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Menlo Park council reviews specific plan initiative report

Original post made on Jul 15, 2014

There's plenty for Menlo Park residents to evaluate in the analysis of Save Menlo's downtown/El Camino Real specific plan initiative, which was released July 10 in advance of tonight's council meeting.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 8:31 AM

Comments (17)

Posted by JulieToo, a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2014 at 12:23 pm

JulieToo is a registered user.


Since the subject being discussed is construction and development, a good common sense carpenter quote seems appropriate:

"Measure twice, cut once". In other words, plan and prepare in a careful, thorough manner before taking action.

The opposite example of that caution is what is happening in Redwood City. I live in Redwood City. Alot of people here are very upset. Already our city has changed. Now we have high-rise buildings and alot of them. We have the traffic to go with it.

How many times I have heard people say: "I just avoid downtown Redwood City now. It's just too much of a struggle and it takes too long to get to where you're going"

How does that help commerce?

Some might suggest that we should have attended the Council Meetings. What? And protest in the 3 minutes we are given to make a statement. (It used to be 3 minutes. I don't know what it is now).

I suggest we should not have to attend the Council Meetings. That is the job of the councilmen and councilwomen. They are there to make decisions beneficial to our city. That is precisely why they are on the Council.

So, all in all, I think that Menlo Park is not making a mistake to "measure twice".

Maybe you can "save Menlo" from becoming another Redwood City.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"That is the job of the councilmen and councilwomen. They are there to make decisions beneficial to our city. That is precisely why they are on the Council."

And that is why the Lanza/Fry initiative is such a huge mistake because it would replace the wisdom and experience of the elected City Council with the poorly written, cast in concrete, self interested desires as expressed by two people. No opportunity for debate, discussion or improvement except by costly and time consuming city wide elections.


Posted by SandyB, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 15, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Although I cannot attend the meeting tonight, I am against the "Save Menlo" initiative. Any initiative that is so rigid that does not allow for flexibility for the town is a huge misjudgement and misappropriation of our town's assets. It ties the hands of both the City Council and the Planning Commission. Yes, that will slow growth. And our so called "village" will crumble because it will be chained to poorly thought-out and ignorant concepts. Better buggy whips anyone?


Posted by MP Resident, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm

The charade continues with a council meeting tonight to go over the analysis of the Save Menlo Initiative - which is for sensible growth.

So tired of the boloney!

So tired of asking direct questions and getting more propaganda - but no answers from the two who shall be nameless.

So now we all should consider attending tonight to keep the propaganda in check.

I will be there. Anyone else?

When will we have a new, unbiased review of the Specific Plan, itself. Then we can have a council meeting to discuss that. Hmmmm?

And I thought journalists were supposed to remain neutral...unless they're writing editorials.


Posted by MP Resident, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Julie Too, Yes.

And Palo Alto. Has anyone checked out El Camino in Palo Alto lately?
Almost all built up, mostly over the last 2-3 years. A friend who is a resident is not happy about it and she says it's a common sentiment.

Where's the middle ground? I'm not necessarily in favor of SM's initiative, but I am in favor of a balanced approach - and one that better represents the residents of the community. And I fully appreciate why SM is unhappy with the SP. If you participated in the process and found the "final" document to be unrecognizable, you might be concerned as well.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 15, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"the analysis of the Save Menlo Initiative - which is for sensible growth."

Please read:
1- The Wise report
2 - The Lanza/Fry Initiative
3 - and at least the summary portion of the Specific Plan
Web Link

The initiative is designed to paralyze the city and STOP EVERYTHING. Just the confusion it raises will allow the Save Menlo people to tie the city up in court for years.

Note that the initiative boldly states:
"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."

So all Save Menlo has to do is feel "frustrated" and they can sue and only the courts can decide how to proceed. This initiative should be called the ABOLISH REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE.


Posted by MP Resident, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm

PC, Please stop bullying everyone who comes from a different perspective than yours. Thank you.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 15, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

MP resident - please cite example of your so called bullying charge. The problem is that the opponents cannot and will not post facts from source documents. You might willingly tolerate such sloppiness but I won't.

I do not believe that holding people accountable is bullying - particularly when they are already hiding behind a fake name.


Posted by ZG2yF, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 15, 2014 at 1:57 pm

And for the record, I haven't disclosed my position on SM's initiative.
I'm responding to the huge amount of propaganda and the politicking. Why is it okay for the City to spend our money on a study like this? Why are they allowed to use our money to ignore the SP itself, and shift the focus to squelching any signs of descent? Not right.


Posted by MP Resident, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 15, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Dissent. (Duh.)

I've been following these threads forever...where would I even begin?


Posted by Gern, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 15, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Gern is a registered user.

"MP resident - please cite example of your so called bullying charge."

How about labeling Menlo Park residents "dumb and lazy" for not having foreseen the 800,000 square feet of "redevelopment" bookending our town on El Camino Real. Will that suffice, Peter?

"The problem is that the opponents cannot and will not post facts from source documents. You might willingly tolerate such sloppiness but I won't."

Please cite your source documents for these "facts," Peter:

"The initiative is designed to paralyze the city and STOP EVERYTHING. Just the confusion it raises will allow the Save Menlo people to tie the city up in court for years."

"So all Save Menlo has to do is feel "frustrated" and they can sue and only the courts can decide how to proceed. This initiative should be called the ABOLISH REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE."

Hypocrisy will out, Peter.

Gern


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 15, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Please cite your source documents for these "facts," Peter:

"The initiative is designed to paralyze the city and STOP EVERYTHING. Just the confusion it raises will allow the Save Menlo people to tie the city up in court for years."

"So all Save Menlo has to do is feel "frustrated" and they can sue and only the courts can decide how to proceed. This initiative should be called the ABOLISH REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE."

Those are my OPINIONS. When I statw facts i do so from source documents and put the citations in quotation marks and I frequently provide a web link the first time I cite that particular portion from a source document.


Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiņa, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 15, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiņa is a registered user.

@ZG2yF

The consultants report was required so that the city can determine the consequences of approving the initiative or putting it on the ballot (their only two choices). To help determine it's cost to the city and it's positive and negative implications in the development and operation of MPK's planning and development.

Reading it they highlight both the positive (few) and negative aspects and consequences.

Tonight decision is short, either approve the initiative as is (not likely) or put it on the ballot. The theater will come if anyone from the initiative group and it's opponents (of which I am one) choose to speak as to the points in the study that justify their stance.

There is NEVER a dull day in Politics in this "Quaint Village" of over educated residents used to getting their way......should be fun to watch.

Roy Thiele-Sardina


Posted by Spanky, a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2014 at 6:03 pm

enough all ready !


Posted by No Easy Solutions, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 15, 2014 at 6:32 pm

The reality is that the SF Bay Area is a desirable place and there are good job opportunities here. Cities throughout the region are adapting to a growing population by accommodating growth in various ways. No solution will please everyone as expressed by residents of Palo Alto and Redwood City.

How do we balance sustainable growth while improving the quality of life in Menlo Park? It seems that the Save Menlo plan is more aligned with a very limited to no growth, while the current DSP is too generous to developers. Neither plan addresses the underlying infrastructure or transportation (large component to quality of life). If someone can offer a solution that is a balanced approach to both growth and improving quality of life, they'll get a majority of residents behind time vs picking the two extreme options.

Can the council or anyone offer a third option on November's ballot that is not the extreme of the two?


Posted by JulieToo, a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2014 at 8:20 pm

JulieToo is a registered user.


No Easy Solutions,

Well said. I wholeheartedly agree.

Such a solution would be in the interest of everyone. Not "either-or". Not contentious debate based on dualistic thinking.

A better approach: to see the strong points of both plans and try to combine them, without either side having to lose the essence of the intent of their plans.

How to accomplish that? I have no idea. Maybe start the discussion with goodwill.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 15, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Neither plan addresses the underlying infrastructure or transportation (large component to quality of life)"

Creating an equality between the Specific Plan and initiative is factually incorrect.

PLEASE take the time to review the Specific Plan and the EIR which accompanied it - both infrastructure and transportation are addressed in detail.

Web Link

And the Lanza/Fry initiative addresses neither infrastructure or transportation.


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