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Tuesday November 2, 2021 — Local Elections
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Local

Town of Woodside
Measure A - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results

Passing

848 votes yes (50.6%)

828 votes no (49.4%)

Shall an initiative in support of parking and community gathering spots on residentially zoned parcels within and adjacent to the Town Center be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Measure A appears on the ballot because the Town received a citizen's petition signed by the requisite number of voters qualifying this Measure for the ballot.  If approved by a majority of the voters, it will amend Section 153.113 of the Town's Municipal Code - Use of Residential Parcels for Commercial Purposes in the Town Center.  A public amphitheater, gazebo, or similar building could then be constructed on residentially zoned parcels in Town Center.  Additionally, parking for permanent outdoor dining at Canada Corners, trails, and parking structures could be constructed on the parcel of land behind Canada Corners.  

As currently written, Section 153.113 contains land use regulations applicable to residentially zoned properties in and adjacent to Town Center, the area of town along Woodside Road from Whiskey Hill Road to Robert's Market and Canada Corners at the Canada Road intersection.  Land use regulations for those residentially zoned properties were established by voter approved Measures J and 1 in 1988 - 1989.

Upon its approval, Measure J did two things.  First, it prohibited development of commercial or office space on a then vacant Town-owned parcel near where Town Hall is now located.  Second, it required residential properties in and adjoining Town Center to remain residential unless commercial parking on those properties had been permitted prior to June 1, 1988.

Measure No. 1, approved the following year, authorized residentially zoned parcels in the Woodside Road - Whiskey Hill Road Parking Assessment District to be improved to provide access, parking, and open space per the 1989 Town Center Site Plan if at least 50% of the residential parcels were maintained in open space.  This allowed the Town to construct Town Hall parking and access improvements to serve the public, Town Hall, and commercial businesses in Town Center.

Measure A would create two new exceptions to Measure J, codified as Woodside Municipal Code Section 153.113.

First, Measure A would allow improvement of residentially zoned properties in Town Center with a public ampitheater, gazebo, or similar building designed to provide a gathering place for community events, promoting art and culture.

Second, Measure A would allow Assessor's Parcel No. 072-162-350, adjacent to Town Center and located behind Canada Corners, to be improved with surface parking to accomodate permanent outdoor dining at Canada Corners, trails, and play structures.

Conditional use permits would be required prior to construction for any improvements authorized by Measure A.

If Measure A is approved by the voters, it may only be modified or repealed in the future by a majority vote of Woodside's voters.

/s/ Jean B. Savaree, Town Attorney 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR

Outdoor eating and gathering places where families can experience food, culture, art and music together are the cornerstone of strong communities around the country, and here in Woodside we have an opportunity to make these permanent features of our community as well.  Please join us in voting for Measure A which provides for 2 exceptions to current zoning restrictions to enable this future.

First, an exception to the zoning rules for Canada Corners to allow for more surface parking behind the retail shops and restaurants. This expanded surface parking would allow the Canada Corners restaurants (Bakery, Buck's, etc.) to permanently install outdoor dining facilities along Woodside Road, additional surface parking being a requirement to make these facilities permanent.

Second, an exception to the zoning rules for the land across the parking lot from Town Hall to include an approved use exception to construct a community ampitheater.  Many in our community have long hoped for such a gathering place to experience art, music, and community events in Woodside and with this zoning change we can begin to explore the possibility.

To be clear, in both cases this only begins the process.  This is NOT a vote to have these projects approved.  Rather, this vote would provide for 2 zoning exceptions that, once passed, will enable these ideas to be formally explored and to begin the planning process. In all cases any project that emerges must meet Town building and planning requirements and include the opportunity for community input. But to be clear, without these changes the conversation can't even begin.  Please support Measure A so we can make progress towards realizing this vision for our community.  We thank you for your support.

/s/ Peter Bailey

/s/ Alexander Tauber

Woodsiders for Outdoor Dining

Arguments AGAINST

For many years, the citizens of Woodside have fought to save rural Woodside. Measure J to Limit Commercial Development, was approved in 1988 by a landslide of 72% of the voters to stop commercial expansion in the Town Center. The General Plan requires that businesses primarily serve the day-to-day needs of the local community, not outside tourists. The attempts to expand commercial uses must be fought by concerned citizens if we want to save our rural environment.

What is this really about? Money. It is a ploy by the Bacchus Management, owner of Woodside Bakery, to bulldoze the open space lot to expand parking to allow more seats and to make more money.  When the Bakery use permit was approved a few years back, the Planning Commission ignored the zoning rules and allowed excessive expansion to the seating capacity by some 20 seats which now causes the parking and traffic problems. Expansion beyond this is a violation of the General Plan because most of the Bakery customers are not local residents. Expansion will also further exasperate the traffic problems we have today.

The ampitheater is a completely unrelated issue to restaurant parking. So why do we need to allow commerical use in the ampitheather? Is their plan to have rock concerts and charge admission? How will commercial use impact the local businesses and nearby neighbors? Why has this idea never been brought to the Town Council for consideration? 

So let's understand this is just a ploy by rich outsiders that care only about making money, not about the welfare of the Town residents. Over a third of the signatures were invalidated because they were not residents or other issues. I ask you to vote NO on this initiative.

/s/ Don Pugh

Woodside Resident Since 1972, Author of Measure J 

Replies to Arguments FOR

The fundamental question is: Do we want Woodside to continue to be a pleasant rural community without crowds of tourists and outsiders overwhelming our peace and quiet? Or do we allow more commercial activity so the Bakery owners can make money off them?

Outdoor dining can be continued without need for any changes, as long as the number of seats is restricted to the available parking as per town code. More parking spots will generate more expansion, congestion, and traffic.

Why do we need to spend thousands of dollars on an ampitheater that will attract crowds of tourists when we have plenty of gathering facilities in Woodside? Independence Hall is available for community groups. The Hub at the Village Church is a beautiful meeting spot. The ampitheater at the school can be rented for larger gatherings. Huddart Park has facilities for large groups. Many residents prefer to have events in their backyards.

The folks sponsoring this initiative do not seem to have a good understanding of the history and culture of Woodside, and now have forced the Town to spend nearly $80,000 on this election.

The future of Woodside is in your votes.  Do you want to allow commerical interests to eat away at our rural enviroment? Or will you stand with the many voters who supported Measure J to Limit LCommercial Development to keep Woodside rural?

I ask you to vote NO on this measure.

/s/ Don Pugh

Woodside resident since 1972, Author of Measure J

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Our response to Mr. Pugh's arguments against Measure A are as follows:

Measure J to limit commercial development was "passed by a landslide of 72% of the voters."

The results of of the election for Measure J were 1,517 "Yes" votes versus 1,355 "No" votes. Thus only 52.8% of the vote was in favor of Measure J in 1988.

What is this really about? Money. It is a ploy by Bacchus Management, owner of Woodside Bakery, to allow open space lot to be bulldozed and to make more money."

Alexander Tauber and Peter Bailey, Measure A's leaders, are residents of Woodside who have no ownership in Woodside Bakery. Alex Tauber and Peter Bailey have never met the owners of Bacchus Management. 

The owners of Robert's Market own the property in question and they should decide what to do with that property, within the limits of the town Zoning Ordinance.

The ampitheater is completely unrelated issue to restaurant parking.

The ampitheater and outdoor dining are very related to each other - they both double down on the outdoor gathering spaces that make our community so special.

Are their plans to have rock concerts and charge admission?

Any use of the public gathering spot would be subject to the Conditional Use Permit process which are conducted at public meetings.

The folks sponsoring this initiative ... have now forced the Town to spend nearly $80,000 on this election.

With the election being held on November 2nd, the costs will be significantly less than originally estimated.

/s/ Peter Bailey

/s/ Alexander Tauber 

 

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