News

Woodside moves ballot measure election to November

The measure would allow outdoor community spaces to be added, reversing restrictive measures passed in the 1980s

A parcel of land next to the Woodside Community Museum that a group of Woodside residents would like to develop into an outdoor amphitheatre. A ballot measure that would allow for its development is on the November ballot. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Woodsiders will have to wait an extra two months to vote on changing zoning to allow for more outdoor community gathering spaces. The special election, originally set for Sept. 7, has been moved to Nov. 2 because the San Mateo County doesn't allow for elections immediately after a holiday (Labor Day).

Town Clerk Jennifer Li said the San Mateo County Elections Office caught the error prior to printing the ballots for the measure which would change zoning regulations so a parking lot behind Buck's Restaurant on Woodside Road can be developed. The measure would also allow for a parcel of land next to the Woodside Community Museum to be developed into an outdoor amphitheater.

"The town needed to pick a new date and go through the process again," she said in an email. In June, the council originally approved putting the measure on a ballot in September. On Tuesday, July 28, the council called a special election on Nov. 2, she said.

Current land use regulations limit two residentially zoned pieces of land adjacent to the Town Center, a town-owned complex along Woodside Road from Whiskey Hill Road to Roberts Market that includes government buildings and commercial businesses, and Cañada Corners at the Cañada Road intersection (owned by Roberts Market). To overturn these rules, established by ballot measures J and 1 in 1988 and 1989, respectively, residents must submit a petition to the town for a ballot measure to get voter approval.

The measure, which needs a simple majority in favor to pass, would allow the property behind Cañada Corners to be outfitted with surface parking to accommodate permanent outdoor dining, trails and play structures, all of which are now prohibited. It would also allow for the possible construction of a public building — an amphitheater or gazebo — for community events in the residentially zoned Town Center area.

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Measure J, approved by the voters in 1988, did two things. It prohibited development of commercial or office space on a then vacant, town-owned parcel near where Town Hall is now located. It also required residential properties within and adjoining Town Center to remain in residential use unless commercial parking on those properties had been permitted prior to June 1, 1988.

Measure 1, approved by voters the following year, created an exception to Measure J's requirement that residential parcels in Town Center remain in residential use. Upon its approval by the voters, residentially zoned parcels in the Woodside Road Whiskey Hill Road Parking Assessment District were authorized to be improved to provide access, parking and open space — as shown in the 1989 Town Center site plan — so long as at least 50% of the residential parcels were maintained in open space. Approval of Measure 1 allowed the town to construct Town Hall parking and access improvements which now serve Town Hall, commercial businesses in the Town Center and the public.

Arguments for, and against, the ballot measure are due to the county on Aug. 10. Instructions for submittal can be found at smcacre.org.

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Woodside moves ballot measure election to November

The measure would allow outdoor community spaces to be added, reversing restrictive measures passed in the 1980s

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Thu, Jul 29, 2021, 10:03 am

Woodsiders will have to wait an extra two months to vote on changing zoning to allow for more outdoor community gathering spaces. The special election, originally set for Sept. 7, has been moved to Nov. 2 because the San Mateo County doesn't allow for elections immediately after a holiday (Labor Day).

Town Clerk Jennifer Li said the San Mateo County Elections Office caught the error prior to printing the ballots for the measure which would change zoning regulations so a parking lot behind Buck's Restaurant on Woodside Road can be developed. The measure would also allow for a parcel of land next to the Woodside Community Museum to be developed into an outdoor amphitheater.

"The town needed to pick a new date and go through the process again," she said in an email. In June, the council originally approved putting the measure on a ballot in September. On Tuesday, July 28, the council called a special election on Nov. 2, she said.

Current land use regulations limit two residentially zoned pieces of land adjacent to the Town Center, a town-owned complex along Woodside Road from Whiskey Hill Road to Roberts Market that includes government buildings and commercial businesses, and Cañada Corners at the Cañada Road intersection (owned by Roberts Market). To overturn these rules, established by ballot measures J and 1 in 1988 and 1989, respectively, residents must submit a petition to the town for a ballot measure to get voter approval.

The measure, which needs a simple majority in favor to pass, would allow the property behind Cañada Corners to be outfitted with surface parking to accommodate permanent outdoor dining, trails and play structures, all of which are now prohibited. It would also allow for the possible construction of a public building — an amphitheater or gazebo — for community events in the residentially zoned Town Center area.

Measure J, approved by the voters in 1988, did two things. It prohibited development of commercial or office space on a then vacant, town-owned parcel near where Town Hall is now located. It also required residential properties within and adjoining Town Center to remain in residential use unless commercial parking on those properties had been permitted prior to June 1, 1988.

Measure 1, approved by voters the following year, created an exception to Measure J's requirement that residential parcels in Town Center remain in residential use. Upon its approval by the voters, residentially zoned parcels in the Woodside Road Whiskey Hill Road Parking Assessment District were authorized to be improved to provide access, parking and open space — as shown in the 1989 Town Center site plan — so long as at least 50% of the residential parcels were maintained in open space. Approval of Measure 1 allowed the town to construct Town Hall parking and access improvements which now serve Town Hall, commercial businesses in the Town Center and the public.

Arguments for, and against, the ballot measure are due to the county on Aug. 10. Instructions for submittal can be found at smcacre.org.

Comments

Don Pugh
Registered user
Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Jul 29, 2021 at 12:46 pm
Don Pugh, Woodside: Woodside Glens
Registered user
on Jul 29, 2021 at 12:46 pm

Vote NO on Woodside Measure A

Do we want Woodside to continue to be a pleasant rural community without crowds of tourists and outsiders overwhelming our peace and quiet? Or do we allow more commercial activity, outsiders and visitors so the Bakery owners can make money off them?
Measure A will be on the ballot on November 2 for Woodside voters. This is an attempt to allow significant commercial expansion in the Woodside Town Center by overriding the limits set by Measure J back in 1989. The plan is to bulldoze the open space lot behind Roberts Hardware to create parking for an expansion of the Bakery. A second unrelated plan it to build an amphitheater by Town Hall to provide a venue for commercial events like a rock concert. Both will create unacceptable impact on our Town
For many years, the citizens of Woodside have fought to save rural Woodside. Measure J – Limit Commercial Development was passed by a landslide of 72% of the voters to stop commercial expansion in the Town Center. The General Plan requires that businesses primarily serve the day-to-day needs of the local community, not outside tourists.
The future of Woodside is in your votes. Do you want to allow commercial interests to eat away at our rural environment? Or will you stand with the many voters who supported Measure J to Limit Commercial Development to keep Woodside Rural?

Get more information at:
Web Link


Alex Tauber
Registered user
Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Aug 1, 2021 at 9:58 am
Alex Tauber, Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
Registered user
on Aug 1, 2021 at 9:58 am

Mr. Pugh regularly asserts that Measure J "was passed by a landslide of 72% of the voters." On occasion, he has also claimed the number to be 79%.
 
In the document titled "Resolution No. 1988 – 4548:  A Resolution Declaring Results of Special Municipal Election Consolidated With the Presidential General Election, Nov. 8, 1988", the Clerk of the Town of Woodside tallied the results of the election for Measure J. The grand totals were 1,517 "Yes" votes versus 1,355 "No" votes.
 
While math may not be my strong suit, the legal documents come up with only 52.8% of the vote in support of Measure J in 1988.
 
To see the the original tally of votes and the merits of Measure A, please visit: https://www.woodside-initiative.com


Peter Bailey
Registered user
Woodside: other
on Aug 1, 2021 at 7:22 pm
Peter Bailey, Woodside: other
Registered user
on Aug 1, 2021 at 7:22 pm

Adding to Alex's comments. Mr. Pugh is entitled to his own opinion but his own facts. There was strong support many years ago for and against Measure J (not a landslide at all) and what matters more is that support for outdoor dining and a place to experience art and culture is strong in our community today.

Taking a step back; the main reason Alex and I teamed together to pursue this was the significant interest from fellow neighbors (and ourselves) to have outdoor dining become a permanent feature of Woodside, and the general interest in the community to explore adding an outdoor amphitheater for both gatherings and to enjoy the arts.

With Measure A, we are excited to take this small step to enable the Town and its constituents to explore these changes. And please remember, this vote does not make any of this inevitable! It simply provides a carve-out in the zoning for the relevant properties to make these features possible (vs. illegal); the Town and business owners would still need to run through the regular planning and building process, including time and space for community comment on any plans put forth.

Why are we doing this now? Remember that the emergency measures that enabled outdoor dining to happen in the first place will go away as we exit the pandemic (which we all hope is very soon). Measure A is the first step to embracing outdoor dining as a permanent feature of Woodside while also allowing the town to explore an amphitheater.

Please join us in voting Yes on Measure A in November.


Sunny Storm
Registered user
Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Oct 6, 2021 at 8:38 pm
Sunny Storm, Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
Registered user
on Oct 6, 2021 at 8:38 pm

Yes to more outdoor dining and potential community gathering spaces!!


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