Posted by morris brown, a resident of the Menlo Park: Park Forest neighborhood, on Dec 4, 2006 at 11:32 pm
Elizabeth and others:
Let me try and explain the process. Aside from the legal challenge to the validity of the referendum petitions, the City council at this stage would have 2 options.
1. Rescind the zoning ordinances, thereby effectively killing the Derry project.
a. in this case, the developer could not bring back a similar project for one year.
2. Place the petitions on a ballot for a full vote of the public.
a. in this case if the voters approve the petitions, the ordinances are rescinded – a similar project cannot be brought back for at least one year.
b. If the voters do not approve the petitions, then the developer will be able to proceed with his project as approved originally by council.
What negotiations at this stage provide is a sort of different option. If the developer and the petitions proponents (Menlo Park Tomorrow) can agree on a revised project such that objections to the project by the proponents are satisfied, then what would follow is:
1. The City rescinding the zoning ordinances that were previously passed.
2. The City would pass new zoning ordinances (most likely General Plan amendment as well), allowing a revised project to be approved.
These 2 steps would be fully in the public eye, having hearings at both the planning commission and city council level. Any citizen can voice objection or approvals to such a revised plan.
Only the City council has any real power to approve or reject the project.
Let me add that the petition proponents have a negotiating team, and this is not being done at all me alone.
I hope this has clarified the situation.
Menlo Park Tomorrow (petition sponsor)