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3 LAND USE ELEMENT <br />A. Introduction <br />Los Gatos is a mature, predominantly built-out community. Many believe <br />that there is little room for growth or change in the physical environment. <br />However, land use is .dynamic and change is constant from within and outside <br />the community. Controlling change in an effort to maintain our quality of <br />life is a challenge. Disagreements arise when specific development <br />applications are considered or in an overall discussion of growth. <br />The Land Use Element is the framework of the General Plan and is intended <br />to inform and shape the future physical development of Los Gatos. This <br />Element sets forth the patterns of development activity and land uses that will <br />support and enhance the character of the Town. Although all General Plan <br />Elements are of equal importance, the Land Use Element is the most <br />frequently used and referenced section of the General Plan. <br />Planning for neighborhood preservation and protection is one of the most <br />important purposes of the Town's General Plan. Preserving the small-town <br />heritage, natural setting and architectural diversity are also important to this <br />community. One of Los Gatos's most outstanding assets is the visual <br />diversity of its individual neighborhoods. Development represents a variety <br />of architectural styles from various eras, embodying a variety of sizes, design <br />features and building materials resulting in neighborhoods with their own <br />unique identity. For example, Downtown Los Gatos is the historic heart of <br />Town with apedestrian-scale setting of mixed land uses and architecturally <br />historic buildings. It is a unique area that sets the spirit and style of the entire <br />Town. <br />Maintaining neighborhood quality requires conservation of existing housing, <br />good street design, traffic control in residential neighborhoods and <br />development review that adheres to quality design. Factors such as the <br />introduction of new or excessive traffic, existing substandard infrastructure or <br />economic pressures may cause disruption of neighborhoods. Neighborhood <br />preservation also includes balancing the intensity of land uses with the <br />LU-1 <br />MEMORANDUM 6/11/10 <br />Attachment A <br />