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Commission chair blasts Menlo Park council

Original post made on May 6, 2009

Henry Riggs, chair of Menlo Park's Planning Commission, charges that the City Council acted rashly in revising an ordinance drafted by the commission in 10 public hearings.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 5, 2009, 7:25 PM

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Posted by morris brown
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 6, 2009 at 8:27 am

The paragraph in this article:

"But Councilman Andy Cohen and Morris Brown, who spoke in opposition to the commission's recommendation at the April 14 meeting, said it was Mr. Riggs who had manipulated the process. They alleged that he and another commissioner with "design experience," Melody Pagee, had hijacked the process in an indirect attempt to relax the city's zoning code. Mr. Riggs has worked as an architect for 29 years, with an emphasis in residential and "village commercial" projects."

contains an erroneous statement regarding Melody Pagee.

I want to make quite clear, I at no time ever included Melody Pagee of having been involved in any such manner. That statement above is not correct.

I did and still do include former commissioner and chair Deziel, Mr. Riggs with support from John O'Malley of essentially trying to create policy, rather than following Council's directive on the policy they wished to be implemented. Yes, I would consider this an attempt to hijack the process.

Commissioner Riggs did not appear before Council to state his position when the vote was taken. Rather than go to council and present his position in public, he only after the fact "blasts the council".

The article goes on to say:

"Council members say they fully intend to uphold the will of the community through the planning process -- that's why they authorized the process in the first place."

Council is the governing body. They make policy, not the planning commission. The Visioning process, which will pass through the planning commission, is not the final authority either.

Certainly in this vein, Council can and should implement their will on the Downtown Visioning process in any final approvals. Yes, if Council decides that 2 story buildings are what are needed along El Camino, they have the power and should exercise it over any approvals. The are after all, the only elected body we have.

Mr. Riggs doesn't seem to accept that. Mayor Robinson has it right by saying Council is not a rubber stamp.

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Posted by here we go again
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 6, 2009 at 8:30 am

Editor, did you really need to start a new thread on this topic? There's already one that covers this exact ground!

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