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Woodside Building and Remodeling Information
Town of Woodside, with a population of over 5000 residents (2010) and encompassing an area of about a dozen square miles is resplendant with a rich history being one of the earliest Bay Area peninsula English-speaking settlements. Woodside had a thriving lumber industry that built San Francisco both before and after the 1906 earthquake. 50 years later, in 1956, the town was incorporated to retain its rural residential character. This goal continues with the Planning Division's residential guidelines.
During 2011, improved Residential Guidelines were being developed. Meanwhile, the 2000 Woodside Residential Design Guidelines remained in effect.
Planning and Building Departments
Town of Woodside Planning Department
Town of Woodside Building Department
2955 Woodside Road
Woodside, CA 94062
Green Building in Woodside
One important aspect of green building is how to manage deconstruction and construction debris.The Town of Woodside has a Construction and Demolition Debris Program and requires recycling for home improvement projects that exceed $10,000 in valuation.
As of 2011, the Town has not developed its own Green Building ordinance. However, Woodside shall adhere to the increasingly stringent state standards of CALGREEN and provides the Checklist for Residential Mandatory Measures per 2010 California Green Building Standards.
Getting a Building Permit in Woodside
The requirements for obtaining building permits depend on where you build, when you build, and what you build.
For example, the town has considered the local geography and topography to address fire protection and has specific rules for building in very high fire hazard zones. Due to the local fire hazards of low precipitation and humidity combined with relatively high temperature and wind, Woodside added fire safety regulations to the municipal code which exceed the California Building Code. All new home construction projects and home improvement projects (home addition or remodel of existing structures) that meet certain criteria require installation of automatic fire sprinkler systems.
Geotechnical reports (soils reports) and engineering reduce the local geologic hazards of expansive soils and two fault traces (San Andreas and Canada). The Town Geologist provides guidance on how much ground investigation is required.
Woodside properties that are not on a public sewer system and must provide an onsite wastewater (septic) system. Adequate drainage and creek protection must also be addressed.
Plans for custom home building and home additions (and any home improvement projects that add to the development of your property) require Planning Department review. When appropriate, plans are further reviewed by the Planning Commission and/or the Town’s Architectural and Site Review Board (ASRB).
Prior to final inspection, the Woodside building department also requires verification of business licenses of all subcontractors who work on your home.
While this level of review can seem overwhelming, towns that do not have stringent regulations risk losing their town character. The Basics of Building in Woodside, is an excellent overview of the process. Hiring a good general contractor and building professionals familiar with the local building ordinances make the process appear to be seamless.
Building a Basement and Grading
While excavation within the building footprint on flat properties is typically allowed year round, no grading work is permitted between October 15 through April 15. Exceptions to this rule are granted when appropriate. As required by California State Law, when site work reveals a Native American burial site, excavation must stop until the town is notified.
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