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Recount called for narrowly passed Woodside land use measure

Measure A passed by five votes

A sign reads "YES on Measure A" along Woodside Road in Woodside on Nov. 9, 2021. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

It's not over yet. A Woodside resident has requested a manual recount of the ballots in the narrowly passed Measure A contest.

Measure A opponent Alan Watkins asked for the recount last week after the initiative to allow two sites in the Town Center area to be considered for outdoor community gathering spaces passed by five votes, according to official Nov. 2 election results. Measure A required a simple majority to pass.

The recount is set to begin Wednesday, Dec. 1, Jim Irizarry, assistant chief elections officer for the county, said in an email. Eight staff members will conduct the recount over about two days, he noted.

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 as votes were tallied, after starting with a 20-vote lead on election night. The results were certified on Nov. 19. Voter turnout was about 54%, according to a county press release, with 2,316 of the 4,270 registered voters in Woodside casting ballots on the measure.

"I think, given how close the election was, we are not surprised at all by a desire to ensure an accurate count," said Measure A co-author Peter Bailey in an email. "We assume that the results will hold up on the recount and are thankful it looks like this recount can be completed quickly (this week)."

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Watkins could not be immediately reached for comment.

There is no provision in California law for an automatic recount in any election.

An application for a recount needed to be filed within five calendar days after the certification of the election on Nov. 19, which was 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.

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 parking lots, 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.

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

Mayor Brian Dombkowski said 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.

Angela Swartz joined The Almanac in 2018 and covers education and small towns. She has a background covering education, city politics and business. Read more >>

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Recount called for narrowly passed Woodside land use measure

Measure A passed by five votes

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Mon, Nov 29, 2021, 2:32 pm

It's not over yet. A Woodside resident has requested a manual recount of the ballots in the narrowly passed Measure A contest.

Measure A opponent Alan Watkins asked for the recount last week after the initiative to allow two sites in the Town Center area to be considered for outdoor community gathering spaces passed by five votes, according to official Nov. 2 election results. Measure A required a simple majority to pass.

The recount is set to begin Wednesday, Dec. 1, Jim Irizarry, assistant chief elections officer for the county, said in an email. Eight staff members will conduct the recount over about two days, he noted.

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 as votes were tallied, after starting with a 20-vote lead on election night. The results were certified on Nov. 19. Voter turnout was about 54%, according to a county press release, with 2,316 of the 4,270 registered voters in Woodside casting ballots on the measure.

"I think, given how close the election was, we are not surprised at all by a desire to ensure an accurate count," said Measure A co-author Peter Bailey in an email. "We assume that the results will hold up on the recount and are thankful it looks like this recount can be completed quickly (this week)."

Watkins could not be immediately reached for comment.

There is no provision in California law for an automatic recount in any election.

An application for a recount needed to be filed within five calendar days after the certification of the election on Nov. 19, which was 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.

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 parking lots, 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 Woodside Town Council's emergency ordinance allows the town to waive the restaurants' parking requirements that are part of a conditional use permit, something allowed thanks to Gov. Gavin Newsom's executive order that extends parts of his March 4, 2020, COVID-19 emergency proclamation through March 31, 2022.

Mayor Brian Dombkowski said 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.

Comments

Matt
Registered user
Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Nov 30, 2021 at 6:22 pm
Matt, Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2021 at 6:22 pm

I'm not surprised.


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