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Woodside voters are closely divided on Measure A, with 'yes' leading by 20 votes on election night

Woodside resident Alex Tauber stands on the undeveloped parcel of land beside the Woodside Community Museum on April 21, 2021. Tauber is a proponent of Measure A to change the zoning regulations of the parcel so that it may be developed into an outdoor amphitheater. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

An initiative to allow two sites in the Town Center area of Woodside to be considered for outdoor community gathering spaces posted a slim, 20-vote lead (50.6%) in election night results. Measure A requires a simple majority in favor to pass.

The San Mateo County Elections Office reported Tuesday evening that 848 people voted yes on the measure, while 828 voted no.

Measure A would amend current land use regulations that 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). Because the rules were established by ballot measures J and 1 in 1988 and 1989, only voters can overturn the restrictions that limit future development on the sites.

The measure 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 on a portion of a 1.65-acre plot called Village Hill. Measure J, approved by the voters in 1988, 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.

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The semi-official results include vote by mail ballots received in the mail on or before Tuesday (Nov. 2) and vote by mail ballots returned at vote centers, drop boxes on or before Monday (Nov. 1) and all vote center ballots. These early results do not include vote by mail ballots received in the mail after Nov. 2, conditional voter registration or provisional ballots and vote by mail ballots dropped off at vote centers or drop boxes after Nov. 1.

This story will be updated as the county releases additional vote counts.

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Woodside voters are closely divided on Measure A, with 'yes' leading by 20 votes on election night

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Tue, Nov 2, 2021, 9:13 pm

An initiative to allow two sites in the Town Center area of Woodside to be considered for outdoor community gathering spaces posted a slim, 20-vote lead (50.6%) in election night results. Measure A requires a simple majority in favor to pass.

The San Mateo County Elections Office reported Tuesday evening that 848 people voted yes on the measure, while 828 voted no.

Measure A would amend current land use regulations that 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). Because the rules were established by ballot measures J and 1 in 1988 and 1989, only voters can overturn the restrictions that limit future development on the sites.

The measure 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 on a portion of a 1.65-acre plot called Village Hill. Measure J, approved by the voters in 1988, 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.

The semi-official results include vote by mail ballots received in the mail on or before Tuesday (Nov. 2) and vote by mail ballots returned at vote centers, drop boxes on or before Monday (Nov. 1) and all vote center ballots. These early results do not include vote by mail ballots received in the mail after Nov. 2, conditional voter registration or provisional ballots and vote by mail ballots dropped off at vote centers or drop boxes after Nov. 1.

This story will be updated as the county releases additional vote counts.

Comments

Matt
Registered user
Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Nov 3, 2021 at 7:32 am
Matt, Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 7:32 am

The vote margin increased to 20 after local polling counts were added. I'm of mixed emotions here. Yes, I supported the measure and I'm glad it's looking like it will probably pass. But the real winner of this election is apathy. This was a mail in ballot, with every registered voter receiving a ballot by mail that required no postage to return. Yet only about 40% of the community cared enough to cast a vote. I'm almost 60 and have only missed two elections in my entire life, both primaries, and both when I was much, much younger.

This vote, now with just a 20 vote margin, does show that individual efforts and votes do matter. Yet 60% of the community couldn't be bothered to cast their vote.


KMOFFEN
Registered user
Woodside: other
on Nov 3, 2021 at 8:37 am
KMOFFEN, Woodside: other
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 8:37 am

I share the previous commentator's concern about low turnout of voters for Measure A. Woodsiders should know better, and exercise their right to vote on whatever matters come before them. With mail-in and drop-off ballots, it is so extremely easy to vote. Shame on you, non-voters!!!


pogo
Registered user
Woodside: other
on Nov 4, 2021 at 5:13 am
pogo, Woodside: other
Registered user
on Nov 4, 2021 at 5:13 am

One thing is for certain, the Woodside community is VERY evenly divided on this issue. Assuming this measure eventually passes, our Town Council would be wise to go slowly. There is clearly no ground swell of support for this.

I think there is a lot of support for limited outdoor dining - perhaps not the entire front parking lot, more likely the front spaces facing the restaurants.
But there is very little support for an amphitheater. Had the proponents limited their initiative to outdoor dining only, I suspect support would have been near unanimous.


Woodsider Lifer
Registered user
Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Nov 4, 2021 at 9:06 am
Woodsider Lifer, Woodside: Woodside Hills
Registered user
on Nov 4, 2021 at 9:06 am

This is hardly a mandate to forge ahead with chainsaws and bulldozers. There are many hurdles ahead should this measure ultimately succeed in the final vote tally. The emergency order allowing outdoor dining and the dining itself will inevitably disappear long before any proposal makes it through the long process garnering entitlements and development. One has to wonder whether a few dozen people who voted 'yes' may regret their hasty decision in retrospect.

Once again the phrases hold true, we are a nation divided and a community divided--every vote counts. An apparent happy day for 850 people. A sad day for Woodside. Good luck red-legged frogs and dusky-footed woodrats, owls and squirrels, a bit more of our shared paradise will apparently disappear forever in favor of mediocre coffee and avocado toast.


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