Los Gatos approves controversial Netflix expansion
Jeremy C. Owens and Judy Peterson | San Jose Mercury | June 4, 2013 | link
LOS GATOS — A yearslong effort to build more office space for Netflix (NFLX) in the Silicon Valley town it has always called home received approval Monday night, though the new office complex will be smaller than originally proposed.
The Los Gatos Town Council voted 4-1 Monday night to approve the controversial Albright Business Park, to be built across Highway 85 from Netflix’s current campus on Winchester Boulevard.
Developer John Shenk wanted to build a 550,000-square-foot complex with four 65-foot-tall buildings and a three-story parking garage; Netflix signed
a 10-year lease to occupy the first building to be erected. The council approved that plan in 2011, but opponents sued, citing a Los Gatos law limiting buildings to 35 feet to preserve the town’s hillside views; the court ordered a detailed environmental impact report.After seeing the report, the Los Gatos Town Council in April voted 4-3 to reject the Albright plan, based largely on traffic and height concerns.
Mayor Barbara Spector suggested a compromise Monday that split the difference between the 550,000 square feet the developer wanted and the 350,000 square feet the report said would have the least impact on the surrounding community. The plan approved Monday night limits the overall complex to 485,000 square feet, keeps at least two of the four proposed buildings to 50 feet in height, and caps the parking garage at 35 feet.
Vice Mayor Steve Leonardis was the lone “no” vote among council members, apparently because the proposed business park is still too big for his liking. He endorsed 400,000 square feet.
“We’re pleased the town made a decision on Monday night,” said Joris Evers, a spokesperson for Netflix. “It is a good compromise for the town. We are processing what it means for us.”