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.