Woodside seeks opinions of how it reviews residential projects


The Woodside Town Council gave a green light on March 22 to the draft of a survey intended to determine opinions of property owners and/or architects, project managers and general contractors regarding the town's project review, planning and building processes.

Many homeowners and others have complained about Woodside's residential review process, and the survey is meant to get an accurate assessment of that opinion.

The survey will use Survey Monkey technology, Town Manager Kevin Bryant said. The draft survey was the result of a collaborative effort by Mr. Bryant and former council member Dave Burow, Planning Commissioner William Fender, and residents Bengt Henriksen and Greg Raleigh.

Go to to see a copy of the draft survey, which starts on Page 3.

Participation in the survey will by invitation only and will be completed by email, Mr. Burow said in a comment from the audience.

"I think this is a positive thing for the town," Councilwoman Anne Kasten said.

Councilman Daniel Yost suggested "a tweak" to the four open-ended questions in the 32-question survey. He said the open-ended questions should seek comment on the town's requirements as well as its processes for reviewing projects. Councilman Tom Livermore agreed.

An example of a requirement: When the proposed basement ordinance is adopted, it is expected to include a requirement that underground tunnels that connect basements be no more than eight feet wide and nine feet high inside. Another requirement in that ordinance would not allow more than 65 percent of a basement to be located beyond the footprint of the main house.

Survey questions should be available at the planning counter, Mayor Deborah Gordon said, so applicants will know it's coming.

The survey will look back as well as forward. The town will ask project applicants from the past two years -- a pool of several hundred people -- to take the survey, Mr. Bryant said.

Future applicants should see survey invitations at three points in a project, he said: after project review by the Architectural and Site Review Board and/or Planning Commission; after receiving a building permit; and when the project is substantially complete.

The views of property owners are those most sought after, but owners will be welcome to solicit the views of their key people, including architects, project managers and general contractors, Mr. Burow said. Those latter views will be particularly valuable when the owner is not personally involved in a project, he said.

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2 people like this
Posted by Where'sTheBeef
a resident of Woodside: Family Farm/Hidden Valley
on Apr 9, 2016 at 11:27 am

Great survey if you want to sock it to staff, the pc, and the asrb, ... what about BUILDING? What about ENGINEERING? In our Woodside building experience, that's where all the boondoggles were. VERY slanted effort by people highly antagonistic to the early planning process. Ill done.

Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 9, 2016 at 2:12 pm

Good survey... but it's VERY long. Most people want to do this in a few minutes, tops.

I won't make a suggestion, but several of the questions are repetitious. The drafters could be far more efficient and still get the information they require.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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