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Councilmember Ned Fluet
Dear Neighbor, 

There are a few important Town of Woodside issues coming up that I wanted to write about - the first concerns how we choose our town representatives and the second concerns how the town will meet its housing obligations.

Council Redistricting and "By-District" Elections

The Town is making a change to how voters elect Town Council members. 

Beginning in 2022, voters will vote for one Town Council member who lives in their district. This will replace the current system of "from-district" elections in which voters Town-wide can vote for all Town Council members. This change will ensure that the Town is compliant with the California Voting Rights Act.

The Town Council is also reviewing whether seven or five Council districts best serves the Town. 

The next step in this process is for residents to submit proposed district maps for consideration and for the Town to hold public hearings to review draft maps. Please visit this website to draw your own district map and submit it for consideration. If you prefer to hand draw a map, paper maps can be submitted to Town Hall in person or via email. The Town Council will consider maps for both seven and five districts.

You can review maps already submitted for consideration and learn more here

The next scheduled public hearings on this topic are Monday, February 28th and Tuesday, March 15th. Please consider providing us with your own draft map and lending your voice at the meetings.


State Housing Obligations

As you may have read recently, Woodside has been discussing how best to meet its state-required housing responsibilities. Below is a brief summary of two of those housing responsibilities and upcoming town meetings you may want to attend.

SB 9

Among the Town's various housing responsibilities is complying with State Bill 9 [Atkins]. In short, SB 9 allows for any single-family zoned lot to be split in two, and then allows each of these two, approximately equal-sized (no greater then 40/60) lots to have two units. 

Tonight (Feb. 22), the Town Council will consider revisions to the Woodside municipal code to more closely mirror the language found in SB 9; particularly, language related to parcels serving as endangered species habitats and parcels located in Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (VHFHSZs).

Tonight's meeting agenda can be found here.

RHNA

In addition to SB 9 and other state legislation, the Town must also plan to meet its periodic RHNA allocation. California state law recognizes that local governments play a vital role in developing affordable housing. In 1969, the state mandated that all California cities, towns and counties must plan for the housing needs of our residents—regardless of income.  

This state mandate is called the Housing Element and Regional Housing Needs Allocation, or RHNA. As part of RHNA, Woodside must periodically update the Housing Element of its general plan to show the locations where housing can be built and the policies and strategies necessary to meet the community's housing needs. Housing Element updates are due by January 31, 2023.

The Town is not responsible for ‘building’ housing units but is responsible for creating the ‘opportunity’ to build the units (e.g., through development regulations, such as zoning and sewer allowances).

To address Woodside's RHNA requirements, Mayor Brown recently formed an Ad Hoc RHNA Subcommittee with the express charge of exploring increased housing densities in Town to plan for the 328 RHNA housing units assigned to Woodside. 

The subcommittee last met on February 17 and the agenda items can be found here. The subcommittee's next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 24 at 3:00 pm. Thursday's agenda can be found here. These meetings are open to the public and can be attended via Zoom. 

Additional information about this and all future meetings can be found on the Town's calendar, which is available here.

 
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As always, I am here to answer your questions and address your concerns. I can be reached at n.fluet@woodsidetown.org. I post regularly on my Facebook page regarding Town and County news if you want more information.  

Take care of your families and neighbors.

Ned Fluet
Councilmember, Town of Woodside


For questions, comments, or concerns you may reach me at n.fluet@woodsidetown.org  
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