June 20, 2014

An article in the San Mateo County Times confirmed our impression that Woodside and San Mateo County’s housing values have finally been rebounding from years of being in the doldrums.

Amazingly, as COWnty Controller Bob Adler reported in his annual financial report, property valuations are up six percent in the County as a whole which makes last year the largest one-year hike in valuations in County history. This is a welcome change from recent years, when as we reported Woodside property values dropped like a rock. Bloomberg News reported back then that Woodside’s property values had dropped 15.7%, or more than three times the County and national average.

Home prices bear out the rise in County valuations. As an article on the San Jose Mercury’s News website points out. From December 2012 to December 2013, the median home price in San Mateo County jumped an enormous 31%.

With the Planning Commission and ASRB humming (adding extra meetings just to cover the workload) and with Town staff needing to retain outside contractors to handle anything that’s not building and planning work, it is clear that our Town is coming back in a big way.

The article sounds a cautionary note, however, contrasting the spike in home prices with a recent slowing in sales in the County. With that in mind, it’s important to remind our Town staff and elected politicians to be careful to make smart decisions to enhance, instead of crush, smart development in Woodside. We all know how hard it is to get a permit in Woodside. A couple of recent moves to make things a little easier in Town are to be commended but with what we are hearing about the development process, much more needs to be done. It is more important than ever for our Town to keep the goal of maintaining our unique environment without unnecessary regulation and overly burdensome processes.

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