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Woodside land use measure passes by 5 votes

Menlo Park City School District parcel tax Measure B also approved

A car drives by a sign that reads "YES on Measure A" along Woodside Road in Woodside on Nov. 9, 2021. The measure passed by a slim margin, according to official election results. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

By a five-vote margin, Woodside residents passed an initiative to allow two sites in the Town Center area to be considered for outdoor community gathering spaces, according to official Nov. 2 election results. Measure A required a simple majority to pass.

The San Mateo County Elections Office reported that 1,160 people voted yes on the measure, while 1,155 voted no. The race grew closer following a 20-vote difference on election night. The results were certified on Friday, Nov. 19.

Voter turnout was about 54%, according to a county press release. Some 2,316 of the 4,270 registered voters in Woodside voted on the measure.

There is no provision in California law for an automatic recount in any election, according to Jim Irizarry, assistant chief elections officer for the county.

An application for a recount would need to be filed within five calendar days after the certification of the election on Nov. 19, which is Wednesday, Nov. 24. The county estimates it would cost about $6,000 to conduct the recount. The requester bears all costs of the recount if the results do not change, he said.

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Alex Tauber, one of the Measure A authors, said his goal was always to be able to have a discussion about the two elements of Measure A.

"No, it is not the end of the world as we know as the 'No' vote led everyone to believe," he said in an email. "Discussions are a healthy part of figuring out how to become more adaptable. … At every major path that leads to the future, there are a thousand guards appointed to preserve the past. You were able to see those thousand guards (the No vote) in their full splendor during the election."

Measure A amends 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 respectively, only voters could overturn the restrictions.

The measure allows the property behind Cañada Corners to be outfitted with surface parking to accommodate permanent outdoor dining, trails and play structures, which were previously 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 prohibited development of commercial or office space on a then vacant, town-owned parcel near where Town Hall is 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 before June 1988.

Measure 1 created an exception to Measure J, allowing residentially zoned parcels in the Woodside Road Whiskey Hill Road Parking Assessment District to be improved to provide access, parking and open space, so long as at least 50% of the residential parcels were maintained in open space. It allowed the town to construct parking and access improvements for Town Hall, commercial businesses and the public.

The Roberts would need to submit plans to the town's building department to make any changes to the property behind Cañada Corners.

As for the town-owned complex along Woodside Road, Tauber expects the Town Council will appoint a subcommittee to review any proposal that is created for the space and hold public meetings. It would be reviewed by the Planning Commission and Town Council, among other committees.

"Not a speedy process, particularly with nothing on the horizon as of yet," he said.

The Woodside Town Council's state of emergency ordinance allows the town to waive the restaurants' parking requirements that are part of a conditional use permit. Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that extends parts of his March 4, 2020, COVID-19 emergency proclamation through March 31, 2022. The town operates under the state umbrella.

The town must take action every 60 days to continue the state emergency on a local level, said Mayor Brian Dombkowski. Outdoor dining is likely to be extended (assuming the council continues to renew the 60-day resolutions) through March 2022, which was set to occur regardless of the outcome of Measure A.

When the emergency declaration ends, the town must once again enforce the parking requirements, he said.

Woodside resident and Measure A opponent Alan Watkins believes Measure A was not needed to preserve outdoor dining since there are many ways to compensate for 14 fewer full-size parking spaces, such as simply restriping the parking lot for compact cars, he said.

"Similarly, for 'community connection' there are existing alternatives to building a gazebo such as using the town hall deck right next door, or the Village Hub which during the daytime usually has at least a dozen people connecting," he said in an email.

Menlo Park City School District tax measure

Voters in the Menlo Park City School District passed parcel tax Measure B with well over the required two-thirds majority needed, with 6,022 or 74.4% in favor.

"The community of Menlo Park showed up strong. An overwhelming majority of voters chose to pay it forward, setting up an entire generation of children to benefit from the excellent programs that have become a hallmark of our community," said Measure B Campaign Manager Azadeh Rasmussen. "Thanks to Measure B, we have confidence our schools will continue to deliver superior education while maintaining the financial stability of the district."

Voter turnout stood at 44.8% of 18,093 registered voters.

The results of the election are certified upon completion of the canvass of the vote during the 30 days following an election, which includes a 1% manual tally of the votes to confirm the accuracy of the results.

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Woodside land use measure passes by 5 votes

Menlo Park City School District parcel tax Measure B also approved

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Mon, Nov 22, 2021, 11:16 am

By a five-vote margin, Woodside residents passed an initiative to allow two sites in the Town Center area to be considered for outdoor community gathering spaces, according to official Nov. 2 election results. Measure A required a simple majority to pass.

The San Mateo County Elections Office reported that 1,160 people voted yes on the measure, while 1,155 voted no. The race grew closer following a 20-vote difference on election night. The results were certified on Friday, Nov. 19.

Voter turnout was about 54%, according to a county press release. Some 2,316 of the 4,270 registered voters in Woodside voted on the measure.

There is no provision in California law for an automatic recount in any election, according to Jim Irizarry, assistant chief elections officer for the county.

An application for a recount would need to be filed within five calendar days after the certification of the election on Nov. 19, which is Wednesday, Nov. 24. The county estimates it would cost about $6,000 to conduct the recount. The requester bears all costs of the recount if the results do not change, he said.

Alex Tauber, one of the Measure A authors, said his goal was always to be able to have a discussion about the two elements of Measure A.

"No, it is not the end of the world as we know as the 'No' vote led everyone to believe," he said in an email. "Discussions are a healthy part of figuring out how to become more adaptable. … At every major path that leads to the future, there are a thousand guards appointed to preserve the past. You were able to see those thousand guards (the No vote) in their full splendor during the election."

Measure A amends 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 respectively, only voters could overturn the restrictions.

The measure allows the property behind Cañada Corners to be outfitted with surface parking to accommodate permanent outdoor dining, trails and play structures, which were previously 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 prohibited development of commercial or office space on a then vacant, town-owned parcel near where Town Hall is 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 before June 1988.

Measure 1 created an exception to Measure J, allowing residentially zoned parcels in the Woodside Road Whiskey Hill Road Parking Assessment District to be improved to provide access, parking and open space, so long as at least 50% of the residential parcels were maintained in open space. It allowed the town to construct parking and access improvements for Town Hall, commercial businesses and the public.

The Roberts would need to submit plans to the town's building department to make any changes to the property behind Cañada Corners.

As for the town-owned complex along Woodside Road, Tauber expects the Town Council will appoint a subcommittee to review any proposal that is created for the space and hold public meetings. It would be reviewed by the Planning Commission and Town Council, among other committees.

"Not a speedy process, particularly with nothing on the horizon as of yet," he said.

The Woodside Town Council's state of emergency ordinance allows the town to waive the restaurants' parking requirements that are part of a conditional use permit. Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that extends parts of his March 4, 2020, COVID-19 emergency proclamation through March 31, 2022. The town operates under the state umbrella.

The town must take action every 60 days to continue the state emergency on a local level, said Mayor Brian Dombkowski. Outdoor dining is likely to be extended (assuming the council continues to renew the 60-day resolutions) through March 2022, which was set to occur regardless of the outcome of Measure A.

When the emergency declaration ends, the town must once again enforce the parking requirements, he said.

Woodside resident and Measure A opponent Alan Watkins believes Measure A was not needed to preserve outdoor dining since there are many ways to compensate for 14 fewer full-size parking spaces, such as simply restriping the parking lot for compact cars, he said.

"Similarly, for 'community connection' there are existing alternatives to building a gazebo such as using the town hall deck right next door, or the Village Hub which during the daytime usually has at least a dozen people connecting," he said in an email.

Voters in the Menlo Park City School District passed parcel tax Measure B with well over the required two-thirds majority needed, with 6,022 or 74.4% in favor.

"The community of Menlo Park showed up strong. An overwhelming majority of voters chose to pay it forward, setting up an entire generation of children to benefit from the excellent programs that have become a hallmark of our community," said Measure B Campaign Manager Azadeh Rasmussen. "Thanks to Measure B, we have confidence our schools will continue to deliver superior education while maintaining the financial stability of the district."

Voter turnout stood at 44.8% of 18,093 registered voters.

The results of the election are certified upon completion of the canvass of the vote during the 30 days following an election, which includes a 1% manual tally of the votes to confirm the accuracy of the results.

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