News

Guest opinion: Yes on Woodside's Measure A

Woodside resident Alex Tauber stands on the undeveloped parcel of land beside the Woodside Community Museum in Woodside on April 21, 2021. Tauber started an online petition to change the zoning regulations of the parcel so that it may be developed into an outdoor amphitheatre. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

There has been a lot of information and misinformation shared recently about Measure A. In the simplest terms, Measure A unlocks potential. It creates a zoning exemption that would allow the owner of the "Canada Corners" property to discuss the prospect of additional parking (needed to make outdoor dining permanent) and makes possible an option to explore a small community gathering area on the town-owned property adjacent to Town Hall. Neither of these possibilities are guaranteed by the passing of Measure A. Both options will be heard separately by the appropriate town boards and committees in public meetings where everyone will have a chance to make their opinions known throughout the process.

Measure A is not a case of "paving over paradise." The area under discussion at "Canada Corners" would allow for additional parking spaces, hardly the "2.2-acre" paving bandied about by some sources. Any improvements would include updates and extensions to the existing trail infrastructure and would be made in accordance with the town's current guidelines and rules. Any and all development would be paid for by the owner of the property, not the town or the citizens of Woodside.

Measure A supports our local businesses and allows us to continue enjoying our lovely Woodside with outdoor dining. Without the zoning exemptions provided by Measure A, and the possibility it brings to create some additional parking, the outdoor dining we have all been enjoying at The Village Bakery and Buck's (in current parking areas) will come to an end as early as Dec. 31. The exemption to the conditional use permit patron/parking space rule was put in place to help our local businesses during the pandemic, but eventually the outside dining areas will revert to parking without the zoning exemption that Measure A creates.

Much angst has been caused by the idea of a small community gathering area near Town Hall. And while we may think it's an exciting idea, we will simply repeat that Measure A only puts this option on the table for discussion. Measure A in no way guarantees that improvements to this area will make it through the lengthy public design and planning review process. It is possible to support Measure A and not be in favor of an amphitheater. Measure A only creates possibility.

Measure A unlocks what was locked up by Measure J in 1988 (passed 52.8% to 47.2%). Measure J took away the ability to discuss how both private property (at Canada Corners) and public property (next to Town Hall) could be used to meet the desires and needs of the community; needs that have become more complex over the last 33 years. (Who could have foreseen our current pandemic and the ensuing need and subsequent enthusiasm for outdoor dining?) Measure J restricts the use of properties within and adjacent to the Town Center and requires that any changes be subject to a vote of the citizens of Woodside. Why Measure A? Because Measure J and the evolving needs of our community demand it.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Almanac Online for as little as $5/month.

Join

We all know that change is scary. But Measure A isn't a mandate to overdevelop our rural community. It simply allows the town and the citizens of Woodside to discuss in a public forum how to best meet the current needs of its residents.

Peter Bailey and Alex Tauber are co-leading Measure A and are both longtime residents of Woodside. To read Measure A in full, go to smcacre.org/post/november-2-2021 "Resolution, Measure, Full Text" and see page 5.

Stay informed

Get the latest local news and information sent straight to your inbox.

Stay informed

Get the latest local news and information sent straight to your inbox.

The Almanac publishes guest opinions, editorials and letters to the editor online and in print. Submit signed op-eds of no more than 750 words or letters to the editor of up to 350 words to [email protected] The weekly print deadline is Tuesday at noon.

Follow AlmanacNews.com and The Almanac on Twitter @almanacnews, Facebook and on Instagram @almanacnews for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Guest opinion: Yes on Woodside's Measure A

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Sat, Oct 16, 2021, 10:46 am

There has been a lot of information and misinformation shared recently about Measure A. In the simplest terms, Measure A unlocks potential. It creates a zoning exemption that would allow the owner of the "Canada Corners" property to discuss the prospect of additional parking (needed to make outdoor dining permanent) and makes possible an option to explore a small community gathering area on the town-owned property adjacent to Town Hall. Neither of these possibilities are guaranteed by the passing of Measure A. Both options will be heard separately by the appropriate town boards and committees in public meetings where everyone will have a chance to make their opinions known throughout the process.

Measure A is not a case of "paving over paradise." The area under discussion at "Canada Corners" would allow for additional parking spaces, hardly the "2.2-acre" paving bandied about by some sources. Any improvements would include updates and extensions to the existing trail infrastructure and would be made in accordance with the town's current guidelines and rules. Any and all development would be paid for by the owner of the property, not the town or the citizens of Woodside.

Measure A supports our local businesses and allows us to continue enjoying our lovely Woodside with outdoor dining. Without the zoning exemptions provided by Measure A, and the possibility it brings to create some additional parking, the outdoor dining we have all been enjoying at The Village Bakery and Buck's (in current parking areas) will come to an end as early as Dec. 31. The exemption to the conditional use permit patron/parking space rule was put in place to help our local businesses during the pandemic, but eventually the outside dining areas will revert to parking without the zoning exemption that Measure A creates.

Much angst has been caused by the idea of a small community gathering area near Town Hall. And while we may think it's an exciting idea, we will simply repeat that Measure A only puts this option on the table for discussion. Measure A in no way guarantees that improvements to this area will make it through the lengthy public design and planning review process. It is possible to support Measure A and not be in favor of an amphitheater. Measure A only creates possibility.

Measure A unlocks what was locked up by Measure J in 1988 (passed 52.8% to 47.2%). Measure J took away the ability to discuss how both private property (at Canada Corners) and public property (next to Town Hall) could be used to meet the desires and needs of the community; needs that have become more complex over the last 33 years. (Who could have foreseen our current pandemic and the ensuing need and subsequent enthusiasm for outdoor dining?) Measure J restricts the use of properties within and adjacent to the Town Center and requires that any changes be subject to a vote of the citizens of Woodside. Why Measure A? Because Measure J and the evolving needs of our community demand it.

We all know that change is scary. But Measure A isn't a mandate to overdevelop our rural community. It simply allows the town and the citizens of Woodside to discuss in a public forum how to best meet the current needs of its residents.

Peter Bailey and Alex Tauber are co-leading Measure A and are both longtime residents of Woodside. To read Measure A in full, go to smcacre.org/post/november-2-2021 "Resolution, Measure, Full Text" and see page 5.

The Almanac publishes guest opinions, editorials and letters to the editor online and in print. Submit signed op-eds of no more than 750 words or letters to the editor of up to 350 words to [email protected] The weekly print deadline is Tuesday at noon.

Comments

Grant H
Registered user
Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Oct 18, 2021 at 12:13 pm
Grant H, Woodside: Woodside Hills
Registered user
on Oct 18, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Measure A does far more damage to Woodside's municipal code than simply changing a few sentences in Zoning Ordinance Section 153.113. The Town Center Plan and Woodside's General Plan outline major taboos within the commercial district. Measure A's passage would invite a major affront to those legal documents which would also need to be changed to conform to the adopted municipal code amendment proposed in Measure A.

It's true that Measure A's proposed amendment to the municipal code does not grant carte blanche expansion of the commercial district. Even the two parcels proposed for further development (expanded parking at Canada Corners so there can be outdoor dining day and night, and an amphitheater next to Independence Hall for public gatherings) will need to go through the customary planning, design, public input and permitting process. The Town Center and General Plan documents specifically state that no further improvement within the Town Center shall 1.) increase traffic, 2.) increase vehicle ingress/egress from parking lots along Woodside Road, 3.) generate additional noise, odor, smoke or fumes, 4.) increase intensity of outdoor lighting, 5.) encourage additional non-resident use of Woodside's business district, 6.) increase the use of vehicles in the Town Center, 7.) add large expanses of asphalt parking.(Web Link and (Web Link

Please vote "NO" on Measure A to preserve the very nature of Woodside today, gifted to us by residents over thirty years ago with Measure J. Woodside residents are entrusted to pass this unchanged community along to future generations without the spoils of unnecessary commercial expansion in the Town Center. We don't need another chaotic Alice's/Skylonda weekend destination in downtown Woodside.


awatkins
Registered user
Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Oct 18, 2021 at 12:22 pm
awatkins, Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
Registered user
on Oct 18, 2021 at 12:22 pm

The first and most fundamental misinformation about Measure A is right in front of us in this very article.

FACT: Measure A simply literally rezones two parcels in the Town center. The text of it is in your voters pamphlet.

The misinformation is that the rezoning will "allow the owner ......to discuss " and "makes possible an option to explore". When has a rezoning ever "permitted" or "allowed" discussion or exploration? This is where the misinformation began.


awatkins
Registered user
Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Oct 18, 2021 at 12:55 pm
awatkins, Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
Registered user
on Oct 18, 2021 at 12:55 pm

Sorry, one more thing. Take a look at the photograph that leads this article and ask yourself "Why would anyone want to turn that land into a parking lot?"

The article says 'Measure A is not a case of "paving over paradise." '

Sure looks like it to me.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.