Los Gatos Residents Sue Netflix Over New Development Project

LOS GATOS (CBS SF) – A controversy is brewing in the normally quiet town of Los Gatos as a group of residents is suing Netflix over the company’s plans to build a new headquarters in town.

The new building would be built at Albright Way and Winchester Boulevard.

But a group of residents calling themselves Los Gatos Citizens for Responsible Development is suing the company, complaining that the buildings could be four or five stories high, more than 300 trees would be removed and traffic would be a mess in the area.

KCBS’ Betsy Gebhart Reports:

The suit challenges Los Gatos’ contention that the development would not have an adverse impact on the environment.

But others see the move as a boon for the small town as it  would bring in $1 million in tax revenues.

Related Story: Netflix Separates Its DVD, Streaming Businesses

Netflix plans to move its DVD division in Los Gatos to San Jose. That building is located just down the street on Winchester from the planned new headquarters.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Betsy Gebhart

One Comment

  1. Moock says:

    Dear Los Gatos,
    We’ll trade you the 49ers for Netflix…

    Santa Clara

    1. North Santa Clara says:

      I second the motion.

    2. Dave says:

      Another example of the gated community ethic exhibited by these residents of the Communities of Los Gatos, Saratoga,, Woodside etc. They’re perfectly willing to benefit from the infrastructure burden in the surrounding communities when it suits them but it’s Armageddon if it encroaches on their perceived entitled sensibilities. SOP
      sue or buy another politician

      1. Moock says:

        Heh? I was just saying I’d rather have Netflix than the 49ers – my comment wasn’t any kind of euphemism for the wealthy buying political power.

        I’d sue the 49ers if I had the money… guess I got me some perceived, entitled, sensibilities, too…

        My apologies, citizens of LG… I didn’t know Dave was going to use my comment as a platform to rant all over your hineys…

  2. Blacque Jacques Shellacque says:

    I’m going to laugh if Netflix suddenly decides to move their operation somewhere else entirely.

    1. Louis Hall says:

      They should. If the town doesn’t want them, then that’s it. If it goes bad for the town later on, that was their decision.

    2. generbeanser says:

      who says they wont in the very near future? They are only testing the waters now, to see how much resistance they run into. Then, with indignant noses in the air will loudly proclaim ‘see, we tried to get along, so becuase we want to be good neighbors, we will forced to move to Shri Lanka’ or west Slobovia or some other foriegn county!

    3. John Wright says:

      I have to say this article and comments are really incorrect.
      Netflix is not being sued…. Netflix does not own the property or currently have a lease on the property.
      The issue has to do with the property owner. The owner is not only building a five story building with the “Hopes” of getting Netflix to expand into it, but also a large scale retirement community.
      Los Gatos has had for many years a great relationship with Netflix and will continue to have it, but some people in the town would like to there to be better planning with traffic and location.
      Los Gatos residents do not have an issue with the Netflix building but rather the ever changing other things the owner is trying to squeeze into the proposed Netflix property. First it was a huge residential apartments, then a large scale retirement complex.
      Again the media is running with this as Netflix is being sued, when in fact they are not or even part of issue.

  3. Karen Black says:

    This is another Solyndra..except that NetFlix customers instead of the American taxpayers are the ones getting duped. This is conspicuous consumption to a disgusting degree.

    1. Mike Bassi says:

      You really don’t know much about this business do you?

    2. Piers Sutton says:

      Conspicuous consumption by whom? Please explain as I see zero connection.

    3. PaGa says:

      You have no idea what you just said, do you… Next time, try using smaller words… Your comment makes no sense!

    4. Whatutalkinboutwillis says:

      Renting a movie is conspicuous consumption?

  4. don says:

    please come to milpitas, we welcome you

  5. Heem Heem says:

    Here is a good example of the litigious, NIMBYist attitude of California’s wealthier residents, and why businesses take their money and jobs and leave California. You don’t think the quality of life is affected by Los Gatans driving on surface streets through the neighboring communities of Campbell, San Jose, Monte Sereno, and Saratoga? How many trees were cut down to expand Winchester Boulevard, Bascom Avenue, Highway 17, San Tomas Expressway, Leigh Aveue….to accomodate the growth of the valley, and the increase in the population of Los Gatos. Shut-up and take your lumps like the rest of us in the valley, and be thankful there is a company willing to expand its operations in your area!

    1. Roger Craig says:

      NetFlix should move to Texas…

      1. Jason D says:

        If Texas wasnt becoming the state of the ignorantly educated and rob the poor I’d welcome it, they only need to send Perry $5000 and they get to avoid any taxes for the next 5 years

    2. millbrae says:

      exactly! this are just a bunch of selfish old fart who think the town is there’s. Please cut the down all the tree you need and paved more roads and just
      bring those needed jobs. LG can use additional funds to improve service in the
      area. Right on netflix! thanx for staying around. We all know you have other town options! Millbrae is a good option.

      1. Ron says:


      2. AV8TR says:

        Wow! Judging by your atrocious grammar, maybe you should spend time studying remedial English instead of leaving poorly written messages.

    3. Piers Sutton says:

      You hit the nail on the head, Heem.

  6. Karen in San Jose says:

    Los Gatos residents should be greatful that Netflix wants to stay in their expensive freaking little town…I didn’t see the people yapping about anything but the trees..HELLO…have the people in Los Gatos seen that our unemployment rate is 12.1%….Do you think there would be any new jobs by Netflix opening another building in LOS GATOS!…Stop crying and stop thinking aobut yourselves and maybe the rest of the people that are looking for jobs…Maybe once in your lives you could worry about other people ..Just becuase you may have lots of money other people may need a job….

    1. scott says:

      As a resident of Los Gatos myself it seems half the comments here are ignorant to say the least. Talking about how much money we make? Talking about how we are snobby? Take a break and keep dreaming then you do not have to cut other peoples achievements down via the internet.

  7. Shannon Green says:

    I take it Los Gatos citzens doesn’t need jobs. Hey bring your HQ to Hayward.

  8. Rick says:

    It’s California, WHO CARES!!

  9. Scott says:

    Dear Net Flix. We here in North Carolina, town of Murphy, 28906, have more than enough room and empty buildings that are adjacent to fiber optic trunk lines and an Airport so your facility would operate as it should. We need work and are at almost 50% unemployment. I think the old Coats or Emerson Factory would due you just fine.

    A hungry citizen.

    1. Christy Waldroop says:

      LOL, bring on the jobs!!!! The casino is taking too long.

  10. Ray says:

    Dear Netflix. Please come to my town. We would love to have you! We could use the jobs and you could be in a town that would not sue you for trying to open in it. oh I live In Dyersburg TN.

  11. Ron says:


    “DO” you just fine

    1. Ted C says:

      If you are going to correct misspellings in other people’s comments then you are going to be a very very busy person. Good luck.

      1. Dave says:


        I like “PI”

        you know. 3.14….

  12. irvin says:

    NEtfilx should move to Florida, Spring Hill actually take up some of the old buildings and make me new again.

  13. Tjon says:

    You guys really think that a netflix would bring tons of jobs? How many ppl does it take to pop a dvd in an envelope? Or is it actually done by a machine… Hmmmm Tons of jobs, tons… Not defending these rich snobs but I really doubt this operation has a but of jobs to offer.

    1. Piers Sutton says:

      It has enough jobs, and high paying jobs which means the people with them have a lot of money to spend which in turn helps the town they live in. It’s simple really.

    2. Rich says:

      You think a headquarters of Netflix of millions of customers does not require alot of support people? LOL! Lets see how fast you can ‘ pop a dvd’ into a million envelopes a day. Idiot.

      1. tjon says:

        @Piers Sutton, I do get that I just dont see it helping the people that much.
        @Rich, your a confused little man, shoo, go away

      2. scott says:

        Lol rich is more than right

    3. D says:

      It would be more about the taxes that Netflix would have to pay as a corporation to the town to sponsor public works, pay police & fire departments, upgrade sanitation, and generally make the town a better place to live. Do you even know where tax money goes?

  14. Jim says:

    Come to Michigan !!! We have LOTS of empty buildings and people willing to work !!

    1. Goobie says:

      yes Michigan needs it more than most states As we are losing business and people

  15. love Netflix says:

    Sounds like Netflix can go almost anywhere and put up its headquarters but Cali. I don’t know how much money Netflix has tied up it its deal in Los Gatos but If I were them I would put a postive spin on there Image and Go to some city that would recieve them with open arms.

  16. mccormack says:

    Los Gatos please don’t worry, this company won.t have the money to build these buildins @ the pace there going. There done as a brand and will not be a factor in three years.

  17. Rich says:

    Dear NETFLIX

    You can come to OHIO and do what you want….we need the JOBS!!!!
    Califorinia people are strange…..we will build you roads and welcome you
    with open arms!!!

    1. edith says:

      I second the motion

  18. DC says:

    Oh My God!!!!! The building could be four or five stories tall!!! How could they possibly have the hubris to build such a monstrously tall building in California???

    It is an outrage to Los Gatos, the Netflix community, and the world-at-large. These diabolical madmen must be stopped with the full weight of the judiciary, even by Excecutive Order, backed up by the Army, if necessary.

    Can you believe these people?!?!?

  19. edith says:

    I second the notion

  20. Sarah says:

    Good for Los Gatos! Maybe the jobs sound enticing–but the environmental destruction is the bigger picture. Their citizens have every right to preserve those trees.

  21. Grady says:

    Hey NetFlix, PLEASE at least consider moving to Senatobia Mississippi, we would WELCOME YOU!!!!!

    1. James says:

      Haha! Yeah, I’m sure they’ll find lots of great IT workers there!

      1. Jeri says:

        We uns in Mississippi can operate them there computers, and we can stuff envelopes too!

  22. Suxter says:

    They’ll be out of business in 2 yrs thanks to their stupid & arrogant CEO. Please move to Texas. I”ll take trees over an empty office building!

  23. Mike says:

    Dear Netflix,

    Youngstown, OH would love to have you. We have plenty of cheap space, a technical business incubator, access to I-80 and an airport. We also have a USPS sorting center for quick mailing. We will roll out the red carpet for you should you decide to move.

  24. gothmog says:

    i know all these people saying netflix move there,why not have a landfill move there,you like jobs,we can sump our trash in your streets since jobs are more important than the town.

  25. Deadman says:

    Everything is computerized and they’re moving half their jobs to another community and will the public relations disaster their C.E.O. performed several weeks ago,it was like an illegal sex act in public.Netflix is not a good citizen and could care less as to the damage they would do to the community.They are akin to one of the Four Horsemen,Pestilence comes to mind.They really are beneath contempt,lower than whale waste.Their C.E.O.talks out of both sides of his mouth.Besides,they’ll probably construct an enormous eyesore that will sit empty when they go out of business for failing business model and lack of customer service.They re well on their way and they’ll probably want local,state and federal subsidies.

  26. jerry says:

    take it while you can get it it not only helps the town but the school district also

  27. Mary Bowman says:

    I like the idea. They will bring a great deal of money to Los Gatos. Furthermore, I am pleased with the way they do business and the new subscription prices. I actually pay less now as I can only use DVD’s. I have need for the streaming so I pay less. They have a great business sense…

  28. Mary Bowman says:

    I meant to say I have NO need for the “streaming” option.

  29. DadBear says:

    NETFLIX, Come to Paradise, Come to Florida

  30. Raffi says:

    Nothing like kissing away revenue for the city. So maybe Los Gatos can raise its local tax to make up for the loss when Netflix decides to totally leave. Basic math is close to $30 per person who lives in LG to make up for the loss.

  31. Charming says:

    Please bring your company to Campbellsville Kentucky, We need Jobs here!!!!!

  32. Scontz says:

    As long as money wins out these corporate giants will continue ruining the balanced lifestyles of the towns they move into. This kind of move should ALWAYS be put to a town-vote. There should be long, and thorough impact-studies done and shared with the all town residents before the vote.

  33. GeeWizFolks! says:

    NETFLIX: Move to Vallejo, CA! We’re out from under Bankruptsy and could use the tax money!!

  34. Ken Coley says:

    I agree, who cares. They will be belly up by the end of the year.

  35. james says:

    Come to Traverse City Michigan Netflix!

    We would welcome you with open arms!😀

  36. Mary Bowman says:

    Hey, they are going to provide the jobs that we are all clamering for…
    Have them find a way to save most if not all of the trees or replace the trees.

  37. Dianne Jones says:

    I think Netflix should look at all these comments and see all the towns that would truly welcome them, I add my town of Buffalo, MO to the list, our town is small and expenses would be cheaper and we could sure use the employment a business like this would bring. So Netflix COME ON DOWN!

  38. Pasha says:

    Hey, all welcoming folks in overheated states.
    They are building headquarters not operation facility.
    Do you think Netflix executives willing move to Florida or Taxes?
    They live in Los Gatos, Los Altos , Saratoga, Woodland ets.
    They are commuting 10-15 min to work and not going to move even to Hayward or Milbrae so relax and order the move.

  39. Barb says:

    If no one in California wants Netflix, I know several towns in Illinois who might be interested. Especially those communities that have hit 12 percent in unemployment.

  40. R. Johns says:

    Netflix, Philly would love to have you, the people in Los Gatos must be among the wealthiest Americans, it must be nice not to need new jobs in your area, hey Netflix my front lawn is available!

  41. Jason says:

    Wouldn’t that bring jobs with it? If so, isn’t that a good thing? Cutting down trees isn’t necessarily good, but more jobs can’t hurt.

  42. Marty says:

    Why would any company build or expend in CA? The taxes and regulations in the rest of the country are bad but double worse in CA. Bring those jobs to the states that want them and your business will be twice as profitable

  43. L Gramenz says:

    Netflix, we’ll take an operation like yours anytime and probably offer TIF funds to help! The economy is so bad in Southern Illinois that all we have is prisons and land fills, and our governor wants to close the prisons! Obviously, Los Gatos must not be experiencing the recession the rest of the country is going through. I feel no pity for them whatsoever. We have more than enough trees here and wouldn’t miss a few.

  44. Big Nard says:

    As long as Brad Pitt and JLo don’t move into the area. Who cares?

  45. Paul S. Moore says:

    Netflix can bring that HQ to Detroit. We welcome it. And we wont worry about cutting down any trees either.

  46. Sharon Kelley says:

    Dear Netflix,
    Have you considered South Carolina? We have extremely low taxes and high unemployment. Nearly every town around here has empty old cotton mills that can easily and cheaply be rehabbed to fit your needs exactly! If you prefer to build, we’re happy with that too. Our construction workers are hard working men and women who will strive to ensure that your new building is exactly what you want it to be and at or below cost!

  47. Agent P says:

    If the blowback continues over their ‘new & improved’ fee structure, Netflix might not be building anything ‘new’ anywhere…

    They’ve lost more than a Million customers in the past 90 days and the CEO’s rather bizarre statements regarding the (still) botched plan are Not helping him/Netflix shares any…

    And, like so many of these high-flyers who’s business model many argue as bulletproof, doesn’t pay a dividend…

  48. Karol says:

    The economy sucks, hey, Netflix here in the Hampton Roads area of VA would love for you to come and bring some jobs to our area!!

  49. blktro says:

    Send NETFLIX to CHINA, that would shut them old rich people in LG. Oh wait they will complain too about outsourcing Jobs…. F%$K$^%

  50. John Lan says:

    As I know, LG is city where has most of high income people living ther, For them, they don’t care Netflix or any companies staying in the city or not. They just want to live in a quiet place and keep poor out of the city is their priority choise.

  51. Bill says:

    Morton Grove Illinios did the same thing to ABT. ABT moved to Glenview IL. Morton Grove will never be the same. Police/Fire layoffs. Glenview added. Take a lesson from a real life example. Los Gatos shoudl contact Morton Grove’s ex Mayor. Ha!

  52. jim says:

    Well we’ll trade you the Cubs for a copy of RoboCop.

  53. Ann A. says:

    For all you people begging Netflix to come put up their building in your community: the people of Harvard, Illinois said the same thing to Motorola. Motorola put up a huge building, provided jobs for a few years, then closed their facility and moved the jobs elsewhere. Now Harvard has a huge, abandoned complex and still has very few jobs in their community. Netflix amply demonstrated that they didn’t care about their customers, so why would they care about your community and your job security. They’ll use you until they have no use for you, and then they’ll leave the mess for your community to clean up without a second thought about what is good for the community.

    1. Dave says:

      it happens. Recruit another.

  54. Los Stupid says:

    Los Stupid any other city would have this development and when they move you will be crying over the lost income

  55. Pat says:

    That’s the problem with this country today. We used to build things, it’s what we did. Now, we send our best engineers to build things where they won’t protest. Such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

  56. mike says:

    Dear Netflix,

    You are welcome to come to the Midwest.

    We wont turn down the jobs.

  57. Steve in Indy says:

    The north suburbs of Indianapolis, have plenty of office space at a fraction of the cost per square foot. We have a large call center base, a growing tech and software industry and fresh tech and business talent being cranked out of Purdue and IU’s Kelly School of Business. As a distribution hub, you may be able to leverage your HQ proximity to realize some additional effeciencies. Take a look – There will not be any lawsuits.

  58. Citizen says:

    Dear Netflix ,

    Bring your business to Southwest Illinois , we’ve land and you can build , your 5 story building on this empty land . You will even recieve a tax break , one issue
    you’ve to HIRE everyone in the Southwest area , there’s plenty people who’s
    educated with degrees who will work . I know exactly area for you , right off the
    main highways . UPS , and many other companies are all here .
    You’re Welcome .

    Sincerely Yours ,

    Citizen of Illinois

  59. Laura says:

    Always looking for reasons to sue

  60. Travis P says:

    The question that I have, in an attempt to avoid appearing completely ignorant, is how can Netflix be sued directly after the Los Gatos Town Council approved this application for development?

    It would appear that the group should be fighting the Council, not Netflix.

  61. Robert says:

    lol didn’t they ask the people first? Leave it to crazy nexflix.

  62. Darren says:

    It doesn’t matter where Netflix sets up shop. Their Company is in turmoil, and after they lose their Starz contract in March, it will just be an empty building tied up in Bankruptcy. The Board already sees this coming. That is why they are putting the DVD service under another name and moving things around. It all marks the end.

  63. joubaur says:

    Dear Netflix,
    Apparently you are welcome almost anywhere else except Los Gatos.
    Take a hint!
    We’d love you in Hayward.

  64. think about it! says:

    Netflix come to Haverhill Mass, we have a pro business mayor, lots of room, and a willing workforce, plus our downtown is becoming trendy!

  65. Confused says:

    I don’t understand this. People want jobs, but when the jobs show up they complain. Like… huh?????

  66. Kevin R says:

    That would be the DVD division they just announced they would re-name, then spin off because the price hike backfired?

  67. Not the Mama says:

    bunch of wealthy, elitist democrats…

  68. Ben says:

    I think Netflix and any other decent business that service the country should just up and move from the liberal state…I am socialist state of California. So when California residents are screaming for jobs and tax revenue then they can only blame themselves and their over the top liberal ways while the rest of the country is enjoy the fruit of our labors.

  69. Just Me says:

    The way customers are leaving Netflix I’m surprised that they’re still considering any expantion. Maybe if the community would just wait it out they’d see that for themselves.

    I won’t be returning to Netflix anytime soon.

    Kind of odd that any place would be denying a company to set up residence condsidering the economy and all……. Now you can see why companies go over seas……who wants to deal with this mess in court?? Spending more money on needlessly defending why they want to keep their buisness on US soil.

  70. Peggy Hale Giles says:

    We need the jobs in Havelock, NC. I’m sure it is cheaper here. We’ll take Netflix, even if they did up their rates, they don’t put all episodes online above 100, if at all, and they don’t put all videos online so they can make more money. At least if we get the jobs, we can afford the service🙂

  71. Raymond Stansbury says:

    Come to Arkansaw…home of corporate Walmart…centrally locate
    right in the middle of the U.S.A. We’d love to have your tax dollars.

  72. D. Peck says:

    Actually, I don’t care that much about Netflix….although from what I remember of my one visit to Los Gatos, it is/was a nice town/city. I had a friend, John Feth, who was from Los Gatos. He, I think, went into the Navy. His parents had a home in Los Gatos. I originally met him at the University of New Mexico. Anyone “out there” know of him and/or his family?? Thanks.

  73. Kent says:

    Netflix should leave and take their tax money, jobs, and spending with them. Lots of communities would LOVE to have them! The loonies who protested this should just pay for the tax loss with increased taxes. What fools.

  74. libsaredumb says:

    sickening liberals..more worried about a stupid tree (you can always plant a tree elsewhere) than creating jobs and growth.

  75. John Wright says:

    I have to say this article and comments are really incorrect.
    Netflix is not being sued…. Netflix does not own the property or currently have a lease on the property.

    The issue has to do with the property owner. The owner is not only building a five story building with the “Hopes” of getting Netflix to expand into it, but also a large scale retirement community.
    Los Gatos has had for many years a great relationship with Netflix and will continue to have it, but some people in the town would like to there to be better planning with traffic and location.

    Los Gatos residents do not have an issue with the Netflix building but rather the ever changing other things the owner is trying to squeeze into the proposed Netflix property. First it was a huge residential apartments, then a large scale retirement complex.
    Again the media is running with this as Netflix is being sued, when in fact they are not or even part of issue.

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