C-2 Zone

C-2 Zone Central Business District Commercial Zone

The Central Business District Commercial zone is intended to encourage a viable and predominantly pedestrian-oriented Central Business District. The C-2 zone is designed to facilitate a wide variety of retail, service, entertainment and administrative uses which are vital to a large trading area.

Find Zoning Requirements

You may contact the Town of Los Gatos Planning Department. Please supply the following information:
  • Street Address
  • Nearest Cross Street
  • Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) if available

Permitted Uses in C-2 Zones

Uses permitted are like commerce, general business and the sale of commodities necessary for the needs of residents/visitors of the Town. The following uses are permitted in a C-2 zone:
  • Retailing    
  • Personal service businesses and Office activities subject to subsection * and ** below.
  • Limited manufacturing uses when the majority of sales are made, on site, to the ultimate consumer
  • Wholesaling without warehousing on the premises
  • Single-family and two-family uses, in conjunction with the other uses permitted in this section
  • * Personal service businesses may be allowed on the ground floor in the C-2 zone with a conditional use permit. However, personal service businesses are considered a permitted use in the areas described in subsection ** below and in the remainder of the C-2 zone.
  • ** Office uses shall not be located on the ground floor along streets, alley way, or public parking lot except:
    • Lyndon Avenue
    • Properties abutting Wood Road
    • The west side of Victory Lane
    • The east side of South Santa Cruz Avenue across the street from Wood Road
    • The north and south side of West Main street west of Victory Lane
    • The south side of Los Gatos-Saratoga Road excluding: (a) Portion of the property located at the southwest corner of Los Gatos-Saratoga Road and Santa Cruz Avenue described more precisely as located between a straight line extended northerly along the west side right-of-way line of Santa Cruz Avenue and 140 foot west of that extended line. (b) The south side of Los Gatos-Saratoga Road between Santa Cruz Avenue and University Avenue.
    *** Additional uses may be allowed if a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is approved. Please contact the Planning Department for further information.

    Examples of proper C-2 uses
    • Apparel stores, antique stores, artist studios, craft studios, auto part sales, artist supply shops, and EV sales, service, and repair.
    Examples of improper C-2 uses
    • Vehicle sales or service, Manufacturing, Warehousing, Laundry or drycleaning plants.
    Note: Listed below are office uses on ground floors that are legal and allowed if the office use is not discontinued for 180 consecutive days. If the office use is discontinued, then it shall not be resumed and token uses shall not toll or interrupt a period of discontinuance:
    1. Office uses existing on June 17, 1991; or
    2. Offices uses in a building under construction on July 16, 1990 (If the applicable architecture and site approval specifically stated that the building was approved for office uses)

    Lot Size Requirements

    There are no minimum lot area requirements in the C-2 zone.

    Minimum Setback Requirements

    • Front ... 10 feet
    • Side ... None
    • Rear ... None
    • Street Side ... 10 feet
     Note: The deciding body may allow a reduction in setbacks if the following findings can be made:
    • The setback provides for adequate pedestrian circulation
    • The setback is compatible with the adjacent buildings and complements the buildings in the immediate vicinity
    • The setback provides adequate clear sight vision for vehicular traffic
    A Lot in a C-2 zone that abuts or is across the street from a residential zone must comply with the following minimum yard requirements:
    • Front* ... 15 feet
    • Side* ... 20 feet
    • Rear* ... 20 feet
    • Street Side* ... 15 feet
    Plus 1 foot for each foot a building exceeds 20 feet in height. A 6 foot high masonry wall is required along the property line (8 foot high wall is permitted next to residential if both parties agree).

    Street Abutting Yard Improvements

    Improvements may be permitted in any required front yard and side yard abutting a street in a C-2 zone if the deciding body makes the following findings:
    • Pedestrian safety will not be impaired
    • The streetscape would be enhanced as a result of the proposed improvements
    • The improvements are in character with the adjacent buildings
    • The improvements will not obstruct the clear sight vision of vehicular traffic
    Note: Any required yard abutting a street in the C-2 zone is not required to be landscaped. Fencing in any required yard abutting a street is allowed in the C-2 zone, so long as it does obstruct the traffic view area. For further information please contact the Planning Department.

    Height Requirements

    The maximum building height in the C-1 zone is 45 feet (measured from the the natural or finished grade, whichever is lower and creates a lower profile, to the uppermost point of the roof edge, wall parapet, mansard, or other point directly above that grade).

    Note: Towers, spires, elevator and mechanical penthouses, cupolas, similar structures and necessary mechanical appurtenances which are not used for human activity or storage may be higher than the maximum height noted. Please contact the Planning Department for further questions.

    Maximum Floor Area Ratio (FAR)

    The Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for new buildings or expansions of gross floor area of existing buildings must not exceed .60.

    In the event a building or buildings that exceed a FAR of .60 within the C-2 zone are destroyed involuntarily, reconstruction to the amount of prior floor area shall be allowed.

    Other Requirements

    For Development Standards, see the Town of Los Gatos Commercial Design Guidelines.

    For requirements concerning Public Right-Of-Way Improvements, see the "Central Business District Streetscape and Improvement Guidelines" and "Ordinance 1843" if located within the Los Gatos Historic Commercial District.