The grassroots initiative by Save Menlo to change sections of Menlo Park's downtown/El Camino Real plan has enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, the city announced Thursday (June 19).
The measure needed approximately 1,780 registered voter signatures to qualify. During the July 15 council meeting the city staff will present a report confirming certification of the signatures. The council must then either decide to adopt the initiative as is, or put it on the ballot for the Nov. 4 election.
Save Menlo, organized to protest the specific plan in light of large mixed-use projects proposed along El Camino Real by developers Stanford University and Greenheart Land Company, notified the city in February of its intent to get the initiative on to a ballot.
The city's summary of the initiative states that it would restrict office space for individual project to 100,000 square feet; limit total new office space to 240,820 square feet; and cap overall new, non-residential development to 474,000 square feet within the plan's boundaries.
The proposed changes would cut the amount of office space allowed in the Stanford and Greenheart developments by 50 percent.
The initiative would also redefine open space to mean only areas no higher than 4 feet tall. Save Menlo has stated that one of its goals is to prevent balconies from counting as open space.
In addition, voter approval would be required to revise the ordinance or to exceed the square footage limits for office and non-residential development.
Lisa Wise Consulting is working under a $148,420 contract with the city to independently analyze what impact the initiative's changes would have on future development. The council is also expected to hear a presentation of the findings on July 15.
Save Menlo has stated that the group wants the council to adopt the initiative, rather than putting it on the ballot.
Meanwhile, another grassroots group -- Menlo Park Deserves Better -- has formed to fight the initiative.