Los Gatos’ last 40 acres of undeveloped land is scheduled for private development, but the town’s Planning Commission wants to use on-line surveys to find out what people think should be done.

North 40 is the 40-acre piece of land bordered by Lark Avenue, Los Gatos Boulevard, Highway 17, and Highway 85. The property is privately owned, and it will be privately developed. That still leaves space for the town to determine how the land should be used. How should commercial and residential spaces be integrated? What architectural styles should predominate? The answers, in turn, will determine the infrastructures that are laid down for the plot.

To get a better idea of what local residents want, the Planning Commission has launched a survey, “to help set the parameters for public spaces and architectural styles.” The survey is a series of 33 questions, 30 of which are accompanied by photographs (the first three questions are intended to help identify the respondents).

Each of the 30 questions depicts a development use or style and asks what the respondents think of it. The five possible options are: “Appropriate,” “May be appropriate,” “Neutral,” May not be appropriate,” and “NOT appropriate”. Eight questions focus on public space, and 22 focus on architectural styles.

Questions about the public space areas refer to the inclusion of parks, public plazas for various uses, pedestrian concerns (narrow paseos, active pedestrian spaces, etc.), and the inclusion of sidewalk dining.

Though the end result will most likely be a mixed-use development with retail and commercial space alongside housing, residents have an opportunity to be heard on what those spaces look like. It is a chance to have a say about the future of the town’s last major tract of undeveloped land.

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