Back to old plans for new Woodside fire station | August 8, 2018 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - August 8, 2018

Back to old plans for new Woodside fire station

by Dave Boyce

Plans are off for a new fire station that was under consideration to be built along Woodside Road at the northeast corner of Haciendas Drive, Chief Dan Ghiorso of the Woodside Fire Protection District said.

The fire district's governing board on July 30 approved a decision to forego plans to swap the three-acre parcel on Haciendas Drive with the 1-acre location of the current main station at 3111 Woodside Road, Ghiorso said.

The district still needs a new station and will reconsider existing plans for a one-story station on the current site, he said.

Plans for a station on Haciendas Drive were never really on. Feedback from neighbors was key to deciding whether to commit any money to the project, he said.

Neighbors complained loudly at a Town Council meeting in June after learning of the proposal, notwithstanding the fact that the fire district is its own agency, independent of the town. But that and subsequent feedback was welcome, Ghiorso said.

"The community definitely had an input, and we wanted them to," he said. "It is a done deal. We are not pursuing it anymore."

For decades, firefighters returning to the station at 3111 Woodside Road have had to stop on the highway in front of the station, put their engines into reverse and back into the stalls.

The absence of drive-through bays has been a key factor behind plans to build a new station. But given the space limitations of one acre, and with individual rooms to replace the current firefighters dorm, the plans do not include office space for administrative staff.

If the district cannot acquire a neighboring property, staff will be looking for a site on which to build an administration building, the chief said. Since mid-2016, district officials have been working out of a rented office building at 808 Portola Road in Portola Valley.

Overtures to buy one of the two properties that flank the current station have not borne fruit, but the district will try again, Ghiorso said. "There's no reason to believe that (their positions) have changed, but you never know," he said.


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