http://almanacnews.com/print/story/print/2013/09/04/letter-give-downtown-plan-a-chance-to-work


Almanac

Viewpoint - September 4, 2013

Letter: Give downtown plan a chance to work

I appreciate that Steve Schmidt and several others retain their long-held view that downtown Menlo Park development should be restrained. The disagreement between these and the many people who worked on the downtown Visioning and the Specific Plan remain, their letters make that plain. But Menlo Park tried putting the freeze on downtown for a decade, and indeed El Camino is frozen, and half vacant.

I don't know anyone who wants unrestrained growth, and only a few who want vacant lots — the whole idea of the five-year public process that resulted in the Downtown Plan was to let everyone have their input, and let the majority set a direction. Not everyone can get their way, but most of us really wanted to move forward out of the freeze.

Amid all the letter writing, creative fliers and lobbying of council, readers might not even know that the specific plan limits the front of El Camino SE buildings to two stories, and sets them back further than previous zoning; there are many other controls as well but they don't make good rally cheers.

Let's tame the emotions and remember, cooler heads have worked on this for five years, and Stanford does not yet have approval at any level for what they've presented. We might let the process work before jumping to condemn it.

Henry Riggs, member, Menlo Park Planning Commissioner

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