the comments from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)
  2. Presenting the Los Gatos Housing Element draft text to Council with examples from two to three certified Housing Elements, and providing the public an opportunity to comment at the Council meeting with staff addressing the public comments in subsequent meetings
  3. Scheduling Council meetings with the Town’s housing consultant on a regular basis to complete the edits
  4. Reviewing the proposed edits with HCD and providing written feedback to the Council about HCD’s responses
  5. Conducting public engagement with the Housing Element Advisory Board after Council completes the draft

Council also unanimously voted to meet and review the Housing Element prior to submittal to the State (HCD).

This means that you will have the opportunity to participate at the January 16 Council meeting and at subsequent meetings until the State certifies our Housing Element.

As Mayor Badame stated, this is the most important issue currently facing the Town.

Please keep your ideas and comments coming, as I read all of them.




More information:

Video of February 6 Council Meeting


(about 37 minutes in)

SB 330 including Pre-Applications


Formal Applications


Housing Element


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