Tonight: Should Portola Valley allow barn in meadow along Portola Road?


The question of whether there is to be a barn in the green meadow frequented by deer along Portola Road just north of The Sequoias retirement community comes up for conversation on Wednesday, Jan. 19, at a 7:30 p.m. meeting of the Portola Valley Planning Commission in the Historic Schoolhouse.

The meadow, much loved by residents for its peaceful vista topped by Windy Hill, is part of a 229-acre property owned by the Neely family, which has expansion plans that include a greenhouse, a cabana, a guest house and an artist's studio. Only the barn would be located on the meadow.

A staff report by Town Planner Tom Vlasic summarizes the commission's views from earlier discussions: a green light for the greenhouse and the cabana.

The commission, Mr. Vlasic said, did not reach a consensus on whether a barn was appropriate for the meadow and noted a lack of data on how the meadow could be turned to agricultural uses and how such a building would fit conceptually within the town's general plan. The proximity of an earthquake fault to the meadow is another complicating factor.

The commission would expect "significant public benefits" from the barn, guest house and studio -- such as an open space easement -- to go forward with a conditional use permit for these buildings and offset the town's burdens in monitoring the use of that permit, Mr. Vlasic said.

Go to this link and turn to Page 14 for more information.

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