After having attended almost all of the Cargill/DMB "community meetings" on the development issue and several of the Redwood City Council meetings on the same issue it became apparent to me that something was going on beyond community input.
At each and every DMB community meeting the overwhelming sentiment of those in attendance was against development. However, DMB controlled the meetings and set the agendas in such a way that opposition to their development plan was virtually ignored. In one instance, one among many, DMB required that all in attendance make a choice among various plans they offered. Not one of those choices allowed restoring the wetlands or not developing the area.
The mayor and Redwood City Council (RCC) seem to see this development as a short-term fix to budget problems. They are ignoring the facts, including:
• That there is no foreseeable demand for the proposed housing (vacancy rates are at an all-time high);
• That there is no way to control the locations to which supposed residents would commute (it is planned that they will go to and from the East Bay);
• That there is presently insufficient water, garbage, power, public transportation, and highway space for the proposed population increase;
• And that the proposed included shopping center would be in competition with others nearby which are already finding it difficult to keep afloat.
Despite such drawbacks, these public officials forge ahead with plans for what is undoubtedly a financial and environmental disaster.
If housing were truly an issue then why did the Redwood City Council deem it appropriate to declare the decrepit houses in the vicinity of City Hall an architectural treasure and of historical interest? Only the developer that is "restoring" these "treasures" did not complain.
Businesses in the area that had invested in these properties and desired to renovate them for housing/office space were consistently denied permits until the city could decide what to do. Their ultimate decision favored one person and avoided the possibility of adding additional housing or office space near downtown.
The development of the tidelands is likewise going to benefit Cargill and DMB, not Redwood City citizens, and in the long run it will produce tremendous negative impact, both social and environmental. However, some people will get very rich. Guess who!
Van Thein, Redwood City
Nice to know Farmers Market open year-round
I really appreciated your (Feb. 3) article reminding us that there is a flourishing year-round Farmers Market in Menlo Park.
Eating locally grown produce and meat has become our best hope for clean and healthy food. It was a very informative article and made clear that real "home-grown" organic food is accessible to us.
As one who is starting to have growing doubts about the "organic" labeling of food, now that the enormous industrial food producers, such as Walmart, are taking over, local food seems the best option.
Gita Dev, Mountain Home Road, Woodside
Council undermines city's strength
Our City Council continues to undermine the strength and fiscal stability of our city.
As The Almanac reported in the Feb. 10 edition: "A key source of revenue [sales tax] for Menlo Park fell by 21 percent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, making an already dour revenue picture even bleaker."
Meanwhile, of course, the huge swatches of former auto dealers remain empty, producing no revenues and no property taxes for our increasingly desperate city. All the while, this council busies itself wildly protesting Redwood City's growth prospects, which, by the way, would produce huge benefit to Menlo Park retailers, the breed of which is suffering mightily.
Sloane Citron, Laurel Street, Menlo Park
A 'delusional' analysis of Cargill project
I recently had the opportunity to read the "Preliminary Analysis of Transportation and Circulation," paid for by the land developer Cargill/DMB that intends to convert Redwood City wetlands to housing, which would make them a lot of money.
The "analysis" is a truly remarkable document. As a piece of creative writing it is superb. As an objective evaluation of the impact of paving over wetlands to add tens of thousands of new residents to our area, it is somewhere south of delusional.
The document includes some wonderful and appealing suggestions — streetcars, bike routes, subsidized links to Caltrain — all good and effective ways to reduce car traffic and improve our quality of life in Redwood City and surrounding communities.
And these are all solutions Redwood City could have done long ago, if the city had the political will to fund them. I encourage our elected City Council to take action now on these important transportation initiatives, and skip the trouble of destroying wetlands in the process.
Cedric Crocker, Redwood City