Viewpoint - September 8, 2010

Letter: Gateway project looks good to me

After 50 years in this area I am protective of our city.

My support of Measure T, the Bohannon Gateway Project, comes from my belief that it would be a real asset for three main reasons:

The location is very attractive: the project is situated on a far corner of our city where it will hardly be seen by many of us. It dramatically improves an area that currently is unattractive as one approaches Menlo Park from the intersection of Bayfront Expressway and Marsh Road.

It provides benefits to the community: Bedwell Bayfront Park, Menlo-Atherton High School, and Menlo Park housing all benefit financially. The first-source hiring agreement with JobTrain in Belle Haven adds strength to the whole proposal. Our city needs new sources of revenue to meet expenses and this project would provide approximately $1.4 million annually.

Traffic mitigation: this project may prove the impetus for Atherton, Menlo Park, Redwood City, and the county to work together and provide solutions to an area that has been concerned with traffic for some time.

I prefer a local developer such as David Bohannon rather than a faceless corporate entity with out-of-state financing. To my mind the advantages of Menlo Gateway outway any negatives. Please join me in voting Yes on Measure T.

Anne Moser, Spruce Avenue, Menlo Park


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Have Dave Bohannon address the infrastructure burdens that will be placed on the City and I am on board. But the infrastruture burdens have be satisfactorily addressed.

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment, personal attack.]

Posted by read the record, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Hank -- Huh? What infrastructure burdens are you referring to?

The EIR and negotiation process resulted in mitigations whereever possible, such that both the Planning Commission and the City Council found by majority votes of each body that the benefits far outweighed the remaining unmitigatable impacts.

I figured you would be supporting Gateway since Peter Ohtaki, whom you say would make a good Councilman, supports it (as does Cline, Robinson and Keith). Or will you be holding your nose as you vote for Ohtaki? You can't have it both ways, Hank.

Posted by just say no to Bo, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 13, 2010 at 4:08 pm

There are no perceptible benefits to the city, other than the occupancy taxes if/when the hotel is built. Meanwhile, the agreement - the result of one of the sloppiest negotiations in city history -- gives away immense zoning rights to Bohannon without any quid pro quo. That project, even unbuilt, will prevent other, better (consistent with zoning and general plan) projects from being built. Companies that could be hiring more people -- real jobs vs Bohannon's phantom future jobs -- will have to leave Menlo Park because of constraints created by this project if Measure T passes.

When/if Bohannon decides to go ahead and erect this behemoth of a monument to himself, the infrastructure burdens will be huge, and they cannot be mitigated. Remember: the city is creating wealth for Bohannon with the upzoning but getting nothing in return.

The Planning Commission narrowly passed this boondoggle, with many conditions. The council overlooked all those conditions and dithered about what to do. Most of them do seem to realize that the project has the potential to have serious negative effects on traffic, water, and other resources (=infrastructure) but on the other hand, it's an election year and Bohannon is awfully rich. Hence, Measure T.

Bohannon has a lot of money and he'll do what he can to make the voters believe that up is down. After all, the project is "way over there on the east side of 101" -- what harm can it do? Problem is, the devil is in the details, and not a single member of council read the documents before the vote. They didn't have the time.

The voters do, and let's hope they take that time to get the real facts.

Posted by Alexander Trager, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 13, 2010 at 8:58 pm

hey, "just say no to Bo" - whichever member of "Anti" Cohen's Kitchen Cabinet you are, do you promise to leave town when Measure T passes with a healthy margin? Or if you're one of the several members of that elite (aka "tiny") group who already doesn't reside in Menlo, do you promise to knock off the NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo routine?

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