The CC&Rs ban any commercial activities and restrict lots to single-family homes. In addition, they require that any alterations and additions to homes must be approved by the WASC.
These guidelines would seem to conflict with some town rules, including its new accessory dwelling unit ordinance that governs the creation of new housing units adjacent to, attached to, or within the walls of single-family homes, according to WASC co-chair Dave Strohm, who spoke at the July 10 Town Council meeting.
"We want to sustain and implement our CC&Rs now threatened by the operation of the ADU (accessory dwelling unit) ordinance," Strohm told the council.
In an email, Town Manager Jeremy Dennis suggested that CC&Rs might be binding regardless of ordinances that applied to the entire town.
"CC&Rs can make further restrictions as part of the contract between the homeowner and the homeowner's association," Dennis wrote. "The Town's zoning code may allow some kind of activity under its zoning ordinance, but there may be further rules as part of the CC&Rs that restrict that activity."
Portola Valley is wrestling with a need to be proactive in developing affordable housing to stay in step with new state mandates that may be coming.
The CC&Rs would also seem to put handcuffs on the town if it were to somehow acquire land to build multi-family housing in Westridge.
Strohm also said that the WASC is using a litigation reserve fund to hire an attorney to look inside the town's activities with regard to conflict of interest disclosures, use of paid consultants and other issues related to the town's possible development of a new General Plan. A WASC email, though, said the group has "no plans to engage in legal proceedings."
Consultants tend to carry out the objectives of the people who have hired them and can reflect or perhaps deflect public opinion, Strohm said in explaining his concerns.
"We hear from our constituents about how everything needs to be done correctly (with the General Plan)," he said. "We're looking for a commitment to transparency on behalf of the council."
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