Almanac

News - May 18, 2011

Portola Valley: Famed Shorenstein estate may be split into 3 parcels

by Dave Boyce

Another chapter is beginning for the storied Portola Valley home of real estate magnate Walter Shorenstein, a generous friend of the Democratic Party, an ardent fan of Portola Valley's character, and a not infrequent host of notable politicians at his home at 1260 Westridge Drive. Mr. Shorenstein died in June 2010.

The Planning Commission will consider a proposal to set in motion the preparation and approval of a map subdividing the 11.6 acres into three parcels. A public hearing is set for the Wednesday, June 1, meeting of the commission.

The Architecture and Site Control Commission is also set to consider the proposal when it meets on Monday, June 13, to be followed by another Planning Commission review on July 6, according to a staff report by Town Planner Tom Vlasic.

At this stage, the owners do not intend to seek permits for either development or demolition, Mr. Vlasic said. Any such action "shall only be done pursuant to future permits issued by the town in compliance with all zoning, building and other regulations of the town then in effect," he said.

Once approved, the map would be valid for two years with a possible three-year extension, Mr. Vlasic said. The map would be binding on new owners should the property be sold, he added.

Mr. Shorenstein hosted guests that included Congress members Nancy Pelosi and George Miller, former San Francisco mayors Gavin Newsom and Willie Brown, and former president Bill Clinton.

Go to tinyurl.com/Shorenstein for more information.

If you have first-hand knowledge of the history of this house and its visitors, please contact Almanac reporter Dave Boyce at DBoyce@AlmanacNews.com.

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