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WOODSIDE, Calif. – It was a short-lived fight, but the residents of Woodside have walked back claims that the wealthy Silicon Valley hamlet should be considered a “mountain lion habitat” in order to evade a new California law that allows the construction of duplexes on single-family lots.

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A story published Feb. 2 by local newspaper The Almanac revealed that Woodside officials planned to deny any requests for duplexes or other projects allowed under the new law because the community inhabits land that provides natural habitat for the big cats, a potentially endangered species.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Woodside’s attempt to evade the housing law was “especially brazen” because its definition of “mountain-lion habitat” used to assert exclusion from the law would apply to “all of coastal California south of San Francisco, including the entirety of Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.”

Following Sunday’s heated, nearly 90-minute emergency town council meeting to address the topic, the council released a statement indicating that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife “had advised that the entire Town of Woodside cannot be considered habitat.”

“As such, the Town Council has instructed staff to immediately begin accepting SB 9 applications,” the council stated.

According to The New York Times, Sunday’s turnabout also coincided with receipt of a letter from California Attorney General Rob Bonta that accused Woodside officials of making a “deliberate and transparent attempt” to sidestep the state law, intended to alleviate the state’s mounting housing crisis by allowing homeowners to build as many as four residential units on a single-family lot.

“There is no valid basis to claim that the entire town of Woodside is a habitat for mountain lions,” Bonta wrote, adding, “Land that is already developed — with, for example, a single-family home — is not, by definition, habitat.”

With a population of 5,500, Woodside is one of California’s wealthiest communities, where Oracle founder Larry Ellison reportedly spent $200 million to build a Japanese-style 16th-century imperial palace spanning 23 acres, the Los Angeles Times reported.