Town Square: More fallout from downtown planVisit AlmanacNews.com/square to join the conversation on Town Square, the Almanac's online forum.
Here are some recent posts on Town Square.
Posted by Morris Brown, a resident of Menlo Park.
A recent Wall Street Journal article explains exactly what is happening in Menlo Park. Our City Council, rather than pursuing goals such as maintaining our quality of life, is marching in lockstep to the demands of ABAG, the Association of Bay Area Governments. In the article, Mayor Kirsten Keith is quoted as saying "people are tired of vacant lots on El Camino." Ignoring the obvious, that with the exception of 1300 El Camino, Stanford is in control of those vacant lots and hasn't cared to develop them. 1300 El Camino has been an approved project for sometime, but the developer apparently has financial problems and has not chosen to go ahead. Then we have a finished project at 1906 El Camino, but the building has been empty for some years now. 1706 El Camino, promoted by the same developer, went bust and was just purchased from the bank by another developer. In my view, the Downtown/ El Camino Real specific plan is a disaster. The real stakeholders, the downtown merchants and property owners to a large extent don't want it. Yet the city has spent about five years and $1.5 million pushing ahead with the plan, which is now completely staff driven. We hear statements from council members saying the public is just getting in the way; lets just push it all through regardless. We should push back strongly against ABAG and their outrageous demands and timetable.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton.
In the past ABAG has done many useful things but the low hanging fruit of regional cooperation has been picked and what is left will not be easily or cheaply reached. Therefore, I believe that ABAG has become an expensive and ineffective bureaucracy that can no longer justify its existence. Atherton was the last community to join ABAG and perhaps will be the first to leave.
Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park.
All ABAG will do is create the Manhattanization of Menlo Park. With higher housing densities you get: increased traffic pollution, increased noise pollution, increased air pollution, higher carbon footprint, infrastructure strains (fire dept., water, electricity, schools), higher crime, loss in home value and overall deterioration in the quality of life. Anyone who cares about the quality of life in Menlo Park should reject the politburo thinking of ABAG and have the spine to push back. ABAG is destroying our community.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park.
Menlo Park needs to get out of ABAG. We have enough problems from excess density in a city that was not designed for it. Increased density, which is what ABAG wants, will only destroy what is left of the quality of life Menlo Park has to offer.
Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park.
Just how many more people are we supposed to add to Menlo Park? People already complain about lack of parking downtown, overcrowded schools, traffic congestion, and so on. Our tax burden is already too high; all levels of government want to increase them again; adding more people would only exacerbate the situation. Enough is enough.