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.