The well-heeled Silicon Valley suburb of Woodside has come up with a novel way to block plans that would potentially bring in more affordable housing: Declare itself Cougar Town.
Last week, officials in the enclave of 5,500 people announced that all of Woodside was exempt from a new state housing law that allows for duplex development on single-family home lots.
The reason? The entire town is habitat for potentially endangered mountain lions.
Woodside’s decision drew quick scorn as a brazen attempt to evade even minimally denser development in one of California’s most exclusive locales. The bucolic, woodsy town near Stanford University and the heart of Silicon Valley has a median home value of $4.5 million. Among its residents have been the founders of technology giants Intuit, Intel and Symantec as well as Oracle founder Larry Ellison, who reportedly spent $200 million to build a Japanese-style 16th century imperial palace across 23 acres.
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