Town of Los Gatos  |  General Plan 

Town of Los Gatos  |  General Plan 2040


Envisioning our Future

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is included in the General Plan?

The Town’s existing General Plan contains 10 elements:

  1. Land Use
  2. Community Design
  3. Housing
  4. Transportation
  5. Vasona Light Rail
  6. Open Space, Parks and Recreation
  7. Environment and Sustainability
  8. Noise
  9. Safety
  10. Human Services

As a part of updating the General Plan update, the Town may reorganize or add to existing elements and/or may add new elements to emphasize new planning issues that have arisen since the current General Plan was adopted.

Why update the General Plan?

The Town of Los Gatos adopted its current General Plan in 2010.  While the existing General Plan is serving the community well, the Town is doing an update to refine the General Plan, address emerging trends and recent State laws, and consider new issues.  This effort is intended to be a fine-tuning of the existing General Plan, rather than a comprehensive overhaul of the document.  This planning effort will also allow the General Plan Team to implement best practices in planning to ensure Los Gatos is resilient to future risks while also improving quality of life.

The General Plan update will address:

  • Land use
  • Transportation and mobility
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Evaluation and modifications to objective standards
  • Fiscal stability/responsibility
  • Diversity/inclusivity
  • Emerging trends
  • Recent State laws and General Plan Guidelines
  • Refinements and updates as necessary to the vision, goals, policies, and action items in the General Plan
  • Participatory community engagement
  • Racial, Social, and Environmental Justice
  • Comunity Design

What are the legal requirements to update the General Plan?

State law requires the Town to adopt a General Plan to address air quality, land use, circulation, housing, conservation, open space, noise, safety, and environmental justice.  General plans may also address and emphasize other subjects of local importance.  The updated and integrated General Plan will guide how Los Gatos should develop and evolve, and where funds and resources for infrastructure, services, and programs should be directed.

What is the difference between the General Plan and the Zoning Ordinance?

The General Plan sets forth long-term policies that guide future development.  It identifies the types of development that will be allowed, the spatial relationships among land uses, and the general pattern of future development.  The Zoning Ordinance implements General Plan policies through detailed development regulations, such as specific use types and building standards.  However, the land uses specified in the General Plan will usually be reflected in the local zoning maps as well.  State law requires that zoning be consistent with maps and policies in the General Plan.  Development must not only meet the specific requirements of the Zoning Regulations, but also the broader policies set forth in the General Plan.

What is an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)?

Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the potential environmental impacts of all major development projects must be assessed, disclosed, and appropriately mitigated.  The results of this environmental review process are conveyed in the form of an environmental impact report, or EIR.

As required by CEQA Guidelines, the Los Gatos General Plan EIR will identify the potential environmental impacts associated with the implementation of the General Plan.  This analysis will assess and, if necessary, include measures to mitigate potential impacts related to CEQA-required topics.  These topics include: air quality, greenhouse gases, hazards and hazardous materials, hydrology, land use, noise, population and housing, public services, recreation, mobility and transportation, utilities, agricultural and forest resources, biological resources, cultural resources, geology and soils, and aesthetics.

When will the New General Plan be completed?

The General Plan is anticipated to be completed by mid-2022.

Who is on the Consulting Team?

The Town has hired a General Plan consulting team of highly-experienced planners, designers, and technical specialists:

  • Mintier Harnish (lead for the overall General Plan update effort)
  • Rincon Consultants (lead for the Environmental Impact Report)
  • Fehr & Peers (Transportation and Mobility)
  • Applied Development Economics (Market, Fiscal, and Economic Analyses)
  • Wallace Roberts and Todd (Urban Design)
  • UrbanGreen (Sustainability)

Why should I get involved?

The General Plan process provides all residents and businesses with the chance to help guide the future of Los Gatos.  A successful General Plan will reflect the community’s vision and priorities, and we need public input to set the vision and priorities.

How can I get involved?

The General Plan process is an opportunity for community members to discuss the Town’s future.  There will be many opportunities to participate, including meetings, workshops, and public hearings.  We have created numerous opportunities for the community to contribute their ideas to the Los Gatos General Plan update process, including:

  • Attending a public workshop, event, or meeting
  • Joining the e-mail list to receive notifications of upcoming events
  • Submitting comments via this website
  • Emailing your comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Mailing your comments to the Los Gatos Town Hall at 110 E. Main Street, Los Gatos, CA, 95030

How will my feedback be used?

Public input from every engagement opportunity is meticulously recorded and cataloged to ensure that Town decision-makers have a full understanding of public sentiment when drafting goals and policies.  Public feedback on General Plan materials (including goals and policies) will be considered when making final revisions.

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