Support our community vision for high-quality, compassionate senior housing in Los Gatos
The future of Los Gatos
After 48 years, Los Gatos Meadows closed its doors in August 2019. But as we consider the future of Los Gatos, we believe there is a home here for another senior living community. Like the original community, the new Los Gatos Meadows would provide senior living and care services for a similar residential population. Our objective is to provide a safer and better functioning version of the prior community.
Our proposal to rebuild Los Gatos Meadows provides innovative senior care and housing on a safe and modern campus that ensures the safety and well-being of residents, employees and neighbors. It will include sustainable, accessible and state-of-the-art features that are aligned with the Town of Los Gatos’ long-term vision. We are committed to working closely with the community and Town leaders to ensure a transparent and thoughtful proposal review process.
Rockwood Pacific Inc. on behalf of Covia, the non-profit owner of Los Gatos Meadows, submitted a formal application for re-development review for 110 Wood Road to the Town of Los Gatos Planning Division on Jan. 22, 2020. The project application and all related documents, including the Draft Environmental Impact Report are available on the Town of Los Gatos website (www.losgatos.com) and at https://www.losgatosca.gov/2393/W.
The project is expected to be reviewed by the Town Council in the Spring of 2022. Preparation of construction documents and permit approvals are likely to take at least another 18 months following the Town’s action on the project. The soonest construction would start is mid-2024 and we anticipate it lasting two and a half years.
Since the Los Gatos Meadows facility closed Sept. 30, 2019, Covia has provided on-site property management and security, ensuring the campus remains safe from fire, trespassing, vandalism and illegal dumping. In addition, ongoing maintenance has been provided as needed. Covia has erected a perimeter fence around the main campus and has posted no trespassing signs. We do not anticipate demolishing our existing facilities until we have a permit for the rebuild proposal. In early 2022, we experienced a significant increase in break-ins and trespassing attempts. In response to this change, in consultation with local fire and police authorities, we have been adding additional lighting and security cameras. If you notice any suspicious activity on the Los Gatos Meadows property, please contact Alex Gerasimov at (408) 234-4261 and/or call the Los Gatos police.
In early 2019, after completion of a rigorous facilities assessment, Covia concluded that continuing operations of the 48-year-old Los Gatos Meadows facility presented too great a wildfire risk to our residents and employees. We worked closely with all our residents, their families, our employees, neighbors and the Town of Los Gatos to ensure a thoughtful and smooth closing on Sept. 30, 2019.
The project team organized and participated in at least 15 public forums and approximately 75 meetings with community members, local businesses, neighbors, community groups and other stakeholders to gather public input to shape the project designs. Ten of our eleven key design principles (see next questions) were formulated and shared with stakeholders in 2018 with the eleventh design principle added after the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic. These design principles informed and constrained the design process. For instance, we distributed massing and discontinued review of alternatives that would have reduced open space in large part because this would have conflicted with the applicable design principle that was established with our stakeholders earlier in the process.
The design principles are:
a. No increase in number of apartments, care units or staff count
b. No increase in development pad
c. Align with local market; bigger apartments and on-site amenities
d. Sensitivity to visual impacts
e. Address parking problem
f. Substantially improve fire safety
g. Best practices for sustainability
h. Restrict auto exit onto Broadway
i. Improve town integration
j. Contribute to quality of built environment
k. Optimize health and wellness during contagious disease events
Although Hillside Design Standards and Guidelines do not apply to this project, Los Gatos Meadows will be built in accordance with the spirit of the guidelines. Los Gatos Meadows steps into the hillside and increases available open space. Architects have selected natural, muted tones to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding environment. The EIR prepared by the Town’s independent Environmental Consultant assessed an extensive list of potential impacts including the expected Visual Character and Quality Effects (Impact 5-3 in Draft EIR) and concluded that the project’s impact would be expected to have Less than Significant impact and the proposed project “would generally be consistent with the Hillside Design Standards and Guidelines” (HDS&G). Furthermore, the Town commissioned a peer review of the plans (see Canon Design Group letter of May 8, 2020) that concluded that “[T]he project is well designed with a lot of thought given to the facilities’ layout and building design” and did not make any recommendations for changes to the building design. Covia has erected story poles on all perimeter buildings to provide the community with the anticipated visual impact of the proposal for Los Gatos Meadows. We have developed numerous visualization exhibits to assist in gauging the impact of our proposed rebuild. Further, a second set of flags will be added to the story poles to provide a visual characterization of the Option presented to the Town Council to reduce the height & massing of Villas A and C.
The EIR prepared by the Town’s independent Environmental Consultant assessed and evaluated the proposed rebuild project on approximately sixty 2020 General Plan policies, including those embedded in the Town’s Sustainability Plan and Hillside Design Specific Plan. Table 3-1 in the Draft EIR provides an exhaustive comparison of the project’s compatibility to the applicable Town GP policies.
No. The current and proposed use is as a Continuing Care Retirement Community. The proposal is to amend and replace an existing Planned Development. These actions are not expected to affect the Town’s RHNA calculations.
Given the priority to preserve open space and the changes in expectations for the next generation of seniors, avoiding an even further reduction in the number of units requires a material increase in massing. Reductions in massing will result in a reduction in the number of units, which in turn will drive the per resident cost allocated to future residents higher (Covia/Front Porch is a non-profit organization so project scale is not related to expected profit). Furthermore, any cost associated with a below market rent program will effectively need to be paid for by other residents in the community.
Yes, design and programs for the proposed community may include improved quality-of-life experiences for residents, increased accessibility to Los Gatos businesses, and fewer car trips.
The proposal would minimize on-campus interactions between vehicles and pedestrians. The current plan includes the integration of one or more electric autonomous vehicles (similar in size to a golf cart) to be used along a re-built and widened (with some portions widened from 12’ to 26’) Farwell Lane to enable the safe, convenient and alternative means of transport for residents between Los Gatos Meadows and Los Gatos retail, entertainment and civic services and reduce traffic and parking demand. The autonomous vehicles are not expected to leave the Los Gatos Meadows property.
Neighbors have expressed a concern regarding evacuation alternatives in the event of an emergency. Though it is a private road, Covia intends to improve and operate Farwell Lane in a manner that would permit accessible use of this route by our neighbors in the event of an emergency.
The rebuilt Farwell Lane will also be a critical fire access route. The Santa Clara County Fire Department intends to utilize Farwell Lane as the primary access point to the property in the event of a fire.
Per the traffic analysis provided in the memorandum of Dec.10, 2020 regarding Los Gatos Meadows – Transportation Analysis, the rebuild is expected to result in a reduction in the number of peak hour trips in the mornings and evenings.
The project is expected to result in a modest increase in the number of trips on Wood Road due to the change in the use of Farwell Lane (see question above). The proposed rebuild would result in not more than an additional 30 cars per hour in or out which equates to about one car per every 2 minutes. On Saturdays, the peak hour in-bound is 39 trips.
This still equates to less than one trip per minute which is minimal. It is anticipated that the improvements to the parking conditions at Los Gatos Meadows will reduce the number of trips under prior conditions, where a visitor or staff attempts to find parking, fails and has to park at one of the off-site options.
The site further mitigates its traffic impact by utilizing electric autonomous shuttles to connect residents to downtown without impacting parking demand.
Yes. The current draft Conditions of Approval require the installation of a sidewalk connecting the project to the intersection of Wood Road and Santa Cruz Avenue and construction of the necessary retaining wall(s), potential pedestrian crosswalk and associated ADA ramps for connectivity to the existing sidewalk on the south side of Wood Road.
No. The project is not expected to affect pressure in the area. As part of the project planning process, San Jose Water Company performed hydraulic analysis and confirmed that water pressure is suitable.
The proposal does not address under-grounding of power lines. At an appropriate time, the project team intends to inquire with PG&E regarding the undergrounding of power lines and will plan to coordinate with interested neighbors on this matter.
No. Unlike the existing roof color, the new buildings are not expected to have white roofs. However, to address sustainability goals, the selected color is not expected to be dark. Roof color and other design attributes are expected to be addressed in a future phase of the project.
The current proposal does not address this level of detail. The use, placement and configuration of solar panels, as applicable, are expected to be addressed in a future phase of the project (during the architectural and site application review process).
We are not planning to incorporate trails or walking paths into the project based on feedback from some neighbors.
The project will exceed the California Green Building Standards Code, which is more rigorous than other independent certifications. In response to community feedback, the project will incorporate recycling, ample natural light, energy and water efficiency, and other environmentally sound practices.
Construction traffic is expected to utilize Wood Road and CA-17. For outbound trips, trucks are expected to turn right onto Santa Cruz Avenue and head south on CA-17 and, as appropriate, turn around on Bear Creek Road. For inbound trips, trucks are expected to approach the site from the CA-17 exit onto Santa Cruz Ave. All construction traffic shall be subject to a traffic control plan acceptable to the Town.
The phasing plan shall contemplate noise impacts to immediate neighbors, and if/as appropriate, may incorporate temporary sound walls. All construction activities shall be conducted in accordance with the Town’s construction best management practices, as identified in the Town’s Noise Ordinance.
The existing draft Conditions of Approval includes a requirement for Covia to rebuild the segment of Wood Road from Santa Cruz Avenue to the project.
The estimated net off-haul dirt volume is 144,000 cubic yards. A combination of double bottoms, end dumps, and super dump trucks are expected to be utilized for this task. The total number of expected trips is approximately 14,000. At roughly 200 loads per day, the duration of this task is approximately three months.
Per current Town policy, all construction activities shall be limited to the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. No construction is allowed on Sundays or holidays.
Covia, the long-standing Los Gatos Meadows non-profit property owner/operator with 50 years’ experience managing senior living communities, is overseeing the proposal. Covia recently affiliated with Front Porch, a non-profit family of senior communities and partnerships. The two organizations are stronger together in an evolving marketplace and have increased their ability to deliver services.
Covia has retained Rockwood Pacific Inc. to provide development management services. Other members of the team include Perkins Eastman (site planning and architecture); Kimley-Horn (planning and civil engineering); and Gates + Associates (landscape architecture).
Covia, as part of its recent affiliation with the non-profit Front Porch, intends to continue to operate the proposed community and to retain full control of the property.
Information about pricing and services is not expected to be available until 2023. Please send your name, mailing address and email address to Susan Rockwood (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be added to a list of interested future residents.
Please visit our website - https://covia.org/los-gatos-meadows/ - to stay informed about the proposal or the Town of Los Gatos Planning Division’s website at https://www.losgatosca.gov/2393/W. Covia has retained Rockwood Pacific Inc. to assist in the management of the proposal. Please contact Frank Rockwood of Rockwood Pacific Inc. by emailing email@example.com for further details about information sessions and open houses.
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