Portola Valley Remodeling Contractors | Portola Valley Custom Home Builders

Portola Valley Building and Remodeling Information

The Town of Portola Valley in San Mateo County, has a population of over 4000 residents (as of 2010). The town was named after Gaspar de Portola, who explored the San Francisco Peninsula in 1769.

Bill Fry has a special connection to Portola Valley, having started his career building homes at Portola Valley Ranch before earning his general contractor's license. At Portala Valley Ranch, he did site work for new hillside homes, built pier and grade beam foundations, and worked as a carpenter and foreman. Bill enjoys remodeling the homes that he built at Portola Valley Ranch many years ago.

According to the Town of Portola Valley’s website: “Through the Town's General Plan, Portola Valley residents have expressed their strong common interest in preserving the small town character and natural conditions of the area. Therefore, most building, grading or other land improvement actvities are subject to Town permit requirements.”

Planning & Building Department

Town of Portola Valley Planning and Building Department
Portola Valley Town Hall
765 Portola Road
Portola Valley, CA 94028
Main Telephone: 650.851.1700

Green Building in Portola Valley

Like many Bay Area towns, the Portola Valley Green Building Ordinance relies on the Build It Green Checklist.

Getting a Building Permit in Portola Valley

The Portola Valley General Plan states a major goal of the town as follows: “To assure all building sites and residences are developed in a manner minimizing disturbance to natural terrain and vegetation, and maximizing preservation of natural beauty and open space.” This goal is achieved through a number of local requirements that exceed those in the State of California. Town regulations, zoning ordinances, and site development ordinances fulfill both an aesthetic and environmental need. For example, fence design must protect scenic views and allow for movement of wildlife.

According to the Town of Portola Valley website, “The geologic mapping and policies of the Town have been recognized nationally for their pioneering contributions to safe land use planning.” Due to the unique geologic hazards of the area, projects that involve disturbing land, such as new home construction, basement, home addition, or significant grading must provide a geologic review. Most plan submittals include a soils report and/or geotechnical report.

In addition, an Architectural and Site Control Commission (ASCC) ensures that home plans and grading support the existing character of the community. With the general plan statement in mind: “because the dominant features of the planning area are the natural land forms and vegetation, structures and land uses should be subordinated thereto …”, the Town of Portola Valley Design Guidelines simplifies the process of developing architectural plans that meet the town requirements. Local Home Owners Associations (HOA) also have requirements.

Iit usually takes between 2 and 8 weeks from the time a complete building permit application is accepted for processing and the time it is actually available for pick-up. While this level of review can seem overwhelming, towns that do not have stringent regulations risk losing their town character. Hiring a good general contractor and building professionals familiar with the local building ordinances make the process appear to be seamless.

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