News

Housing and development were top of mind in Woodside in 2021

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

Potential development in town took center stage in Woodside in 2021.

With state mandates taking effect, it was a year of planning for what the town will look like with more housing units. A proposal to allow the development of outdoor community gathering spaces of the Town Center area closely divided residents. With vaccinations against COVID-19 rolled out and new equipment for recording and streaming, government meetings began to take place in person in Woodside for the first time in a year in a half.

Measure A

Passed by just a handful of votes in November, Measure A, allows for expanded use of two residentially zoned parcels. After the votes were tallied, a town resolution surfaced showing that the land along the Cañada and Woodside roads intersection, known as Cañada Corners and owned by George Roberts of Roberts Market, had been placed under an open space conservation easement.

The Roberts have not brought a plan to the Town Council yet, but the council can choose not enforce an easement (or amend it), if members deem it to be for the public good.

Andrew and Nicole Baltazar chat and eat in Buck's Restaurant's outdoor dining area in Woodside on July 31, 2020. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

State housing allocations and other development

Town officials also began to kick off planning for the housing element. Woodside faces significant increases in the number of units they're required to designate for development by the state (from 62 units in the last cycle to 328 units in the 2023-31 Regional Housing Needs Allocation). They also addressed increased development that will result from Senate Bill 9, which allows homeowners in single-family zones to split their lots and build up to four housing units. SB 9 requires local agencies to grant ministerial approval to certain lot splits and up to two units on each resulting lot, with 4-foot minimum side and rear setbacks.

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The Town Council and other residents expressed concerns about preserving the town's "rural character" and not increasing wildfire risk with building.

Woodside council members adopted a resolution stating they "feel strongly" that state housing legislation deprives towns of their abilities to meet the needs of their communities.

Other happenings

Woodside council members meet in-person and over video during their Sept. 28 meeting in Independence Hall in Woodside in 2021. Courtesy Brian Dombkowski.

Town Hall reopened.

In September, the Town Council began meeting in person for the first time since March 2020. The council welcomed audience members both in Council Chambers and over Zoom.

Construction workers completed the $2 million rebuilding of the aging Portola Road bridge. A new Jewish organization for Woodside and Portola Valley opened its doors to residents in the spring, saying there was a void in Jewish services in the area.

Woodside's population increased by only 0.4% — to 7,188 people — from 2010 to 2020, according to the latest census data.

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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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Housing and development were top of mind in Woodside in 2021

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Sat, Jan 8, 2022, 9:13 am

Potential development in town took center stage in Woodside in 2021.

With state mandates taking effect, it was a year of planning for what the town will look like with more housing units. A proposal to allow the development of outdoor community gathering spaces of the Town Center area closely divided residents. With vaccinations against COVID-19 rolled out and new equipment for recording and streaming, government meetings began to take place in person in Woodside for the first time in a year in a half.

Passed by just a handful of votes in November, Measure A, allows for expanded use of two residentially zoned parcels. After the votes were tallied, a town resolution surfaced showing that the land along the Cañada and Woodside roads intersection, known as Cañada Corners and owned by George Roberts of Roberts Market, had been placed under an open space conservation easement.

The Roberts have not brought a plan to the Town Council yet, but the council can choose not enforce an easement (or amend it), if members deem it to be for the public good.

Town officials also began to kick off planning for the housing element. Woodside faces significant increases in the number of units they're required to designate for development by the state (from 62 units in the last cycle to 328 units in the 2023-31 Regional Housing Needs Allocation). They also addressed increased development that will result from Senate Bill 9, which allows homeowners in single-family zones to split their lots and build up to four housing units. SB 9 requires local agencies to grant ministerial approval to certain lot splits and up to two units on each resulting lot, with 4-foot minimum side and rear setbacks.

The Town Council and other residents expressed concerns about preserving the town's "rural character" and not increasing wildfire risk with building.

Woodside council members adopted a resolution stating they "feel strongly" that state housing legislation deprives towns of their abilities to meet the needs of their communities.

Town Hall reopened.

In September, the Town Council began meeting in person for the first time since March 2020. The council welcomed audience members both in Council Chambers and over Zoom.

Construction workers completed the $2 million rebuilding of the aging Portola Road bridge. A new Jewish organization for Woodside and Portola Valley opened its doors to residents in the spring, saying there was a void in Jewish services in the area.

Woodside's population increased by only 0.4% — to 7,188 people — from 2010 to 2020, according to the latest census data.

Comments

Sunny Storm
Registered user
Woodside: other
on Jan 8, 2022 at 1:22 pm
Sunny Storm, Woodside: other
Registered user
on Jan 8, 2022 at 1:22 pm

The town council does NOT speak for me then.

Woodside should allow a limited amount of housing and do their part.

Adding a few houses, in-law units, etc in our large rural community is not going to change the rural feel in this relatively undeveloped space. It's just a smoke-screen to keep out undesirables.

Do better woodside.


Stuart
Registered user
Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Jan 11, 2022 at 6:10 pm
Stuart, Woodside: Mountain Home Road
Registered user
on Jan 11, 2022 at 6:10 pm

Sunny, You have a very odd interpretation of the word "few" used in your post.
The article says Woodside must add 328 units in the new RHNA cycle and SB9 allows for 4 units where 1 currently exists. How many is a few? 328, 528, 728, more?
The Town Council most certainly speaks for me!


Sunny Storm
Registered user
Woodside: other
on Jan 16, 2022 at 1:46 pm
Sunny Storm, Woodside: other
Registered user
on Jan 16, 2022 at 1:46 pm

Woodside is over 11 square miles.
A cycle is 8 years?

So to add 328 new units, Woodside needs to add ~ 41 units per year, which will need to be a combination of ADUs and residences. Woodside is has so much green space and so much ongoing construction as it is, that most of us will not notice 41 new units a year.


Sunny Storm
Registered user
Woodside: other
on Jan 16, 2022 at 2:00 pm
Sunny Storm, Woodside: other
Registered user
on Jan 16, 2022 at 2:00 pm

you do realize that 41 units in 11 square miles is less than 4 units per mile?

Imagine 2 are ADU and 2 are residences. Tripp Road alone has 4 new houses this past year.

That is not going to change Woodside from a rural community to a city or even suburb.

We have more more construction than that in town today though it's weighted to whole house renovations.


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