Proposed development at 185 Bacigalupi Dr

With recent changes in state law, we shouldn’t be surprised at the proposed development at 185 Bacigalupi Dr., but it is so “close to home” in Belwood that it still caught me off guard when I read what is planned for the Riggios’ old home.

What is the proposed development at 185 Bacigalupi Drive?

The home was sold off market in 2023 for $2,268,000.

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Proposed development at 185 Bacigalupi Dr - photo of the site in Los Gatos

 

On May 24, 2024, the owners filed their project to partially demolish the current house and to replace it with two separate units or houses, the larger of which would also have a Junior ADU or JADU (attached and particularly small Accessory Dwelling Unit, or ADU). The paperwork with the town states that they are “Requesting Approval for a Two-Unit Housing Development on Property”. It is actually 3 living units, though, but one is attached.

The architect’s description of the project can be read here, and I’m putting a summary next:

– Partial demolition of the existing one story house approx. 1,748 sq. ft.
– SB-9 UNIT 1: The construction of a new 2 story single family house with two cars garage and
a Jr. ADU = 3,297 sq. ft.

– SB-9 UNIT 2: The conversion of the remaining portion of the house as a detached unit with
one car garage = 786 sq. ft.

What will this look like?

The images below come from the PDFs on the right side of the page from the planning department’s website (the first link shared above).

Here we see the current configuration on the left and the new design:

 

 Current vs proposed housing 185 Bacigalupi Dr

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Mirassou site construction update

The Preserve Belwood Neighborhood Association has been working to get the Union School District to reconsider the land use at the Mirassou site, and they are making progress. The new proposal is for just 12 homes, and the lot sizes are more in keeping with the neighborhood, 11,000 to 13,000 SF. Robson Homes is the selected contractor. Want to provide your input? Please attend the meeting – details below.

 

Mirassou site new plan for homes - Robson

Preserve Belwood Neighborhood Association’s Mirassou site: USD Feb 12th at 6 pm

Mirassou Site Update sign in field of flowersWe are on the email list for this group. There is a new Request for Proposals by the Union School District. The Preserve Belwood Neighborhood Association sent a reminder note out about the meeting, which will be held on Monday February 12 at 6PM at the Union School District Office (5175 Union Ave, San Jose, CA 95124).

“The next Union School District Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Monday February 12 at 6PM at the Union School District Office (5175 Union Ave, San Jose, CA 95124).  The USD board has received their responses to the RFP for the development of the Mirassou property.  There will be a presentation by the potential developer at this board meeting.  We would like to have a great presence of Belwood neighbors at this board meeting to show our interest in the Mirassou property development.

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All information for USD board meetings can be found at https://www.unionsd.org/about/board-of-trustees.  The final agenda for this meeting will be posted on Friday February 9 at 5PM.”

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Sent out this afternoon regarding tonight’s meeting:

 

1.  Tonight’s USD board meeting will be the standard formal board meeting where the attached slides will be presented.  There is a  public comments part of the agenda, but there will not be an opportunity to interact and get questions answered.
2.  There will be a community meeting on February 22 at 7PM at the Belwood Cabana where Robson will be in attendance to present the plans and interact with the community.
3.  As requested by homeowners, Robson will also meet individually with homeowners who are directly impacted by the development plans to try to work out any concerns.
All information for USD board meetings can be found at https://www.unionsd.org/about/board-of-trustees

Earlier info:
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Los Gatos housing plan update

Housing plan update - the town of Los Gatos has a Seven-Day Public Review of the Draft Revised 6th Cycle Housing Element - person inspecting documentsThe Los Gatos Planning Department sent out the housing plan update, information below. I requested and received permission to repost it here. This is relevant to everyone in town who has any concerns about the California building laws and their impact on new developments, particularly as they relate to the Builder’s Remedy. For our neighborhood, it appears to be connected to the proposed 30 new homes at the Mirassou site.

Housing plan updated: public review of the Housing Element Draft info from the Planning Department

On September 22, 2023, the Town posted online the Draft Revised 2023-2031 Housing Element with modifications in response to the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s (HCD) Findings/Comment Letter received by the Town on May 30, 2023.

The Draft Revised 2023-2031 Housing Element is available to the public for a seven-day review period prior to HCD re-submittal.  The seven-day public review period runs until 5:00 p.m. on September 29, 2023.  The following items can be viewed on the Town’s Housing Element Update website at: https://www.losgatosca.gov/1735/General-Plan—Housing-Element.

  • Draft Revised 2023-2031 Housing Element – Clean Copy
  • Draft Revised 2023-2031 Housing Element – Track Changes Copy
  • Response Memorandum to HCD’s Findings and Comment Letter

Written comments (including name, affiliation, telephone number, and contact information) can be submitted through September 29, 2023, by 5:00 p.m., by email to HEUpdate@losgatosca.gov or by mail to:

Town of Los Gatos
Community Development Department
110 E. Main Street
Los Gatos, CA 95030

Additionally, the Housing Element Advisory Board (HEAB) will be meeting on September 28, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. to review and discuss the Town’s Draft Revised Housing Element addressing HCD’s findings/comment letter received by the Town on May 30, 2023.  The agenda and staff report is now available on the Town’s agenda center webpage.

 

30 New Homes at Mirassou School

It looks like there will there be 30 new homes built at the Mirassou School site, which until recently housed Mulberry School, per a recent vote at the Union School District office.

The proposed construction came as a surprise to many of us, but the momentum toward this outcome has been moving along in the Union School District, which owns the property at 220 Belgatos Rd, Los Gatos. After much hard work (unknown as it was to the public), Robson Homes has emerged as the partner.

 

Future site of the 30 new homes to be built by Robson - school field as seen on Belvue Drive, Los Gatos

 

Meeting regarding the proposed 30 new homes

Union School District hosted a special meeting to vote on the agreement between Robson Homes and the district on Friday, August 25th @ 4:30p.m. The vote did go through, and the 30 new homes will be built on the grassy lot per the image below.

How could this go through when the neighbors object?

Right now the town’s housing plan has not been blessed by the state. Builders have an advantage, and can utilize the “Builder’s Remedy” to force through projects that might otherwise not have been permitted. Unfortunately, that isn’t the only state regulation that can push this through despite local opposition. It’s a complex network of laws that appear to make it possible for builders and landowners able to build despite CCRs, zoning laws, and the objection of immediate neighbors.

That said, some of the neighbors are objecting and are gearing up for a legal fight.

What is the objection to these units being constructed?

Neighbors object on several points:

  • The majority of the neighborhood consists of homes on appx 8,000 SF lots to 12,000 SF lots, some larger (almost none smaller). These houses and duet homes will be on postage sized lots.
  • Belgatos Road already has too much traffic with the schools and Belgatos Park.
  • The intersection of Belgatos Road and Blossom Hill Road is dangerous now, as the two fatalities this year underscore. Adding probably 60 new cars coming and going to exacerbate this issue.
  • School crowding has been raised as an issue.
  • I haven’t heard, but would expect that the folks living right next to the school yard’s property line will be unhappy about the loss of privacy, increased noise and shadows, and so on.

Where will the residences be built?

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3 New Homes at Harwood and Almond Blossom

Story poles are now up for 3 new homes at Harwood and Almond Blossom at the site of the former Harwood Hills Preschool and more recently, a Spanish language school.  I was told by long time neighbors that this was a tennis court club long ago, but the county records that I can access don’t go far enough back to know if that’s the case or not. What is clear, though, is that the new use will be housing.

This area is not in the Belwood of Los Gatos subdivision and not part of the areas served by the Belwood Cabana.

 

3 new homes at Harwood and Almond Blossom - orange story poles are now up

 

What do we know so far about the 3 new homes at Harwood and Almond Blossom?

 

First, the current property address is 16220 Harwood Road, Los Gatos 95032.  Initially the story poles appeared only in the back corner of the property, but as of yesterday we saw all three sets of story poles in place. The poles were the first that we knew of a project that was being proposed.

Orange story poles for 3 new homes at Harwood and Almond Blossom

 

The three sets of story poles confirm that 3 tall, detached structures are being proposed.  It appears to be 3 two story homes are in the works.
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