Almanac

Viewpoint - June 2, 2010

Letter: Downtown owners feel left out of project

After attending the many meetings about the proposed downtown Menlo Park plan, we strongly feel that all those meetings should have taken place before the city hired the consultant.

If the city had talked to downtown business people and property owners in advance, they would have gotten some idea about how we feel about the changes to the surface parking lots.

We are sure that the city's vision was passed on to the consultants before they were under contract, lest why weren't we there to express our concerns?

It doesn't make sense for the city to give a $1 million consulting contract to come up with huge changes and new garages, hundreds of living spaces and mini parks without the input from those most affected — the downtown businesses and property owners.

Why does this happen time and time again? If a plan is good and thought out by both sides, why is a consultant necessary?

If the council would have let us express our concerns in advance, we wouldn't need a consultant and the city would have $1 million more in the bank.

John Chiappe, San Mateo

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