Almanac

Viewpoint - October 27, 2010

Letter: Vote for candidates who support downtown plan

In order to grow downtown as a thriving environment for independent businesses such as ours, Menlo Park needs to have a clear vision. Embracing a plan with more pedestrian friendly, vibrant spaces that draws and accommodates more people downtown is critical for a sustained business district.

We were invited and participated in many of the six major community meetings over the last three years, and were happy to see the city create a community driven process that has specifically included business owners like ourselves.

This plan represents zoning changes that will be the foundation for future prosperity for residents and merchants alike. Individual elements will still be subject to review, but putting the brakes on three years of progress and starting over is not the right thing to do. Finalizing this plan and creating certainty will help potential new businesses feel confident in the city's direction and support of the downtown district. More retail and services will be attracted to the downtown with a cohesive vision in place.

We understand the specific plan is a big campaign issue. But if we are still having this conversation in 10 years, our town will likely be a ghost town, bereft of a charming and functional downtown. Seizing the opportunity of finalizing this process over the next several months will position our city for a strong post-recession recovery. It is time for the downtown community to come together.

Dexter & Anna Chow, Menlo Park residents and owners, Cheeky Monkey Toys

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