The Woodside Town Council met Tuesday, May 26 for a second study session on the topic of basements and whether their location, design and construction should be regulated to be more aligned with the town's 2012 general plan.
The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. in Independence Hall at 2955 Woodside Road.
The specific discussion points on basements include setbacks, the relationship between basements and the size of the residence, grading as it relates to basements and their location, and requirements for geo-technical and hydrological review of basement plans, according to a staff report.
The issue is important, the report says, because residents' basement proposals have been increasing in number, size and intensity of use, "a significant departure" from the basements envisioned in 1995, when the current regulations were drafted.
Recent proposals include basements that extend beyond the footprint of the building above, multiple basements connected by tunnels, stand-alone basements, and basements equipped as accessory living spaces, the report says.
Among the concerns that face Town Hall staff, the Planning Commission and Architectural and Site Review Board are the impacts of basement construction on neighbors, on the water table, on the land itself and on the roads from large dump trucks.
At the first study session on April 14, the council considered an urgency ordinance, recommended by a council subcommittee, that would have temporarily limited approval of new basements to the conventional variety, such as basements that stay within the footprint of the structure above. On a 5-2 vote by the council, the ordinance failed to get the necessary four-fifths majority for approval. Mayor Tom Shanahan and Councilman Dave Burow voted no.
Click here for the Almanac story on the council's April 14 study session.
Also on the agenda:
■ Plans to advertise for bids to remodel the interior of the public library.
■ Reconsidering an ordinance, first introduced and approved by the council on May 12, that would complement the water conservation regulations that the California Water Service Company will be using to enforce compliance with the drought emergency. Cal Water recently revised its irrigration limit for ornamental landscaping to two days a week from the original three-day limit, a substantial change, according to a staff report.
■ Who should bear the cost of preparing a historic evaluation report for a Woodside residence? State law requires an analysis of the historical significance of properties 50 years old or older ahead of any "substantial adverse change" to the property that would affect that significance. Staff proposes three ways forward, two of which would have the property owner paying for the evaluation. Click here for the staff report.