January 27, 2010

When recently posted our list of COWmittee openings, we did not include the Architectural and Site Review Board (ASRB) vacancy because the Town stopped accepting applications on January 4th. Well, at the most recent COWncil meeting, we found out that not one person applied for COWncilmember Anne Kasten’s old seat!

It is critically important to have fair minded COWS on this COWmittee. As we all know, the ASRB is one of the most important COWmittees in Woodside, with a tremendous potential to either ensure good construction or to throw a monkey wrench into the best laid plans. Of course, the Town does not seem to a good outreach program. They often have only one candidate for a position. There are things they could do to raise awareness. For one thing, they could alert us about coming openings when they want to encourage applications. They could develop a list of COWs who might be interested in serving and email them about openings. They could check to see what other jurisdictions do to get more citizen involvement. In this case, the recruiting effort is not helped by the fact that the ASRB’s webpage has no mention of the recruitment efforts other than noting the vacancy of the seat and that that seat’s term runs through February of 2013.

The Town website, under Volunteer Opportunities, shows that it has reopened applications and that the deadline is February 12th, but the Town Manager’s report states that she is trying to get ASRB applicant interviews scheduled during the first COWncil meeting in February – Feb. 9th. We wonder why the discrepancy?

The ASRB meets about twice a month (with occasional canceled meetings), on the first and third Mondays of the month at 4:30 pm at Town Hall. Their purpose, as stated on their website, is:

The Architectural and Site Review Board (ASRB) reviews applications for site design and recommends to the Planning Director the approval or disapproval of applications, and suggests modifications or imposes conditions in accordance with the standards set forth in the Woodside Municipal Code (Sections 153.220 to 153.230). The Code charges the ASRB with ensuring that development preserves the rural character and natural beauty of the Town and complies with the requirements of the Municipal Code and the General Plan.

Which as we said, definitely gives them the potential to be either be a real force for good or ill in Town development. Also, as we’ve seen, the ASRB provides a path to the Town COWncil for ambitious Town residents.

If you are concerned about good Town governance and development and think you might be interested, you should definitely contact the Town Clerk’s office at (650) 851-6790 for more information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *