Woodside, developer find compromises on mansion


The remodeling of the 7,423-square-foot main house and accessory structures at 360 Mountain Home Road in Woodside is evolving, though with fewer surprises than was the case 10 months ago.

Planning Director Jackie Young and the Architectural and Site Review Board agreed to a set of revisions to site plans on March 2, Ms. Young said. The town's conversation with the applicant, SV Projects LLC, has been going on since December.

The result is a modified version of what had been "much more formal and intense" proposals that were "inconsistent with several aspects of the Residential Design Guidelines," Ms. Young said. "We found acceptable compromises."

Among the compromises: front gates will have a more rural style, three sets of stairs will be less formal, exterior lighting will be set to a minimum, and a pool patio structure and a garden structure will have bronze siding and roofs, Ms. Young said.

The applicant had proposed using the same stone siding and slate roofs planned for the main house. But that would have complicated an observer's ability to distinguish the main house and accessory structures, creating a perception of a more massive complex, staff said.

All existing upward-pointing exterior lights must go, and lighting in the basement lightwell and garden structure must be kept to a minimum, per the town's codes, Ms. Young said. The pylons at the entrance gates originally had metal caps, but those, too, must go.

The applicant agreed to these changes, but is planning to ask the Planning Commission for "a height exception" to overturn the ASRB's recommendation against a proposal for two more dormers on the roof of the main house, Ms. Young said.

The process is orderly, unlike in May 2014. Town staff visited the site and were surprised to find the top two floors of the main house elevated on steel beams above an empty space where the first floor and basement had been.

Permission had been given to elevate the house, but for the purpose of removing the basement only, not the first floor or its framing. Ms. Young issued a stop-work order on July 3.

After much discussion, the Planning Commission split on the matter on July 31, leaving it unresolved. The applicant appealed to the Town Council, which unanimously granted the appeal Sept. 9. Work resumed.

The mansion was completed in 2009 and ownership changed in 2012. The new owner's plans included replacing wooden siding with stone, expanding the basement and roofs of gray slate.

While the 2009 home was considered "inconsistent" with the town's design criteria, the limited scope of the changes led the town to permit raising some areas of the roof and adding 400 square feet of floor space.

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