The end is in sight as critics of and advocates for the Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County spoke to the Woodside Town Council last night (Tuesday) as it reconsidered several decade-old questions about the Patrol's use permit and what activities are allowed on the Patrol's 23-acre property.
The discussion centered on four matters in particular:
■ Finding a balance between the competing priorities of screening the Patrol grounds from neighbors and removing fire-prone vegetation, as requested by the Woodside Fire Protection District.
■ Determining who can use a fire truck access road and when.
■ Keeping neighbors and the town apprised of changes to the Patrol's events calendar.
■ Increasing the number of "medium intensity" events, such as rodeos, at the Kings Mountain Road property.
In the end, after a thorough going over of the Patrol's past rodeo-related sins, including loud and vulgar patrons, unpleasant odors and the associated unpleasant insects, Patrol spokesman Rick DeBenedetti issued more than one mea culpa and backed off on the most controversial of its requested changes, the number of events allowed.
The council welcomed the change and asked that town staff, members of the Patrol, and nearby residential neighbors meet and work out a compromise. Town Manager Susan George said she would try to bring the council a revised set of agreed upon criteria by December.