Town Square

Post a New Topic

Menlo Park: Subcommittee delivers update on Stanford-Arrillaga project on El Camino Real

Original post made on Jun 18, 2013

When last we heard from the Menlo Park council on the proposed eight-acre Stanford-Arrillaga project, a subcommittee had been appointed on April 16 in the hopes of guiding concerned residents and Stanford to a detente.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 7:27 AM

Comments (19)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Betty T
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 18, 2013 at 12:52 pm

This is a great project and will eliminate ugly, empty parking lots and old car dealership buildings. It will bring new buildings with educated workers who will become part of our community. Thank you Stanford and Mr. Arrillaga for your vision.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jun 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I suspect I will be avoiding going to or through Menlo Park as traffic there is likely to be awful along El Camino with the proposed plan. Please let me know if I am wrong!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Support the Project
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Thanks Betty. I too am grateful to Mr. Arrillaga and Stanford. This improvement is long over due.

My hope is that the neighborhood will accept the findings of the traffic consultants and not question them the same way they questioned the specific plan consultants.

Constructive criticism of specifics (street front design, driveway locations, etc.) is what is needed rather than simply making the project smaller.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by fewer impacts, more benefit
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm

While not a member of saveMenlo, I agree with them that there will be negative impacts from additional traffic from this project. The problems won't affect just our neighborhood but also other parts of Menlo Park.

So there still are driveways where all the pretty pictures in the vision process showed none? What happened to the undercrossing? What happened to the hotel and senior housing? We do not need more offices that just put more pressure on our neighborhoods to put in more housing than is already being crammed into our town.

The vacant buildings on Stanford property would not look so bad if they didn't have tall weeds in front of them. Can't the city require basic maintenance? Stanford is not being a good neighbor.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Allied arts resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 18, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Stanford and the sub-committee are not doing a very good job of managing resident concerns. Period.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I support the project "as proposed". It will be a wonderful improvement for Menlo Park including this stretch of El Camino. Mitigate traffic across the Allied Arts area, if it's necessary and let's get on with it!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fact or Fiction?
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 18, 2013 at 5:27 pm

I heard that Keith has accepted VIP treatment from Stanford since being appointed to the sub-committee. A VIP tour of Stanford Children's Hospital and treated as a VIP at Stanford's graduation. Is there any truth to this?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by let's get em
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I heard Keith was at Stanford's graduation last year when she was the mayor of Menlo Park, before being appointed to the sub-committee. I heard that Ohtaki was treated as a VIP at Stanford's graduation, after appointing Keith to the sub-committee. Is there any truth to this?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by The fix is in
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 18, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Palo Alto is on to Stanford's/Arrillaga's games and manipulation. Time for Menlo Park to put the residents first, developers second.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 18, 2013 at 9:49 pm

You are certainly right - the fix is in. There is no vision, no consensus, no transparency, little progress. I'm ashamed at the work of the sub-committee. The Mayor needs to disclose the money he takes from Stanford for his so-called 'non-profit' Keith, et al needs to disclose VIP treatment by Stanford, Country Clubs, and Developers.

It is time for Menlo Park to work for the residents of Menlo Park and not Stanford.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by joe
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2013 at 7:32 am

More retail is needed in MP. Even more residents in this structure should be preferred to medical offices.

I have Dr. Appt. in PA tomorrow and plan to drive and get in and out ASAP. Average visit is scheduled for 20 minutes. The facility has staff to direct the parking structure traffic.

MP needs to think about dollar of revenue generated per car trip.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by fewer impacts, more benefit
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 19, 2013 at 9:18 am

What benefit would this project provide? The only sales tax revenue would come from about 2% of the massive project. The housing won't help the jobs/housing imbalance from this project itself, much less for the rest of the city that has been hoping to place needed housing near transit.
Any development on this site would be better than empty unkempt buildings but the community deserves much more than that to balance out the certainty of more impacts from greatly increased traffic in an already congested area. Unlike housing and retail, the offices do little to benefit the residents or small town character of Menlo Park. Wasn't that the vision?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike Keenly
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Stanford caused the blight. They should have been a good neighbor a long time ago and at least maintained the properties in a respectable manner. A poorly conceived development merely to eliminate blight that they created is not a solution.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Say what? "A poorly conceived development merely to eliminate blight that they created..." Stanford did not create the blight. The auto dealerships moved out of MP to locations nearer the freeway because it became obvious to the dealers that they could get more customers coming thru by having easy access of the freeway rather than dealing with the traffic issues in MP cuased by this cities decades of ignoring making vehicular access easier for paying customers. Result, RWC gets the sales tax revenue. The dealerships were so convinced this was a better model for them that they moved out while still having to pay Stanford rent because the leases are still in effect. In other words, not taking down the weeds is on Anderson Cheverolet, et al. Now that those leases are expiring, Stanford has developed a plan to capitalize on the value of their land consistent with what the current market wants; not poorly conceived and not to eliminate blight, but rather than to realize a valid return on their asset.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike Keenly
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm

There's nothing preventing Stanford from maintaining the properties in reasonably good order once the tenants have moved out, regardless of whether they tenants are still paying rent or not.

Stanford has every right to capitalize on the value of the land. The City of Menlo Park and its residents also have the right to demand a high-quality development that is appropriate for the community. What Stanford has presented up to this point is not that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2013 at 9:38 am

Mike, I do not disagree with anything you said in your post. I agree that Stanford could certainly send over some landscapers to clean up the empty lots a bit, and would encourage them to do so. Regarding your comment that the City & residents have the reight to demand a high high quality development that is appropriate for the community, I also agree with you. However, my view is that because the proposed development is consistent with the DSP and is within the zoning perameters put in place as a a result of the DSP, by definition the proposed project is, indeed, just that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 20, 2013 at 10:24 am

Betty T. and Support the Project obviously do not drive on El Camino Real on a regular basis. This has the makings for a traffic nightmare! There is almost nothing in this plan for the City of Menlo Park. Please wake up, people!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by fewer impacts, more benefit
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 21, 2013 at 10:01 am

Yes, the Stanford proposal conforms with the standards in the DSP but not with the Vision that underlies the DSP. The CC in its wisdom decided to review the Plan in a year, and should do so asap now that it's more obvious that a) Stanford decided not to propose a project that is anything like the examples of uses that were discussed along the way or were illustrated in the Plan (e.g., hotel, senior housing), and b) there are some parts of the DSP that need addressed (e.g., finally deciding what constitutes public benefit and how to fund expected improvements such as bike paths, undercrossing, etc. Some of these directly relate to the Stanford site and the SP needs to be reviewed prior to conclusion of the subcommittee's work, not after.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by palo alto parent
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2013 at 10:57 am

I think that most car dealerships are actually required by the company (such as Ford or GM) to be located on a major highway for visibility/free advertising purposes.

Some of the traffic problem to me seems to be caused by the lack of lanes on El Camino when traveling thru Menlo Park. Are there any plans to widen it, that would help with traffic issues (current and future, its already hard to get from Palo Alto to Redwood City...)


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Local picks on 2015 Michelin Bib Gourmand list
By Elena Kadvany | 7 comments | 3,477 views

Ode to Brussels Sprout
By Laura Stec | 20 comments | 2,657 views

Go Giants! Next Stop: World Series!
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,981 views

Charter School Proposal Steeped In Unintended Consequences
By Erin Glanville | 46 comments | 1,978 views

Measure M-- I am not drinking Greenheartís expensive potion
By Martin Lamarque | 14 comments | 640 views