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In a nail-biter, 'yes' on Woodside's Measure A leads by just three votes

The county's elections office will next update the vote count early next week

Independence Hall in Woodside on Nov. 10, 2020. Measure A, a ballot measure to decide the fate of two parcels of land in central Woodside, is passing by a narrow margin. 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 has a slim, four-vote lead (50.1%) in the latest results released Tuesday, Nov. 9. Measure A requires a simple majority to pass.

The San Mateo County Elections Office reported Tuesday that 1,155 people voted yes on the measure, while 1,151 voted no, tightening the already close race which had a 20-vote difference on election night. The county has just 60 votes left to count in the only two measures on the ballot, Measure A and the Menlo Park City School District's Measure B, according to the county's website. Some 21 of those remaining ballots were cast in the Measure A race, said Jim Irizarry, assistant chief elections officer for the county, last week.

Measure B, a parcel tax, is still leading by a comfortable margin.

"Currently, we have not received any late ballots from Woodside, and 17 of the 21 challenged ballots are signature issues," Irazarry said on Nov. 5. "Most of the remaining challenges are due to properly signed and returned envelopes which are empty and did not include a ballot."

The last day to "cure" challenged ballots is Nov. 17. A challenged ballot is one with an issue that would prevent it from being counted, which includes lateness, said Irizarry. The vast majority of the time it's due to a signature that is missing or does not match county records, or late arrivals, he said.

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There is no provision in the California law for an automatic recount in any election, Irizarry said.

Someone requesting a recount needs to file an application within five days after the certification of the election. In this case, the county plans to certify the results on Nov. 19, according to its website. The requester bears all costs of the recount if the results do not change as a result, he said.

The recount process cost can vary depending on selections made by the requestor, as far as whether it would be a machine or manual recount, the number of teams involved, and whether the requestor stops the process at any point, Izizarry explained. The county estimates for a full manual recount, with two teams, that the cost would be approximately $4,000 and require a day and a half to accomplish, for a total estimated cost of $6,000.

The county will release its next round of elections results Friday, Nov. 12, at 4:30 p.m.

"Constructively challenging an entrenched status quo is never easy," said Alex Tauber, a "Yes on A" proponent. "(Fellow proponent) Peter (Bailey) and I are trying to create the conditions to at least have a real conversation about it. Along with everyone who voted for Measure A, we remain hopeful and resolute that this was the right thing to do for our community."

Measure A opponent Don Pugh said in an email that he is "surprised that so many voters were beguiled into believing Measure A was about outdoor dining."

"We all like outdoor dining, and it can be done by working with the community to develop a plan," he said. "This was a power play by Bacchus (Management Group) to remove zoning restrictions to allow bulldozing the open space to build a huge parking lot, which will allow them to expand the seating, allowing them to make more money. They are a corporate entity that cares little about what is right for Woodside and only cares about their profit."

(Bacchus Management, which owns The Village Bakery did give funds to support the measure passing, but they noted the measure would allow residents of Woodside to continue meeting friends and neighbors at The Village Bakery and Buck's of Woodside "to dine, laugh, and enjoy our town.")

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 latest results include most ballots. The last day to "cure" challenged ballots is Nov. 17.

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In a nail-biter, 'yes' on Woodside's Measure A leads by just three votes

The county's elections office will next update the vote count early next week

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Thu, Nov 4, 2021, 5:13 pm

An initiative to allow two sites in the Town Center area of Woodside to be considered for outdoor community gathering spaces has a slim, four-vote lead (50.1%) in the latest results released Tuesday, Nov. 9. Measure A requires a simple majority to pass.

The San Mateo County Elections Office reported Tuesday that 1,155 people voted yes on the measure, while 1,151 voted no, tightening the already close race which had a 20-vote difference on election night. The county has just 60 votes left to count in the only two measures on the ballot, Measure A and the Menlo Park City School District's Measure B, according to the county's website. Some 21 of those remaining ballots were cast in the Measure A race, said Jim Irizarry, assistant chief elections officer for the county, last week.

Measure B, a parcel tax, is still leading by a comfortable margin.

"Currently, we have not received any late ballots from Woodside, and 17 of the 21 challenged ballots are signature issues," Irazarry said on Nov. 5. "Most of the remaining challenges are due to properly signed and returned envelopes which are empty and did not include a ballot."

The last day to "cure" challenged ballots is Nov. 17. A challenged ballot is one with an issue that would prevent it from being counted, which includes lateness, said Irizarry. The vast majority of the time it's due to a signature that is missing or does not match county records, or late arrivals, he said.

There is no provision in the California law for an automatic recount in any election, Irizarry said.

Someone requesting a recount needs to file an application within five days after the certification of the election. In this case, the county plans to certify the results on Nov. 19, according to its website. The requester bears all costs of the recount if the results do not change as a result, he said.

The recount process cost can vary depending on selections made by the requestor, as far as whether it would be a machine or manual recount, the number of teams involved, and whether the requestor stops the process at any point, Izizarry explained. The county estimates for a full manual recount, with two teams, that the cost would be approximately $4,000 and require a day and a half to accomplish, for a total estimated cost of $6,000.

The county will release its next round of elections results Friday, Nov. 12, at 4:30 p.m.

"Constructively challenging an entrenched status quo is never easy," said Alex Tauber, a "Yes on A" proponent. "(Fellow proponent) Peter (Bailey) and I are trying to create the conditions to at least have a real conversation about it. Along with everyone who voted for Measure A, we remain hopeful and resolute that this was the right thing to do for our community."

Measure A opponent Don Pugh said in an email that he is "surprised that so many voters were beguiled into believing Measure A was about outdoor dining."

"We all like outdoor dining, and it can be done by working with the community to develop a plan," he said. "This was a power play by Bacchus (Management Group) to remove zoning restrictions to allow bulldozing the open space to build a huge parking lot, which will allow them to expand the seating, allowing them to make more money. They are a corporate entity that cares little about what is right for Woodside and only cares about their profit."

(Bacchus Management, which owns The Village Bakery did give funds to support the measure passing, but they noted the measure would allow residents of Woodside to continue meeting friends and neighbors at The Village Bakery and Buck's of Woodside "to dine, laugh, and enjoy our town.")

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 latest results include most ballots. The last day to "cure" challenged ballots is Nov. 17.

Comments

Woodsider Lifer
Registered user
Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Nov 5, 2021 at 1:49 pm
Woodsider Lifer, Woodside: Woodside Hills
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2021 at 1:49 pm

This will hardly be a mandate to forge ahead with chainsaws and bulldozers should Measure A squeak by. How do the 60% of Woodside's apathetic registered voters feel about all of this since they couldn't be bothered taking two minutes out of their day during the past month to fill in a tiny square box on a ballot and drop the provided self-addressed postage-paid envelope into the mail?

There are many hurdles ahead should this measure ultimately succeed in the final vote tally. The emergency order currently allowing outdoor dining will inevitably disappear long before any proposal makes it through the long process garnering necessary entitlements for development. One has to wonder whether a few dozen people who voted 'yes' may regret their hasty decision in retrospect. How many of those 'yes' votes were cast on the deceptive marketing of this measure as a simple vote to keep outdoor dining at Cañada Corners?

Once again the phrases hold true, we are a nation divided and a community divided--and every vote obviously counts. An apparent happy day for 1,150 people. A sad day for everything Woodside stands for. 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 voguish avocado toast.


Matt
Registered user
Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Nov 5, 2021 at 2:18 pm
Matt, Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2021 at 2:18 pm

[Portion removed.] The parcel by Roberts Hardware isn't open space. It's zoned Residential. Nothing stopping the owner from putting housing up there.

The No campaign has used scare tactics throughout this whole campaign to get people to think this is about unprotecting preserved open space. And it's not. It's about allowing the owner of the parcel to use part of the land to help mitigate the loss of parking that the outdoor dining created.


Woodsider Lifer
Registered user
Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Nov 5, 2021 at 5:04 pm
Woodsider Lifer, Woodside: Woodside Hills
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2021 at 5:04 pm

And the other parcel, Matt? You know, the one earmarked for an amphitheater--having nothing to do with outdoor dining. It will come out soon enough that the existing parking behind Cañada Corners was allowed half a century ago on half of the subject property with the owner's agreement that the remaining half would remain as open space in perpetuity.


awatkins
Registered user
Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Nov 7, 2021 at 9:45 am
awatkins, Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
Registered user
on Nov 7, 2021 at 9:45 am

You know, Matt, you should really make up your mind about why you are in favor of this unnecessary zoning change. Now you are saying it’s to compensate the property owner. I hope this flip flop is because you’ve finally accepted that the Measure is not needed to “preserve outdoor dining” since by now it’s obvious that can be done by simple things like parking lot restriping. You should really put down that pitcher of koolaid.


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