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Council Subcommittee Violates Process

Original post made by disappointed resident, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park, on Aug 6, 2013

The Council Subcommittee of Kirsten Keith and Catherine Carlton have violated their own process rules for facilitating discussions between designated neighborhood representatives and Stanford. Having held only 2 meetings with neighbors since the subcommittee's formation in April (the 2nd meeting was in late June), the subcommittee has declared success in causing Stanford to modify its proposed project. They did this without any meetings between Stanford and the neighborhood representatives, and did not even provide the courtesy of informing the residents before making the information public. If they had done so, they would have been reminded that serious traffic congestion and neighborhood cut-through concerns persist.

It remains to be seen if the subcommittee will honor the hundreds of concerned constituents who expect evidence that their safety and quality of life concerns are being addressed. It's just that much more difficult to imagine when the subcommittee members ignore the letter and spirit of their own process rules.

Comments (7)

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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm

What else is new? This is Menlo Park, after all.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 6, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The subcommittee held meetings and clearly succeeded in getting Stanford to make a major change in its proposal. The purpose of the subcommittee was not to hold an endless series of meetings but to facilitate a better outcome - and it achieved that objective.

Too bad that the small number of people who want to only protect their own narrow self interests were not permitted to drag this on forever.

It is time to move on.

Like this comment
Posted by disappointed resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 7, 2013 at 8:51 am

Excuse me, but the Council subcommittee's work isn't done yet. The traffic impact analysis hasn't been completed.

Believe me, traffic impacts will affect all of us. We should be thankful a small group has tackled this on their and our behalf. The intersections of El Camino and Middle and El Camino and Ravenswood are horrendous already. Imagine thousands more trips every day from the Stanford project.

The subcommittee should complete its work, and part of that is to live up to the charter they themselves established. This time, they should work more closely with the neighborhood representatives.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 7, 2013 at 9:06 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The traffic impact analysis hasn't been completed."

Here are facts from the subcommittee's June report:

"May 22, 2013
The Subcommittee met with staff and neighborhood representatives (Stefan Petry,
George Fisher and Kevin Vincent-Sheehan) to review the relevant traffic analysis to
date and discuss the proposed scope of a traffic analysis. It was determined that
additional current traffic count information was required for the residential streets
bounded by Middle Avenue, University Drive, Creek Drive, and El Camino Real. It was
agreed upon that the traffic counts should be taken before the end of the school year in
order to capture the most accurate average traffic counts possible. The Subcommittee
directed staff to conduct traffic counts prior to the close of school.
June 5, 2013
The Subcommittee met with staff to review progress on traffic count data collection and
develop a timeline for additional meetings and stakeholders who should be invited to
meet with the Subcommittee. In accordance with the Subcommittee’s direction, traffic
count data was being collected prior to the end of the school year."

Like this comment
Posted by disappointed resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm

I stand by my statement. The traffic analysis has not been completed on the traffic counts that were being done or on other pertinent data.
At the time of the above report, there had been a single meeting. One additional one with neighborhood representatives was held in late June.

Like this comment
Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2013 at 3:25 pm

What violation of process rules? The charter for the subcommittee, as stated in the motion to form it and passed by the City Council on April 16th, is:
• Provide a framework for discussing issues related to the Project
• Facilitate conversations between neighborhood reps and applicant that
"BALANCE" the needs of Stanford and the "greater Menlo Park community
(please note it did not say, "SaveMenlo").
• Establish a tinmeline for review of the DSP

It appears to me that they have fulfilled their charter. Their charter was not to represent only SaveMenlo, nor was it to maximize that organizations goals, it was to balance the needs of both the applicant, who has rights, and the community. With the reported concessions made by the applicant, in my view, Koirsten and Cat have done an excellent job.

Like this comment
Posted by disappointed resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm

3 neighborhood representatives were named. Not all 3 live in Allied Arts. at least 2 are part of SaveMenlo.
There have been no conversations between those representatives and the applicant, much less any facilitated ones.
If the traffic impacts haven't been analyzed, the subcommittee has not done its job. The impacts were the primary concern expressed by residents.

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