News - January 13, 2010

Menlo Watch: City of Menlo Park poised to buy foreclosed home

by Sean Howell

Menlo Park's City Council at its Jan. 12 meeting could approve the purchase of a home in the Belle Haven neighborhood. It would be the first such purchase through the city's $2 million neighborhood stabilization program, designed to counteract a rash of foreclosures in the city.

The home on Hollyburne Avenue would cost $250,000, according to city management. The money would come from the below-market-rate fund, paid into by land developers.

The city plans to carry out $160,000 in repairs using environmentally friendly building practices, before re-selling the home to a person or family on the city's below-market-rate wait list.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, located in the Civic Center between Laurel and Alma streets.

Council postpones sprinkler discussions

Discussion on two hot-button issues involving sprinklers has been pushed to the Jan. 26 City Council agenda.

The ordinances — governing fire sprinklers in residential and commercial buildings, and water-efficient landscaping — had previously been scheduled for the Jan. 12 agenda.

The council will not meet on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Construction begins on new gym

Construction is under way on a new gymnasium in Menlo Park's Civic Center, and work to expand the parking lot nearest the library and the new gym is just about complete.

The city is replacing some landscaping with asphalt to make room for 14 new parking spaces to partially offset the 17 spaces that will be lost to the gymnasium. It held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new gym Friday, Jan. 8.

Through the parking reconfiguration, the city also upgraded spaces for people with disabilities, according to Engineering Services Manager Lisa Ekers.

Part of the southern end of the parking lot will be occupied by construction vehicles while the gym is being built, Ms. Ekers said.

Businesswoman to speak at chamber meet

Businesswoman Judy Estrin will speak about innovation at the annual meeting of the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19. The meeting will be held in the Menlo Presbyterian Church meeting room behind Ace Hardware, off Chestnut Street. It is free and open to the public.

The meeting will also serve as an annual "state of the chamber" reckoning, and a chance to meet the chamber's new board members.

Ms. Estrin sits on the boards of Disney and FedEx, and advises Stanford's School of Engineering, according to the chamber. She will sign copies of her book, "Closing the Innovation Gap," at the meeting.


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