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Save Menlo? NO. Save the Menlo Park Downtown Specific Plan.

Original post made by Skip Hilton and Charles Catalano, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle, on Jul 9, 2014

The future of downtown Menlo Park is under attack by a small group who believe they know what our city needs better than the planning professionals, environmental consultants, traffic experts, Planning Commission, City Council, and many residents who worked for over six years to create the current Downtown Specific Plan.

We participated in the process that led to the existing Plan, along with 1000 other community members. It was a very inclusive, collaborative, and transparent process. We witnessed residents from all parts of our city coming together to provide input, discuss, debate, and compromise.

In any comprehensive planning effort no one constituency gets everything they want. But in the end, the group reached consensus on a Plan that balanced vibrancy with keeping our small town feel. The Planning Commission & City Council unanimously approved that Plan… and reapproved it again a year later.

But when a small group behind the Lanza/Fry initiative didn’t get their way, they secretly crafted a misguided measure - with no public meetings and no professional examination of the business, environmental, school or even traffic impacts.

The Lanza/Fry group hired signature collectors to stalk you at Trader Joes and the Farmers’ Market so they could put THEIR plan on the ballot. Their initiative unwinds 6 years of hard work and is a slap in the face to all the residents that spent countless hours providing feedback.

Let’s “save” the Downtown Specific Plan and the public process that created it and is critical for its implementation.

Skip Hilton
21 year Menlo Park resident

Charles Catalano
20 year Menlo Park resident, and former At-Large Member of the Outreach Committee for the Menlo Park DTSP

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