Portola Valley: Barn-in-the-field question returns for deliberation | January 18, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |



News - January 18, 2012

Portola Valley: Barn-in-the-field question returns for deliberation

by Dave Boyce

The Portola Valley Planning Commission on Wednesday, Jan. 18, will reconsider the question of whether a barn should be allowed in a privately owned field of grass located in a scenic corridor.

A public hearing is the second item on the agenda in a meeting set to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Historic Schoolhouse at 765 Portola Road.

The town's general plan calls the field a community open space preserve. The couple who own it, Dr. Kirk Neely and Holly Myers, have applied to the Planning Commission to build a barn there.

The field presents the roadside observer and Westridge neighborhood residents with a much loved landmark: the 1,900-foot peak of Windy Hill. From the road, the view traverses 100 yards or so of deep grass, often grazed by deer, and rises uninterrupted to the sky, climbing ridge upon ridge of cascading seasonal greens and browns.

The barn is part of a larger plan that includes a cabana and pool, greenhouse, guest house and artist's studio, but all of these structures would be located in less visible places on the couple's 229-acre property at 555 Portola Road.

The field is off limits for human habitation because an earthquake fault runs under a corner of it.


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