News

Menlo Park: Initiative ballot arguments released

The arguments that have been filling the air at city meetings for months are now officially on the Nov. 4 ballot. Those for and against "Measure M," an initiative to change Menlo Park's downtown/El Camino Real specific plan, have submitted the primary arguments in support of their positions.

The argument in favor of the initiative, which was put forward by the group Save Menlo, is signed by former council members Steve Schmidt and Heyward Robinson; Planning Commissioner Vince Bressler and former commissioner Patti Fry; and Clark Kepler, former owner of Kepler's Books and president of the Hometown Peninsula Independent Business Alliance.

"A YES vote on Measure M leads to a balanced mix of shops, services, restaurants, residences, offices, and open space. A NO vote leads to mega-office buildings in the heart of downtown, heavier rush-hour traffic, and more commuters cutting through our neighborhoods," the pro-initiative argument claims.

Weighing in against the initiative are Mayor Ray Mueller, Planning Commissioner Ben Eiref, Transportation Commissioner Bianca Walser, Chamber of Commerce CEO Fran Dehn, and Menlo Park City School District board member Maria Hilton.

"We strongly urge No on Measure M. Measure M creates negative impacts to Menlo Park's Downtown revitalization, handcuffs the City with unworkable, inflexible rules for 30 years and damages the city, schools', and fire district finances. Additional negative, unintended consequences also happen," claims the argument against the initiative.

Measure M would restrict the amount of office space in any individual development within the specific plan area to 100,000 square feet; limit total new office space to 240,820 square feet; and cap overall new, non-residential development to 474,000 square feet.

It would also redefine open space to mean only areas no higher than 4 feet off the ground, thereby preventing balconies and rooftop areas from counting as open space.

If passed, the measure would require a city-wide vote to make changes to its regulations as well as to approve projects that would exceed the non-residential development caps.

The complete text of Measure M, as well as the ballot arguments and other related documents, are available on the city's website.

Rebuttals to the primary arguments must be turned in to the city clerk's office by noon on Aug. 25.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by YesOnM
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 18, 2014 at 1:14 pm

The initiative mainly affects the two gigantic developments planned for our downtown; what it essentially does is to scale back their 200,000 sq ft office complexes, to a still generous 100,000 sq ft. each.
This will encourage these developers to provide more retail--which we need--and more housing, which we need.
In spite of the fear-mongering from the opposition, that's what Measure M would do.
And all initiatives, once passed by voters, can only be changed by the voters.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Juliette
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 18, 2014 at 1:31 pm

So, Stanford and Greenheart are limited to 100,00 square feet of office each? That sounds big enough. Why would the city council want office buildings along el camino real that are bigger than that? I guess I understand the two property owners wanting huge office buildings because they will make a lot of money but why would our city council want to help them make money? This is an interesting problem that voters can now solve. I like it. Why let five council members make bad decisions when we are the ones who pay these hefty property taxes. Thanks to the people who got this measure going.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by conscience
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

The initiative will allow Stanford to put 100,000 sq feet of office development on EACH parcel they own. And the initiative does eliminate the amount of medical offices that can be in those offices (medical offices are a VERY large generator of traffic...nearly as much as retail. And by the way, nothing in the initiative says that the two large proposed developments can't have big box retail. They will be able to do it by right. And the amount of housing is also limited by the initiative (i.e., the initiative doesn't raise the cap).

Office space generate people to frequent our downtown and support our local merchants.

And if you think your property taxes are going to go down with this initiative, where in the world did you get that idea?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Clearly the above posters do not understand the Lanza/Fry Measure M initiative.

Measure M will positively encourage Greenheart and Stanford to develop 8-10 individual projects instead of two carefully coordinated and integrated projects. EACH of those 8-10 projects could have 99,999 sq ft of office space including 30,000 sq ft each of medical office space. Each of the 8-10 projects would require its own access to ECR or OakGrove. None of these 8-10 projects would have any open space above ground level so they would be unattractive slab faced buildings. None of these 8-10 projects would be required to provide any public benefit - no plazas, no pedestrian tunnel, etc..

Alternatively, Stanford or Greenheart could build a huge big box store, unconstrained by the 100,000 sq ft Measure M office limit, that would generate 3-4 times the traffic of the current proposals.

Under Measure M Stanford and Greenheart could also build over 600 new 2,3 and 4 bedroom residences that would create enormous peak hour traffic and create a huge new demand on our schools.

And iff you bother to talk to our current merchants they will make clear that what they need is more customers rather than more competition.

And the definitions that Measure M carves into law that could only be changed by a city wide vote will have huge negative impacts on small business and small property owners. Measure M is full of unanticipated consequences and many of those are cleverly hidden.

Measure M is a Mistake and would gravely harm Menlo Park.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 18, 2014 at 2:25 pm

The initiative doesn't limit medical at all.

It was horribly drafted, which isn't surprising as it never went through a public review process.

There is so much false information out there from the paid signature gatherers, it's really sad.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 18, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Truth:

this misinformation isn't just from the paid signature gatherers. Much of it has come from Lanza and Fry themselves.

Measure M is a no growth initiative that will have the unintended consequence of allowing terrible, ugly growth with no public benefit.

It also has stopped plans for a new fire station downtown and will create problems for anyone wanting to redevelop their property within the DSP. this includes many small property owners.


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Posted by Steve Schmidt
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 18, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Peter, you seem to know less about the Specific Plan than even the council knows. The Stanford parcels were merged for reasons that suited the university. Stanford needed one large parcel so that very large buildings could be built and so that the requirement for retail would only apply to one parcel (10,000 SF is the minimum for one parcel and that is all Stanford is building.) Stanford now has one parcel.

As I recall there were 5 parcels so, your math and logic makes little sense.

A big box store would presumably be retail and sales tax would be generated. Are you thinking R.E.I. or The Container Store? Underground parking? Not a bad alternative.

Small property owners will be hurt by the Specific Plan that allows Stanford and Greenheart to use up most of the office use studied in the E.I.R., leaving approximately 40,000 SF for the entire remaining property owners in the Specific Plan Area.

I realize you believe that if you repeat misinformation enough times, it might look like fact but, it's beneath you to continue beating this poor dead horse.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The Stanford parcels were merged for reasons that suited the university.""Stanford now has one parcel. "

The parcel merge is part of Stanford's current proposal and has not yet been implemented. If Measure M passes Stanford has told the City in it July 14, 2014 letter that the current project could not be approved and Stanford would be forced to reconsider its options.

Web Link

Of course if Schmidt has documented evidence to the contrary then please post that evidence.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Measure M proponents seem to want to alter history -"Stanford now has one parcel. "

Here are the FACTS from the April 16, 2013 Staff Report:

"Staff recommends that the City Council consider a proposal from Stanford University to redevelop the SIX properties currently addressed 300-550 El Camino Real, which is an 8.43-acre site that is part of the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan area. The existing buildings (current and former auto dealerships) and site features would be replaced with a new mixed-use development consisting of offices, housing, and retail. In particular, the Council should consider options for the project review process."



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here are some more facts:
"Right now, the 500 El Camino Real project site consists of the following six parcels, which total 8.43 acres in size:

· 300 El Camino Real (APN: 071-440-060)
· 350 El Camino Real (APN: 071-440-050)
· 444 El Camino Real (APN: 071-440-030)
· 550 El Camino Real (APN: 071-440-040)
· Unaddressed (APN: 071-440-120)
· Unaddressed (APN: 071-440-130)
·
If the project moves forward, a lot merger would need to be approved (in order for the subterranean garage to be constructed- that can't cross property lines). However, right now they're all still separate parcels, like they've been for decades."

Note that the Measure M supporters, even those who KNOW better, continue to lie about the facts by stating "The Stanford parcels were merged for reasons that suited the university.""Stanford now has one parcel. "

The Measure M supporters have chosen ignorance and deception as their allies.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by wow
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 18, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Wow, Steve Schmidt did not know the Stanford parcels have not yet been merged.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by fact checker
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 18, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Stanford hasn't merged their parcels yet.

If they don't, they would be required to put more retail near Middle. Merging parcels allowed them to put only 10,000 SF of retail rather than 20,000 SF.

They CANNOT build as much as "doom and gloom" Peter Carpenter claims, under the Specific Plan or with the new measure M. There is a Maximum Buildout of 474,000 SF of non-residential.

The Specific Plan requires 30% open space. Sorry, there WILL be open space.

A big box store would trigger a traffic study, regardless of where it is located, probably a full EIR.

Stanford could build a hotel and senior housing, which was what we expected anyway.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The sad thing is that there is every reason to believe that Schmidt KNOWS that the Stanford parcels have not been merged. However admitting that would undermine his claims that Measure M would not encourage Stanford to develop multiple, unrelated projects on these separate parcels. The Measure M supporters have chosen ignorance and deception as their allies.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Stanford hasn't merged their parcels yet.

If they don't, they would be required to put more retail near Middle."

See Fig E-9. page E-64 of the Specific Plan:
ONLY the one parcel at Middle Avenue (east of El Camino Real) would be required to have a minimum 10,000 sf of retail/restaurant space. There would be ZERO retail requirements for the other Stanford parcels.

Why do the Measure M supporters Iive in a fact free zone????


 +   Like this comment
Posted by fact checker
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 18, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Specific Plan page E11 "As part of any new development in this area, the Specific Plan requires a minimum of 10,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space, whether standalone or contained within Mixed Use buildings, in order to create a critical mass of retail activity."
There are two Stanford parcels near Middle. How literal the city interprets this is a guess.

Peter Carpenter [portion removed] isn't responding to facts presented about them. [portion removed.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Peter Carpenter is lying about other things"

Facts please - show just one example.

"There are two Stanford parcels near Middle."

There is only one Stanford parcel at the terminus of Middle Ave:

Web Link

FACTS please. Why do the Measure M people refuse to do their homework?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by not too late
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 18, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Now that Steve Schmidt understands Measure M will generate much more traffic, I hope he will do the right thing and oppose Measure M. I'd much rather have the current Stanford project with a bike tunnel, than a monolithic medical office park.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 18, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Steve:

that would be 40,000 sf of ADDED square footage. Just as the 400k sf for the greenheart and Stanford projects only result in around 200k ADDED sf. [portion removed. state your differences without attacks.] eh? Most of the smaller properties in MP don't have room for added square footage or minimal room, but you really know that don't you? [portion removed. Please come back when you have something factual to add to the discussion. [portion removed.] Thanks.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve Schmidt
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 18, 2014 at 7:32 pm

There are five parcels. If Stanford wants to jack-knife and stop the parcel merging process, the maximum office that can be built on its five parcels is as follows:

24,502.5 SF building on .90 acres
108,900 SF building on 3.988 acres
48,270 SF building on 1,773 acres
45,112 SF building on 1.657 acres
44,431 SF building 1.632 acres

For a total of office at 272,215 SF. Five buildings at these SF amounts is probably better suited to the El Camino Real site. These buildings could be lower, less bulky and less imposing than the last proposal from Stanford.

The interesting interpretation of Carpenter's math is that if Stanford were to build 272, 215 SF of office on all five parcels, the amount of office studied in the Specific Plan E.I.R., 240,000 SF, will be exceeded. In fact, if Measure M doesn't pass, all the property owners in the Plan area who want to build office will incur the cost of new environmental analysis because Stanford and Greenheart are using up all of the office studied in the Plan E.I.R.

We have a choice between the City sponsoring a future ballot measure increasing the office caps or the small developers endlessly paying for more environmental analysis. With this scenario, Menlo Park residents will never know what might be next. I prefer letting the voters decide. It is our little City.

Carpenter is not correct is his frightening projection that Stanford could build between 800,000 to 1 Million sq ft on its land. Maybe, his motivation is to create as much confusion as possible so that voters will give up. I think Menlo Park residents are smarter than Mr. Carpenter thinks.

All this is speculative as Stanford doesn't share its ideas or plans. If in April of 2012, Stanford wanted to merge its parcels, it seems that the process to do so must have begun by now.

Let's not forget Stanford reneged on the 2000 General Use Permit with Santa Clara County. Maybe MP Staff is on the inside track with Stanford as they were during the Specific Plan process and can elaborate..


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2014 at 7:37 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The truth comes out.
First Schmidt stated:
Posted by Steve Schmidt, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
4 hours ago
Peter, you seem to know less about the Specific Plan than even the council knows. The Stanford parcels were merged for reasons that suited the university. Stanford needed one large parcel so that very large buildings could be built and so that the requirement for retail would only apply to one parcel (10,000 SF is the minimum for one parcel and that is all Stanford is building.) Stanford now has one parcel.

He was then challenged with the facts:
"Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
3 hours ago
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
Here are some more facts:
"Right now, the 500 El Camino Real project site consists of the following six parcels, which total 8.43 acres in size:

· 300 El Camino Real (APN: 071-440-060)
· 350 El Camino Real (APN: 071-440-050)
· 444 El Camino Real (APN: 071-440-030)
· 550 El Camino Real (APN: 071-440-040)
· Unaddressed (APN: 071-440-120)
· Unaddressed (APN: 071-440-130)"

Now he admits that he was wrong:
"Posted by Steve Schmidt, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
1 minutes ago
There are five parcels"

The TRUTH will defeat Measure M.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Schmidt states - " If in April of 2012, Stanford wanted to merge its parcels, it seems that the process to do so must have begun by now. "

If, If, If.

"All this is speculative as Stanford doesn't share its ideas or plans."

How can Schmidt be so unaware of the facts and of what has already been posted?
What does he not understand about Stanford's 14 Jul 2014 letter?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Schmidt claims that the Specific Plan would only allow a "108,900 SF building on 3.988 acres"

Let's do our homework ( the Measure M folks seem to have a problem with simple things like the facts and math):

The Specific Plan FAR for the Stanford properties WITHOUT any public bonus is 1.25
see Table E 9 page E 64

3.998 acres = 173,717 sq ft

173,717 x 1.25 = 217,214 sq ft of which 50 % could be offices AND the rest up to 159 three and four bedroom residences - now that would be a huge load on peak hour traffic and an even bigger burden on our schools


Reading comprehension problems, poor math or simple deception - you decide.

The more the Measure M supporters speak out the clearer it becomes that they do not understand the Specific Plan, they do not understand Measure M and its impact and they do do not understand the truth.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Clarification, Please
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Is there a table that compares the features of Measure M and the Specific Plan? Based on the above, it sounds like there is some debate about the various numbers.

However you can footnote with the facts supporting each element, quoting from the relevant section within the Measure or Plan.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here are some good comparative sources:

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Save Menlo eschews any comparative analysis since it finds facts difficult to defend.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by YesOnM
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 18, 2014 at 9:06 pm

To quote Peter,

"Measure M will positively encourage Greenheart and Stanford to develop 8-10 individual projects instead of two carefully coordinated and integrated projects. EACH of those 8-10 projects could have 99,999 sq ft of office space including 30,000 sq ft each of medical office space."

Peter, are you trying to scare people into believing we'd end up with 999,999 sq ft of office if Measure M passes, or do you really not understand the initiative?

The initiative caps office square footage in the downtown at 240,820 sq ft.
So how do you come up with 999,999 square feet?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.


"Measure M will positively encourage Greenheart and Stanford to develop 8-10 individual projects instead of two carefully coordinated and integrated projects. EACH of those 8-10 projects could have 99,999 sq ft of office space including 30,000 sq ft each of medical office space."

a more precise statement on my part would have been:
"Measure M will positively encourage Greenheart and Stanford to develop 8-10 individual projects instead of two carefully coordinated and integrated projects. EACH of those 8-10 projects could have UP TO 99,999 sq ft of office space including 30,000 sq ft each of medical office space."

The cap on each parcel would be based on the size of each parcel and the Specific Plan FAR for each parcel.
"The Specific Plan divides the maximum allowable development between residential and non-residential uses as follows:

Residential uses: maximum of 680 units
Non-residential uses, including retail, office, and hotel: maximum of 474,000 square feet
The proposed measure's cap on total square feet of non-residential uses (474,000 square feet) already exists in the Specific Plan."

Measure M has ONLY a 100,000 office limit.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Poster
a resident of another community
on Aug 19, 2014 at 7:45 am

Peter: Are you saying that the initiative does NOT have a cap on total new office space in the specific plan area of 240,820 square feet?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 19, 2014 at 7:55 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Schmidt states "For a total of office at 272,215 SF. Five buildings at these SF amounts is probably better suited to the El Camino Real site. These buildings could be lower, less bulky and less imposing than the last proposal from Stanford. "

What is missing from Schmidt's statement is the fact that if (because of the Measure M per project limit of 100,000 sq ft of offices) Stanford built those FIVE separate projects with a combined total of 272,215 sq ft of offices then Stanford would ALSO be able to build ON THESE SAME PARCELS over 330 two, three or four bedroom residences.

The peak hour traffic impact would be huge.

The impact on our school would be almost unimaginable.

And because of Measure M's crazy definition of open space there would be no balconies or roof gardens and the result would be ugly slab sides buildings that would be FAR more imposing than the last proposal from Stanford.

The Measure M supporters simply do not understand their own initiative and its unintended (?) consequences.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dagwood
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 19, 2014 at 8:13 am

Having nothing to do with the initiative content , this debate shows that the two 'opportunity sites' should have been addressed separately in the Specific Plan. Combining rules for all the smaller parcels plus applying to two potentially much larger ones, raising very different issues of scale, design,use mixture and benefits was very poor guidance from the Plan consultants. We are all suffering from and paying for that misdirection today.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Dagwood states - " this debate shows that the two 'opportunity sites' should have been addressed separately in the Specific Plan. "

Guess what Dagwood - these two opportunity sites WERE addresses separately.
They are ECR SE(Stanford) and ECR-NE-R ( mostly Greenheart).

It is useful to actual read the Specific Plan, or at least look at the pictures, before commenting on what it did or did not do.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 19, 2014 at 8:32 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Dagwood states - "Combining rules for all the smaller parcels plus applying to two potentially much larger ones, raising very different issues of scale, design,use mixture and benefits was very poor guidance from the Plan consultants."

WRONG - that is NOT what the Specific Plan does regarding these two opportunity sites.

Hint - Look at Figures E-2, Figure E-3, Figure E-7, Table E3, Table E4, Table E8 and Table E9 to see just how carefully the Stanford and Greenheart sites were treated differently and more carefully than other zones in the Specific Plan


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Who is in Charge Here
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 9:48 am

The real issue is that all of these developers (large and small) will not be able to negotiate a definitive solution to their development issues. they will be REQUIRED to go to the VOTERS for EVERY variance to the Measures draconian regulations.

The chance for public good (bike tunnels, "real" green open space, etc) are removed from the equation since the council which could hold up a permit is out of the loop. Who are they supposed to negotiate with? So their incentive becomes to maximize their results staying within the Measures boundries. No matter HOW ugly (think no balconies or set backs), no matter how financially harmful to Menlo park (think more large housing which harms our school district), no matter how much MORE traffic it will create (think medical offices MAXIMIZED).

There have been VERY few times our council has been unanimous in it OPPOSITION to something, and Measure M has brought them together in their opposition to this HARMFUL measure.

While the citizens will ultimately decide their own fate, it is appalling that the Lanza/Fry people have been so ignorant of the consequences of their ill thought out initiative. With the collection of Stanford PhD's on their side you'd think they would have done more research before doing this.......

This is BAD for our city, and will have LONG TERM consequences beyond the two el camino projects. Every building within the downtown area will now need to find open space to add more footage. they are currently built diewall to sidewall and to the sidewalk, where is there additional space? That is why Balconies were included. So that means our downtown buildings will NOT be rebuilt, modernized, have housing added above them. Our downtown will remain the sorry excuse it is (compared to Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Carlos, etc.) I know that's what Lanza/Fry and the anti development people they represent want. Is that what the rest of us want? is that what is best for Menlo Park?


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Posted by open space
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 19, 2014 at 10:23 am

For the past decade, there has been nothing but open space at the old Derry site.Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 19, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Interesting to see everyone attacking each other and putting out misinformation on the plan. Pretty much what I expected in this forum. Bottom line is that the voters will decide and we will have to live with it unless people like Peter or Menlo Voter or Stanford decide that don't like what the people have to say and take it to court. Pretty much what I expect them to do.

Interestingly I have been seeing a lot of yard signs around Menlo in favor of the initiative and I have yet to see a sign opposing the initiative or supporting Stanford or any other developer. Shall we take the signs as a sign of what is to come?

And Peter who keeps going out with the facts really has never clarified how the initiative is to blame for the Downtown menlo Fire Station not getting built after it was delayed for 7 years. I am sure he wants to sweep that under the rug but blaming the failures of the Fire Board and the city for 7 years on an initiative that has not even been around for 7 months is pretty much the definition of misinformation.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 19, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - you are welcome, indeed encouraged, to post facts in support of Measure M. Hopefully you will be more successful than Schmidt was with his certainty that Stanford had merged their six parcels when, in fact, that has not happened.

It IS important that the voters be well informed and yard signs communicate ZERO information.

Re the impact of the initiative on a new fire station for the downtown - there is no doubt that the uncertainty created by the initiative was the straw the broke the camel's back regarding the current two parcels which are split with one inside the Specific Plan area and the other outside the SP area. Measure M supporters proposed asking the City Council to put a companion referendum on the Nov ballot which would have resolved this issue but sadly they never made such a proposal to the council.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 19, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Brian:

I certainly would not take it to court. As I've repeatedly said I have no dog in this fight other than the fact I live in Menlo Park and I don't want to see it harmed by this poorly worded and poorly thought out initiative.

Stanford could sue OR they could do as Peter has suggested and build multiple ugly buildings with no public benefit and horrendous effects to traffic and our schools. Funny thing is that the Lanza/Fry folks don't even understand that is what could happen should their initiative pass. The traffic study that was done at their demand confirmed the revised Stanford plan would generate LESS traffic than what the DSP would allow for. Max build out of the properties under the initiative will create medical offices (deleted under the revised Stanford plan) which are a huge traffic generator.

Actually, Peter has explained how the fire station was delayed by the initiative. It was first delayed by the poor economy and then when it was taken up again due to an improving economy it was delayed by the initiative because the city refuses to calendar it for a hearing until the initiative is voted on. No mystery here and no lack of explanation.


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Posted by Mike Keenly
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Brian, I agree with you that ultimately it is MP voters who will decide this issue. The opinions of a few posters on the Almanac website, whether for or against the Initiative, will have little to no impact on the results in November. Most voters will likely decide for themselves and vote accordingly.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 19, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Mike:

of course the voters will decide for themselves. It would be nice if they had facts upon which to make an informed decision as opposed to what the Lanza/Fry group are putting out there.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Let's just face it, the blaming the initiative for the failues of the Fire board and the city is a complete red herring and just another attempt by people opposed to the initiative to make it look bad, misinformation plain and simple. There were ways of working around the initiavie if the fire board or the ciry had wanted to proceed. Putting a companion referendum on the Nov ballot was one of them, but Peter and a couple others on the board decided to kill it, blame the initiave and walk away from a problem of their own creating. I guess they were trying to kill wto birds with one stone, walk away from their own failings to get the station built and blame the initiative at the same time.

Menlo vote, Peter has never explained how the imitiative, which has been in existance for all of about 6 months, caused the over 7 year delay in building a new fire station in downtown Menlo Park. If you think he has share the link.

Mike, I agree nothing said here is going to make a difference in the vote, it is just a bunch of cranky hot heads arguing over trivial issues (I include myself in that). I am going to vote for the initiative and we will see what happens. Maybe it passes, maybe it doesn't. I don't plan to sue if it passes, I will just live with the horrible consequences and the worse traffic it will bring.


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Posted by misinformed
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm

The people that have been putting up these yellow lawn signs were obviously mislead by the Lanza/Fry people, promising less traffic. There people may be angry when they realize "Yes on M" could equal more traffic, with ALL medical from the current NO medical.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 19, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Brian:

Peter has explained it in another thread. I will have to research to find it.

The Lanza/Fry folks were going to place the companion referendum on the ballot, but never bothered to. The fire board didn't kill it.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 19, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 7, 2014 at 2:37 pm
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
The Staff Reports correctly states why the Fire Board decided to look for alternative sites to continue to fulfill its responsibility to serve the downtown area:

"In the event that the City makes the determination that the Initiative applies to the Station 6 Project, the District would either have to contest that determination in court or obtain voter approval for the Station 6 Project. This would delay the Project by at least six months to a year and cost the District approximately $95,000 in election costs."

Here is exactly what the Fire Board decided regarding Station 6:

"Upon motion by Director Carpenter, seconded by Director Silano, the Board hereby determines that since the City of Menlo Park is unwilling to proceed expeditiously regarding Station 6 that no additional expenditures will be made to rebuild Station 6 at its current location and the District will consider alternate locations. (Vote: 3-0-1; Abstain: Kiraly; Absent: Bernstein)"

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 11, 2014 at 4:07 pm
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
As a comparison go look at the new Station 2 being built on University Ave in East Palo Alto.
The planning for the East Palo Alto station and its 100 ft antenna started at the same time as the planning for the Menlo Park Station 6 replacement. The 100 ft antenna, which allows the Fire District to have line of sight communications with most of the bay area, was completed a year ago - and would never have been allowed in Menlo Park. And the East Palo Alto station will be completed by the end of this year.

In the meantime the Fire District is still looking for an acceptable site in Menlo Park that the city is willing to approve.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 19, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Brian:

from this thread: Web Link

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 4, 2014 at 9:06 am
Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Peter:

after reading the staff report I gather the following time line. In 2008 the district started working on the redevelopment of Station 6. Sometime after that action stopped on the redevelopment due to the economic downturn. Last year actions were restarted for the redevelopment. Part of this process involves hearings by the city, but the city will not calendar those hearings due to the pending savemenlo initiative. Is this right?

If it is, it sounds like the "perfect storm." the economy slowed or stopped the process and then savemenlo came along and put a stop to it until the initiative gets voted on. If the initiative passes it will require an election which will cost the district $95,000 to put the combination of the two parcels and no one of that can happen until 2015.

So thanks to the economy no progress was made for four or five years. Progress was being made over the last year, but now thanks to savemenlo and the city no further progress can be made for another year at least.

Does the above accurately sum things up?



Report Objectionable Content



Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 4, 2014 at 9:18 am
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Yes.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 19, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Menlo Voter,

I said a link to show how the initiative caused the Downtown fire station to not be built. What you posted proves my point. You can't blame the initiative. The station was delayed over 7 years, the initiative has been around for a few months. Please explain that (yes, those are facts). As it says the city was willing to move and the fire board did not press for any actions for 7+ years.

From what I have read the station has had full funding for many years so how did the economic down turn have any affect? It was delayed by the Fire board and the city, two entities that also want to kill the initiative so it make it easy for them to try to place the blame there and not where it rightly belongs.

Putting a companion item on the ballot would not cost an additional $95,000 please explain the reasoning and where that number comes from.

Misinformed, you keep kidding yourself that everyone in Menlo Park with a lawn sign is misinformed about the initiative.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 19, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - As noted the Measure M supporters proposed asking the City Council to put a companion referendum on the Nov ballot which would have resolved this issue but sadly they never made such a proposal to the council.

And as noted the Staff Reports correctly states why the Fire Board decided to look for alternative sites to continue to fulfill its responsibility to serve the downtown area:

"In the event that the City makes the determination that the Initiative applies to the Station 6 Project, the District would either have to contest that determination in court or obtain voter approval for the Station 6 Project. This would delay the Project by at least six months to a year and cost the District approximately $95,000 in election costs."

You can also view the discussion that took place at the Fire Board meeting if you don't believe someone who was actually there.

Clearer now?


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 19, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Brian:

what part of the process of getting station approval was restarted and then savemenlo came along and stopped it doesn't make sense to you? The process was stopped, yes by the board, but it had been restarted and then savemenlo screwed it up. So, AT THIS POINT IN TIME the initiative is stopping the process, not the board.

I don't believe the $95k is for putting a companion referendum on the ballot. As I understand it, it would cost $95k for the required vote that would be necessary to approve the parcel merger IF measure M passes.


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Posted by fact checker
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Peter - you asked about facts. As stated previously,
"They CANNOT build as much as "doom and gloom" Peter Carpenter claims, under the Specific Plan or with the new measure M. There is a Maximum Buildout of 474,000 SF of non-residential.

The Specific Plan requires 30% open space. Sorry, there WILL be open space.

A big box store would trigger a traffic study, regardless of where it is located, probably a full EIR.

Stanford could build a hotel and senior housing, which was what we expected anyway."


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 19, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"There is a Maximum Buildout of 474,000 SF of non-residential. " Correct but Measure M further limits that buildout:
"The foregoing passage of the Specific Plan is hereby amended,
restated and adopted by the voters to instead read as follows:
"The Specific Plan establishes the maximum allowable net
new development as follows:
• Residential uses: 680 units; and
• Non-residential uses, including retail, office and
hotel: 474,000 Square Feet, with uses qualifying as
Office Space under Section 3.3, above, constituting
no more than 240,820 Square Feet."

And, as pointed out in the Wise Report, Measure M's definitions greatly complicate the term "Office Space".

"A big box store would trigger a traffic study, regardless of where it is located, probably a full EIR." So what? Then a traffic study would be done but that would not preclude the big box store from being built under Measure M.

And Schmidt, an expert on traffic, has already stated:
"A big box store would presumably be retail and sales tax would be generated. Are you thinking R.E.I. or The Container Store? Underground parking? Not a bad alternative."

"Stanford could build a hotel and senior housing, which was what we expected anyway."
If Measure M passes Stanford would have no incentive to build either a hotel or senior housing AND the Council would have no ability to offer them any incentives.

Measure M would be a huge Mistake for Menlo Park.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 19, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Brian is a registered user.

"As noted the Measure M supporters proposed asking the City Council to put a companion referendum on the Nov ballot which would have resolved this issue but sadly they never made such a proposal to the council."

So if the board wanted to build the station why didn't the board or the city put a companion referendum on the ballot. Are you trying to say that only supporters of Measuer M have the ability to add things to the ballot?

Menlo, no it is not clear. No one has adequitly explained, nor will anyone be able to, how a 7 year failure on the part of the board and the city can be blamed on an initiative that has been around for months. OK, the board wanted to "restart the process" why did it need restarting. I guess building the fire station downtown was not important enough that they got it through the process within 7 years. I know the city can be a pain to deal with, I remodeled my house and it took months to get that approved by the city, I would think a fire station, that the city wanted woould be able to get approval in less than a year at the most. It seems to have in East Palo Alto...


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

If the Fire Board wished to put something on the Ballot they would have had to gather the same 10% of eligible voters signatures as Save Menlo did.

And there is lies the problem, EVERY change going forward will require a vote by menlo park. Effectively a "ballot" measure for every variance. talk about a bad way to run the planning department.

Roy Thiele-Sardina


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 19, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian states -"No one has adequitly explained, nor will anyone be able to, "

Given a closed mind no one should bother to try.

"So if the board wanted to build the station why didn't the board or the city put a companion referendum on the ballot"

I learned at an early age that the person who creates the mess is the person who should clean it up. So Lanza and Fry were the individuals who should have asked the City Council to place a corrective legislative referendum on the Nov. ballot - they chose not to do so and left their mess on the table.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 19, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Brian:

it doesn't matter why the process to put in a new station was stopped the fact is it had been restarted prior to savemenlo screwing things up. YOu also misstate the facts when you say they couldn't get it through the process in seven years. they could have gotten in through in less time, but they stopped for a period of time. The reason doesn't matter. AT this point in time the city will not calendar the hearings necessary until measure M is voted on. I doubt it has anything to do with not wanting a fire station. More likely they don't want to waste their time with hearings and city staff reports that would be pointless should the measure pass. Make sense now?


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Posted by fact checker
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 10:06 pm

This statement is still wrong
"a more precise statement on my part would have been:
"Measure M will positively encourage Greenheart and Stanford to develop 8-10 individual projects instead of two carefully coordinated and integrated projects. EACH of those 8-10 projects could have UP TO 99,999 sq ft of office space including 30,000 sq ft each of medical office space."

This implies that there could be 8-10 times 99,999 SF of office. No, that is not possible. Measure M limits office to 240,820 SF. So Stanford couldn't built all of that on its parcels. Greenheart and other developers want some, too.
BTW that amount of office was the total amount projected in the Specific Plan EIR and Financial Impact Analysis - for 30 years. Seems like plenty to me because that limit allows other desirable uses, too, such as restaurants/stores and hotels that generate revenue.

The fire station is taking a long time because of the required environmental study. The fire district, because of Carpenter's motion, is spending more time and money to look at alternatives instead of pursuing it. There is no reason the council can't solve any issues the district has. The initiative isn't causing any issues, despite what Carpenter wants you to believe. Even if it did, the council has the ability to solve them.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 19, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Peter,

[Portion removed. Please post your comment without negative characterizations of other posters.] You can continue to put forth disinformation and try to argue that the initiative killed the Down town fire station when in reality, the Fire Board and the city of Menlo Park dropped the ball for 7 years then found a convenient scape goat. You can't explain it because it is impossible to put 7 years of failure on something that has only been in existence for several months. Thinking you can proves that you think Menlo Park voters are as stupid as "misinformed" thinks they are.

As for cleaning up your own mess, you might start accepting responsibility for it first.

Menlo Voter, they may have "stopped for a period of time" but it has still been over 7 years since they started trying to get a new fire station in downtown Menlo, it has been funded for several years, correct me if I am wrong, and got no where. Then along comes the initiative and it get blamed for stopping everything. Hard to stop a train that has already derailed.


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Posted by decided
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 20, 2014 at 7:06 am

Until recently I was undecided about the initiative,being in sympathy with the motivations but not with the proposed changes. But Peter Carpenter's comments and perspective have turned me into a supporter of the initiative.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 7:18 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Decided - nothing I have said changes the facts about the initiative. I trust you will vote based on your full knowledge of the facts and not based on some form of spite. Your vote is a sacred privilege - don't waste it.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 20, 2014 at 7:19 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

decided:

sorry to see you cut off your own nose to spite your face.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 11:53 am

Brian is a registered user.

Decided,

I think Peter and Menlo Voter are having that affect on several people who read this forum. I do however hope you read and understand the issue before deciding your vote. For me, seeing so much development all at once and trying to claim balconies and rooftops as "Open space' bothers me greatly. However the primary reason I will vote for the initiative is traffic. While Peter, who lives in the Lindenwood neighborhood of Atherton, won't be greatly affected, others of us who live near major traffic arteries are already dealing with nasty traffic jams during commute times. Adding that much office space/medical space/etc. will only make the problem worse.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"I do however hope you read and understand the issue before deciding your vote."

Measure M will allow much more traffic than the Council negotiated improvements to the Greenheart and Stanford projects - and all of those agreed upon improvements and public benefits would be wiped out by Measure M.

Under Measure M, poorly worded and conceived as it is, the negotiated and improved Stanford and Greenheart projects would disappear and be replaced by a hodgepodge of 6-8 individual projects with multiple accesses to ECR, more traffic, slab faced buildings and a huge impact on our schools.

Measure M's Memories of our Childhood need to be replaced by a Vision for the Future.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Peter,

I think you have made your opinion, and that is just that it is, an opinion not a fact, clear over the last several months. You like to paint the doom and gloom picture but for most of us that current development plans by Stanford, etc. are already doom and gloom and we are OK with saying we don't want it.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - Read Stanford's letter of 14 July to the City Council:

Web Link

Clear enough?


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Posted by may be too late
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 20, 2014 at 12:34 pm

@not too late: "I'd much rather have the current Stanford project with a bike tunnel, than a monolithic medical office park."

A bike tunnel near Middle would be huge boon and enormously valuable to MP and Stanford. However, that was never explicitly written for in the Specific Plan. Stanford would not pony up the funds to do it if they were not required to do so. This highlights a larger issue: whether you like measure M or not, there is little doubt that the Specific Plan approved by the current council gave away too much with little ask from Stanford. Our little burg is often more heavily impacted by Stanford activities than PA and yet we always seems to secure concessions and "gifts" from Stanford as mitigation/good-will that we never seem to obtain. It's either a product of ignorance and naivete or it's a product of collusion and back-slapping. In end, the city pays the price in the long run.

I don't like Measure M and I don't like the Specific Plan -- but for different reasons.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Peter,

Not really. What's your point? That letter just says some things Stanford says it will fund. It doesn't say anything about what will happen if the initiative passes. You say it will rain fire and brimstone if Menlo Park residents pass Measure M. Where is your proof that will happen? Where are the facts? You keep asking for facts form everyone else so please provide some to back up your worse case scenario.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"It doesn't say anything about what will happen if the initiative passes."

Clearly you did not read the letter:

"However in the event that the Initiative passes, the City Council would not be able to approve Stanford's proposed project. If that occurs, Stanford will thoroughly its options and determine whether and in what form it might prepare a new project proposal."

Informed citizens need to know that Measure M means walking away from a good, well negotiated Stanford project and replacing it with nothing/doom or a number of slab sided individual projects which will generate much more traffic, a huge impact on schools and no public benefit/gloom.


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Posted by good point
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Peter, you make a good point. People have been manipulated to believe that passing Measure M will somehow reduce traffic. Clearly, we could end up with several smaller projects, no public benefit, and unwelcome uses (like medical office) that generate more vehicle trips.

This process has been a great example of why we need a planning commission and city council that are educated on the issues and empowered to do great things for the city. Nothing "great" will come from these 12 pages of unvetted poison.


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 20, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

@Brian,

While I respect how you feel about Peter's messaging style. The fact remains that if you really care about traffic, you should vote no on Measure M. You need to read the Menlo Park Traffic Departments traffic study regarding the development. The city in negotiating with Stanford got them to eliminate Medical Offices (which the traffic study showed has a VERY detrimental impact (HIGH) on traffic. Unfortunately, Measure M makes those negotiations moot. If you'd like a copy of the graphs from that presentation showing traffic numbers email me at roy(at)sardina(dot)com and I will send it to you.

Both Stanford and Greenheart have said they will have to re-evaluate what they build if this passes. Greanheart said that they would most likely eliminate underground parking which would force more surface parking (removing the open space they had planned)

Also with regard to your comment about balconies, while seemly valid, neglects the fact that EVERY other city on the peninsula allows them to be counted. This part of the measure will put Menlo Park at a disadvantage to developers against everyplace else. But it really hurts the smaller property owners the most, they simply do not have enough lot space to build a building and provide the required open space. As an earlier pointed out, that means that the buildings will not be upgraded and we will have the sorry excuse for a downtown we currently have. Where are they supposed to get the open space from?

Again, while your sentiments about the messenger are your opinion, voting for a measure because you don't like somebody's messaging style might be considered a foolish way to exercise your voting privileges, and it is a privilege.

So I urge you to Vote NO on Measure M to reduce traffic in Menlo Park.

Roy Thiele-Sardina


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Peter,

Maybe I should have said "nothing specific" about that happens if Measure M passes. Some could read Stanfords statement as a veiled threat, which is how it sounds like you are taking it. Others might read it as face value as an obvious statement that if the current plans can't be approved they will need to do something else.

Roy, I am fine with above ground parking, in fact I am fine with the empty lots on El Camino. They are really not any worse than the cement plant that used to be along El Camino and they don't cause as much dust. I would love to see that area developed into senior housing or a mix of retail and housing but I doubt that will happen.

All that said, like most people here I have have made up my mind and your are as unlikely to change how I will vote as you would be how Peter would vote on measure M if he could.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Listen carefully, this is what the experts on Measure M want:

Brian - "I am fine with the empty lots on El Camino."

Schmidt - "A big box store would presumably be retail and sales tax would be generated. Are you thinking R.E.I. or The Container Store? Underground parking? Not a bad alternative.


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

@Brian

You and the Measure M folks may get your wish for empty blight on El Camino. Stanford Management Company has over $20B in assets, and the 500 El Camino property represents a small portion of their Real Estate portfolio. They may very well leave it empty and not pay taxes or development fees, rather than deal with the citizens of Menlo Park.

So while you have made up your mind to stick with the blight, we are hoping most residents of Menlo Park will see the need for us to redevelop what has become a "dead" downtown and get more people visiting the retail establishments. We need customers, and the specific plan thought that through and gave a reasonable solution.

We will see what the voters think. I just want everyone to know that Measure M will most likely result in MORE traffic if the lots are developed as Greenheart and Stanford implied they would under the draconian electoral requirements of the measure.

Roy Thiele-Sardina


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Peter,

I don't call myself an expert on measure M, and you shouldn't either. I am a resident of menlo Park who has been around long enough to know the city and see many changes. I don't appreciate you labeling me incorrectly and trying to twist things the way you usually do to serve your own purposes. I express my opinions and that is it.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - You cannot have it both ways.

You have posted dozens of time on behalf of the Initiative - do you now claim that you don't know what is in Measure M and what would be its impact?


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Peter,

[portion removed.] I have not now, nor have I ever claimed to be an expert on Measure M. Find one post where I have and I will vote no just for you. I have expressed my opinion. If expressing an opinion makes someone an expert then we have a lot more experts in this world that I would ever have believed. You complain about "misinformation" on this board, well it looks like you are guilty of it as much or more that anyone. So by taking my opinions at attributing them to "what the experts on Measure M want" is ridiculous and make you look like you would say or do anything, true or not, to attack this initiative. Is that true?


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 21, 2014 at 8:53 am

Brian is a registered user.

Peter,

I guess the people who monitor this board don't like that I said making up facts and mis-stating information makes you look like an <word removed>.

I contend that you twisted facts in saying that Measure M blocked the downtown fire station just as you inaccurately called me an Expert on the Initiative.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 21, 2014 at 11:07 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - the facts regard Station 6 are very clear. The expansion site consists of two parcels - one inside the Specific Plan area and an adjacent parcel outside the Specific Plan area. To build the station at that location both parcels would need to be in the same planning zone which would mean changing the boundaries of the Specific Plan.

The initiative clearly states:
ECR SPECIFIC PLAN AREA VOTER-ADOPTED DEVELOPMENT DEFINITIONS AND STANDARDS.
ECR SPECIFIC PLAN AREA DEFINED. When referring to the "ECR Specific Plan Area," this initiative measure is referring to the bounded area within the Vision Plan Area Map located at Page 2, Figure I, of the El Camino Real/Downtown Vision Plan, accepted by the Menlo Park city Council on July 15, 2008, which is attached as Exhibit 1 to this measure and hereby adopted by the voters as an integral part of this initiative measure.


And to change that defined boundary there would have to be a city wide vote:
4.1.
NO AMENDMENTS OR REPEAL WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL.
Except for as provided at Section 3.4.4 above regarding the City's ability to approve without voter ratification an amendment to the Specific Plan to accommodate development proposals that would call for an increase in the allowable number of residential units under the Specific Plan, the voter- adopted development standards and definitions set forth in Section 3, above, may be repealed or amended only by a majority vote of the electorate of the City of Menlo Park voting "YES" on a ballot measure proposing such repeal or amendment at a regular or special election. The entire text of the proposed definition or standard to be repealed, or the amendment proposed to any such definition or standard, shall be included in the sample ballot materials mailed to registered voters prior to any such election.
****

What is not clear about the fact that the initiative would block building a new station on these two parcels without a city wide vote to change the Specific Plan boundary?
Please provide specific city ordinances or State laws that would supercede the initiative given that it also states:

Consistent with the Planning and Zoning Law and applicable case law, the City shall not adopt any other new provisions or amendments to the Policy Planning Documents that would be inconsistent with or frustrate the implementation of the voter-adopted development standards and definitions set forth in Section 3, above, absent voter approval of a conforming amendment to those voter-adopted provisions.
PRIORITY.
After this measure becomes effective, its provision shall prevail over and supersede all provisions of the municipal code, ordinances, resolutions, and administrative policies of the City of Menlo Park which are inferior to the Planning Policy Documents and in conflict with any provisions of this measure.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 21, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Peter,

What you are saying is that the Initiative makes it harder to build the Fire Station, not that it outright prevents it from being built. Even you added the qualified "without a city wide vote". And had the board and City resolved the issue in the last 7 years, the initiative would not have been an issue at all. That is the way I understand it. Is that accurate?

So in saying the initiative prevents the fire station or even derails it is an exaggeration, just as referring to me as an expert. I stand by my statement that "facts" are getting twisted to support your arguments just as you accuse others of doing.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 21, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - The city has stated that the current Station 6 project would not be presented to the Council until after the initiative is voted on in Nov.

The initiative says that Fire Station 6 cannot be built on the existing two adjacent parcels (one parcel inside the Specific Plan area and one parcel outside the Specific Plan area) without a city wide vote changing the boundaries of the Specific plan as defined in the initiative:

"ECR SPECIFIC PLAN AREA DEFINED. When referring to the "ECR Specific Plan Area," this initiative measure is referring to the bounded area within the Vision Plan Area Map located at Page 2, Figure I, of the El Camino Real/Downtown Vision Plan, accepted by the Menlo Park city Council on July 15, 2008, which is attached as Exhibit 1 to this measure and hereby adopted by the voters as an integral part of this initiative measure. "

Therefore, if the initiative passes, replacing the Fire Station on the two designated parcels would not be possible without such a city wide vote.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 21, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Peter,

I understand that, so if the project had not been delayed 7+ years the Initiative would have no impact on it, right? Now that is has been delayed the initiative, if it passes, would put limits that need a city wide vote to remove. Given that the Fire Board, nor the city, seem to be in a rush to get it built, wait and see if the initiative passes and if so put it on the next city wide ballot. Let's face it, given the speed so far that is hardly likely to delay it any more that it would have been delayed already.

The bottom line is that Measure M has not killed the new Fire Station as you have claimed. It has added an additional hurdle and may delay a project that has already languished. You had been in as big of a hurry to build the station as you were to blame Measure M for it not getting built, we would have had a new fire station a long time ago...


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 22, 2014 at 4:03 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I am pleased to see that Brian finally acknowledges (" the initiative, if it passes, would put limits that need a city wide vote to remove.") that Measure M would prohibit a new Fire Station at the two parcels at Oak Grove and Hoover without a city wide vote. That city wide vote would delay the project by at least 6 six months and cost the Fire District, i.e the taxpayers, $95,000.

Fortunately the Fire District is looking at other sites, occupied or not, to build a new downtown station in the event that the current parcels are impeded by Measure M.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 22, 2014 at 5:54 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

In fairness, I would also like to acknowledge Brian's point that both the Fire District and the City have contributed to the delays in the plans to replace Station 6 prior to those new deals now caused by the uncertainties created by Measure M.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 22, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Peter,

Thank you for acknowledging that fact. I have never denied that the initiative would put curbs on building and impose additional requirements. That is a major part of the initiative and why I support it. I don't want Stanford or anyone else coming into Menlo and building huge developments with out the people having a say on it. I know you don't agree with that but that is one of the reasons I am voting YES on measure M.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 22, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

"I don't want Stanford or anyone else coming into Menlo and building huge developments with out the people having a say on it."

The people have already had a say on it. It was a six year long, public process that resulted in the DSP. If you want more traffic voting yes on M is a great idea.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 27, 2014 at 8:52 am

Brian is a registered user.

Menlo,

That argument is getting old. It is obvious that people don't feel they were listened to or there would not be a Measure M with the support it has. I guess we will need to wait until November, maybe you will come up with a new argument by then? doubt it.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 27, 2014 at 9:15 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Brian:

what is obvious is that SOME people don't feel they were listened to. Those same people are now throwing a tantrum.


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