LTWCA Newsletter - June/July 2002



Fire Season is Upon Us NOW

This year, more so than other years, the fire danger will be especially high! With the winter drought, the recent high temperatures, and an ever increasing density of housing Los Trancos Woods is vulnerable to devastating fires. Be especially judicious with your water use until the rains come. In the coming month the Woodside Fire Protection District is going to help us “Fire Safe” our area. They will be inspecting houses and surrounding yards for fire hazards and will be issuing advisory notices. You can do your part! Get busy before the District arrives! Inspect your house and yard and remove anything you see as a fire hazard. Here is a checklist to help you:

1. Your roof is the most vulnerable part of your house. Clean any debris off the roof. Remove any dead branches overhanging your roof. Cut all branches within 10 ft. of your chimney. Install a nonflammable chimney screen of 1/2” or smaller mesh.

2. Clear off any dead vegetation from your yard. Remember brown burns, green gives time to get away.

3. Stack woodpiles at least 30 ft. away from any structures. Clear away any flammable vegetation from near the woodpile.

4. Stack any flammable construction material at least 30 ft. from your house. Better yet, get rid of any construction material you will not be using.

5. Fires like to climb. Look around your yard and see if you can find any “ladders” that a fire might climb. Disrupt the “ladder” by removing the lower “rungs”, dead material on the ground, dead lower branches, dead standing trees.

6. When you purchase new plants for your yard, avoid highly flammable plants, like eucalyptus, junipers, coyote bush or greasewood, or pines. Think of removing these plants if you have them close to the house.

Inside your house:

7.   Strap your water heater to the wall. This was an issue in the last quake.

8.   Check and/or replace the batteries in your smoke alarm.


Start with #1 and #2 which are the most important. Although the list may look overwhelming, a fire is even more overwhelming. Let’s keep our neighborhood fire safe this summer!


Come One, Come All to the Picnics

Vista Verde has invited us on Sunday, 25 August, to their annual picnic up at Jacque Littlefield’s, 495 Old Spanish Trail. Come get a tour of his famous tanks, become familiar with our well stocked emergency container, and meet your Vista Verde neighbors. Bring a $ contribution for drinks.


Save the date, Sunday, 22 September, for the annual Los Trancos Woods Potluck. The time and location is to be determined at the next Board Meeting. Our talented party-giver Nelson Dake is head of planning, so it should be a great party. Give Nelson a call if you can help, 851-5718.


Zoning Committee News

In late July the Los Trancos Woods Zoning Committee will be sending out a new zoning proposal for community review. Public meetings will be held at 7:00 p.m. on August 6 and 28 to answer your questions and to get your feedback and ideas. Another meeting will be scheduled for early September if needed. Our hope is to have a vote ready for the community by the September Picnic. For questions and information, please call Armin Staprans at 851-7403.

Submitted by Armin Staprans

Sewer News

At their mid-May meeting LAFCo (Local Agency Formation Commission) approved the Los Trancos Woods application for annexation. The application now goes on to other government agencies.

Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale


Emergency News

A BIG THANK YOU goes to the 20+ people who attended the Emergency Preparedness Training Session on 15 June. We are much better informed and thus better prepared now.

Upcoming classes to take advantage of:

Damage Assessment           16 July, 6:30-9:30 p.m.          Woodside Town Hall

CPR (we all need this!)        20 July, 10:00-4:00 p.m.        Woodside Fire Station

CPR (we all need this!)        17 Aug., 10:00-4:00 p.m.      Woodside Fire Station

Call Gaylynne Mann at 851-1594 to sign up. Carol Wagner (851-8675) has more detailed information.

Submitted by Carol Wagner


Riparian Corridor - (Los Trancos Creek is part of this.)

San Mateo County is expected to resume public meetings on the Riparian Corridor Ordinance late this summer. The Ordinance will affect a number of the homes in Los Trancos Woods, as they may be non-conforming. There is a group, Families for Fair Government, that opposes the creek buffer zones and you can view their position on the web site, Basically the group is working in two areas: 1) Arranging Streamkeeper days and Neighborhood Creek Refresh days, and 2) crafting a “model ordinance” for the County’s consideration.

Submitted by Armin Staprans


Town of Portola Valley Activities

-  Blue Oaks Trails are now part of the Portola Valley Trail System.

-  The lighted (in the roadway) crosswalk is now operational on Portola Rd. at the Woodside Priory.

- The Planning Commission will be holding public hearings on the Creekside Corridor Regulations. Call Town Hall for dates during this summer.


Next Board Meeting - 24 July, 7:00 p.m., at 21 Old Spanish Trail. The zoning proposal and the September potluck will be discussed. For minutes of the last meeting, please see the LTWCA Web Site or your District Representative.


Los Trancos Woods (LTWCA) Web Site

The web site address is:                                                      The group e-mail list is:                                    

Our sincere thanks to Jerry Jensen for maintaining this site.


Alex Kostrikin has graciously copied our newsletters for us. Thank you, Alex.