Belle Alert – FOLLOW-UP

February 29, 2008

Last week we alerted you to an item on the Council agenda dealing with paved area coverage. We believe that this issue is so important to our community we sent an email to each COWncil member urging them to postpone this discussion until an in-depth study could be undertaken (see a copy of email sent to Council here). Hope Sullivan was supposed to present this item to the COWncil, but she wasn’t present for the meeting. Instead, Town Manager Susan George came to some interesting conclusions about the item.

Section 153.056 of the Municipal Code deals with how much “paved area” you’re allowed on your property topping out at 15,000 square feet. This can be a very small amount for a 5,7, 10 or more acre property! Gravel historically was not counted as “paved area” until very recently, when unilaterally staff changed the rules. Now, at last the matter was brought to Council. Hope presented multiple options in her staff report but there was no analysis of the effect of these changes on property in Woodside (such as making a large number of properties in Woodside nonconforming).

Susan George suggested that the COWncil not vote on these options! She had a real problem with staff making policy and said that a study session and direction directly from COWncil was necessary to determine the point of the ordinance – is it to restrict runoff or to keep Woodside’s rural character? We seldom seem to agree with Susan but she is sure right this time.

Stay tuned, COWs… this issue isn’t going away.

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