Portola Valley 2014 Planning Retreat – Part 4

Part 4 – Discussion

This is a video of Portola Valley Planning Retreat held at the Town Center May 18, 2014.  It followed the background session (Parts 1,2 and 3) and has the Town Council, Commissions and Public comment.
Some audio was lost so this video is incomplete, but includes most of what was said.

The stated objectives of the retreat were to review land use planning and the framework for planning decision making in Portola Valley with a critical eye to the future

This video is also over an hour long.
The Public discussion begins at 46.43 minutes.

This was a public meeting with Town Council, Planning Commission and ASCC in attendance  along with members of the general public.

Portola Valley 2014 Planning Retreat – Parts 1, 2 and 3.

Parts 1, 2 and 3 – Background and Legal Issues

This is a video of Portola Valley Planning Retreat held at the Town Center May 18, 2014.  It contains the general background information about history of the General Plan and its implementation along with legal issues and responsibilities.

The stated objectives of the retreat were to review land use planning and the framework for planning decision making in Portola Valley with a critical eye to the future

This video is over an hour long and includes Steve Toben’s remarks, “Relic or Blueprint” (also included as a separate 14 minute video on this blog), Planners George Mader, Tom Vlasic and Ted Hayden’s remarks (starts at 14.13 minutes) along with those of Town Attorney, Leigh Prince.(starts at 49.54 minutes).

This was a public meeting with Town Council, Planning Commission and ASCC in attendance  along with members of the general public.

Dotty Kennedy

Dotty Kennedy and her husband Hugh made an agreement when they were dating that they’d live in California one day. After a year in Milwaukee, looking at a frozen lake all winter, they made the move. They found a quarter acre in Brookside Park with a vista over the Bovet Ranch for $2500, a huge amount in 1953. She remembers that from their house it was like looking out at the whole world.

Doty Kennedy, October 14, 2009
Dotty Kennedy, October 14, 2009

At first, they watched the Bovet cows grazing and then saw Corte Madera School built. Brookside got sewers when the Sequoias went in, and the Kennedys wondered if they could afford to hook up. When the neighborhood wells began to dry up, folks were buying water in garbage cans from friends. And then California Water Co. came in and saved the day. Later, when they moved to Zapata, they were startled to hear from an equestrian that they couldn’t buy the particular lot they had in mind because it was the horse trail! That turned out to be inaccurate. She says it was a sociable place in those days, with progressive dinners being a regular event.

 

Mary Lou Coale Moses

Mary Lou Coale Moses and her first husband, Frank, came to Portola Valley from southern California when Frank went to work for SRI.  They moved into a rental house that SRI found for them on Corte Madera Road when only part of it was paved. Later, when the Rathbuns moved to Alpine Hills, the Coales bought their nearby house for $26,000. Their four little boys loved being there.  “It was wonderful, just right for us,” she says. Frank, who loved the mountains and was a rock climber, was active on the Incorporation Committee in the days before the successful vote in 1964. He then served on the first Planning Commission. He was killed in an airplane crash. Some  time later, Mary Lou married Lincoln Moses, a Stanford professor who served on the school board. They lived on campus for a while but returned to Corte Madera Road. Lincoln remembered when Alpine Road wasn’t paved. She says Portola Valley felt like a community where you could make a difference. She liked that.

Patsy Whiteley

Patsy Whiteley’s husband Joe flew out of Alameda at the end of World War II, and they vowed to return to the area when they had a chance. In 1950 they moved to Menlo Park and started enjoying the open spaces and views of Portola Valley. They found Jelichs and an egg farm, where you took your eggs and put your payment in a basket. It was in the days when Cervantes stopped at Fawn Lane.

Patsy Whiteley, October 14, 2009
Patsy Whiteley, October 14, 2009

They’d park there and run their dogs up the hill and look out over the whole valley. They’d swim in Searsville and watch cattle roaming the open spaces. When their children left for college, they found a house on Fawn Lane and thought they were the luckiest people in the world. “Every day brought a beautiful surprise,” she says. “Was the skyline fog shrouded, or was fog spilling down the hills? Or was it clear and sunny?” It didn’t matter. They stayed in that house for 28 years.

Marilyn Walter

In1968, Marilyn Walter came to Portola Valley with her husband and children. After having lived in seven countries, the last one being eastern Canada, she especially welcomed the mild climate.

Marilyn Walter at the starting line for Zotts to Tots.  June 2013
Marilyn Walter at the starting line for Zotts to Tots. June 2013

She says she was so overcome with the pleasure of going walking in January that she came home and wrote a poem about roses blooming in January.  They liked the view from the house the realtor showed them so much that. they had just one question: were there enough bedrooms for their boys?

There were enough, and Marilyn has been here ever since although she moved to PV Ranch in its earliest days.

Carol Jacobs

Carol Jacobs learned from a woman who babysat in Portola Valley about the special qualities of the town. Although the Jacobs family bought a house in Hidden Valley, they were in closer proximity to Portola Valley than Woodside, and her thoughts and activities always revolved around Portola Valley.

Carol Jacobs, October 14, 2009
Carol Jacobs, October 14, 2009

One of her special memories is taking a family walk every  Thanksgiving while the turkey baked. One walk she especially remembers was with Herb Dengler, an early and longtime resident who knew and respected every aspect of nature. [The Herb Dengler Preserve near the top of Hayfields and the Larry Lane Trail honors his memory.] This hike took them to the hills of the then-Morshead property above the schoolhouse where Herb  showed Carol an albino redwood. If it is still there, no one knows its location any more.

Nancy Wilson

John Wilson was stationed at Moffet during the war and loved the area so much that he bought ten acres in what became Portola Valley from Dent Macdonough, owner of the Ormondale Ranch. One day in the late fifties, his mother in Akron, Ohio told him to look up the daughter of a family friend, also from Akron, who was also living in the Bay Area. So he met Nancy. Shortly thereafter, on New Year’s Day in 1957, they went for breakfast at the Stanford Golf Course Club House, the only place they could find that was open. Afterward, John suggested that they go for a drive since it was such a beautiful day. He took her to his property on unpaved Golden Hills Drive. They scrambled up a hill to the top, the property John had bought, where he said, “Let’s build our dream house here some day.”  And they did. John went on to found a major Silicon Valley law firm and served on the Town Council while Nancy was busy raising their three children. When she moved to the Sequoias, she met a man there who had worked with the architect who designed their dream house. He was able to give her the original architectural plans for that house that had been build half a century before.

Maureen Kelland

In the late 1950s, Maureen Kelland and her then-fiancé, Jim, were drinking beer at Rosotti’s and admiring the beautiful hill across the road.

Maureen Kelland
Maureen Kelland

As a part of the banter among the group, a friend suggested that Jim buy it, so they investigated, primarily as a lark. They found a little red ‘shack’ at the bottom of the hill where they met one Colonel Hunt, a real estate agent.

Maureen Kelland 2009
Maureen Kelland 2009

As Maureen tells the story, in 1959 and $9500 later, the Kellands owned a modest ranch house in Alpine Hills. The top was bare then, with only chaparral growing , but oaks grew in the gullies. For years, neighbors on Valencia closed the street on the 4th of July for a splendid neighborhood party.

Documenting life and times in the Town of Portola Valley, California