Our Concerns

Housing

Without creative, far-sighted implementation, state-mandated growth will drastically impact public safety, increase our taxes, alter our Town’s rural character, harm our natural ecosystems, and disproportionately impact our residents.  Let’s meet our housing needs sensibly, equitably, and safely:  

  • Implement and fulfill our General Plan, not abandon it

  • Provide truly affordable housing for those who need it

  • Ensure equitable Town-wide compliance with State housing mandates

  • Reject disproportionate re-zoning or impact on specific neighborhoods or parcels

  • Develop Town-owned land or open space to equitably distribute the burden of additional housing across all residents

  • Use the Town’s affordable housing funds as an incentive for residents to convert existing or build new housing to meet lower-income housing needs

  • Adequately space and size new housing

  • Fully fund infrastructure developments required by new housing

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"The protection of the public safety is the first responsibility of local government and local officials have an obligation to give priority to the provision of adequate public safety services",  CA Constitution, Art. XIII, § 35

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The 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Fire destroyed 1500 structures, covered 134 square miles and came within 7 miles of Portola Valley

Safety

Portola Valley was once an innovative leader in safe development of hazardous lands. It pioneered an approach to geological safety that was widely adopted throughout the State and beyond. Climate change and years of Town inaction now make wildfire an immediate, existential threat to our homes and neighborhoods.

 

Let's work together to again make public safety the Town's highest priority:

  • The Town’s zoning, subdivision, and building codes must be updated to incorporate objective fire-safe standards and defined best practices for wildfire prevention and protection

  • The Town and its residents must upgrade and maintain existing development and infrastructure for wildfire resiliency and protection

  • The Town must ensure adequate capacity and infrastructure for an urgent, town-wide evacuation

  • The Town must implement a comprehensive Town-wide emergency evacuation program, and provide regular evacuation training and rehearsals for its residents

Character

The Town we cherish today exists because the founding residents carefully created our General Plan to protect and enhance the natural bounty of Portola Valley and conserve its rural quality.

 

Let’s work together to uphold the General Plan while we embrace the future:

  • The Town's development policies must adhere to the objectives and principles of our General Plan to conserve our fragile ecosystem and sustain our rural character over time

  • Urbanizing Portola Valley is not the future we want for our children or our ecosystem and will ill-serve our current and future residents

  • Portola Valley is blessed with native flora, fauna, and habitat that are rapidly vanishing

  • Our town provides a unique, regional gateway to park lands, wildlife, and open space for nearby communities that have denser, urbanized development

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Governance

Our Town officials are failing us. Let’s work together to ensure:

  • Town officials represent the interests of all existing residents, first and foremost

  • Town officials respect the opinions and dignity of all residents

  • Town officials make decisions and policies that always comply with the Portola Valley General Plan 

  • All Town officials are held to a meaningful Code of Ethics (modeled after Belmont or Woodside)

  • Town officials strictly adhere to the Brown Act, so all Town decisions are made by open, transparent discussion in public meetings

  • Town meetings are held in-person with optional video participation

  • Town meetings are structured to ensure responsive, two-way communication between residents and their representatives

  • Town officials encourage and facilitate informed resident participation in making Town policies and decisions

  • Agendas and materials for Town meetings are provided well in advance of public meetings