Message from Mayor Ann Wengert
March 2019- Update on Portola Valley’s housing efforts
MESSAGE FROM MAYOR ANN WENGERT
Greetings Fellow Residents! I am writing to provide a brief update on Portola Valley’s housing efforts. Starting in 2011, your Town Council has been working to add housing in Portola Valley for those affected by the growing housing crisis. Two years ago, the Town Council adopted the Town’s Housing Strategic Plan that focused our efforts on Accessory Dwelling Units, Affiliated Housing, and housing on Town-owned properties for residents who wish to age in place, for those who grew up in Portola Valley and cannot afford to move back, and for workers who support our community:
1) Expand the number and size of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). The Planning Commission and the Town planning staff have worked diligently over the past 18 months to update Portola Valley’s ADU ordinance. This process started in 2016 and included two public outreach meetings in 2018 as well as 12 public meetings at the Town Council, Planning Commission, and ASCC. The Town Council completed our deliberations last week and introduced the new ADU ordinance. Please visit www.portolavalley.net/housing to learn more.
2) Encourage the Town’s Affiliated Housing Partners (The Priory, Stanford and The Sequoias) to provide employee housing. Of the Town’s three Affiliated Housing Partners, both The Priory and Stanford are moving forward in their preliminary planning to provide additional staff and faculty housing. Stanford will present their housing concepts to the Town Council in our regularly scheduled meeting on March 27. The Priory is also developing plans to add additional campus housing. Upon completion of their current facilities upgrades, The Sequoias will be reviewing ideas for staff housing.
3) Identify Town-owned land parcels that could be suitable for housing. The Ad-Hoc Housing on Town Owned Property Committee has identified two opportunities to create housing on Town-owned land. The first is the conversion of the maintenance facility at Town Center that could result in one or two units of housing. The second is a 1.3-acre parcel located adjacent to Corte Madera School for which initial housing concept drawings have been completed. The Committee’s next step is to make recommendations to the Town Council for their input and direction. More information can be found at: www.portolavalley.net/housingontownpropertycomm
Finally, I want to alert our community that we are facing aggressive legislative efforts at the state and regional level to increase production of housing across California. The Town Council is working closely with our regional and state representatives to ensure that new legislation does not force development on our town. We support community-specific approaches to adding housing that recognize our consistent and thoughtful efforts to diversify housing in Portola Valley, while retaining our open space ethos and rural character.
Your participation in these discussions is critical. The best way to stay informed is to sign up for “housing e-notices” on the Town’s website (www.portolavalley.net/enotices). You can also send your thoughts to the Town Council or staff by attending Council meetings or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for participating in this important effort as we work together to provide housing in our community that we can support and be proud of.