SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — California Attorney General Rob Bonta said Sunday the town of Woodside’s plan to declare itself a mountain lion sanctuary as a way to avoid having to build affordable housing is against the law.
Bonta spoke out on the town of Woodside’s memo regarding mountain lions and Senate Bill 9 — a new state housing law that allows for duplex development on single-family lots.
Back in January, the town’s planner announced woodside was exempt from Senate Bill 9 because of its mountain lion population.
On Sunday, Bonta sent a letter to the town warning their efforts is against the law.
The town’s website posted a number of documents stating the Calfornia Fish and Game Commission lists mountain lions as an endangered species and that no parcel in town is eligible for a Senate Bill 9 project.
There have been mountain lion sightings outside homes in San Mateo County and across the Bay Area.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says half of California is considered mountain lion territory…
But Bonta’s letter states there is no valid basis to claim that the entire town of Woodside is a habitat for mountain lions and that any exemption under Senate Bill 9 would have to be based on substantial evidence.
Town officials did not respond to KRON4’s request for comment.
But council members scheduled a special meeting Sunday night regarding litigation. They are not expected to release any statements from the meeting.
Bonta’s full letter to Woodside can be viewed here.
The town of Woodside’s letter to its residents regarding the issue can be viewed here.