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Menlo Park: City newsletter criticized for bias against Measure M

Original post made on Aug 26, 2014

Menlo Focus, the city's quarterly newsletter, generally garners only as much attention as it takes to decide whether to read it first before recycling it. But that changed when the latest issue came out with an article on Measure M, the initiative on the November ballot that would change Menlo Park's specific plan.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 8:13 AM

Comments (129)

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 26, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

As always the supporters of Measure M have chosen ignorance as their ally and they get very upset when anyone tries to inform the voters. They hope for a very low turnout election in which only their small special interest group even bothers to vote.


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Posted by Enuff
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 26, 2014 at 2:11 pm

As always, Peter Carpenter is quick to speak out on Stanford's behalf, typically by excoriating Menlo residents who are opposed to the Mahattanization of their suburb.

Regarding the Menlo Focus issue, not only was it blatantly biased against Measure M, but it also included a full page article by a city staff member singing the praises of office parks!

The city's lame excuse--that much of what it printed is on the city's website--begs the question. It is an entirely different matter to spend residents' tax dollars in a citywide mailing.
Only interested residents will bother to look up the city's website, let alone read the fine print. But every household got one of those biased campaign pieces in the mail.


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Posted by Menlo Park Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 26, 2014 at 2:51 pm

So Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton, is upset that the people of Menlo Park don't want our town turned into a massive office complex. I'm sure that Mr Carpenter has already proposed turning Atherton over to the developers--or is it only other people's communities he wants to ruin?


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 26, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

That's right folks attack the messenger when you don't like the message. Measure M is deeply flawed and will make many things it supposedly prevents WORSE. Read, educate yourselves and then decide. Don't drink the Lanza/Fry Koolaid. They aren't putting out truthful information. Oh and I live in Menlo Park. No one is going to "Manhattanize" our town. That's just stupid on it's face.

Zoning decisions by ballot are stupid.

Vote NO on M.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Oh and one other thing. The Lanza/Fry folks had no problem taking money from an Atherton resident to get their measure on the ballot, but wish to excoriate anyone from out of town that points out the flaws in their measure. There's a word for that: hypocrites.


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Posted by City Politics
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 26, 2014 at 3:52 pm

The City Manager is playing politics and misleading the public with his glossy mailer. I find it hard to believe that the Mayor had no idea what he was up to. Develop the vacant lots, by all means, but not all all costs.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 26, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

City Politics:

If measure M gets passed the lots will probably get developed. Unfortunately Not with the cohesively designed Stanford project. Instead it will be five different projects all with separate entrances to ECR and there will likely be medical offices. These are high traffic generating uses. Please consider carefully what you want to happen to ECR.


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Posted by George C. Fisher
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 26, 2014 at 4:13 pm

What is sad are those with vested interests in retaining control (council and staff) and exonerating the specific plan are both using substantial city resources to attempt to influence the election, and using those resources in a misleading manner. All that is basically at issue is whether the Stanford and Greenheart projects will have their office space reduced from the present proposal of approximately 200,000 square feet each to approximately 100,000 sf each. Nevertheless, councilpersons initially crowed that the Initiative, now proposition M is a battle for the soul of Menlo Park which they intend to vigorously wage. They banded together to argue against Measure M, to spend dollars for a purported independent analysis, which they presently ignore in the current mailer, and to publish arguments in the form of impartial facts on a website. Whether or not their attorney vets them is not important. I believe the "independent" attorney is only independent because he is replacing the current city attorney who has a conflict. His independence does not change his allegiance to his client, which is the city. He has no attorney client relationship with anyone but the city. What is important is the significant city resources they are using and how the arguments they make are biased.

A 12 page glossy brochure mailed to 15,000 residents cost way more than $5,000. The entire focus of the brochure from the city manager's Column purporting to stress the importance of revenues from development, to the bushwa about Measure M, to Jim Cogan's, the City economic director, blatant pitch to keep the specific Plan intact is to unfairly influence the election. Cogan's purported specific plan economic goals bear no relationship to the vision Plan nor the Specific Plan's Guiding principles relating to neighborhoods and city Character, or non office space vibrancy,

The horse on the table is the Stanford and Greenheart emphasis of non-residential office space exploiting office space. The Lisa Wise Consulting Inc (LWC) report hired by the vested interests clearly stated on page 1 that the EIR certified as prescribed by CEQQ studied only 240,820 square feet of office space. That EIR on page 4.13-37 expressly found that per CEQA standards the "NEW USES TO BE ADDED AND THE EXISTING OCCUPIED SPACE" were used to estimate traffic. These uses were broken down specifically by office, retail, or hotel.

However now the vested interest have changed the test from new uses added minus existing occupied space to be removed, to blatantly and falsely proclaim that "in keeping with standard CEQA Practices, the 474,000 square feet Maximum Non residential space, is actually substantially less because the City is deducting from those maximums, all square footage of prior projects approved which had EIR's done, EVEN THOUGH THOSE PROJECTS WERE NEVER BUILT AND WERE NEVER OCCUPIED AND WERE FOR OTHER USES, INCLUDING GROCERY STORES.

THIS ATTEMPT TO HIDE NEW OFFICE SPACE IS TOTALLY AND FLATLY INCONSISTENT WITH THE EIR AND WITH THE SPECIFIC PLAN VISION AND THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF THE SPECIFIC PLAN. There is no question but that the proposed projects are intended to be over 93%, or approximately 400,000 square feet office space out of their total non-residential space. This is important for CEQA purposes because under the city's Circulation System Assessment (CSA) document used for CEQA over 76% of all specific Plan El Camino Office space traffic, including over 4,320 car trips a day from Greenheart or Stanford goes to ,or comes from, 280, 101, or highway 84 from other city's and must cut through Menlo Park to reach those Highways and Freeways. It is also worth repeating that although the city claims 146 new hotel rooms within the specific plan area, it actually only recorded 86 new rooms for the Marriott hotel, because of its slight of hand new space calculations, there attempting to use only traffic equivalencies, rather than actual new rooms.

The vested interests are also delaying the Stanford Project Cut Through Traffic analysis being done by W-Trans and paid for by Stanford, which was due in March, because city personnel are busy doing the propaganda on the city web site and brochure opposing Proposition M. Although that cut through analysis will be important to the electorate and was being finalized in August, it cannot be released until October, according the the City, because of personnel shortages. Although similar to the LWC report as being done by an independent consultant, the city and vested interests review and comment on drafts. Hopefully, the traffic study if released, will not be like the LWC report, released to the public at the last moment before official action blindsiding the electorate or residents. Hopefully, also the city requested LWC updates to correct the earlier report are neutral, not city biased for further propaganda.

Further the Fiscal Impact Analyses (FIA) in both the brochure and city website bear no relationship to the City's FIA done at the time of the specific Plan or general practice, which depended for over 60% of city anticipated revenue from a Hotel on the Stanford site. As Planner Rogers admitted to city council earlier, impact fees or the development of the vacant space was not seen as "go" for the specific plan. Now the vested interests claim such fess and development is the primary argument against amending the Specific Plan to limit office space. The LWC report also analyzes property tax and finds those tax's neutral to whatever use is made of the space. Of course other main tax sources like sales tax or Transit occupancy tax is impossible if used as office space, which generate no such taxes.

I guess the question may also be is the office space for commuters the Soul of Menlo Park? How does the public vote, based upon fair information.

In view of all of this, the public is entitle to a correction of the facts, and the city should provide equal access to compile and distribute equal space for corrections, including comments of the public, that it has used to support the Stanford and Greenheart proposals, through its fictitious arguments on its website and brochure. Unfortunately because council can control the website, and its meetings, clear exposition of the issues cannot be made.

The only true candid impartial candid debate was done by the Sierra Club when City council members and planning commissioners argued against Measure M and proponents argued for it . The Sierra Club committee hearing the debate endorsed Measure M by a vote of 9-0, with one abstention. The City should stop wasting resources, and making misleading contradictory arguments to support vested interests, and participate in fair commentary.



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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 26, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

@George Fischer

Are you suggesting a 9-0 vote by the Sierra Club trumps the opinion of our legally elected city council? And a vote by our residents?

You wasted 1100 words(well actually 1101) to end with that? laughable, totally laughable.

At the end of the day the Yes on Measure M pitch that it will reduce traffic has been shown to be UNTRUE. That the development of Medical Offices (under the Yes on M scenario) will actually INCREASE traffic over the proposed project. So how do you answer to that?

Roy Thiele-Sardiña
No on Measure M
M is a Mistake


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 26, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

Traffic Charts

For those of you that are interested I am attaching a link to the Traffic Study Charts from the Traffic Department. Please note the for right most bars int he chart where it shows that the EIR would bring 5,835 cars, the fourth bar from the right which was Stanford's last proposal(no medical) would have reduced that to 3,284 cars (trips). A reduction of 43%!

Any additional medical (high traffic) which will be built if Measure M passes and limits office space (low traffic) will increase the traffic significantly.

Again, these are the unintended consequences of an unvetted and poorly written Measure.

Web Link

Roy Thiele-Sardiña
NO on Measure M
M is a Mistake


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Posted by Let's Review the Past
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 26, 2014 at 5:37 pm

You can say good bye to our legally elected city council, which was to serve the residents of Menlo Park. Roy, you make it sound as though our council was royalty that goes back hundreds of years. How quickly you forget the dethroning of Micki Winkler and Lee Duboc. They come. They go. It only takes a bad development or two and the villagers rise up with pitch forks.

Let us review: Winkler, Jellins and Duboc got greedy and too big for their britches approving in one calendar year 2 developments that needed amendments to the General pan. Ooops, that's illegal. Seeyalatah, Micki and Lee.

It's that easy.

This time, the council was notified of their error and turned a deaf ear. If they had even been remotely interested in representing the voters, they would have made a modification or two to the specific plan and the initiative would probably not be on the ballot today. COMPROMISE. That's the name of governing. You give. You take. You make peace. What you don't do is pal around with developers and their attorneys like our Mayor has done for months with Mr. Tosta, the attorney for the unknown investors of the phony company, Greenheart. Why don't these investors identify themselves. Where do they live? Where do they vote? Where do their children go to school?

Every time an office building is approved in Menlo Park, ABAG mandates the city find more sites where housing can be built. Every time this happens, our schools get more and more crowded. Office development equals crowded schools. If that's what Roy and his Menlo Deserves Bigger wants, just say so. The residents want to know what your motivation is for supporting developers rather than parents of Menlo Park school children.

Nope, all the incumbents have to go and the other two remaining will go in 2016.


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Posted by What?
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 26, 2014 at 6:26 pm

The City Council has not approved either the Stanford or Greenheart Development. Neither project is close to final approval.

What has the City Council done "wrong" besides refuse to adopt zoning amendments that haven't been vetted through a public process?



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Posted by Lawyer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 26, 2014 at 7:03 pm

One need not be a lawyer to look up a law. California Government Code Section 54964. Even a opinionated, out-of-town carpenter could look it up online. But why bother, hey Peter?


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Posted by Let's Review the Past
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 26, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Hey WHAT, THe council approved the specific plan which allows the 800,000 SF of development proposed by Stanford and Greenheart. Without the limitations on the office in both developments, all 800,000 SF will be built. There does not need to be any more approval. Even Greenheart which wants a little more than allowed will enter into a negotiation for public benefits in order to get what it wants. This is not rocket science.

When the 400,000 SF of office is built in these 2 huge developments, ABAG will raise its ugly head and inform Menlo Park that it needs more housing.

This is why the Sierra club supports Measure M. The endorsement was made because the jobs/housing ratio is out of balance. We cannot keep building office complexes that bring in commuters to our small town. There is no housing for these workers. Under 2,000 Menlo Park residents work in Menlo Park. The rest leave to work in surrounding cities and many travel to SF and SJ.

Office development will force the city to identify housing sites for future homes which means more students in our schools. Vote for Measure M and let's reduce the amount of office. We need to protect our schools.


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Posted by Stefan P
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 26, 2014 at 7:45 pm

The scare tactic opponents of Measure M frequently claim that under the initiative more medical offices would get built and traffic would actually get worse. By that logic, Stanford and Greenheart should be supporters of the initiative - after all, it would let them build more lucrative medical office space. Clearly, that is ludicrous. The truth is that the initiative DOES NOT even change the constraints around medical office space that the SP has put in place. Smartly, Stanford agreed to eliminate all medical office from their project - for their initial set of tenants, that is. These giant buildings will be here for decades - and I clearly see medical tenants in their future.
The scare tactic opponents of Measure M also regularly ignore the fact that ECR is congested every evening already. It is borderline insane to add that much more office space right next to what is already a traffic jam. Gentle reader, if you like the lifestyle of a big city, please just move there and don't ruin suburbia for the rest of us.


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Posted by What?
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 26, 2014 at 8:18 pm

I thought most rush hour traffic in Menlo Park was related to people leaving town in the morning and driving into town at night. How does adding more residents in the center of town reduce traffic?

I thought the initiative didn't change the amount of square footage allowed in the Specific Plan, just the uses?

I thought both Heyward Robinson and Kelly Fergusson were architects of the Specific Plan and Kelly Fergusson actually voted to adopt it.

I thought the Sierra Club hadn't officially endorsed the Initiative yet.


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Posted by Peter Pan
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 26, 2014 at 8:33 pm

[Post removed. Please discuss the topic, not other posters.}


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 26, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Stefan:

there won't be medical office space uses in the future because the city has negotiated for that. In addition, if one wants to get a business license in the future for office space the city can decline to issue it as inconsistent with the zoning and adopted planning for that project. They can't operate there without a business license.

Stanford would love to put medical offices in their buildings, but because the city negotiated with Stanford, Stanford eliminated medical offices from their plans. If measure M passes that negotiation is moot and Stanford can put medical offices in their buildings. It's just another unintended consequence of a poorly written measure that will create MORE traffic not less if passed. Note that since the traffic study the Lanza/Fry folks aren't pushing traffic as an issue since that study showed them to be WRONG.

No fear mongering Stefan. FACTS. The only people fear mongering are the measure M folks that would rather have you believe a bunch of falsehoods unsupported by facts. Read and research for yourself. Don't believe the measure M BS. Hell, don't believe me or Peter. Research and read and see what you find.


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Posted by PC_RTS_fan
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 26, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Thank you Peter Carpenter.
Thank you Roy Sardiña.

I read these blogs. I don't really know why. But it's so refreshing to read factual, well communicated content like you provide instead of the tomes and emotional and misinformed contributions of some authors. It's easy to pump out words, but to contribute accurate information and cogent arguments takes research and real effort. Thank you for doing that.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 26, 2014 at 9:03 pm

I love the hypocrisy of certain people. They jump on anyone who speaks out in favor of Measure M, attack all posts by people who say anything favorable and defend anything that has a bias against Measure M. Peter even went so far as to file an official complaint against the "Save Menlo" organization claiming it was set up incorrectly, luckily that was tossed out very quickly. Now that our city council has decided to come out with a bias newsletter, opening themselves up to fines and potential lawsuits they decide to defend it.

Thank you Menlo Park City Council for showing how bias you are and for opening up our city to possible fines, lawsuits, etc. You might have thought to run that article by the lawyers first but I guess you figured you would get away with it. I think "Save Menlo" needs to start a campaign to remove the members of the city council who makes these stupid mistakes. Not to mention deciding to spend so much money on having the measure reviewed. I think we all know had the article had the same level of bias but in favor of Measure M Peter would be sharpening his pen and probably talking to a lawyer...


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Posted by Mike Lanza
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 26, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Roy, I've seen your presentation on traffic. It's really, really wrong. You used data from a very poorly designed study, and you regurgitated it.

When we're ready, we'll show how flawed those data are, and why Measure M is good for Menlo Park traffic. It's really quite obvious once you understand all the traffic studies done for Menlo Park - not just the flawed Riggs study to "study" the initiative, but the other traffic studies that the City of Menlo Park has commissioned over the last few years for El Camino in Menlo Park.

In brief, the Riggs data suffers from three fatal shortcomings:

1) It looks at total trips per day, not peak traffic times, which is what we care about most. Office generates a lot of peak traffic.
2) In comparing Measure M traffic to a baseline, it fails to consider how much more development City Council is likely to approve. If, two years into a 30-year Specific Plan, Council is ready to approve two developments that far exceed its "maximum" numbers for office space on El Camino, just imagine how much more it might approve in the following 28 years.
3) About 50% of trips to Menlo Park retail establishments come from outside Menlo Park. In other words, 50% of trips to retail establishments are our own shorter trips that are less likely to clog our roads. On the other hand, 90% of trips to Menlo Park offices come from outside Menlo Park. They traverse all the way up out of our City, and they put no food in or fridges or in our bellies.


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Posted by Menlo Park Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 27, 2014 at 12:59 am

Let's see what the opponents of Measure M are actually saying.

Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton, says that we are being captious and reactionary for wanting to avoid the excessive development of Menlo Park. The obvious question is why he doesn't volunteer his own land and neighborhood for development.

Menlo Voter notes that "zoning decisions by ballot are stupid." Of course, one could say that about any sort of law: "civil rights decisions by ballot are stupid." Policy choices of any consequence should be left to experts, right? Or to residents of Atherton.

What? asks "what is 'wrong'" with the city council's actions. It is tempting to conclude that he or she did not read the article. What is wrong is that an elected body is using public money to argue in favor of one position on a ballot initiative in contravention of state law requiring neutral analysis on both sides. As soon as the council decided to abjure the neutrality on its website and assume the role of advocacy, it broke the law.

What? then argues that massive development won't worsen MP traffic. His/her logic is that since most traffic is people leaving in the morning and returning in the evening, expanding the number of people moving the opposite direction would not increase congestion. This is of course nonsensical. Everyone uses the same intersections and suffers when there are collisions or police stoppages. Unless you make everyone who uses the new facilities walk, they will have an impact

The opponents of Measure M are offering fatuous arguments that can't withstand significant scrutiny. The question is why are elected officials using public funds to advance the same dubious views when law prohibits their doing so.


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 27, 2014 at 1:23 am

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

@Menlo Park Resident

The traffic numbers don't lie. Stanford offered to build fewer medical offices in their April Proposal, it had 43% cars than the original EIR would have allowed and 40% less cars than their original mixed use proposal.

Those numbers came from the city's traffic studies.

The city council was required to do an impartial analysis of the impact of Measure M, just as they did in 2010 of the impact Menlo Park of Measure L (Pension Reform). That the study came back showing that the Save Menlo/Measure M constituents were exaggerating in their message. That the study should Measure m will actually make certain issues worse is the consequences of a poorly written, un-vetted measure, not the council's fault.

The facts are the facts, the fiction has been coming from Lanza/Fry. This is a horrible measure with MANY unintended consequences that will tie the city up for 30 years. Which is EXACTLY what they wanted, they believe a city of 32,000 (which wrote 22,000 parking tickets)with a major thoroughfare (ECR) running through it is a "quaint" village.

I will vote against Measure M to insure we have a vibrant Downtown with customers to support it.

Vote NO on Measure M
M is a Mistake

Roy Thiele-Sardina


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Posted by What?
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 27, 2014 at 6:59 am

I did read the article.

What evidence do you have that Council put anything on the website as opposed to City Staff?

The only statement in the article comes from the Mayor specifically stating he didn't approve the newsletter and thought the information about the initiative shouldn't have been included?

Again, I thought development under both the initiative and specific plan are the same size, only the uses are different? Is that wrong?

If the development is the same size but now more residential, how is that not adding more rush hour traffic going the same direction as opposed to reverse commute? Que times happen from people lining up to enter an intersection. If you add more residences downtown, aren't you just lengthening the line and que times?

I am just asking questions and would appreciate discussion not ridicule.






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Posted by What?
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 27, 2014 at 7:20 am

Also,

The City Council has not approved either the Stanford or Greenheart Development. Neither project is close to final approval.

The size of development under the Specific Plan and the Initiative are the same. Only the uses allowed are different.

What has the City Council done "wrong" besides refuse to adopt zoning amendments that haven't been vetted through a public process?

Didn't Kelly Fergusson actually vote to adopt the Specific Plan?

Did Kelly Fergusson ever argue against uses in the Specific Plan prior to its adoption? I thought she objected to the base level for public benefit? I thought the initiative doesn't affect public benefit?


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Posted by old timer
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 27, 2014 at 8:07 am

From comment by "What?" above:

-------
"What evidence do you have that Council put anything on the website as opposed to City Staff?

The only statement in the article comes from the Mayor specifically stating he didn't approve the newsletter and thought the information about the initiative shouldn't have been included?"

----------

I did not see this statement from Mayor Meuller. If indeed he did state this, than our City Manager should be immediately fired --- post haste.

Staff and Manager do not make policy... that is the function of the Council, and including in the Focus Magazine,what is essentially a PR article saying vote no on the Initiative, is certainly a policy decision.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 27, 2014 at 8:39 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

It is both obvious and unfortunate that many of the above posters did not actually read the Menlo Focus Summer 2014 article. It is very straightforward and balanced and would only offend those who do not want the voters to be well informed.

"The City has commissioned an unbiased study of the potential impacts of the ballot measure to revise the specific plan, which is available at Web Link DocumentCenter/View/4645.
The City hopes all residents will take the time to review the available information about this issue and be an informed voter on the topic come November 4."


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Posted by pandering
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 27, 2014 at 8:55 am

What asks, "Didn't Kelly Fergusson actually vote to adopt the Specific Plan?"

Yes, Kelly Fergusson did vote for the DSP, but only after pandering for votes by making the statements Brielle Johnck recently regurjutated to council. Nobody took Kelly seriously at the time, Steve and Brielle did not support her re-election, they sent out a letter telling everyone to vote only for Carolyn Clarke.


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Posted by fact checker
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 27, 2014 at 10:38 am

Not accurate. In June of 2012, Fergusson made an impassioned plea to modify the threshold for public benefit bonus. That was rebuffed but the rest of the council agreed to review that specifically in one year.
The Council skimmed over that issue when they finally reviewed the plan in November 2013.
The council would have true negotiating power with Stanford and other developers had that threshold been modified. The city consultant's study of Yes on M pointed out that the Measure would expedite development ("Voter approval of the Ballot Measure could create a rush of applications for Office Space project entitlements. " and offer opportunities for public benefit but the city lacked that mechanism.("However, the City currently does not have a mechanism in place to capture potential benefits from increased competition for entitlements." Both quotes are from page x of the study.
Fergusson was spot on. Not a thing "negotiated" with Stanford is binding and never was.


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Posted by Peter_Lives_In_Atherton
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 27, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Dear Peter Carpenter,

I have 2 questions for you:

1) How do you find so much time to repeatedly post on so many topics in such lengthy fashion? Do you have a job? Are you independently wealthy?

2) Why are you so fired up about an issue that has nothing to do with your hometown? What is your "skin in the game"?

You may think these questions are irrelevant, but to me, they are central to understanding why anyone should care what you think or post.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 27, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"1) How do you find so much time to repeatedly post on so many topics in such lengthy fashion?"

Democracy is a participatory sport not an idle inquiry.

"2) Why are you so fired up about an issue that has nothing to do with your hometown?"

My "hometown" is not defined by my zip code but rather by the place where I spend my time, my energy and my dollars.

Citizenship is the ultimate responsibility.


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Posted by Not a Kool Aid Drinker
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 27, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Measure M is ill conceived, and fraught with traps that will make traffic far more unbearable. The Downtown Specific Plan is not perfect but consider that it had input from the entire community and has a provision to fine tune the plan every two years, it is far more reasonable for our community than this hastily slapped together Measure M with both intended and unintended consequences.

I urge Menlo Park voters not to drink the Frye/Lanza Kool Aid and go with our hard working and thoughtful City Council recommendations. They displayed mature judgment by voting 5 to 0 to not adapt this wretchedly weak plan; but to put it before the voters (as required).

We have the best City Council in nearly 30 years. I don't think any reasonable person wants to revisit the regressive days of Jack Morris and Gail Slocum. They are myopic, hopelessly out of touch, and want to vacate people's property rights while exacerbating traffic. Measure M is a lose lose proposition. Our City Council respects both the rights of private property and the rights of the people who are affected by development and have come up with a fairly good plan with reasonable compromises that everyone can live with.

The Morris/Slocum Cabal wants to eviscerate private property rights and through their short-sightedness make the traffic far more intractable than with the Downtown Specific Plan.

Don't drink the Kool Aid. Vote NO! on Measure M.


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Posted by Love the names
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 27, 2014 at 6:55 pm

I love the creative names that people keep coming up to bash Measure M. Unfortunately it is really starting to seem like it is the same person over and over again.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 27, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

love the names:

if you knew anything about how this forum works you'd know the editors delete anything from someone posting under multiple names. They know because they look at the ISP addresses.

the people bashing measure under different names are really different people.

Measure M is bad for Menlo Park

Vote NO on M


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Posted by Mike Keenly
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 27, 2014 at 9:35 pm

The City newsletter should not be discussing issues on the ballot, even if they believe they are doing it in an impartial manner. That's what the Voter Information Guide is for.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 28, 2014 at 3:11 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is the guidance regarding the City's responsibilities to assist in the process of having an informed electorate:

"May a city council officially endorse or oppose a ballot measure?
Yes, the decision by a city council to go on record in support of or in opposition to a ballot measure has been held to be a permissible use of public resources. The council's decision should be made during a regular meeting that is open to the public and to the expression of the public's views."

"May cities analyze the effect of ballot measures on cities and publicize this information?
Yes, cities may use public resources to objectively evaluate a ballot measure's impact on the city. The results of a fair and impartial analysis may then be made available to the newspapers, advocacy groups, and others who may make use of the information if they choose."

"The legislative process contemplates public involvement to assist in explaining the potential benefits or detriments of proposed legislation. Courts do not see public agency lobbying as undermining or distorting this process.

However, the use of public funds to directly influence the electorate is seen as a potential threat to the integrity of the electoral process. According to California courts, permitting a public agency to "take sides" in an election campaign may give one side an unfair advantage. The importance of governmental impartiality in electoral matters cannot be overstated."

"What is the difference between "informational" and "express advocacy" materials?
Purely informational materials present a fair and balanced presentation of the relevant facts. Materials of express advocacy are those that explicitly and by their own terms urge the election or defeat of an identified candidate or the passage or defeat of an identified measure. Express terms of advocacy include "vote for," "cast your ballot," and "defeat."

I can find nothing in the Summer issue of Focus that has not already been posted on the City's web site:
Web Link

It is notable that the supporters of Measure M are so eager to suppress information about their own initiative.

Why do the supporters of Measure M not want the voters to well informed?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 28, 2014 at 3:38 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

California Government Code section 8314(d) provides:

"BALLOT MEASURE ADVOCACY AND THE LAW
Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use of public resources for providing information to the public about the possible effects of any bond issue or other ballot measure on state activities, operations, or policies, provided that (1) the information activities are otherwise authorized by the constitution or laws of this state, and (2) the information provided constitutes a fair and impartial presentation of relevant facts to aid the electorate in reaching an informed judgment regarding the bond issue or ballot measure."


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 28, 2014 at 6:58 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Lawyer:

one could look up the government code section you reference if it existed.


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Posted by retired teacher
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Aug 28, 2014 at 8:19 am


California government code section 54964 does exist. See link below.

Web Link


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 28, 2014 at 8:41 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

It is useful to actually read the prior postings before duplicating information that has already been posted:

"(c) This section does not prohibit the expenditure of local agency
funds to provide information to the public about the possible
effects of a ballot measure on the activities, operations, or
policies of the local agency, if both of the following conditions are
met:
(1) The informational activities are not otherwise prohibited by
the Constitution or laws of this state.
(2) The information provided constitutes an accurate, fair, and
impartial presentation of relevant facts to aid the voters in
reaching an informed judgment regarding the ballot measure."

And in this case the supporters of Measure M have failed to provide even a single sentence from the Summer 2014 Focus that states "vote for," "cast your ballot," and "defeat."


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 28, 2014 at 9:41 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

retired teacher:

thanks. I googled it and it didn't come up. Weird.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 29, 2014 at 8:22 am

Argue back and forth as much as you want, and Peter I find it funny to hear you arguing on this, the real decision on whether it is a violation will come not from someone on this forum but from the State of California. Does any one know if a complaint has been filed? Peter, since you are the expert on filing complaints, albeit ones without merit, maybe you can explain the process?

Brian


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Posted by Love the names
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 29, 2014 at 8:52 am

Menlo,

And if you knew anything about computers you would know how easy it is to get around that by spoofing IP addresses. Even someone who didn't know about the thousands of sites that help you do that or the different programs that can mask or hide your IP address would know to just post from different computers, work, home, starbucks, etc. but maybe I misunderstood you and what you are really saying is the people bashing Measure M are not smart enough to figure that out?

oh,and "Love the Names" is not my real name and and I am not using a spoofing program because I feel no need to hide. I just like the irony of commenting about the humorous names under one of my own.


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 29, 2014 at 9:56 am

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

The No on M people who regularly post on this forum are actually registered users. Both Peter Carpenter and I are not only registered users but use our REAL names.

So if you'd like to know who opposes M. I do! And I am unabashed in my opposition of this atrociously written, un-vetted Measure with DIRE unintended
consequences for Menlo Park. Lanza/Fry have said (in this blog) I have the traffic numbers wrong. They are NOT my traffic numbers. They come from the city traffic studies. That Lanza doesn't like them is because they directly contradict what they have been saying. That measure M will reduce traffic. It in fact could INCREASE traffic by forcing more Medical.

Vote No on M
M is a Mistake

Roy Thiele-Sardina


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 29, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Love:

those of us putting out the facts on M are for the most part, as Roy has noted, registered users. I always post under the same moniker and have been for years. I know it's possible to spoof ISP's and there are a lot of other ways to do it too, but why? I have my opinion. I express it. I feel no need to pretend I'm a bunch of other people agreeing with me. Quantity of agreeing posts to make me think my opinion is better. There are some that come on here and do that. Generally you can spot them a mile away. When they post with multiple names from the same ISP the editors delete them.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 30, 2014 at 1:53 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The first step in filing a complaint would be to find a single specific word in the Forum which violates the law. I could find no such violative language.

Save Menlo seems to think that anything which is negative of Measure M is untruthful and unlawful. The Forum article is both truthful and lawful.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 30, 2014 at 6:19 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The first step in filing a complaint would be to find a single specific word in the Menlo Focus article which violates the law. I could find no such violative language.

Save Menlo seems to think that anything which is negative of Measure M is untruthful and unlawful. The Menlo Focus article is both truthful and lawful.


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Posted by fact checker
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 30, 2014 at 10:32 am

There is a huge difference between partial truth and full information. The city is obligated to provide balanced, impartial information.
The mailer did not mention anything negative about office development. Neither the website nor mailer include positives of other types of development and the value of balanced development.

The Lisa Wise report had quite a bit of information that is favorable to Measure M. Neither the website nor the mailer narratives mention a single one of them.

The absence of important information that might affect voters' decisions is a form of bias. When the omission is done by city staff, it is a misuse of power and taxpayer funds.


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Posted by Farmers' Market Shopper
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 30, 2014 at 3:00 pm

I am a frequent shopper of the Sudnay Menlo Park Farmer's Market. While shopping there last Sunday I stopped by the Frye/Lanza Kool Aid stand. The Frye'Lanza Kool Aid vendors said the were selling grape Kool Aid. But after hearing their incoherent spiel on Measure M, full of inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and distortions it seems like it was more like Purple Haze that they were selling.

BTW, don't you need a Use Permit from the Planning Department to have a Kool Aid stand at the Sunday Menlo Park Farmers Market?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 31, 2014 at 10:23 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The mailer did not mention anything negative about office development."

Why must there be "negative" comments? The law requires balance and NOT taking a position for or against the Measure. The Focus article does both.

Here is what the Focus article actually says about "office space":

The proposed measure requires
"...office space in any individual development not exceed 100,000 square feet, caps the total net, new office space approved after July 12, 2012 at 240,820 square feet and retains the overall cap of 474,000 square feet for all net, new non-residential development in the ECR/Downtown Specific Plan area."
What the Specific Plan currently says about maximum allowable development and office space area designations:
The Specific Plan divides the maximum allowable development between residential and non-residential uses and limits residential uses to a maximum of 680 units and Non-residential uses, including retail, office, and hotel to a maximum of 474,000 square feet. The proposed measure's cap on total square feet of non-residential uses (474,000 square feet) already exists in the Specific Plan. For reference, that square footage is equivalent to about one-third of the overall Facebook campus project, or about one-half of the voter-approved Menlo Gateway project.
The two largest currently proposed developments (at 500 and 1300 El Camino Real) include approximately 429,611 square feet of non-residential uses (mostly office; some retail/restaurant/personal service areas), and 389 apartment units.
The 429,611 square foot number is not the "net impact" for purposes of calculating maximum allowable non-residential use. In keeping with standard practices of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), to determine a project's net impact, the square footage of uses that were active on the site as of the start of the application, as well as the square footage of previous project approvals that were environmentally cleared, are deducted from the new project's proposed square footage.
While the two proposed projects account for a substantial percentage of the Specific Plan's development caps (61.5% of non-residential; 57% of residential), it is understandable, given that these two locations are the largest and most vacant opportunity sites within the Specific Plan area. A significant percentage of development capacity would remain for smaller sites within the area.
Rather than requiring more subjective "one size fits all" limits on office square footage, the Specific Plan's office FAR limit of one-half is calculated to help ensure that an
active office development market does not crowd out other uses that may be desired."


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 1, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Peter,

You defending that article is ridiculous and robs you of any credibility you might have had with the readers of this forum. That article is as bias as they come, by pointing out all the possible positives of these massive developments and no negatives it paints an inaccurate picture as best and in my opinion a truly misleading one. I think everyone who has ever seen a post from you on this topic would agree that if an article from the city had come out with the same skew but in favor of Measure M you would have jumped all over it and would have filed one or more complaints already. To say otherwise is to contradict your known history.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - You claim everyone else is biased but you never provide any evidence to support your claims.

Please be so kind at to CITE examples of the biases which you claim.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Peter,

I claim that presenting only half an argument, the part in favor of large scale development, is bias toward that and can not be considered in partial. If you were in the hospital and the doctor told you that surgery would cure your problem, you would be well, minimal side effects and never mentioned that there was a risk of complications, that you could suffer cardiac arrest on the table, etc. would that be fair and impartial. Even the article we are commenting on above states:

" While the newsletter does copy information from the city's vetted website, it's an incomplete copy.

In its discussion of Measure M's proposed restrictions on office space, for example, the city's website states, "Like any proposed use, office use has both positive and negative attributes and impacts." It goes on to list the negatives along with the positives.

However, the negative impacts aren't included in the newsletter, even though the article does mention the benefits: "Historically, office development generally has a positive fiscal impact on a community" and supports economic activity at other local businesses such as stores and restaurants. "

So regardless of how much you want to pretend that the article does not have a bias it really doesn't matter. Neither you nor I will have the final word on this. It will be up to the Attorney General's office and I really don't think they both to read this forum.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 2, 2014 at 6:35 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - Your opinion is that the article is not balanced; my opinion is that the article is balanced.

In fact the article is generous in not pointing out the Measure M would lead to MORE traffic than the current Stanford and Greenheart proposals. The current Stanford and Greenheart proposals produce less traffic than would be permitted by Measure M because, under the Specific Plan, the Council has been able to use its ability to negotiate public benefit changes in those proposals. Under Measure M Stanford and Greenheart would have no incentive to engage in public benefit changes and there would be more rather than less offices and more rather than no medical offices.

When judging fair balance these types of omissions would have to be included and a judge could well find that the Forum article was biased towards Measure M.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 2, 2014 at 8:38 am

Peter,

You are probably the only person that is either bias enough or deluded enough to say that article could be biased toward Measure M. Comments like that make me, and I am sure many people, wonder if you believe it or if you are a shill for the developers?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 2, 2014 at 10:17 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - You continue to post platitudes. Please document your assertions. I described in detail how Measure M will increase traffic. Your response is to simply refuse to deal in facts.

Measure M will bring More Traffic
Measure M will bring More Medical Offices
Measure M will add Many More Children to Our Schools


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Posted by fact checker
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 2, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Peter - you are simply asserting speculative scenarios, and use "will" as if there are facts backing up your assertions.

There are a number of alternative development scenarios that would not increase traffic trips. But remember that Measure M is about reducing traffic impacts. Commuters worsen traffic during rush hours. Shoppers do not, especially if the retail and restaurants are local-serving and the trips can be timed to avoid rush hours.

Why "will" M result in more medical office? What proof do you have?
Medical trips are more distributed during the day than general office.

The city's own study, costing now $165,000, concluded that there would NOT be school impacts on either enrollment or funding. You are simply wrong about that.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Why "will" M result in more medical office? What proof do you have? "

Stanford's current negotiated proposal has no medical offices. If Measure M passes Stanford is free to include as many medical offices as permitted by the Specific Plan.

Medical Offices produce many more daily trips than do housing or general offices.

"But remember that Measure M is about reducing traffic impacts. "

Sadly Measure M would more likely INCREASE traffic above that of the current Stanford and Greenheart proposals.


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Posted by fact checker
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 2, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Traffic impacts are due to timing and location. Merely looking at total daily trips is a mistake.

Office traffic is concentrated at rush hour, and the two proposed projects with combined nearly 50% more office than was projected for the entire downtown area are concentrating it in a few places.

Medical office is not at all a given in exchange for general office. Even if it were, medical office traffic is spread more evenly throughout the day (think appointments).


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 2, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I know that self proclaimed called fact checkers do not like facts but this is what the traffic conformance study for the Stanford properties showed:

What is permitted by the Specific Plan:
AM Peak Hour: 899
PM Peak Hour: 1,319
Daily: 13,385

What is proposed by Stanford:
Trip Generation (net
new trips)
AM Peak Hour: 402
PM Peak Hour: 393
Daily: 3,115

******
If Measure M prevails then very low Stanford projections will be replaced by the 3 times higher Specific Plan limits.

Measure M means More Traffic


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 2, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Peter,

Your arguments and rants are getting old and tired. You ask for facts and ignore them. You present speculation as "Fact". You are making up things, ignoring true facts and arguing blindly. I thing anyone reading the discussion from the top of this forum, let alone the myriad of posting since Measure M started out will see that you ignore anything that does not support your own view point.

Well keep up your posts because in reality they are doing more good for Measure M than hurting it.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 2, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - My facts are from published sources. You and self proclaimed fact checker have yet to produce a single verified fact.

The facts are that:

Measure M will bring More Traffic
Measure M will bring More Medical Offices
Measure M will add Many More Children to Our Schools


 +   Like this comment
Posted by fact checker
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 3, 2014 at 9:39 am

Peter is trying to make us believe that the traffic predictions for the entire Specific Plan area should be compared to those from the Stanford project.
The fact is that office traffic is heaviest at rush hour when intersections are already congested throughout Menlo Park, causing more and more cut-through traffic in neighborhoods.
The fact is that, according to city traffic models, office commuters are trying to get to highways 101, 280 and the Dumbarton bridge. At rush hour.

Peter totally ignores the city's paid consultant's findings that schools will not be affected by Measure M - not enrollment, not revenue, not expenses. He is not telling the truth.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 3, 2014 at 10:34 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Fact checker???? states "Peter is trying to make us believe that the traffic predictions for the entire Specific Plan area should be compared to those from the Stanford project."

Fact checker needs a new name as he clearly never checks the facts:
"W-Trans has completed a vehicular traffic consistency review of the proposed project at 500 El Camino Real compared with the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan. The proposed project is 199,500 square feet of general office space, 10,000 square feet of retail space, and 170 apartment units and would be located within the Specific Plan's El Camino Real South sub-area. The proposed site plan is attached for reference.
This report analyzes the traffic associated with the proposed project and compares it to transportation facilities analyzed in the Specific Plan's Environmental Impact Report (EIR)."

"Provided in Table 1 is a side-by-side comparison of the 500 El Camino Real Development Proposal and the Specific Plan Conceptual Development Program FOR THE AREAS of consistency that were reviewed."

Table 1 shows exactly what I posted above:
What is permitted by the Specific Plan:
AM Peak Hour: 899
PM Peak Hour: 1,319
Daily: 13,385

What is proposed by Stanford:
Trip Generation (net
new trips)
AM Peak Hour: 402
PM Peak Hour: 393
Daily: 3,115

**************
The Wise Report states "School district enrollment, and corresponding expenditures, is driven by residential development. As the Ballot Measure language does not make changes to residential development, it is assumed that full residential build out would occur by 2030."

What is overlooked is the manner in which the residential buildout occurs - if it is multi bedroom units then the impact on schools will be significantly increased. Since Measure M constrains office uses the obvious alternative will be MORE residential = More impact on schools.

****
It is fascinating to have these exchanges with Brian and so-called fact checker. They do not do their homework, they never cite original sources and they either have difficulty reading the available material or they choose to dissimulate - take your choice.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by George C. Fisher
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 3, 2014 at 11:45 am

The Specific Plan EIR clearly states the total for the entire specific plan area, consisting of the four sub areas, Downtown, Station Area, El Camino South and El Camino north, is new daily vehicle trips of 13, 285 ADT, 899 AM peak hour trips, and 1319 PM peak hour trips. ( page 4.13-38). The Stanford site is only a portion of the El Camino Real sub area. What ever table 1 purports to be it, is a comparison only of the Stanford site, as purported reduced by Tesla, with the entire specific plan area trip generations. Any contrary statement is blatantly false.
.
More importantly, "trip generation" numbers from textbooks are different from "traffic impacts" determined per the city Transportation Impact Guidelines (TIA) and the City Circulation Assessment document (CSA) based upon defined delays or congestion per times of day on specific routes taken and studied. The routes, delays and congestion, as well as cut through traffic vary significantly by use. For example per city documents and guidelines, 3 out of every 4 office space trips cut through neighborhoods to reach non local destinations, whereas retail traffic is primarily dissipated locally. Hotel users are more variable, including local trips and would't aggravate existing delays. They certainly wouldn't commute to 101 or 84/dumbarton bridge or to I 280 through the neighborhoods at peak hours.

The impacts determined by the Specific Plan EIR were based upon 240,812 sq feet of office, 91,800 square feet of retail and 380 hotel rooms to be built out over 30 years. The impacts were discussed in the EIR pages 413:40-4:13:82. They included significant impacts not avoidable on 15 intersections ( 3 on ECR, 6 on Middlefield, 2 on Santa Cruz, 4 on Willow, and and 14 roadway segments (Oak Grove, Santa Cruz, Menlo, Ravenswood, Middle, University, Middlefield). No impacts were discussed in the Lisa Wise Consultant report and its traffic section failed to comply with the city's TIA and CSA requirements or accepted practice, as determined by a qualified traffic engineer. See Web Link

The 400,000 sq feet of office space in the Greenheart and Stanford proposals (over 90% of non residential space) cause additional impacts not discussed in the specific plan EIR. As Thomas Rogers stated in writing on July 10:

". . .[T]he proposed infill [Greenheart] project would have effects that either have not been analyzed in a prior EIR, or are more significant that described in the prior EIR, and that no uniformly applicable development policies would substantially mitigate such effects. I find that those effects WOULD be significant . . ."(Emphasis in original).

The city hired W-Trans to do interim traffic studies of Stanford proposed traffic and which analyzed the CSA gateway traffic and found that traffic on Middle would increase between 600% daily trips, and over 700-1500% peak hour trips. W-trans has issued drafts to the City of a traffic Cut through report, which is required to identify the specific routes cut through traffic will take, but the City has refused to release the report, and will not do so until at least October, substantially impairing information to the public in time for review and comment prior to the Election in November.

The change from non residential balanced growth between hotel, retail and office space studied in the EIR and analyzed in the Specific Plan Fiscal Impact Analysis (FIA) (also based upon 240,812 sq feet of office, 91,800 sq feet of retail and 380 hotel rooms also causes a loss of revenues including sales tax revenues, Hotel transit occupancy takes, (loss over $1.5 million per year) . This will lead to a negative net revenue to city even if specific plan is all built out. Lost revenues are not replaced by any increase in Property taxes of office buildings as clearly stated in the LWC report.

The Specific plan by doubling the zoning and increasing construction building without retaining adequate ability to capture either infrastructure fees or public benefits causes financial harm, traffic burdens and impacts, infrastructure costs, all without the balanced development, vibrancy, or Menlo Park Character required during Specific Plan design period. Measure M provides limited caps on office space, increases open space, lessens burdens, opens revenue possibilities, and is sorely needed.




.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

OK George - You run the numbers. What if Stanford and Greenheart max out their individual sites, separate parcels for each, with 3 and four bedroom units. Tell us what the impact of that would be on our school enrollment.


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Posted by Gern
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 3, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Gern is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter's notion of 'facts' are that:

"Measure M will bring More Traffic. Measure M will bring More Medical Offices. Measure M will add Many More Children to Our Schools."

I find it both amazing and perplexing that a grown man with some history of public service can advance the foregoing as fact. To do so can only mean Peter Carpenter partakes of divination or has direct insight into the intentions of both Standford and Greenheart should Measure M pass, and we patiently if futilely await proof of that insight.

We're well aware that Greenheart representatives have stated their current proposal doesn't work under the constraints of the measure, but last I checked there's been no indication from any source about what changes may be made to either project to conform to the measure. Check that -- Peter has championed the notion that each lot will be developed with 99,000 square foot office towers, something neither Stanford nor Greenheart appear to have rallied around for obvious, rational reasons.

Peter's assertion that Measure M will result in more children in our schools, based upon speculation that housing units will supplant office space in both projects should the measure succeed, may or may not come to pass. What is certain, however, and what Peter, John Boyle, Lee Duboc, Roy Thiele-Sardiña and the rest of the free-range MPDB Cabal refuse to acknowledge, is that building 400,000 square feet of office space in our town will wildly exacerbate our existing jobs/housing imbalance, requiring that we build yet more housing in the near future. So were Measure M to fail at the polls this fall we'd get all the office space Peter and Roy so desire plus a mandated housing encumbrance (more kids in our schools) courtesy of ABAG, as well.

I humbly submit once again that reading the text of Measure M and avoiding this forum is the surest way to an enlightened vote this fall.

Gern


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 3, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

If Measure M prevails and it drives out offices which are replaced by residential units then the school enrollment and traffic consequences would be huge

Measure M retains the existing cap of 680 residential units.

Voter approval is not required for the City Council to amend the Downtown Specific Plan to increase the 680 residential unit limit.

680 units averaging 3 bedrooms would be about 3400 people and about 1700 people of school age.

680 units would probably generate about 1200 peak hour AM and PM trips - a HUGE increase.

680 units woud generate about 1700 new students - another HUGE increase.

Measure M destroys the careful balance of uses created by the well thought out and long debated Specific Plan. The authors of Measure M simply failed to consider the consequences of their poorly conceived, poorly written and unvetted initiative.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 3, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Garn - you say that since you do not know what Stanford and Greenheart will do then there is no need to worry. Something is going to happen and before people vote on measure M they deserve to know what are ALL the possible consequences.

Do us a favor - You run the numbers on ALL the possible outcomes and tell us just what the impact of each would be.


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Posted by Gern
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Gern is a registered user.

George all but rolled you over a barrel with his last comment, Peter, and it's telling that you respond solely with the same tired FUD you've been dispensing from day one of the initiative effort. You have no insight into the residential development plans of Stanford or Greenheart should Measure M pass, rendering your speculation meaningless.

Gern


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 3, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Gern and George and Brian want the voters to buy a pig in a poke - the LAST thing they want is informed voters. What the Measure M people are hoping for is a great turnout of the zealots and that everyone else stays home. Fortunately that is not going to happen. In the meantime Measure M has chosen ignorance as their ally.

Gern - Enough posturing. Measure M is your proposal. Please be so kind as to simply document the alternative outcomes and the consequences of each of the alternative outcomes- or have you not thought of those?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 4, 2014 at 8:04 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Effective Democracy demands informed voters.

Why are the supporters of Measure M so unwilling or incapable of documenting the alternative outcomes of Measure M and the consequences of each of the alternative outcomes?

There was no EIR for Measure M, no public hearings, no traffic study and, if the Measure M folks have their way, there will be no answers to the impact of Measure M before the election.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Hire another consultant
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 4, 2014 at 9:33 am

The City just needs to hire another consultant to study the biased study which they funded. oh wait, they already did that. Time to hire another consultant to study the consultant that was hired twice to try and sway the public.


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 4, 2014 at 9:42 am

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

@Gern,

ABAG makes no demands on housing suitable for families. And the 680 units being planned would be "housing units" as defined by ABAG. So the ONLY reason that families would move in is that they find it more profitable to make "larger" units with their un-usable square footage.

Greenheart has stated (at the July City Council Meeting) that a two year delay will ensue if Measure M passes (more lost tax revenue to MPK). They also stated that without the supporting office space, underground parking would have to be reduced or eliminated (replaced by surface parking), taking away open space from their project.

With regards to fantasy scenarios: Measure M's backers keep saying that a Hotel would bring revenue to the city. NOBODY is talking about building a Hote! Stanford has one adjacent to their lots (ingeniously named the Stanford Park Hotel). Why would they build another one? Who would use them? The people visiting the medical offices? the people using the big box retailer Measure M wants?

The reduction in office workers, mandated by Measure M's limiting office space, would be a detriment to our downtown's vibrancy (sorely needed I might add). To think that someone would build more retail on El Camino for fewer users is a losing proposition.

M is a Mistake
Vote NO on M

Roy Thiele-Sardina


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Posted by specific plan fantasy?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 4, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Measure M opponents are promoting Misinformation.
If a hotel is considered a fantasy, then the specific plan must be. A hotel on the Stanford site was IN THE PLAN documents all this time, as were some other hotel rooms. If any writers here don't like that, then you are in a fantasy world of your own about what the plan says. And that is what the consultants who created the Plan said.

The city's consultant says there would not be a change in number of jobs. The change is type of workers. All of them have to eat. Non-office workers tend to commute at different times of day and that would help traffic at the most congested times. The city's consultant says no impact on schools. They were paid a lot for this professional advice.


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Posted by specific plan fantasy?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Initiatives are exempt from CEQA review.
However, it is important to understand that what is in Measure M was studied in the Specific Plan's EIR so there is no need to study it further. The caps came from the EIR scenario. They've already been studied.

Obviously the Greenheart project does not fit that EIR so has to do its own EIR. That project should be getting attention about its environmental impacts above what was found for the entire specific plan buildout over 30 years.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 4, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"A hotel on the Stanford site was IN THE PLAN documents all this time, "

Wrong - a hotel was a permitted use for different ECR zones in the Specific Plan but no hotel was not required in the ECR-SE zone in the plan or proposed by Stanford.

Stanford, via the Stanford Park Hotel and the Rosewood, already provides over 90% of Menlo Park's hotel taxes - the fantasy is thinking that Stanford would build another hotel.

If you eliminate offices and replace them with residences then you reduce the number of jobs.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 4, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Hire:

have you actually read the consultant's report? It was not biased. It was, in fact, quite even handed and did cite things that could be seen as positives for the measure. If you had read it you would know that.


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Posted by specific plan fantasy?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 4, 2014 at 7:32 pm

The Plan mentioned a hotel at that site many times and many places. The consultants assumed it as part of their financial analysis. So if it's a fantasy then the plan is a fantasy, too, and needs to be sacked or fixed in a major way.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 4, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

specific:

please quote the DSP as to where a hotel is mentioned. It was mentioned during the "visioning" process, but I haven't seen it in the DSP at the Stanford properties.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 4, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Specific Plan states:
"As envisioned in the Illustrative Plan (Fig. C6, next page),
the full build-out of the project area over time COULD result in
the following net new development:
 Residential 680 Units
 Retail Space 91,800 Square Feet
 Commercial Space 240,820 Square Feet
 Hotel 380 Rooms
 Parking Spaces 3,670 Spaces
(net new public + private)
 Resident Population 1,537 New Residents
 Employment 1,357 New Jobs

Based on community input (including during
the review process for the Specifi c Plan) and the Specifi c
Plan's goals, a public benefi t bonus COULD be considered for
elements including but not limited to:
 Senior Housing
 Affordable Residential Units, in particular for lower
affordability levels, particularly in areas nearest the
station area/downtown
 Hotel Facility, which generates higher tax revenue for
the City while also enhancing downtown vibrancy
 Platinum LEED Certifi ed Buildings, which would exceed
the standards for sustainable practices found in Section
E.3.8 "Sustainable Practices"
 Preservation and reuse of historic resources
 Public parks/plazas and community rooms
 Shuttle services
 Public amenity fund
 Middle Avenue grade-separated rail crossing"

What about the word "could" don't you understand?

Nowhere in the Specific Plan is a hotel required or specified in ECR-SE.

IF Measure M wanted a hotel to be required in ECR-SE why did they not add that to their laundry list?


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Posted by specific plan fantasy?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 4, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Try pages A3 and C11 clear as a bell "Hotel" on stanford property

Page B30 has discussion of a conference hotel on El Camino. At the time, the Greenheart site was assumed to be built with a grocery store and some offices. So the only sites big enough would be stanford or Big 5 shopping center.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 4, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Fantasy - You need to learn to read the whole document:
"The illustrative plan, as shown in Figure A1, depicts how the
plan area COULD potentially build out over the next several
decades in conformance with the overall planning principles
and within the land use and development regulations and
design guidelines contained in subsequent chapters. 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."

"Figure C2 illustrates the CONCEPT for enhancements to the El Camino Real south area."

What about the words COULD and CONCEPT do you not understand?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Observant readers will note that the Measure M supporters constantly opine on what the Specific Plan says BUT they never actually quote the Specific Plan to support their assertion.

Measure M is simply a small group of disgruntled residents who slept through the 6 year process which culminated in the Specific Plan and are now upset because ANY development will add 2 or three more trips to their particular side street.

Measure M is a huge Mistake.

M NO


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Posted by specific plan fantasy?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 5, 2014 at 11:35 am

Support for Measure M comes from thousands of residents throughout Menlo Park.

Opponents of M want to marginalize genuine community concerns about the Specific Plan's loopholes. They also are inventing speculative scenarios while omitting positive scenarios such as more hotels, community-serving shops and restaurants, housing units for seniors.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 5, 2014 at 11:45 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Opponents of M want to marginalize genuine community concerns about the Specific Plan's loopholes."

Observant readers will note that the Measure M supporters constantly opine on what the Specific Plan says BUT they never actually quote the Specific Plan to support their assertion.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 5, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

What downtown Menlo Park needs is more customers. The Specific Plan provides for balanced growth which would provide those customers.

"The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) publishes a detailed survey of
office worker spending patterns, which provides a useful estimate of likely spending by Project
employees. According to these data, employees at suburban office locations spend
approximately $7,300 annually on food and retail purchases near their place of work (both
taxable and non-taxable retail sales"

You can't have vibrancy without people. Downtown Palo Alto and Redwood City have lots of foot traffic and are vibrant places because they have lots of people who work near those downtowns.

Measure M would encourage more competition for our existing merchants without providing them with new customers.

Measure M supporters want to minimize traffic, particularly in the Allied Arts area, without regard to the impact that discouraging new offices will have on our current downtown stores and restaurants.


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Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 5, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Peter the lots of people working near downtown Redwood City are primarily from it being the center of County government offices, the courts and the jails and their employees and the law offices, title companies and bail bonds firms which always encompass the gov't facilities.

The crowds of night time foot traffic are in RC because of the cinema complex,the Fox, the events at the old city hall and the myriad choices in dining (which is mainly in the low to mid cost range). There is virtually no retail attracting the foot traffic - its food and entertainment. And parking sucks in downtown RC and it still attracts people from everywhere.


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Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 5, 2014 at 1:25 pm

How many of our city planning staff actually live in Menlo Park?


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 5, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

specific:

do you honestly believe Stanford is going to build yet another hotel next to or near the one they already have? Why would they do that? And don't think they'll sell that land so someone else can build a hotel. It ain't gonna happen.

So what other fantasy do you have to sell about what Measure M will bring about?


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 6, 2014 at 12:55 am

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

As the newly released staff report 12-170 (dated September 9th) with the thrilling title: "Lisa Wise Consulting Inc. Response to Documents Authored and Commissioned by Supporters of the Save Menlo Group Critiquing the Ballot Measure Impact Analysis"

Shows on Page 19 & 20 that the passage of Measure M would (and I quote):

"Although, in that the Ballot Measure would preclude net new office build-out in excess of 240,820 square feet, the Ballot Measure would preclude some traffic scenarios that could entail fewer trips than the ECR/D Specific Plan Base scenario because office uses produce lower trip generation rates than other uses such as retail, but more than uses such as hotels."

The Measure M people have said that by limiting offices they would reduce traffic, and this shows that the alternative use of the footage would INCREASE traffic by forcing "other" uses such as retail [Which Fry/Lanza tout] (and medical)....

So the NET result is NOT reduced traffic, since those scenarios are eliminated.

Vote No on M to REDUCE Traffic
M is a Mistake

Roy Thiele-Sardina


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Posted by specific plan fantasy?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 6, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Yes, the Specific Plan called for balanced growth. That is NOT what is happening. With current projects, there is a reduction in retail, far more office, less hotel, less housing than the projected "balance" supposedly designed into the plan by expensive consultants.
Some office good. Lots of office not good because it crowds out other uses.


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Posted by specific plan fantasy?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 6, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Why was a hotel on stanford land in ths Specific Plan? Was it a fantasy or was it bait and switch? Stanford was in all the meetings and never said they wouldn't build it. There is something stinky about all that.

Readers of the consultant's defense of her own work repeats the same thing and some of you are cherry picking -- some uses have more traffic than office and some (like hotels) have less. She says that. Total trips in a day is very misleading. What matters is when the traffic happens and where the traffic goes.


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Posted by Peter Pan
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 6, 2014 at 2:41 pm

The city government did not pay 150,000 dollars for a "consultant" or use its newsletter to lambast the initiative in order to comply with the law or be fair or honest with voters. Just the opposite. Power corrupts.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 6, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

PP - can you cite any evidence to support your opinion?

Observant readers will note that the Measure M supporters constantly opine on what the Specific Plan or the Wise Report says BUT they never actually quote the Specific Plan or the Wise Report to support their assertion.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 6, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Peter Pan is a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie. A mischievous boy who can fly and never grows up,"


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 6, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Interested readers should note:
1 - Save Menlo petitioned the City and Stanford to change Stanford's original proposal
2 - Stanford made all the changes that Save Menlo requested
3 - Save Menlo demanded an early review of the Specific Plan
4 - The Council did an early review of the Specific Plan
5 - Save Menlo then filed a potion for an initiative
6 - Before deciding which position to take on the proposed initiative the Council decided have an external review of the initiative
7 - Save Menlo demanded that the external review be conducted by someone with no prior involvement with either Menlo Park, the Specific Plan or Stanford
8 - The Council selected a consultant who had no prior involvement with either Menlo Park, the Specific Plan or Stanford
9 - The consultant also dismissed its original traffic expert because the consultant had had a previous interaction with Stanford
10 - the consultant submitted her report to the Council
11 - Save Menlo cried foul because they did not like the consultant's report
12 - The council asked the consultant to respond to the Save Menlo concerns
13 - the consultant submitted its response to the concerns raised by Save Menlo

So please tell me what exactly it would take to make Save Menlo happy???


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

fantasy:

what an apt moniker. NO ONE is going to build a hotel. You're living in fantasy land if you think they will Stanford certainly won't. why would they? they already have a hotel adjacent to their parcels. sorry, but to think they would is stupid.

Greenheart certainly isn't going to build a hotel. They have never proposed that neither did the previous owners of that property.

Please quote the DSP where it says a hotel will be built on Stanford land. I doubt you can do it. In fact based on your comments I doubt you've actually read either the DSP or Measure M. You're either drinking the Lanza/Fry Koolaid or you're shilling for measure M. Please bring some factual statements to your comments.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 6, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

"So please tell me what exactly it would take to make Save Menlo happy???"

ZERO growth


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Posted by specific plan fantasy?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 8, 2014 at 8:24 am

I did not make up a hotel. SaveMenlo did not. It was discussed in the Plan, it was a centerpiece to the environmental and financial studies. Lots of pages and charts showed one on Stanford land. And lots of discussion about senior housing there, too.

If it is a fantasy, then the entire Specific Plan is a fantasy and should be called that. The citizens of Menlo Park were defrauded into thinking that was a realistic scenario. They were defrauded into thinking there would be no demand for offices until many years into the future. The consultants were either incompetent or lied. The city is complicit in this fraud. If any of you knew better, then so were you.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 8, 2014 at 8:54 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

fantasy - you don't understand planning. Plans discuss various conceptual possibilities and then, in the specific zoning sections, they dictate what may and what may not be built. Then property owners build what they wish to build within the limits of their defined zone.

"The illustrative plan, as shown in Figure A1, depicts how the
plan area COULD potentially build out over the next several
decades in conformance with the overall planning principles
and within the land use and development regulations and
design guidelines contained in subsequent chapters. 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."

"Figure C2 illustrates the CONCEPT for enhancements to the El Camino Real south area."

What about the words COULD and CONCEPT do you not understand?


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Posted by Gern
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 8, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Gern is a registered user.

"What about the words COULD and CONCEPT do you not understand?"

The problem many of us have, Peter, is that 400,000 square feet of new office space bookending Menlo Park on a short stretch of El Camino Real never entered the DSP discussion round what COULD be built, an unfortunate omission which Measure M seeks to address. This deficiency in the DSP is, as I have stated many times, the single greatest unintended consequence of the entire post-visioning process, and one which dwarfs the relative nits you have thus far surfaced in Measure M.

Gern


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 8, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Gern - There are a lot of hurdles in the current Specific Plan and the individual project approval process that would have to be crossed over before your dreaded "400,000 square feet of new office space bookending Menlo Park on a short stretch of El Camino Real " could happen. And the Specific Plan itself will, unless M passes, be continually refined based on public input.

Measure M encourages disparate projects, massive amounts of retail that would devastate our existing merchants, many sq ft of medical offices and a very large increase in the school age population. Someone should have thought through these kind of consequences before they wrote such a faulty initiative - but then there were no drafts of the initiative for public comment, there was no EIR looking at the skewed incentives, no public hearings so we ended up with a mess.

If Save Menlo simply wanted to stop the two big projects they could have had two one paragraph initiatives covering just those projects. But no, they produce a 12 page horror story instead. Why?? What is their real agenda? Why not just block off all the connections to ECR from the Allied Arts area and let the Measure M supporters have their little village?


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Posted by Gern
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 8, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Gern is a registered user.

"Measure M encourages disparate projects, massive amounts of retail that would devastate our existing merchants, many sq ft of medical offices and a very large increase in the school age population."

Measure M does nothing of the sort. The practical near-term reality is that Measure M curtails the amount of office space allowed in the development mix of two -- and only two -- projects. How Stanford or Greenheart choose to respond to a successful Measure M is anyone's guess at this point, but we can be reasonably confident neither will propose 99,000 square-foot office towers on one-acre lots, 680 new residential units averaging three bedrooms, or the myriad other preposterous, worst-case scenarios thus far advanced by measure opponents.

These two large projects would change, of course, and we may get additional retail and housing as a result, though if the current proposals before us are any indication we needn't lose sleep over the "massive amounts of retail that would devastate our existing merchants," while the added homes, if any, would help ease our jobs/housing imbalance (love or hate ABAG and its dictates).

It's also conceivable that one or both parties will simply return with smaller projects, perhaps in an effort to move approvals along more quickly and certainly. Point is, any uncertainties -- and that's all we have thus far, rational and otherwise -- advanced round the effect Measure M will have on DSP development as a whole are much less of a concern to me, personally, than is the certainty of what 400,000 square feet of new office space will do to commute-hour traffic in downtown Menlo Park and, as dire, to cut-through traffic in many of our neighborhoods.

Gern


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 8, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Measure M encourages disparate projects with its cap on the size of an individual project - any owner of adjacent parcels easily avoids the cap by submitting separate projects with multiple accesses to ECR, uncoordinated design etc..

Measure M encourages MORE peak hour traffic with medical offices and very large 3 and 4 bedroom complexes - the worst possible combination of uses.

"Measure M curtails the amount of office space allowed in the development mix of two -- and only two -- projects." IF that were the goal then why didn't Save Menlo just have submitted two one paragraph initiatives covering just those projects? No, Save Menlo has a hidden agenda - NO development, NO change, NO progress and absolutely NO traffic in Allied Arts neighborhood not matter how badly these hidden goals impact the rest of Menlo Park.

Measure M is a selfish Mistake by a small number of people who want to live in the past - just as long as no one touches their special interests.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 9, 2014 at 11:54 am

Brian is a registered user.

Arguing with Peter is like arguing with a brick wall. He is so blinded by his hatred of measure M and the voters of Menlo Park having a say in the was that the city is developed that he can only attack everything said in favor of the measure. Mind you a city he does not live in or have any real involvement in (besides spending some money in one or two stores here). The city he does live in ironically opposes any sort of businesses or large commercial development. He makes attocias statements like blaming Measure M for derailing the downtown firehouse when it was a project that as a member of the Fire district board he wells know went off the trackes years ago (7 years and nothing happened) but he still continused to blame measure M. I guess he has to attack people here because he doesn't have a vote come November.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 9, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Brian is a registered user.

"Measure M is a selfish Mistake by a small number of people who want to live in the past - just as long as no one touches their special interests."

Keep thinking that way. Ignore the number of people who signed to get it on the ballot, ignore the lawn signs that are popping up around menlo Park, ignore everything about measure M as usual and we will see what happens in November. Will it pass, I hope so, or will it fail? Will Peter or Stanford or Greenhart sue if it passes? Will Peter and Menlo Voter's worse case conjecture come true? I guess we will see. Because regardless of Peter, Menlo Voter or the other random named Measure M opponents I think the developments currently planned will hurt Menlo Park and it's residents and should not be built.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - I welcome facts and citations from the Specific Plan, Measure M and official sources that support your opinions.

I, unlike you, have served on the Fire Board for more than a decade and I, unlike you, have served as a planning commissioner (Palo Alto). There is no doubt in my mind that the poorly written language in Measure M section 4.1 regarding the requirement of a city wide vote to change the section 3.1 established boundaries of the Specific Plan created sufficient uncertainty regarding the permissible location of a new downtown fire station to cause the Fire Board to look for an alternate site.

I welcome any facts that you can post which counter my presentation.

Your comment about my " hatred of measure M and the voters of Menlo Park " is reprehensible and typical of your lack of integrity.


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Posted by Gern
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 9, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Gern is a registered user.

"Your comment about my 'hatred of measure M and the voters of Menlo Park' is reprehensible and typical of your lack of integrity."

No, Peter, labeling Menlo Park voters "dumb and lazy" as you've done elsewhere in this forum is reprehensible. Your monomaniacal hatred of Measure M and your clear disdain for its supporters is self-evident and does a disservice to an objective understanding of the measure, to those in this forum who seek a balanced discussion of the measure, and to your own credibility. Whatever good you have done in the way of public service is blotted out --utterly -- when you make baseless accusations such as these:

"No, Save Menlo has a hidden agenda - NO development, NO change, NO progress and absolutely NO traffic in Allied Arts neighborhood not matter how badly these hidden goals impact the rest of Menlo Park. Measure M is a selfish Mistake by a small number of people who want to live in the past - just as long as no one touches their special interests."

800,000 square feet of essentially new development on El Camino Real in Menlo Park coupled with the continuing development of Stanford's medical complex off Sand Hill Road and the possibility of an Arrillaga Towers project on El Camino in Palo Alto is a recipe for one thing: unmitigated gridlock in our downtown and unimaginable increases in cut-through traffic in many of our neighborhoods, not just Allied Arts.

As but one example, how much commute-hour traffic leaving the Highway 101 corridor in or near Menlo Park will use Encinal or Oak Grove Avenue to reach 200,000 square feet of new office buildings at the Greenheart property, thus exacerbating an already dangerous morning drop-off situation at Encinal and Nativity elementary schools? These are the considerations that measure opponents simply ignore in favor of traffic studies which demonstrate that such-and-such number falls below some abstract EIR value. But if you're the parent of child who will be attending either school in the coming 4-5 years this increased traffic should be of serious concern.

Gern


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Your monomaniacal hatred of Measure M "

Once again the integrity of the poster is clear in making a totally untrue and totally undocumented allegation. I defy Gern to cite one posting where I have stated that i "hate" Measure M.

It will be interesting to see how long the Forum editors allow such falsehoods to be posted.

Measure M is a huge Mistake, poorly written , with known and unknown adverse consequences but that is very different that stating that it is hateful.

M NO


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Posted by specific plan fantasy?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 9, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Gern has it right. There never was discussion of huge office complexes at all, not to mention whether they COULD be built. General office has more peak hour traffic than other uses, and more of it comes from outside Menlo Park. To get to freeways, more commuters will cut-through our neighborhoods. Families with school-age kids should be concerned now for their safety and for the legacy we're leaving to next generations. Nearly everyone in the specific plan visioning process wanted to retain a small town character. How do large office buildings fit with that??

The consultants stated both in the EIR and in memos provided during the spring of 2012 that there was not a market for office in near to medium term of 30 year plan. Decisions were made based on the scenario painted by consultants. The Specific Plan's environmental study and fiscal analysis evaluated 5 scenarios, NONE of which included more office than the 240,820 SF of Measure M.

So I ask again, why isn't this a bait and switch situation? Maybe consultants and staff knew, but the council is complicit by not fixing the situation last fall when they could.

Measure M is supported by residents throughout Menlo Park. What began as a single neighborhood concern with a single project has grown to outrage over multiple projects and what the current council is allowing to happen to the community's vision.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 9, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Peter,

In your obsession with facts I would expect you to get some simples ones correct. Instead you edit to suit your own purpose. What I said was "He is so blinded by his hatred of measure M and the voters of Menlo Park having a say in the was that the city is developed that he can only attack everything said in favor of the measure" and you can easily check it by scrolling up a little. You do have a hatrid of Measure M and of letting the voters have a say in the development of their own city. You think you know better than anyone and that the people of Menlo Park should not be able to vote on changes within their own city. Your hundreds of posts, especially those from before the initiative had gathered enough signatures bears this out. You can keep denying facts posted by proponents or Measure M, attacking everything positive about it and throwing our your wild speculations as "what will happen if it passes" but what you are in fact doing is convincing people that the opponents of Measure M are the Lunatic fringe and pushing them to vote in favor of the measure. Something several people have said in regards to your posts in previous discussions.

As for my integrity, it seems that I have a lot more than you do. I have admitted that measure M is not perfect, I have admitted to mistakes I have made in previous posts, I have defended you against personal attacks. You on the other hand continue to blindly attack the people in favor of Measure M and hide behind it for your own failures and the failure of the Fire Board and the City of Menlo Park to get a fire house build in downtown Menlo Park for 7 years. Your arguments are getting pathetic.


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Posted by Joseph Baloney
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm

"I welcome any facts that you can post which counter my presentation."
O.K., Peter, I'll bite.

You wrote, "680 units averaging 3 bedrooms would be about 3400 people and about 1700 people of school age."

Now this is ridiculous on it's face. That's 1.67 people per bedroom or 5 people per unit. This is Menlo Park; find me this density. Heck find me that many families of five.

But to quote "facts and citations from the Specific Plan, Measure M and official sources" as you requested, I'll start with the Specific plan. From a section you quoted. "Residential 680 Units...Resident Population 1,537 New Residents." It's hard to get 1700 school age people out of 1537 new residents. According to Zillow, only 27.6% of Menlo Park homes have kids, with less than 24% of the population being less than 20. Putting those together, 24% of 1537 new residents is 369 kids, with many (~1/4, statistically speaking) of those being too young, less than 6. That would give 277 new school age kids.

Now apartments may skew high for families. But they may also skew low, attracting young tech workers and down sizing elderly. Either way, your 1700 new school age kids is FAR from a "fact."


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - I welcome facts and citations from the Specific Plan, Measure M and official sources that support your opinions.


Interested readers will note that the supporters of Measure M NEVER cite language from either the Specific Plan or Measure M - only conjecture and insinuations.

Voters deserve to be informed and the Measure M supporters instead want a low turnout election with only their supporters voting. That is NOT going to happen.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 9, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"According to Zillow, only 27.6% of Menlo Park homes have kids, with less than 24% of the population being less than 20."

The demographics of the current Menlo Park population are not a good predictor of future additions.

"Now apartments may skew high for families."

3 and 4 bedroom apartments certainly skew high for the number of school aged children.

The limits of the number of residential units encourage larger units.


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Posted by Allied Arts
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 10, 2014 at 1:07 am

I am opposed to anything that threatens my way of life. I bought a house near El Camino because it was cheaper, and now I want the entire city to sacrifice my own fantasy to live like the folks further away in West Menlo.

I cannot help myself. I will use false traffic data, attack people I like who are in public positions, accuse city staff of malfeasance...just to save myself from a stupid decision to buy a house near a six lane road.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 10, 2014 at 8:59 am

Peter,

What I really like is that when you are wrong or put your foot in your mouth you ignore any rebuttals and change the subject or attack someone else. Seems Like Menlo Voter also likes to attack people based on the edited comments. You are putting a good face on the Measure M opponents.

"The demographics of the current Menlo Park population are not a good predictor of future additions."

However Peter Carpenters wild conjecture meant as a scare tactic are good predictors of the future?

"The limits of the number of residential units encourage larger units."

Where is your documentation on what the make up of these apartments would be, I would be interested in reading it. My take is that if they did build apartments and targeted them to tech workers, who can afford higher rent, then you would tend to have more one and two bedroom apartments.

As for voter turnout It is so nice of you to put words in everyone's mouth and make more unfounded accusations. I would be happy if every resident of Menlo Park turned out to vote. Unlike you I prefer that the majority participate in this process not just the development companies and a few people on the planning commission and city council. Atherton residents are not wanted.

I look forward to more of your made up facts, the sky is falling scenarios and more personal attacks where you put words in other peoples mouths or misquote people to bolster your own tired arguments.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 10, 2014 at 9:23 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - thanks for your carefully documented facts.

It IS important for voters to know the Worst Case impacts of Measure M because, unlike the Specific Plan which can be modified by the elected City Council, can only be changed by an expensive city wide vote.

For example, given the strong reputation of Menlo Park schools, families with school age children are attracted to Menlo Park. Measure M restricts what property owners can do with office space but does not restrict residential developments beyond the Specific Plan limits. It is therefore logical for a property owner to shift their use from restricted office space to unrestricted residential space. And since the residential space restriction is on number of units rather than sq footage the property owners will opts for large individual units. Ergo, a big impact on our schools and o, guess what, peak time traffic.

Mesure M supporters refuse to consider the consequences of this poorly worded and total unvetted initiative.

Measure M is a Mistake.

M NO


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 10, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Brian is a registered user.

"Mesure M supporters refuse to consider the consequences of this poorly worded and total unvetted initiative."

And Measure M opponent refuse to see and asknowledge that there are legitimate issues with two massive businesses developments in downtown Menlo Park and that they will cause problem with traffic and have a very negative impact of the small town feel and community that makes Menlo Park a desirable place to live. Instead they go around playing "Worst Case Scenario" (actually Peter just makes up his data as pointed out by Joseph above) and trying to scare anyone and everyone. I am waiting for someone to say that Measure M is the cause of the Ebola outbreak and helps fund ISIS, it is as plausable as some of the other arguments put forth in this forum...


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 10, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - thanks for your carefully documented facts. You have managed to never once quote Measure M's actual language or that of the Specific Plan. Have you even read Measure M and the Specific Plan?

Note that the Save Menlo web site shows the Jan 2013 Stanford plans - they refuse to recognize that the Council DID require Stanford to make substantial changes. They also refuse to recognize that those changes will disappear if Measure M passes.

Note that Measure M wants to freeze the boundaries of the Specific Plan area as set " on July 15, 2008". Save Menlo really wants Menlo Park to be frozen in the past.

Measure M is a poorly worded and unvetted Mistake.

M NO


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 10, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Yes Peter, I have read it and I don't bother to quote it because you don't care about facts that do not support your opinion/position. I think the last 400 posts from you attacking anyone or anything supporting measure M is clear proof that you are not open to rational discussion of any facts, just the "facts" you make up. You refuse to admit when you are wrong (yes you have been but you would never admit it). If you were open to a rational discussion of this topic you would not misquote people, make up wild conjecture and put it forth as "what will happen if measure M passes" and attack anyone who has a different opinion.

I am more than happy to have a rational discussion regarding Measure M but that requires rational people and I don't think your history in this forum supports you as rational, at least not on this topic.

Brian


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 10, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Brian:

a rational discussion requires factual back up of your arguments. you have yet to provide any.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 10, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - dialogue occurs when people with different opinions bring BOTH their opinions and the facts to support their opinions to the table. I have certainly expressed my opinions and I have always provided facts which I believe support my opinions. You have provided your opinions but never the facts to support them hence a dialogue with you is difficult, if not impossible. However, I will keep trying.

I look forward to your documented facts which support your opinions.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 10, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - I will try to make it easier for us to have a productive dialogue.
Pick any one of the following issues:
1 - The wisdom of Measure M's section 3.3.5 imposition of a 100,000 sq ft cap per project on two property owners that have multiple parcels whereby they can easily avoid that cap,
2 - The public review and vetting of the Specific Plan compared to the pubic review and vetting of Measure M,
3 - Why section 3 of Measure M freezes 9 definitions forever unless they are changed by a city wide vote,
4 - Why section 3.2.1 of Measure M's definition of open space will or will not result in slab sided large buildings and economically unviable setbacks for smaller buildings,
5 - Why section 4.1 of Measure M allows anyone to challenge any project in the Specific Plan area if they feel that the project "frustrates" the implementation of Measure M?
6 - Why does or does not Measure M preclude the building of a new fire station at the corner of Oak Grove and Hoover utilizing two adjacent parcels - one of which is inside the Measure M section 3.1 defined Specific Plan area and one of which is outside the Measure M section 3.1 defined Specific Plan area.

Take your choice and present your opinion and the facts to support that opinion.

Let the dialogue (finally) begin.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 11, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Peter, and Menlo Voter,

Regardless of your comments above your history of posts and failure to accept any facts that contradict your opinions proves that any rational dialog with either of you is useless. If you disagree just scroll up and read some of the 105 posts and your responses to the ones that do not support your personal opinions. And yes, I put that startment forth as a fact supported by your own comments above and in the comments section of any article related to measure M.

There are plenty of facts that contradict your opinions and you don't address them or even acknowledge them and when your made up "Facts" are exposed you ignore the feedback or attack the poster. As many of the readers of this forum will do, I will cast my vote and it will be in favor of Measure M. Others may cast a vote in opposition to Measure M and hopefully on November 5th we will know which way the voters have decided. Those are facts that neither of you can argue with. And honestly Peter the fact that the people of Menlo Park get to have a vote is the one fact that probably upsets you the most.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 11, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - Please post the FACTS that you claim to have posted.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 11, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Interested readers will note that Brain refused my offer to discuss ANY of these specific issues:

Brian - I will try to make it easier for us to have a productive dialogue.
Pick any one of the following issues:
1 - The wisdom of Measure M's section 3.3.5 imposition of a 100,000 sq ft cap per project on two property owners that have multiple parcels whereby they can easily avoid that cap,
2 - The public review and vetting of the Specific Plan compared to the pubic review and vetting of Measure M,
3 - Why section 3 of Measure M freezes 9 definitions forever unless they are changed by a city wide vote,
4 - Why section 3.2.1 of Measure M's definition of open space will or will not result in slab sided large buildings and economically unviable setbacks for smaller buildings,
5 - Why section 4.1 of Measure M allows anyone to challenge any project in the Specific Plan area if they feel that the project "frustrates" the implementation of Measure M?
6 - Why does or does not Measure M preclude the building of a new fire station at the corner of Oak Grove and Hoover utilizing two adjacent parcels - one of which is inside the Measure M section 3.1 defined Specific Plan area and one of which is outside the Measure M section 3.1 defined Specific Plan area.

Take your choice and present your opinion and the facts to support that opinion.
*************
Measure M supporters have no interest in the truth or in a dialogue.


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 11, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

@Brian

While you are expressing your opinion, remember it is just that. Sometimes a little backup to the meandering diatribe from the Measure M people would help with yours and their credibility.

They have consistently been untruthful about the impact that the measure will have on traffic. The traffic studies show that the measure will increase the number of trips per day as it restricts office use (low traffic) and shifts it to Medical Offices and retail (here is the link to the Menlo Park City Studies: Web Link) The Meaasure M people saw this and STILL tell the un-truth that they will reduce traffic.

Measure M says that it will make buildings less "massive" and smaller. Yet the measure doesn't change the allowable square footage to be built. It modifies it's use (less office more everything else) but the size and scope of the total building....still the same. It has the same setbacks; it has the same maximum height (5 stories); it has the same terracing requirement (2 stories at street, then step back on subsequent stories).

So how could they say those things? Either they didn't know what they wrote (probably partially true); or to sell their plan they need to make it sound quaint and homey........

What they "forgot" to say is that small land owners (and believe me most of the land besides the Stanford and Greenhart parcels are owned by small guys) will now incur greater cost in developing their properties. They will be required to set aside ground space for ALL open space. and most importantly, that uncertainty and doubt will make their properties worth less if/when they try to sell them.

So while you lay the outraged resident in your posts, they lack any fundamental fats, and as I said they are your opinion, and you are entitled. On the other hand they seem like empty shrill statements without an ounce (forget a pound) of data to back them up.

We believe that the residents of Menlo Park when properly and HONESTLY informed of the consequences of the his unvetted initiative will vote NO on Measure M. We welcome your continued dialog, but we would appreciate a little substance.....just a little.

M is a Mistake
Vote NO on Measure M

Roy Thiele-Sardina


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 11, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Brian:

despite your claim that we won't accept facts, we actually will. The problem is that you an other Measure M supporters have yet to provide any. You and they never provide an citations or copies of anything in either Measure M or the DSP to support your claims. As Roy notes, that makes your claims nothing more than opinions. You are entitled to your opinion. If you would actually cite something concrete and factual to back up your opinions a dialogue could occur. Repetition of the same old Lanza/Fry lies does nothing to further said dialogue.


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