News

Menlo Park: Fergusson joins council race

Combs, Duriseti, Keith file papers

A familiar name has popped on to the list of contenders for the 2014 Menlo Park City Council election: Kelly Fergusson, who lost a bid for a third council term in 2012, has announced that she's running again.

"I am running because current council members are poised to turn El Camino Real into a monolithic office park," Ms. Fergusson told the Almanac on Aug. 7. "Residents need a responsive voice on City Council, and a council member that will stand up to profit-hungry developers."

Save Menlo, the grassroots coalition backing the November ballot initiative that would change the downtown/El Camino Real specific plan approved in 2012, has given Ms. Fergusson its blessing. The initiative would, among other things, restrict the amount of office space per project and require a city-wide vote to change the regulations or for projects that would exceed the cap.

At the time the specific plan was crafted and approved, Ms. Fergusson was on the council; she argued for requiring developers to provide public benefits in exchange for a smaller increase in floor area ratio than the plan being considered called for, a fight she lost.

She was recused from voting on portions of the plan related to Stanford University, which owns property in the area regulated by the specific plan, because her husband worked for Stanford. Stanford now plans to develop its 500 El Camino Real site into a mixed-use complex of office, housing and retail.

Her two terms on the council were not without controversy, including a Brown Act violation that led to her resignation as mayor in 2010.

Other candidates

As of Friday morning, Environmental Quality Commissioner Kristin Duriseti, Planning Commissioner Drew Combs and incumbent Kirsten Keith have filed their nomination papers.

Incumbents Rich Cline and Peter Ohtaki have taken out papers. The deadline for filing is the close of business today.

Mr. Combs said that he plans to keep an open mind during the campaign season, but right now feels inclined to vote for the initiative. So far Ms. Duriseti has declined to comment on where she stands on the initiative.

All three council incumbents have indicated that they do not support the initiative, for reasons that include the inflexibility of requiring a city-wide vote to make changes.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by conscience
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Ms. Ferguson is disingenuous in her claims that she wants to protect the residents of Menlo Park from profit-hungry developers. Her husband has worked for Stanford University (should she win the election, she would be recused from voting on the El Camino property owned by Stanford) and she is largely (if not single-handedly) responsible for the blight on El Camino north of Oak Grove, having voted against reasonable development that was proposed eight years ago. And, by the way, Ms. Ferguson herself had worked for a large, profit-hungry company---Siemens, which is a large high speed rail contractor.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by interesting
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 8, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Kelly is about Kelly. Everyone knows it. Hold your nose and support Kelly and deal with her self promotion garbage. She voted 5-0 with council on every piece of this plan. She was a part of it all. At the last second she questions the benefit level, then votes 5-0. Now Brielle and the hoard are trying to shift the reality.

She violated the Brown Act in an act of greed to get votes.

She tried to use public funds to rebuild a movie theater.

She voted for huge union raises one after another.

She ran against the pension reform and said initiatives are bad for small cities.

Look at the contradictions. Look at outright two-faced candidate.

And then make your decision.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sally
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 8, 2014 at 12:59 pm

I have known Kelly a long time. I haven't always agreed with her position on every issue but she's right about the importance of this initiative and how very wrong the Council incumbents are about the Specific Plan.

The current Council has a deaf ear to community concerns about the two large projects. They have their own vision of what downtown should be, not the vision we developed. I support Kelly.

btw - let's deal with facts. There were not 5-0 votes on everything related to the Specific Plan. Not at the Planning Commission and not at the Council when she was there. Kelly did fight hard to modify the public benefit bonus trigger. She also voted to modify the pension plans for city staff.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Scholar
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 8, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Deja vu all over again. Oh no!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 8, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The current Council has a deaf ear to community concerns about the two large projects"

I think this council has listened very careful to "community concerns about the two large projects" and has worked with the two developers to significantly improve both projects.

ALL of that will be lost if the Lanza/Fry initiative were to pass.

Voters should look carefully at what Stanford and Greenheart would be forced to do by this poorly crafted initiative - more medical offices, larger residences with a bigger impact on schools, 6-10 separate projects all requiring separate access to ECR, more traffic on ECR, slab sided buildings with no balconies, no public benefit contributions like a plaza and a pedestrian tunnel - the list goes on and on.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rex Reynolds
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Aug 8, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Those profit-hungry developers are SO evil. We must elect officials like Ms Fergusson who will cause good development to happen without profit . I 'm sure with her leadership such developers will be lining up with great proposals. The only good news is that this leopard has already shown her spots . MP voters are not stupid.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 8, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Kelly Fergusson is, shall we say, ethically challenged. I wouldn't vote for her on a bet.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Interested
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 8, 2014 at 2:04 pm

But she's good for a lot of laughs!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike Lanza
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 8, 2014 at 2:08 pm

I only came to know Kelly during the Save Menlo signature gathering campaign, but I'm very impressed with her. She knows Menlo Park and its voters very well. She really listens and is open to all points of view, but once she figures out her position, she'll tenaciously fight for her cause(s). I'm very happy to say that the Save Menlo initiative is one of those.

Go Kelly!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mistake
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Aug 8, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Good luck Mike. You probably just sunk the initiative. You picked the former elected official with the least amount of credibility in all of Menlo Park as your standard bearer and candidate. Great work vetting that option.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by interesting
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 8, 2014 at 2:35 pm

For all those who are new to this via the initiative, one need only to see the shift in rhetoric as soon as Kelly jumped in. It is negative, she went negative and now we have three months of negative. The Kelly factor. Back handed politics. Over amplified credit taking. There is a reason the current council has been able to work so well together over the past few years since Kelly was voted out of office.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by sally
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 8, 2014 at 2:49 pm

I finally read the initiative. Rather than being poorly crafted, it looks exceedingly well crafted. Very tight provisions and wording.

Kelly is willing to serve and to stand up for things. I can't say that about our Do Nothing council who are allowing developers to implement THEIR vision for menlo park, which is nothing like the vision we residents created. Not once in the community Vision was office mentioned as a goal, much less lots of office.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by tenacious
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 8, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Mike, you hit the nail on the head. Kelly is tenacious, which is a great in a bar fight but not on city council.




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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 8, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Kelly wants desperately to move up in politics. She has her eye on county supervisor. Since being bounced from the council she hasn't been able to get traction there.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 8, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Sally:

the initiative makes zoning decisions by ballot. That is an exceedingly stupid way to handle zoning. Unless, of course, you don't want anything built.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 8, 2014 at 3:03 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

she has got to be kidding. Run for CC again!!! ya right.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mistake
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Aug 8, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Sally, it's great to support Kelly. She always votes for both sides and then puts her finger in the wind. You have a 50/50 chance every time! Look at everything she accomplished on El Camino during her first eight years!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam Tyler
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 8, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Anyone else think it was funny (or foreboding) that Kelly recently went back into the Almanac comment section and added her "corrections" to comments that were years old?

Mike Lanza was quoted a few weeks ago as saying "he plans to assemble a slate of candidates to oppose the incumbents." (Daily News 7/18/14) I wasn't aware that one retread was a "slate".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 8, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Sally states "I finally read the initiative."

Great, perhaps you can be the first to answer these simply questions about the initiative:


1 – They say it is wrong to use up most of the office capacity allowed by the Specifc Plan in the first two years and that instead it should be spread out over a 30-year period. If you owned a parcel and wanted to build a totally conforming ten-room home should you be forced to build it one room each year for the next ten years ?

2 – Save Menlo got everything they asked for in its original petition and Stanford agreed to almost all of their demands. So why are you now asking for even more and how much will be enough to satisfy you?

3 – Would Save Menlo Park members be willing to say who they really are? How many members they actually have?

4 – Do you really believe that definitions written today:

""Financial institutions providing retail banking services.This classification includes only those institutions engaged in the on site circulation of money,including credit unions."The foregoing Commercial Use Classification is hereby adopted by the voters"

""Offices of firms or organizations providing professional,executive,management,or administrative services,such as accounting,advertising,architectural,computer software design,engineering,graphic design, insurance, interior design,investment,and legal offices. This classification excludes hospitals, banks,and savings and loan associations."The foregoing Commercial Use Classification is hereby adopted by the voters.

will still be appropriate even five years from now and if they are not that there should be an election to change even one word of such definitions? What about digital age banks that do not engage in the on site circulation of money? What about a firm that wants to design robots?

5 – Who is the lawyer who helped draft this initiative and what other interests does he represent?

6 – Who is funding this effort?

7 – Do Menlo Park citizens realize that under the Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative small property owners on ECR will be restricted to 70% of their current footprint for any new/replacement construction and that the currently permitted construction to their the side lot lines would not be permitted?

8 – Do MP citizens realize that the Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative will prevent the construction of a new fire station serving the downtown area?

9 – Do MP citizens know that signatures are being obtained using paid solicitors?

10 – Do MP citizens know that claims of 6 story buildings being either permitted or proposed under the Specific Plan are simply untrue and that the tallest building proposed by Stanford is only FOUR feet taller than the existing building at the corner of ECR and Live Oak Drive?

11 – Do MP citizens know that a major new hotel project decided not to locate in Menlo Park because of the uncertainties created by the Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative?

12 – What are the other unknown and unintended (or perhaps deliberately intended) consequences of the totally unvetted Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative?

13 – Do MP citizens believe that Mike Lanza, Patti Fry and their anonymous lawyer, without any public comment, without multiple drafts, without a Draft and a Final EIR and without numerous public hearings, are really better able to define the future of your city than are your five elected city council members and your seven appointed planning commissioners and the superb city planning and transportation staff that have all worked diligently and totally in the open to produce the existing Specific Plan?

14 – Do MP citizens know that the traffic levels on ECR were significantly reduced from those permitted by the prior zoning when the Specific Plan was adopted?

15 – Do the MP citizens know that the original Stanford proposal would have produced less traffic than was was permitted by the Specific Plan?

16 – Do the MP citizens know that, as a consequence of the work of the Keith/Carlton subcommittee, that the traffic that would have been produced by the revised Stanford plan was even less than that of the original Stanford plan?

17 – What was the date and the time of the ECR traffic photo being used by Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative campaign?

18- What authority does the Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative campaign have to use the City of Menlo Park's copyrighted logo?

19 – The Planning Commission and the City Council did a review of the Specific Plan last Fall so this raises the question: Which of the 20+ changes to the Specific Plan that are included in the Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative were presented to the Planning Commission and the City Council for their public consideration during the 2013 review of the Specific Plan?

20 - Is this initiative process simply being used to gather names, support and name recognition for Lanza and/or Fry to run for the City Council this year? If it is, will Lanza and Fry reimburse the City for the cost of putting this issue on the ballot.?

21 - Why did Lanza/Fry include the words "or frustrate" in the initiative section 4.2?
"4.2. Consistent with the Planning and Zoning Law and applicable case law, the
City shall not adopt any other new provisions or amendments to the Policy
Planning Documents that would be inconsistent with or frustrate the
implementation of the voter-adopted development standards and
definitions set forth in Section 3, above, absent voter approval of a
conforming amendment to those voter-adopted provisions."

Clearly "would be inconsistent" would have been sufficient so why add "or frustrate"?
Is this simply a Trojan Horse that would allow Save Menlo to forever challenge any change to the DSP?

22 - Why won't Save Menlo correct the many factual errors on their web site regarding the Stanford project?

The voters of Menlo Park deserve answers to these questions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sally
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm

PC -- it's clear you really don't want answers because you ignore responses others already have given so I won't even try.
Here are 2 things:
The total amount of office over 30 years was expected to be much less (40% less) than what is already proposed in just 2 projects. Doesn't that mean we will get a lot less hotel, cafes, stores, and even housing? A good combination is what the plan was supposed to provide.
From my experience working with attorneys, I know that they use some language we lay people wouldn't use. "frustrate" probably is one of those.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 8, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" so I won't even try. "

Clearly Sally and the other supporters of this highly defective initiative are unable and unwilling to either explain it or defend it - SAD.

They have chosen ignorance as their ally.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 8, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"you ignore responses others already have given"

Sally - Please be so kind to post ANY answers that have already be given to my simple questions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam Tyler
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 8, 2014 at 5:40 pm

This whole "30 years of development in 2 years" is just a red herring raised by Save Menlo. There is no specific language in the specific plan that related to a phased development time frame. What WAS taken into consideration was the fact that the majority of the specific plan consists of occupied properties. Only the Stanford and Derry (now Greenheart) properties were basically vacant, and were always assumed to develop first. After the two vacant properties (which are also the two largest properties in the specific plan area) were developed, the specific plan assumed that the rest of the specific plan area would take longer to develop due to existing tenants, leases and other constraining factors. Again, this was all brought out in the specific plan process, yet used as a "got cha" by Save Menlo.

Second, as has already been addressed in previous articles and comments, is the fact that the development limits in the specific plan as counted as net new development. This means if you tear down a 5,000 sq. ft. building and replace it with a 7,000 square foot building, the net impact on the development limit is 2,000 square feet, not 7,000 square feet. Again, the major of the specific plan area already has buildings on it, so new development would be an incremental increase per my example.

I apologize for being so detailed in my comments, but it is important that vague general statements are answered with significant detail. Save Menlo throws out incorrect sound bites devoid of real information, and these misstatements are repeated by the general public, as assumed to be true. These misstatements need to be corrected with the facts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Frugal
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Re Kelly, let's not forget her vote for the multi tower Bohannan project. Remember that one? Maybe someday, if it's ever built, we'll suffer it's consequences.

Never the less, Kelly might at least be a better residentialist than any of the three incumbents. She has my vote.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Calm Down Kids
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 8, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Hey Frugal, If Measure T (The Bohannon initiative) that the COUNCIL put on the ballot passed with nearly 70%, I guess Fergusson is gonna win BIG in November.

But gooooo on


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 8, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

calm:

the measure passed when the economy was in the crapper. I'd love to see if they could get it passed now.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Calm Down Kids
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 8, 2014 at 6:59 pm

menlo voter: expand on your theory. It makes no sense.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike Keenly
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 8, 2014 at 7:26 pm

I know, like, and support Kelly Fergusson.

Here's a positive idea: how about promoting a candidate you favor instead of dissing a candidate you don't?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 8, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

calm:

the initiative was pushed as a way to "create jobs." Economy was in the crapper. We needed jobs. We don't now. Get it?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 8, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Mike:

Kelly is "damaged goods." She's also "ethically challenged." I'll vote for the incumbents. They're neither.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Calm Down Kids
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 8, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Hey Sam:
Here are a few references to the 30 year life span of the Specific Plan. I have dozens more but chew on these for awhile. By the way, there were no assumptions about the timing except for the fear that there would be no developers in the near future and therefore, the density give aways had to be huge to attract them. Meanwhile, Stanford had an architect designing office buildings in 2012 before the Specific Plan was even approved. Only Kelly Fergusson was on to Stanford and she warned her colleagues but they were deaf and dumb. Just sat silently while Kelly begged them to lower the Floor Area Ratio for the Plan area developments. Try watching the videos of the council meetings for 2011 and 2012 where the specific plan is discussed. You will find that you are not on firm ground.

In SP
Acknowledgements page that lists staff, commissioners, oversight committee:
"…And the thousands of community members who did the real work of the Specific Plan by providing direction for their community for the next 20 to 30 years. Their dedication to working in a constructive, collaborative way to create a plan that will make our community the best it can be is an admirable testament to our ability to achieve the vision set forth in the Specific Plan."

pp B30 "However, given trends in occupancy rates, room rates, and overnight visits in the market area, there is demand for only one conference hotel by 2015, and a smaller boutique hotel in the mid- to long-term, from 20 to 30 years."

pp C20 "It is important to emphasize that the Illustrative Plan indicates only one potential development concept and that the actual build-out will likely vary from the initial projection over 20 to 30 years." and "The previous Sub-Area Concepts figures and the Illustrative Plan of Figure C6 depict how the plan area could potentially build out over the next 20 to 30 years in conformance with the Guiding Principles, Urban Design Framework and the land use and development regulations and design guidelines of the Specifi c Plan. It is important to emphasize that the Illustrative Plan indicates only one potential development concept and that the actual build-out will likely vary from the initial projection over 20 to 30 years."

pp E8 "In addition, determining the appropriate total square footage amount is challenging in a 20- to 30-year plan."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Calm Down Kids
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 8, 2014 at 8:54 pm

menlo voter: please answer the question regarding the Bohannon Initiative and its success. Kelly Fergusson was on the right side of this development insofar as its popularity. It's a terrible development but Kelly Fergusson had tons of support for this development on the east side of the city.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 8, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Kids - Thank you for this very pertinent citation:

"It is important to emphasize that the Illustrative Plan indicates only one potential development concept and that the actual build-out will likely vary from the initial projection over 20 to 30 years."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Calm Down Kids
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 8, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Final EIR Vol. 1
pp 3.1 "The Vision Plan established twelve goals that define the overall intent of the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan to enhance community life, character and vitality through mixed-use infill projects sensitive to the small-town character of Menlo Park and to improve connections across El Camino Real over the next 30 years, as expressed in twelve goals."
1. Maintain a village character unique to Menlo Park.
2. Provide greater east-west, town-wide connectivity.
3. Improve circulation and streetscape conditions on El Camino Real.
4. Ensure that El Camino Real development is sensitive to and compatible with adjacent neighborhoods.
5. Revitalize underutilized parcels and buildings.
6. Activate the train station area.
7. Protect and enhance pedestrian amenities on Santa Cruz Avenue.
8. Expand shopping, dining and neighborhood services to ensure a vibrant downtown.
9. Provide residential opportunities in the Vision Plan Area.
10. Provide plaza and park spaces.
11. Provide an integrated, safe and well-designed pedestrian and bicycle network.
12. Develop parking strategies and facilities that meet the commercial and residential needs of the community.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 8, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

calm:

I did answer your question. did you miss it?

calm:

the initiative was pushed as a way to "create jobs." Economy was in the crapper. We needed jobs. We don't now. Get it?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 8, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Kids - Note that the initiative will negate these Specific Plan goals:

2. Provide greater east-west, town-wide connectivity.
5. Revitalize underutilized parcels and buildings.
10. Provide plaza and park spaces.
11. Provide an integrated, safe and well-designed pedestrian and bicycle network.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by menloshopper
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 9, 2014 at 8:04 am

Kelly was the city council member who mobilized support to keep Kepler's Books open , including negotiating with the landlord over the lease rates. Quite an accomplishment. She also only voted for Menlo Gateway after negotiating an additional $500,000 in area improvements. And no, this is not her.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Interesting
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 9, 2014 at 8:39 am

This is just like the Brielle hoard to give Kelly credit for an event that was community driven. The community saves keplers. The fact that Kelly and her hat has to take credit for it is the sad part. Name another politician so eager to take credit from community and council?

You cannot. Kelly is about Kelly.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Park Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 9, 2014 at 9:48 am

The only thing worse than Kelly Fergusson entering the Menlo Park City Council race would be for Gail Slocum to do so.


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Posted by Calm Down Kids
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 9, 2014 at 10:01 am

Interesting: let me guess. How about Incumbents Cline and Keith taking credit for "bringing Facebook to Menlo Park." All council members take credit for whatever good occurs in his or her city. Cline is a novice at this stuff but Keirh doesn't miss a photo op or a ribbon cutting. She posts or tweets or brags on a Facebook within minutes of each appearance.

Who knows what Kelly's involvement was in Kepler's short-lived survival. What voters should focus on is which of these six candidates will put the resident's interest before developer's interest. We have seen the incumbents for a total of 16 years and it looks like the city is facing 800,000 sq. ft. of development on ECR. I say, slow it down and lower the amount of office so we don't morph into Sunnyvale with massive office complexes in the heart of our suburban town.
When voting for council candidates, think about ABAG that mandates housing for office development. MP is already in the housing hole, according to ABAG so, why would the incumbents approve 400,000 sq. ft. of office?

The city needs new leadership. The residents need to assume responsibility for their future and their quality of life.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 9, 2014 at 10:45 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Kids - Be careful what you wish for. With no new limits on residential or retail and positively encourage 6-9 big square box projects of 99,999 sq ft the Lanza/Fry initiative could turn ECR into a traffic nightmare without any publlc benefits or a pedestrian tunnel.


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Posted by Calm Down Kids
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 9, 2014 at 11:06 am

Plain and simple: the Specific Plan needs to be modified. The floor area ratios given are too generous. The city is not facing an either/or situation. We do not have to choose between 800,000 sq. ft. of office or 800,000 sq. ft. of housing. If the council had admitted its mistake in November of 2013 and lowered the F.A.R. the 2 large developers would have been forced to adjust their expectations. Both Stanford and Greenheart should be no bigger than 250,000 sq. ft. each. There should be a true mix of uses with retail being 50,000 sq. ft. for each. Just because the council was given bad advice by its consultants does not mean that the city cannot make corrections based on the reality of the economy today.
Neither Stanford or Greenheart have vested interests in their development plans. No permits have been granted and not one shovel of dirt has been turned. The time is now to get these property owners on the right path so that residents don't have to live with the negative impacts of these massive developments. Neither Stanford or Greenheart are in charge. The city, the council, the staff and most importantly, the residents have the authority to make the necessary decisions.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 9, 2014 at 11:22 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Kids states - "There should be a true mix of uses with retail being 50,000 sq. ft. for each."

Talk to the MP merchants - they want more customers not more competition. And the only economical retail on ECR will be a big box stores since there is virtually no foot traffic on ECR.

Kid states - " The floor area ratios given are too generous."

First, those public benefit ratios give the Council a carrot to get public benefits like the pedestrian tunnel.
Second, the initiative does not change the SP's FARs.
Third, the initiative positively encourages a 300,000 sq ft big box retail store on either the Greenheart or Stanford sites because the 100,000 sq ft limit only applies to offices - talk about traffic!! And given the initiatives open space definition such a big box store would have no balconies or roof gardens and would be ugly as hell.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 9, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Look at Fergusson's Facebook page photo. And ask yourself if this is a sane person.

Web Link

And if the photo has been pulled here is a copy:

Web Link


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Posted by Calm Down Kids
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 9, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Carpenter: you have crossed the line of human decency. You need to stop these personal attacks.
Secondly, I am not saying the initiative will reduce the F.A.R. What I am saying is that this is not an issue that the Initiative can completely solve. The problems are fundamental to the Specific Plan and the Council could have made the needed changes in November 2013 and a new council will make the needed changes to the Specific Plan. Getting office reduced is just part of the problem. The carrot held out to developers killed any chance to get public benefits because 1. Stanford got everything it wanted without negotiating for public benefits. 2. greenheart will negotiate but its offer should not be the end of story. It's what Greenheart wants to offer but it's not what MP should accept.

Now, take a nap and be nice when you come back to the computer.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 9, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"1. Stanford got everything it wanted without negotiating for public benefits."

Wrong, because of the Keith/Carlton subcommittee's ability to use the public benefit carrot Stanford came back with a much better proposal including no medical offices, more residential and a substantial contribution to the pedestrian underpass. Those benefits will all disappear if the initiative passes.

What is inappropriate about pointing to a candidate's own web site?

Web Link


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Posted by sally
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 10, 2014 at 6:40 am

Stanford's project falls below the public benefit trigger, as anyone who understands the specific plan should know. So it is impossible for Keith and Carlton to have negotiated anything that has staying power. No carrot. Nothing is in writing. No one knows what the cost of an undercrossing is or what Stanford considers "substantial" or when they would provide a penny.

Lots of scare tactics about what "will happen" when initiative passes. Let's look at those:
No development: The city's consultant says development should increase!
Traffic: There is a required process for reviewing potential impacts. A big box or heavy medical project would have to survive such scrutiny.
Aesthetics: Every project also has to undergo architectural review. Unless the 7-person planning commission is out to lunch, there shouldn't be projects "as ugly as hell".

I agree with Calm - stop the personal attacks. Pointing to a website is one thing but derogatory labeling of another person is inappropriate and I hope the Almanac would start censoring such things.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 10, 2014 at 7:17 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" So it is impossible for Keith and Carlton to have negotiated anything that has staying power. No carrot. Nothing is in writing."

Wrong, Stanford has confirmed their agreement with the Keith/Carlton subcommittee IN WRITING.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 10, 2014 at 7:25 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Stanford's confirmation letter dated 14 July 2014 to the City Council also made clear that if the Lanza/Fry Initiative were to pass then Stanford "would thoroughly review its options and determine whether, and in what form it might prepare a new project proposal."


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Posted by sally
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 10, 2014 at 11:58 am

Where is the public document with Stanford's ostensible agreement with Keith and Carlton?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 10, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Sally - The Stanford letter is here:

Web Link


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Posted by sally
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 11, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Nice try. How about pointing to where the letter is on the city's public website instead of someone's dropbox?


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 11, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Sally:

do think it's a fake? Really? Come on. Clearly you don't know Mr. Carpenter very well.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 11, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Sally asks "How about pointing to where the letter is on the city's public website "

Please do your own homework - I get very tired of finding things for people who can't be bothered to even look for them. I have given you a digital copy of the letter - you go find it on the city's web site.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 11, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Interesting.

Sally posts - " So it is impossible for Keith and Carlton to have negotiated anything that has staying power. No carrot. Nothing is in writing. "

I respond - "Wrong, Stanford has confirmed their agreement with the Keith/Carlton subcommittee IN WRITING."

Sally asks - "Where is the public document with Stanford's ostensible agreement with Keith and Carlton?"

I respond - "Sally - The Stanford letter is here:
Web Link"

Sally responds - "Nice try. How about pointing to where the letter is on the city's public website instead of someone's dropbox?"

I reply - "Please do your own homework - I get very tired of finding things for people who can't be bothered to even look for them. I have given you a digital copy of the letter - you go find it on the city's web site."

Sally - no response, not even a polite 'Thank You.'

Sally and friends have chosen ignorance as their ally.


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Posted by GImme A Break
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm

In terms of "ethically challenged," I agree that Fergusson is that. I would also put Keith in that category, especially when it comes to seeing how the political wind is blowing and capitalizing on it for her own benefit. Keith is just as bad as Fergusson.

My vote will be for Ohtaki, Cline, and Combs. A new perspective by a newcomer like Combs would be a refreshing voice.


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Posted by sally
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 13, 2014 at 7:44 am

I have been unable to find the referenced letter on the city website. Maybe some of the rest of you are more familiar with the site and can give novices some hints?


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