BUILDING & PLANNING
Project planning and design review in Westridge
Westridge Project Review & Approval
The Protective Restrictions, Conditions, Covenants and Agreements at Westridge require the Westridge Architectural Supervising Committee (WASC) to review plans for structural, landscaping, and lighting projects within Westridge, including new home construction, remodels, additions, exterior paint, solar arrays, accessory and auxiliary structures (e.g. pool-houses, guest-houses, stables, barns), sports courts, gates, pools, spas, fountains, lakes, fencing, landscaping projects, planting, and removal of trees.
As the Westridge community is located within the Town of Portola Valley, both the Town and the WASC will be involved in the review of most projects. While the Town’s code provides the foundation for the breadth of land use activity that is regulated in Portola Valley, the Westridge Restrictions encompass additional elements that the Town doesn’t consider. Obtaining approval from the Town for a project does not imply WASC approval, and vice versa.
It is the responsibility of property owners to submit plans and proposed changes and to obtain required approval prior to the commencement of any project. Early communication with both WASC and the Town will simplify and expedite the process.
Consult WASC directly about proposed changes, submitting two copies of all plans, along with a phone number, email address, and/or other means of immediate contact in case of necessity.
Plans must be complete to be considered by WASC for purposes of approval. However, applicants are encouraged to submit project plans for purposes of preliminary review and feedback.
Homeowners are responsible for informing architects, contractors, landscape planners, gardeners, etc. of all applicable regulations and restrictions for projects.
Failure to comply with the review process and WASC decisions may result in mandatory corrective action and/or penalties.
Westridge Project Quick Reference Guide
Projects that DON'T require WASC review:
Repairs to existing structures, fences, or walls (provided that existing structures, fences or walls were approved by WASC in the past, and that identical colors and materials are used)
Regular garden maintenance (including replacing plantings that were previously approved by WASC, light pruning, and cutting/mowing/removing grasses, poison oak, weeds, thistle, invasive plants, and dry brush)
Changes to the interior of a structure (no changes to exterior of structure)
* Contact Town of Portola Valley with respect to Town policies.
Projects that DO require WASC review:
All other structural, landscaping, or lighting projects
When in doubt, contact us!
Westridge Project Review Framework
The Westridge Architectural Supervising Committee (WASC) reviews projects with a perspective that is significantly site-specific and driven by impact to neighbors and the community. The WASC strives to allow property owners to enjoy their land as they wish, provided that development goals comply with the Protective Restrictions, Conditions, Covenants and Agreements at Westridge, are compatible with the natural features of the Westridge community, and do not unreasonably adversely impact neighbors.
The following is a summary of elements considered by WASC during a project review:
Architectural design should be in keeping with the rural character of Westridge and surrounding properties. Adverse impacts of construction on neighbors and the community should be mitigated wherever possible.
Landscaping should be designed to conceal and enhance structures, but is not a substitute for appropriate architectural design. Use native plans and preserve native vegetation onsite when possible. Refer to Town of Portola Valley Design Guidelines for suggestions about planting concepts and preferred plant materials, as well as those which are discouraged (e.g. broom, eucalyptus). Mature native trees should be preserved whenever possible. Planting, removing, and significant pruning of trees is subject to WASC approval and Town policies.
Grading should be kept to a minimum. Silhouettes of buildings should be kept as low as possible consistent with good design. A Site Development Permit from the Town of Portola Valley is required for most grading projects.
Colors for walls and trim should be earth tones or neutrals that blend with the natural environment. Exterior paint colors must be approved by the WASC for new construction and for repainting (if a color change is planned). Roof material and colors must be unobtrusive and must be approved by the WASC, with medium to dark hues preferred.
Approval of skylights and prominent windows will be on a case-by-case basis depending on placement, material, reflectivity, and potential visibility from off site. This also applies to solar panels. Integration into a roof is preferred over a separate solar array.
External lighting should be limited to the minimum necessary, should not be visible offsite to the extent possible, and must be in compliance with the regulations of the Town of Portola Valley.
Fencing should be in keeping with the rural character of Westridge, and must be in compliance with current ordinance of the Town of Portola Valley. Permits will be required for most fences. Only horse fences (maximum four feet in height) are permitted on property lines. Additionally, no fence, wall, or hedge over six feet in height shall be erected or grown within Westridge unless excepted by the WASC. Wood, wire and wire mesh are preferred fence materials.
Entryway features and driveway gates should blend with the natural environment, and should be unobtrusive, minimally lighted, and setback at least one half of the required front yard in accord with Town ordinances.
Efforts should be made to preserve the significant views of our community (e.g. landmarks, unique features, natural vistas such as Windy Hill, San Francisco Bay, ridge lines of distant hills, town/cityscapes where lights are visible at night, etc). Unless otherwise approved by the WASC, the following objects must not be visible offsite: colorful play structures, portable toilets, sport courts, objects of art (unless temporary and seasonal of nature), and any kind of movable structure. No automobile parking is allowed along roadsides except for temporary construction vehicles and special events. No rubbish shall be stored or allowed to accumulate on any lot.
Westridge - Protective Restrictions, Conditions, Covenants and Agreements (Doc, PDF)