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Woodside decides it’s not a mountain lion habitat, allows housing under SB 9

By Angela Swartz, The Almanac, February 7, 2022

“Facing a lawsuit, national attention and a warning from California Attorney General Rob Bonta, the Woodside Town Council on Sunday [February 6] backpedaled on its recent move to ban all projects under a new state housing law.

“The town froze applications two weeks ago, citing a loophole that exempts mountain lion habitats.

“ ‘The town of Woodside has consistently exceeded state mandated low and moderate income housing commitments, and the town council remained focused on doing its part to alleviate the regional shortfall in affordable housing,’ [Deputy Town Attorney Kai] Reuss said.

There were no housing applications submitted to the town under SB 9 before projects applications were halted, according to [Town Manager Kevin] Bryant.

“Bonta warned town officials on Sunday, Feb. 6, that the effort to declare the town a mountain lion habitat is an attempt to avoid complying with state law.

“The council’s decision garnered national, and even international, attention, with The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Guardian jumping on the story after The Almanac published it.”

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