The proposal for 30 new homes at the Mirassou site’s once grassy lot has encountered opposition from a large group of neighbors. The Belwood HOA does not cover everyone impacted, and fighting the development is not part of their charter. Concerned neighbors have created a new organization, the Preserve Belwood Neighborhood Association.
Preserve Belwood Neighborhood Association’s Mirassou site update
We are on the email list for this group. On October 19th, 2023, we received their email with this information:
“According to the letter/email published by the Union School District on October 17th, 2023, “the Board of Trustees has made the decision to go back out for a new Request for Proposals (RFP) for the land, as they are considering new options for building fewer residential lots on the property”.
Their latest email also stated:
“This appears to be good news and will slow down the development of the property. We are working diligently to understand the factors which led to this decision. We will continue to follow the progress of this latest RFP and be ready to take action as appropriate. We are also meeting with members of the Los Gatos Town Council, the Planning Commission, and the Union School District to stay apprised of developments and ensure that any decisions consider the needs of the Belwood community. We have identified a law firm with pertinent experience with development of open lands in the Bay Area and plan to engage with the firm as needed. We will continue to communicate our findings with the entire neighborhood through emails and community meetings.
“We have incurred expenses in forming the Preserve Belwood Neighborhood Association and will continue to incur expenses as we work with various subject matter experts. If you are interested in contributing to the cause, we have established a bank account with Bank of America with Zelle enabled, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions can be made using Zelle or by providing a physical check.”
Want to get involved?
Another recent update from the Preserve Belwood Neighborhood Association on 10/27/23:
“We will host a community meeting on Sunday November 5 at 4:30PM at the Belwood cabana to discuss the current situation with the Mirassou property development. This email will go out to everyone in our community, but please share this information with your neighbors.
We would also appreciate any contribution you would like to make to our efforts. Household contributions from the community are ranging from $100 to $300, depending on the impact the development of the Mirassou property might have on the household.
We look forward to meeting with everyone.
Preserve Belwood Neighborhood Association
Rich Dobner (CEO), Tom Sandoval (CFO),
Chad Walsh (Secretary), Steve Daniel (Board Member),
Erica Osman (Board Member), Evan Barth (Board Member”
If you’d like to learn more or get involved, please reach out to the board of the Preserve Belwood Neighborhood Association at email@example.com or attend the meeting on November 5th.
Los Gatos housing element (Live in Los Gatos blog)
Los Gatos housing plan update (this site)
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.