April 4, 2014

North Fair Oaks Website Launched

BIG CHANGES are coming to the North Fair Oaks area of San Mateo County.

North Fair Oaks is a densely populated unincorporated area is bounded by the cities of Redwood City to the north, west and southwest; Atherton to the east; and Menlo Park to the south. Highway 82 (El Camino Real) runs along much of its western boundary. Highway 101 (Bay Road which runs parallel to Hwy 101) is provides its eastern border. Highway 84 (Woodside Road) is about 3 blocks north of the community.

Over the past 35 years, the population in North Fair Oaks has grown, issues related to high-density living have developed and predictable difficulties have arisen from the close proximity of commercial, residential and industrial land uses competing for space in an area that is only 798 acres in size.  In 2010, the Census listed the population of North Fair Oaks as slightly less than 15,000 people; 73% were Hispanic/Latino.

As the San Mateo County Supervisor for the Fourth District, it became abundantly clear to me that the community lacked a communication network to share community news and get information. That's why my office launched a new website, www.nfoforward.org -- a website designed for ‘all things North Fair Oaks.

The development of this website was and continues to be a collaborative of community partners create and post content to the website, including County departments, the Redwood CitySchool District, the Sheriff’s Office, the North Fair Oaks Community Council, Family Connections, the Siena Youth Center, the North Fair Oaks YouthInitiative, the NFOForward Outreach Team and others. The website will feature accurate and timely information, promote an exchange of ideas, and build community as partners share information.

The NFO Forward website is bilingual and was developed as part of a multi-prong outreach effort called NFOForward, to inform, engage and involve the community in these long-range decisions. The NFO Outreach Team (which is funded by Measure A), the Redwood City 2020 Workgroups, community partners and County staff are all working together to bring the community to the table to ensure that all voices have an opportunity to be heard.

By creating a site that mirrors the information in English and Spanish, nearly everyone in the community can access accurate and reliable information.  This is critical as we embark on the implementation phase of the North Fair Oaks Community Plan—the first land-use update of the area in 35 years. 

This community resource (a work in progress) was designed to give residents, community organizations, government agencies, and nonprofits an online platform to share news, calendar events, air meetings of the North Fair Oaks Community Council, and provide volunteer sign-up opportunities.  The website is also designed to promote two-way exchanges on topics under consideration in the Community Plan and provide the Council, the County and the community with different perspectives.

The NFOForward website is a place for all community partners to post information—it is truly a collaborative effort.

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