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March 17, 2004

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Publication Date: Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Looking for facts from petition-signers Looking for facts from petition-signers (March 17, 2004)

By Mickie Winkler

I would like to respond to the Almanac's editorial of March 10. It is correct in asserting that I want to ascertain whether the opposition to Residential Zoning Ordinance 926 is "based on fact" or "misinformation." It is incorrect to characterize this as a defensive position. The endeavor is both reasonable and elemental.

I would like to know whether the citizens who signed the petition circulated by the self-named group "Citizens for Sensible Neighborhood Development" actually believed this group's literature?

Did the signers believe numerous misrepresentations such as, "Developers are poised to move in and build big unrestricted homes," or that this ordinance will spur "speculative development," or that the ordinance is a "radical departure from the Citizen Task Force results," or that it is a "numerical-rules-only" ordinance?

Did the petition signers believe that the diagrams in the literature were factual when in fact they were all wrong? Certainly the citizens who came to the City Council and said, "I want my signature back" felt that they had been mislead.

I would, further, like to know whether the citizens signed the petition as a way of learning more about it. Or if they felt that it was appropriate to put the ordinance to a vote.

Finally, I would like to know whether the citizens who signed the petition were well informed and truly wanted the ordinance rescinded or changed.

These are the questions I will try and resolve for myself in the weeks ahead. Readers: please contact me and let me know which of the three groups describe how you feel. Please contact me if you would like to actually review Ordinance 926 or compare it to the Residential Zoning Ordinance we now have.

Thank you. That invitation is real.

Mickie Winkler is mayor pro tem of Menlo Park and can be reached at

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