http://almanacnews.com/print/story/print/2012/11/21/portola-valley-finds-buyer-for-blue-oaks-properties


Almanac

News - November 21, 2012

Portola Valley finds buyer for Blue Oaks properties

by Dave Boyce

The town of Portola Valley announced Saturday, Nov. 17, an agreement on the sale, for $2.88 million, of two properties the town owns on Buck Meadow Drive in the Blue Oaks neighborhood.

Revenues from the sale are critical to moving forward on the town's affordable housing project. The Town Council has been planning to buy a 1.68-acre property at 900 Portola Road, a former plant nursery, for several small homes for people of moderate incomes who either live or work in town.

The town was seeking $3 million from the sale. The proceeds cannot be used for any purpose other than affordable housing, town officials say.

The announcement did not disclose the identity of the buyer in the Blue Oaks agreement.

The Portola Road project is controversial. Nearby residents formed the group Keep PV Rural to vigorously oppose it on the grounds that the density of several small homes on 1.68 acres, unusual for Portola Valley, will lower the property values of nearby single-family homes.

In an email to the group, a copy of which was forwarded to the Almanac, Town Manager Nick Pegueros invited Keep PV Rural to a meeting at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, to discuss the sale and related issues. In addition to town staff, the Town Attorney, the Town Planner and Councilman John Richards -- the likely mayor for 2013 -- will be present.

Among the issues: a Nov. 6 letter from San Mateo County environmental officials requiring further cleanup of pesticide contamination at 900 Portola Road. The purchase is contingent on the county signing off on the cleanup.

At its Wednesday, Dec. 12, meeting, the council will consider steps to finalize the sale of the Blue Oaks properties. The agenda for that meeting will include a public hearing for a wide-ranging discussion on the Blue Oaks transaction and the planned purchase of 900 Portola Road for affordable housing.

The Blue Oaks parcels were set aside for eight units of affordable housing in 1991, but their sloping topography mitigated against such a project.

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