Specific plan just doesn't work
Original post made by morris brown, Menlo Park: Park Forest, on May 10, 2014
What really should have taken place by now, was the present Council, coming to this realization, should have quickly changed much of the plan to prevent what was about to happen. Two projects, Stanford for their 8 acres and Greenheart for their proposed project (Derry Properties plus old Cadillac site) were essentially in two or three years, going to use up much of the proposed development for the City that was envisioned to take 30 years. Furthermore, these projects, which focus heavily on office with some housing, but with almost no retail, there is little to benefit the City, and its residents, if these projects are allowed to proceed as planned.
So some residents of Menlo Park, decided something should be done to try and stop this upcoming travesty, thus the SaveMenlo initiative. The initiative is actually not nearly enough to ensure the Specific Plan will achieve major objectives. These objectives were called for during the Visioning process, which preceded Staff and a new consultant (a consultant who also works for Stanford) from proceeding to develop this plan, which ignores much of what the Visioning process endorsed.
This initiative should serve as a wake up call to council. It is time to take action to stop such un-warranted and dense development. At least one council person admits that the plan is not working as expected. Councilman and ex-Mayor Richard Cline has said the Stanford project is not at all what he expected to be proposed from meetings he had with Stanford representatives. Cline, is really the father of the Specific Plan. It was his proposal when running for Council back in 2006, that a plan for Central Menlo Park was needed; otherwise he envisioned development without a plan would proceed to produce very unwanted developments.
The idea seemed attractive and the City has spent well over $1.8 million to develop this plan which quite clearly is not producing desired results. When 9 former Mayors of Menlo Park sign a forceful letter, urging residents to sign the initiative, it is time for the present council to take notice.