Owners of popular Woodside restaurant and bakery rely on claims by measure A opponent that initiative to allow more outdoor community gathering spaces is a scam from a local business.
The measure of the November 2 ballot aimed at changing the zoning of certain plots is an alleged “ploy by the Bacchus (Management) group, which owns and operates The Village Bakery (and The Village Pub), to raze the open space in order to expand the parking lot. to allow more seats and earn more money, ”according to Measure A opponent Don Pugh.
Bacchus has given a total of $ 3,000 in cash and $ 2,000 in in-kind donations like banners, garden signs, design work, and legal work to Measure A supporters since the start of the year, according to campaign fundraising reports, which can be viewed here and here. .
George Roberts, owner of Roberts Market, contributed $ 3,000 to the Yes on Measure A campaign, according to records.
No other contributions to the campaign were reported.
“Does Bacchus Management benefit if Measure A passes? Yes, of course,” Bacchus spokeswoman Karey Walker said in an email. “And the same goes for all the other businesses in the Cañada Corners shopping area. But the biggest winners of all? The residents of Woodside who can continue to meet friends and neighbors at The Village Bakery and Buck’s of Woodside to dine, laugh and enjoy our town. “
She said Bacchus was “very disappointed with Mr. Pugh’s misleading statements”,
calling the alfresco dining deployed during the pandemic “an overwhelming success at Woodside for The Village Bakery and Buck’s of Woodside. And that success is measured by the overwhelming support of Woodside residents for bistro dining, who enjoyed it during the course. of these last difficult 18 months and want to continue enjoying it in the future, despite the grunts of a few who would rather not let “strangers” into our city. … The time has come for such a change and the people clearly want to make This change. “
Pugh, who wrote the argument against the ballot measure, also drafted a measure in the 1980s that placed limits on two residential zoned lots adjacent to the downtown area – a city-owned complex along Woodside Road, from Whiskey Hill Road to Roberts Market. which includes government buildings and commercial businesses, and Cañada Corners at the intersection of Canada Road (owned by Roberts Market).
Measure A would allow the property behind Cañada Corners to be equipped with surface parking to accommodate permanent outdoor meals, trails and play structures, all of which are now prohibited. It would also allow the eventual construction of a public building – amphitheater or belvedere – for community events in the residential district of downtown.
To overturn these rules, established by voting measures J and 1 in 1988 and 1989, respectively, residents must petition the city for a voting measure. The current new outdoor dining area is only possible because the city has waived certain parking requirements, which are part of conditional use permits, due to the pandemic, Walker said. Normally, such a simple zoning issue would be up to city council, but Measure J requires a vote from the citizens of Woodside as a condition of any change in that specific area, Walker said.
“The new outdoor dining room was so wonderful and loved by so many residents of Woodside. … That (Woodside residents) Alex Tauber and Peter Bailey recognized that there may be an opportunity to both continue eating outdoors and address the chronic lack of parking, which has existed for a long, long time before the pandemic, “she said.” In fact, 40 parking spaces are needed every day just for the employees of Roberts Market and the hardware store.
She added that there is a possibility that the new lot will be reserved for employee parking, which would alleviate overcrowding in the rest of the lot.
Tauber and Bailey, who proposed the measure, said they did not own The Village Bakery and had never met the owners of Bacchus. They also noted that since Roberts Market owns the land at Cañada Corners, he should be able to decide what to do with it.
Pugh said he was not opposed to alfresco dining in an email on Friday, but said supporters of Measure A were going backwards. “They should have gone to the city and town planning department to develop a specific plan with details on seating, parking, etc. Next, determine which zoning issues need to be addressed. Packages to be used for any purpose. That’s why I don’t trust them. Bacchus spends thousands of dollars to persuade citizens to vote (in) their favor.
He said without the protection of Measure J, “their proposal is to level the land to create many parking lots to facilitate the expansion of (The Village) Bakery.”
Lane Partners LLC, a Menlo Park-based commercial real estate services company, donated $ 10,000 to the Menlo Park City School District (MPCSD) Plot Tax Measurement Campaign. The proposed tax is also on the November ballot.
Lane Partners, which is involved in plans to redevelop SRI International’s 63-acre corporate headquarters in Menlo Park at 333 Ravenswood Ave. by adding redevelopment buildings, adding housing and opening part of the campus to the public, donated to the “Park Schools Support Committee, Yes on Parcel Tax Measure” on August 19. Lane’s partners could not be reached immediately for comment.
“Lane Partners is a Menlo Park-based company,” Mark Murray, director of Lane Partners, said of the contribution, in an email. “Our partners and employees are residents of Menlo Park and many of us have children in the neighborhood. We share the residents’ deep commitment to their schools and believe it is important to be good partners for the communities where we live and work. We know Measure B is vitally important to our city and our children and we are happy to be alongside parents, teachers, seniors, other business owners and community leaders in supporting our schools. . “
The committee raised $ 40,015 from early July to mid-September to support the $ 598 per package measure, which would provide $ 4.6 million per year for 12 years. Statements show that a total of 40 donations have been made.
Valerie Frederickson, CEO of Frederickson Partners, gave the second largest contribution of $ 5,000. Former MPCSD administrator Mark Box donated $ 1,000. Trustee Scott Saywell donated $ 250.
During the reporting period, the campaign spent almost $ 45,000. Most of it went to pay Whitehurst / Mosher Campaign Strategy and Media, a district-hired political consulting firm that charged $ 15,000 for its campaign consulting fees. Campaign organizers paid the consultants an additional $ 20,000 for marketing materials.
In June, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg also donated $ 10,000 to the campaign.
Measure B, which requires two-thirds voter approval to pass, would replace District Measure X, which was passed in 2017 with an initial annual rate of $ 360 per plot for $ 2.83 million. per year and expires in July 2022.