Almanac

Viewpoint - September 14, 2011

Letter: Preserve the character of Menlo Park

My boyfriend and I have been residents of Menlo Park for one year and we have really enjoyed living here.

Prior to this, my boyfriend has lived in the Palo Alto area for the last 25 years. We were just walking through Nealon Park the other night and remarking about how beautiful the light posts are in the park. They have a certain classic feel. This same classic feel is found wherever we go in Menlo Park: at the farmers' market, when we sit down for a beer at BBC, or when stopping at Feldman's to find a book.

Over the course of living here, I've noticed that my shopping habit has been to stay increasingly more local. There are no parking meters and I don't have to fight my way to the store. These attributes make it easy to shop. I've also noticed that elderly people are able to easily traverse the downtown Menlo Park area, which makes me smile. I love living in a community where people of all ages flock the streets.

I hope that the city will preserve the character of Menlo Park and its downtown area and not move toward the high density development plan, as described in the downtown specific plan. The zoning changes to build on the surface parking areas will make the downtown area more difficult to access. I feel this development plan will cause deterioration to the attributes that Menlo Park residents enjoy.

Perhaps there is a less expansive and more pragmatic approach to improve the downtown area that would preserve the Menlo Park "feel" in tandem with the roll-out of the project. The scope of the changes, as presently found in the plan, simply seem too large to maintain the character and feel of Menlo Park.

Tahia Moseley, Cambridge Avenue, Menlo Park

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