The town of Woodside will be in need of a new planning director come Nov. 1 when Jackie Young retires.
Young has served as the town's planning director for 14 years. She has played a central role in the complicated planning process for the town's state mandated housing element, which is due to the state in January 2023. The town submitted its draft element to the state this summer.
"It has been an honor to serve Woodside's residents, (the) Town Council, Planning Commission, ASRB (Architectural and Site Review Board) and History Committee," she said in an email. Young sent in her notice to Town Manager Kevin Bryant on Sept. 7.
"I am looking forward in retirement to having more time with family and friends; and increasing my time spent in volunteering for hospice, and in family history, church ministering and interfaith work," she said.
Though the draft has been sent to the state, town officials say the following tasks remain in order to fully update the housing element:
• Completion of the environmental (California Environmental Quality Act or CEQA) review of the housing element
• Rezoning of select higher density residential sites
• Formulating a response to the state's Housing and Community Development's review of the housing element
The Town Council authorized contracts for technical studies (biotic, noise and traffic) needed for the CEQA review. The Town Council will vote at its Tuesday, Sept. 27 meeting to hire consultants to carry out the full CEQA review (anticipated to be an initial study/mitigated negative declaration, but pending the results of the state's review).
The Deputy Town Attorney introduced Attorney Matt Francois at the Planning Commission meeting on Sept. 21 as the consulting land use attorney for rezoning and other tasks.
In February, resident Bob Wilson called on the Town Council to freeze pay increases for Bryant and Young and conduct a full investigation into their "mishandling" of Senate Bill 9 (SB 9) projects in town. The town shut down all projects under a new state housing law by citing an exemption for mountain lion habitats in late January.
Young worked for 10 years in private sector construction management and 27 years in public sector planning, she said. She previously worked for the cities of Campbell, Scotts Valley, Mountain View and Santa Cruz, according to her LinkedIn profile. She graduated from Gunn High School in Palo Alto before attending San Jose State University where she earned by undergraduate and master's degrees, according to her profile.
"I want to thank you for the many years you shepherded the town Planning Department with a steady and compassionate hand with an understanding that there are many shades of grey that need to be assessed on a case by case basis and what is best for the town and applicant," said Woodside architect Steve Patrick in an email to Young.
The Town Council will vote on a $19,500 agreement with executive search firm Teri Black & Company, LLC for the recruitment of a new planning director at its Tuesday meeting. The firm would plan to have a finalist chosen by November or December, according to a town staff report.
The town worked with the firm in 2015 to hire its public works director/town engineer, according to the report.
The Town Council meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in a hybrid format, at Independence Hall, 2955 Woodside Road, and online.