Community Conversation About Housing

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Did you miss the March 3rd event? Lend your voice below! 

Community Conversation About Housing, March 3, 2018 event

Community Conversation About Housing

Town of Portola Valley was awarded a grant last year from Home for All to pilot new approaches to community engagement around the topic of housing. Home for All is a community collaborative addressing housing challenges in San Mateo County through convening community, sharing information and promoting innovation. 

The grant is designed to help the Town conduct more inclusive, informed and sustained engagement. Toward that end, the first major project in the pilot, “A Community Conversation About Housing in Portola Valley” was held on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at the Town Center Community Hall. The goal of the event was to:

  • Broaden participation in the conversation about housing in Portola Valley
  • Share the Town’s Housing Options Strategic Plan adopted in 2016 by the Council
  • Connect community members who are interested in continuing the conversationCommunity Conversation About Housing March 3, 2018 Event

The March 3rd community meeting drew nearly 70 participants of varying ages and perspectives, including longtime residents, business owners, and people who work in Portola Valley but do not live in the town, representing a range of ages and perspectives. Four themes emerged during the community conversation:

Rural Environment: Many community members moved to Portola Valley for its beautiful rural atmosphere, open spaces and abundant hiking and horse trails.

Family Connections: People are concerned that they, their children, or other family members may not be able to stay in or return to Portola Valley.

Maintaining Vital Workforce: Participants expressed concern that those who work in Portola Valley are unable to live close to Town. As a result, commute times increase and employers (business, school, public safety, health care) struggle to attract and retain employees.

Creative Solutions:  A recurring theme was the need to be creative, “think outside the box” and “try new things.” Community members called for housing solutions that emphasize innovation and reduce barriers (such as regulations and fees) to building more places to live in Portola Valley.

Community Conservation About Housing March 3, 2018 Event

At the end of the Community Conversation, participants expressed interest in next steps:

  • Promote more conversations and provide additional opportunities to be involved.
  • Build on the Town’s long history of volunteerism to help address the housing challenge.
  • Convene a session on May 5th that focuses on Second Units.
  • Develop alternative Affiliated Housing, Town-Owned Property and Shared Housing options.

To read the March 3, 2018 Community Conversation summary

For more information and history of housing in Portola Valley


Please correct the field(s) marked in red below:

What themes from the event summary resonated most with you?
What themes from the event summary resonated most with you?
Do you have any personal experiences or stories about housing that you would like to share?
What ideas or concerns do you have about housing in Portola Valley?
Based on the information provided in the report, what next steps would you like to see the Town pursue?
Is it ok if we share these stories on the Town website (anonymously)?
Is it ok if we share these stories on the Town website (anonymously)?
Would you like to be added to our mailing list to receive information on future community conversations/events? If so, please provide your email address below.
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