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Editorial: Let's work together on housing
Original post made
on Jan 6, 2009
It is sad to see Belle Haven residents at odds over a proposed 20-unit Habitat for Humanity housing complex on Terminal Avenue, especially when housing foreclosures are rampant in the area forcing more residents out of their homes.
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posted Wednesday, January 7, 2009, 12:00 AM
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Posted by Big Questions
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jan 12, 2009 at 11:16 pm
I am starting to understand more and more where you guys are going with this "plan", but several questions come to mind:
* Restaurants are great, but ask any restaurant what our problem is, and overwhelmingly it is the lack of parking, and the lack of a late night atmosphere. It's very difficult for them to succeed in business, because of these two factors. I could never see a parking structure built in this town, with the current attitudes, and no way are people going to promote, or put up with people "hanging out" in Menlo Park after 10:00 PM.
* Movie Theaters are nice, but they are probably one of THE most expensive ventures in any small, medium and in some cases larger towns. Again, you need parking, and you need easier access.(aka a Route 101 or 280) This is the main reason Crittenden shut down, he was losing money. The Guild makes money because the property has few costs left in it, it's an old property.
* A performing arts center again, parking, and all of the reasons mentioned above.
If we were to seriously consider sprucing up the downtown area, with these type of draws listed above, the parking, and lots of it, have to be improved. You can do this, without mowing down existing structures and building a 3+ story complex, think how high a 2 story parking structure would be, it's not that big, and can be hidden. It is just unrealistic to discuss any type of retailer, or entertainment complex, or draw, to come to Menlo Park without the ability to profit. Santa Cruz is nice, BUT they have the ocean, THAT'S the draw. The bashing that goes on with myself, and others, is that we think all of these ideas are "nice to haves" and would be cool, and creative and interesting, but you cannot draw with the infrastucture we have to support these types of businesses. We are just being realistic.
As far as housing, I think you're right, I'm not turned on by Morgan Lane. In fact, we should leave all types of truly open space alone, and go after the abandon lots etc., closer to downtown, and design the downtown, urban type feel, versus breaking into the residential areas. Nice condos, apartments etc., not BIG ones, nice ones, with a medium type density, would benefit all of us.