Fence Post

March 30, 2006

For those of you who showed up for the ASRB meeting on fences which was scheduled for 4:30 on March 27th, the time was changed to 6:00 but the revised agenda did not highlight that the time had changed and no one bothered to post a notice on the door. That’s not our idea of a citizen friendly government.

Many folks did manage to make the meeting. The ASRB had pictures of all types of fences and gates from around the town and seemed genuinely interested in people’s opinions on them and what they thought of fences in general. The ASRB is conducting a fence survey which you might want to fill out. Here it is, we suggest faxing it to the town at (650) 851-2195 attention ASRB: http://www.citizensofwoodside.com/files/Fence_questionnaire.pdf

COWs we have been talking to are concerned about keeping strangers and deer out of our neck of the woods and keeping our calves and pets in and safe. Others seem to prefer intruders to fences and like the deer more than COWs. Otherwise, why would they be so resistant to their neighbors having reasonable fencing? We say if you want your property open to all that’s great but if you want yours to have fencing that’s great too.

Woodside fence ordinance has been one of the strongest most restricive fence ordiances in the County for many years. We believe most Woodsiders feel its doing its job and there is no need to go horsing around with it. COWs can’t figure out why when the “reason” for the ASRB to be looking at fences in the first place was to make the process easier for people (such as not requiring ASRB review of conforming gates and fences) the ASRB is now gathering information and could end up discussing changes to the ordinance to make it harder to have the fence or gate of your choosing.

Most everyone has a fence and many if not most a gate. They are important to each of us. This issue needs careful study and consideration. Of course, wildlife must be protected but so do COWs and sometimes it’s from the wildlife. We think any fence and gate ordinance must balance safety and privacy with environmental concerns. It must have clear objective standards and allow for differences in taste and style. We are a Town that should value individuality and creativity, not one style fits all.

Others may disagree with our point of view but it is important that all voices be heard and all opinions be welcomed. There was no staff report for this ASRB meeting. Now we understand, there is another ASRB meeting on the subject on Monday. It is important that before any proposal goes further it be made in writing so that the public has something to react to. We all have a steak in this issue.

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