Woodside increases maximum defensible space grant


With the threat of wildfires increasing, Woodside is raising its maximum matching grant for clearing brush, pruning trees and other work from $2,000 to $3,000.

The Defensible Space Matching Fund, which pays for the grants, was created in 2010 to help homeowners make their properties more fire-safe.

In the first year, about $7,000 worth of grants were awarded, a figure that has risen to about $201,000 this year as the program has become more well-known and fire threats have increased, according to a town staff report.

To qualify for a grant, homeowners must have the Woodside Fire Protection District perform a defensible space assessment and have the recommended work completed. The town provides the grant after the work is done and a proof of payment is submitted.

During the current fiscal year, the smallest project was $816, which received a $408 matching grant, and the highest was $27,000, which received a maximum $2,000 grant, according to the report.

Fifty-nine projects cost more than $4,000, 42 were less than $4,000, and seven were valued at exactly $4,000.

The number of awards has increased from 15 in 2013-14 to 108 in 2018-19.

The Town Council passed the grant increase unanimously at its June 25 meeting.

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