Sufficient Sites Have Not Been identified in the Housing Element Inventory

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Dear Members of the HEAB and General Planning Commission,


The Los Gatos Community Alliance (LGCA) believes the Town does not have sufficient sites identified in the Housing Element site inventory to provide the development capacity to meet the Town’s 6th cycle RHNA allocation plus 15 % buffer for very-low-income, low- income, and moderate-income categories. This has been documented in the Table 10.3 link, found here:  No net loss memo – HCD


Table 10.3 has been adjusted to reflect the planned development that was submitted by the developers on their SB 330 applications for the N40 parcels (APN 424-07-009/053/095/094/081/115/116) and the Los Gatos Lodge parcels (APN 529-24-001/003/032). There are material differences between the SB 330 applications and the Towns’ adopted site inventory as submitted to HCD on February 13, 2023. The site inventory can be found on the Town’s website at this link  ( ).


It should be noted that the February 13 site inventory list is different from the site inventory that was used to prepare Table 10.3. The February site inventory list, which was adopted by the Town Council, totaled 81.86 acres of land and 1,840 units of which 972 were low-income units (very low and low combined). The site inventory that was the basis for Table 10.3 totaled 87.1 acres of land and 1,997 units of which 1,008 were low-income units (very low and low combined). The later site inventory list has not been adopted by the Town Council nor approved by HCD. For purposes of this email, Table 10.3 was used as published in the latest draft of the Housing Element, understanding that there is an unexplained discrepancy between the two site inventory lists.


Once the adjustment is made for the SB 330 planned development for the N40 and Los Gatos Lodge parcels, the Town has a deficit of 190 very-low-income units, 20 low-income units and 53 moderate income units. Worse, the Town does not meet the RHNA allocation for very -low (deficit of 109 units) and moderate-income levels (deficit of 5 units), while exceeding the above moderate-income category by 459 units or 56%! This is very troubling.


Given these deficits it appears the Town is violation of the Government Code Section 65863 – No Net Loss Law. The purpose of this law is to ensure development opportunities remain available throughout the planning period to accommodate a jurisdictions’ regional housing need allocation (RHNA), especially for lower and moderate-income households. A jurisdiction must maintain sites to always accommodate its remaining unmet RHNA by each category throughout the entire planning period.


A memo from HCD which explains in detail the requirements of No Net Loss Law is also attached. Please refer to page 15 which shows a No Net Loss Law decision flow chart. It should be noted that the flow chart starts when a development is proposed which then triggers a capacity calculation. The relevant question is “would the approval of the proposed project result in a lower density than was assumed in the housing element or create a shortfall of capacity to accommodate the RHNA by income”. The answer is absolutely yes.


Given the development application was made under SB 330 and the Town does not have a certified Housing Element, the Town has very little discretion regarding the approval of these projects. Under State law once a SB 330 application is received by the Town, the application is deemed to be complete, even though final documentation is not due for an additional 180 days. Given this, it is highly likely the Town will approve the development units as submitted.


Furthermore, if the Town makes no adjustment to the current draft site inventory, it is highly likely the Town Council will be unable to make a truthful finding supported by substantial evidence in the record that the current draft site inventory is adequate to meet the jurisdiction’s RHNA for the 6th cycle by income category. For sake of clarity, given all the evidence in the record today, which includes letters from the developers and the related SB 330 applications, the current draft site inventory will not meet the Town’s 6th cycle requirements by income category.




  1. Since the housing element has not been certified by HCD and the Town does not have a compliant site inventory list, the Town should immediately increase the number of parcels in the draft site inventory list to address the deficit in very-low-, low- and moderate-income categories. This is required by the No Net Loss Law. This will also improve the chances that the Town will have the Housing Element certified by HCD in a timely manner which is a major concern given the Town’s continuing exposure to the builder remedy.
  2. Until the Town has a compliant site inventory list, the Town should not begin the process to amend the General Plan to include a description of the HEOZ or amend the Town Code to modify the AHOZ. Since the current site inventory list must be amended to comply with the No Net Loss Law, any action taken now would be premature and deny the public the right to full disclosure of the parcels to be included in the zoning changes subject to HEOZ and AHOZ.
  3. There seems to be considerable confusion with the Staff regarding the need to amend the current draft of the site inventory list to address the deficits noted in Table 10-3. For sake of clarity and to remove all doubt, Staff should immediately request HCD to issue a letter of technical assistance which would address all issues regarding the Town’s responsibility under Housing Element Law (article 10.6 of Gov. Code) and the related No Net Loss Law (Govt. Code section 65863) and the impact of all SB 330 applications the Town has received as of today. The public deserves a clear explanation as to how the Town should legally address in the Housing Element all the SB 330 applications given the material impact on the current draft of the site inventory.


Thank you for reviewing my recommendations. Please let us know if you have any questions.


Phil Koen

Los Gatos Community Alliance


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