Los Gatos, CA — Criticism of the town’s plan to build a 32-unit, low-income apartment complex at 20 Dittos Lane continues to mount, as the plan itself steams ahead amid concern that Gov. Jerry Brown will take away the money to build it.
The town owns the 1.49-acre site and has earmarked redevelopment agency funds for the project. The complex itself would be built by the ROEM Development Corporation, which specializes in low-income housing.
One of the main complaints about the complex is that, at 32 units, it’s too dense.
At a Feb. 23 planning commission study session, ROEM’s Jonathan Emami addressed questions about the number of units, saying, “There was really no magic number.” He added, “We really didn’t look at a lower range.” Emami later said, “If you go below 32 units, it becomes expensive to build and operate; it doesn’t pencil out.”
“We’re not opposed to the project if it met the town’s density guidelines,” Penthouse Apartments owner Terry Maas said.
Because it is an RDA project, it is not subject to the same restrictions as private developments. In fact, town staff points out that 35 units could be built under the RDA formula.
One of the reasons the town zeroed in on the Dittos property is because it was blighted. But Maas points out, “Every time the former owner tried to propose a development, they blocked him.”
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