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Why businesses consider Menlo Park to be an unfriendly City

Original post made by Peter Carpenter on Feb 11, 2010

Over a year ago the Menlo Park Fire Protection District entered into a lease with Stanford University for one of the many vacant automobile dealership sites on El Camino. That site had been used for 30 years to store, display, repair and paint automobiles and to train its personnel. Now, more than a year later, the Fire District is still prohibited by the City of Menlo Park from using this site for virtually the same uses.

This is the fire department which serves the cities of Menlo Park, East Palo Alto and Atherton and yet the City treats it like a foreign entity rather than with the welcome arms which it deserves.


Is there any wonder that businesses consider Menlo Park to be an unfriendly place to locate?

Comments (59)

Posted by taxpayer, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 11, 2010 at 10:38 pm

What exactly is the city preventing the fire district from doing? Seems to me that district is already storing an old truck in one of the display areas.

I remember hearing complaints about the dealership that used its site to store vehicles rather than to sell them. That is prime retail property on El Camino, and should be used for purposes that generate sales tax. I hope that the El Camino visioning project will result in an inviting entry way to our city, including retail for residents and for those driving through. Seeing a bunch of vehicles being repainted is not only unappealing, it generates no revenue for the city.

In any case, the fire department is not a business seeking to operate in Menlo Park, and the provocative title -- which presupposes that businesses find Menlo Park unfriendly -- is misleading and offensive.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 12, 2010 at 7:32 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Let's see - 1 - all the auto dealers leave Menlo Park
2 - nobody wants to lease the vacant spaces
3 - the vacant spaces remain empty and an eyesore
4 - the Fire District leases one of these vacant
facilities to use for virtually the same types of
uses it has been used for for
over 30 years - display vehicles, train
firefighters, train citizens for emergency
preparedness
5 - the City of Menlo Park says NO you cannot do those
things- we would rather have the property vacant and
an eyesore
6 - This is encouraging people to do business in Menlo
Park?
7 - This is supporting a world renowned public safety
agency?
What am I missing?????


Posted by taxpayer, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 12, 2010 at 8:23 am

It's not a case of "no one wants to lease the spaces" but rather that the lease is still in force and Stanford is still receiving money from the dealerships. The city is at fault for not enacting a vacant/abandoned tax on property owners who willfully allow their land to sit unused and unkempt. But there's more than a little fear when it comes to Stanford.

Anyway, you still have not stated the facts here. Exactly what is Menlo Park telling the fire department it can't do? Use the parking lots for cleaning firetrucks? I think most residents would agree that we don't want to see that kind of activity taking up valuable space on El Camino. And I would bet there are many businesses that would love to locate there, but Stanford isn't interested.

Blame Stanford, not Menlo Park.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 12, 2010 at 9:02 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The property was vacant

Taxpayer says Stanford had many businesses that wanted to locate there - please name one

Fire District leased the property on a month to month basis to display vehicles, train firefighters, train citizens for emergency preparedness

City says No to Fire District's use of facility

Facility remains unused

Who benefits from this????

What signal does this send to others who want to contribute to the community?

I certainly tell any business person that asks me - Don't try to get anything done in Menlo Park


Posted by Regina della Strada, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 12, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Since there have been fire department vehicles on display, clearly the city did not object to all of the district's proposed uses, just some of them. Please clarify: what uses aren't permitted and what were the reasons given? The training?


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The antique fire engine in the showroom is the ONLY activity permitted by the City. No other activities have been permitted by the City. When the Fire District parked vehicles in the same area where the prior tenant had hundreds of vehicles parked the Fire District vehicles were ordered removed by the City.

Plans to use the site as a temporary fire station while Station 6 , located in Menlo Park, was being rebuilt to better meet the needs of the residents of Menlo Park, were abandoned when the City insisted on over $400,000 of TEMPORARY improvements to the 444 El Camino site. I suspect that it will now be a long time before the Fire District undertakes the rebuilding of Station 6.

This is hardly what I would consider to be a friendly attitude towards a vital public safety agency.

The City has tried for years to come up with a grand plan for El Camino and failed. No landlord in their right mind would make long term plans under such uncertainty and Stanford realized the value of having a caretaking, community serving tenant. The City would obviously prefer to have the property vacant even though that is a horrible attraction for other businesses.


Posted by blame Stanford, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm

El Camino is zoned General Commercial, not Public Facilities space for the Fire Department. It is inappropriate to jump to a bold conclusion just because the fire department can't do everything it wants wherever it wants.

Stanford is not even trying to keep its land tidy or to get new tenants. The city could be pushing them, but probably isn't.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 12, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Well, it looks like we can add Blame Stanford to the list of people that prefer the property at 444 El Camino to be a vacant eyesore rather than a temporary public safety facility.

My advice to the Fire District is to walk away from this site and let it just deteriorate - that should make Blame Stanford and the City very happy.


Posted by Jst Wondering?, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 13, 2010 at 8:29 am

Uh, Pete, you never did answer the simple questions put forth and ended up just calling people names.

Isn't that against your rules for this forum?


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 13, 2010 at 8:53 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

All the questions which I was asked were answered:

The antique fire engine in the showroom is the ONLY activity permitted by the City. No other activities have been permitted by the City. When the Fire District parked vehicles in the same area where the prior tenant had hundreds of vehicles parked the Fire District vehicles were ordered removed by the City.

Plans to use the site as a temporary fire station while Station 6 , located in Menlo Park, was being rebuilt to better meet the needs of the residents of Menlo Park, were abandoned when the City insisted on over $400,000 of TEMPORARY improvements to the 444 El Camino site. I suspect that it will now be a long time before the Fire District undertakes the rebuilding of Station 6.

This is hardly what I would consider to be a friendly attitude towards a vital public safety agency.

The City has tried for years to come up with a grand plan for El Camino and failed. No landlord in their right mind would make long term plans under such uncertainty and Stanford realized the value of having a caretaking, community serving tenant. The City would obviously prefer to have the property vacant even though that is a horrible attraction for other businesses.
**************
And there was no calling of names - I just used the names that people choose for themselves.


Posted by blame Stanford, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 15, 2010 at 8:21 am

I would think that businesses like the city to be consistent in its enforcement of zoning. For the city to do otherwise mocks the entire planning and zoning process and creates considerable uncertainty for businesses.
No, I do not like seeing vacant and weedy properties.


Posted by taxpayer, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 15, 2010 at 10:02 am

Businesses prefer to locate in a city where zoning is maintained and respected. The businesses know that they have no fear of, say, a massage parlor opening next door, or of neighbors who paint their facades bright purple or pink. blame Stanford has it right.

The El Camino visioning plan has taken a few years, as is appropriate given the level of public input required. Mr. Carpenter, I wonder if you attended any of the meetings? I did. It's a little premature to deem it a failure.


Posted by Dee, a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Menlo Park is very unfriendly toward businesses, and it is
virtually impossible to obtain a permit.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Sad - a missed opportunity due to lack of imagination and creativity.

1 - no City Plan for El Camino for at least another three years
2 - Stanford unwilling to make long term commitment in absence of such a plan
3 - Fire District wanted a temporary training site and a temporary location for Station 6 while Station 6 is being upgraded to meet the growing needs of Menlo Park
4 - Stanford graciously offers vacant auto dealership at 444 El Camino to Fire District on a short term lease
5 - City shows no interest in facilitating Fire District use of site
6 - Fire District indefinitely postpones upgrade of Station 6
7 - East Palo Alto bends over backwards to assist Fire District in upgrading Station 2
8 - Fire District puts Station 2 upgrade on fast track
9 - With East Palo Alto's enthusiastic support the Fire District submits Stimulus Grant request to Federal government for Station 2 upgrade - doesn't get award in first round but stands good chance in second funding round

East Palo Alto gets what it wants and needs - a new, upgraded fire station

Menlo Park get what is wants - an empty, conforming eyesore at 444 El Camino and an old fire station for another 5-10 years


Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm

One doesn't need to just focus on the property on the southern end of ECR. What about the Cadillac dealership and theater that have been vacant. What about the car wash on Oak Grove, the pet store and cleaners next door.

All these were vacant long before the downturn in the economy.

If Menlo Park were business friendly, some of these building would have been occupied by now.


Posted by blame Stanford, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 15, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Whoa - be careful about jumping to conclusions without information, and for blaming the city for everything.
The reason some of these properties are empty has nothing to do with the city, but rather the owners and their lack of interest in adhering to current zoning (theater) or in trying to get financial credit in an economic downturn. A project has been approved not long ago at the Cadillac dealership. Another project at the car wash, pet store and cleaners passed the Planning Commission a while back but has not been submitted by the applicant to the Council.


Posted by truth, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 15, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Peter stop misleading readers. Your knowledge of the facts related to MP have been far below grade. You claim to have knowledge of the city plans for El Camino Real and you pretend that the city is responsible for all failures along the corridor. Childish and foolish logic that remains par for the course.

All the information is available on the city site.

1 - The city vision plan has a deadline of Sept 2010 (make the editorials you want)
2 - Mr. Madison (sp?) has a project coming this year, 1300 is in process (housing or not), Safeway says more is coming at the mall...

My opinion is one that I think this fire district gets more than its share from MP. Save me the courage speech, which you rely on like an old shoe, has anyone see how much of our tax income goes to the district? Seems they want a new place every year and new toys.

Peter, El Camino fell apart under your pal Mickie's regime. It collapsed and never saw another worthy proposal. Planning for the future is the right thing to do, and planning for tax income not a storage place for more toys.

Baseless and factless attacks from an Atherton resident plays real well. I expect Woodside's nosey little resident POGO to join next. You guys must be the experts in city management with your huge downtowns. And don't play me the Palo Alto planning commission card in 1970 when the word to describe planning was...clueless.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 15, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Truth says all is well.

Let's see what the vision plan looks like on 1 Oct and who rushes in to fill the City's requirements.


If there is a Menlo Park ECR vision plan approved by the Council before next 2011 then I will buy Truth dinner at a Menlo Park restaurant of her/his choice.

If any development plan for 444 El Camino is approved by the Council before 2012 then I will buy Truth another dinner at a Menlo Park restaurant of her/his choice.

I am willing to be proven wrong but my long experience with Menlo Park does not lead me to being optimistic.


Posted by taxpayer, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Feb 15, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Fact: even though the vision has yet to be implemented, ANY project that comes before the planning commission/council that meets existing zoning requirements will be approved.

Stanford's property is an eyesore because Stanford has chosen to do nothing with its property. Same with other property owners. The city would approve whatever project is proposed for 444 ECR tomorrow as long as it met zoning guidelines.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 15, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Taxpayer states:"ANY project that comes before the planning commission/council that meets existing zoning requirements will be approved. "

I challenge you to show ANY ECR project that has been approved by the Council without significant changes in the last 3 years.


Posted by Peter Piper Picked A Pepper, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 15, 2010 at 10:46 pm

So, the "Etch" drops by for a chat with the Bo "Sustainable MP" group with MC, Chuckie the K, at the Burgess. Etch, our esteemed Prof. of Logic(?), talks us to boredom about lofty "Academic Purpose" envisioned by the Founding Grant as reason for The Farm's cagey non-committal land use plans for their dirt in Menlo and Paly.
Like, fuzzy logic, "prepaid rent on ECR car dealerships prevents STanfood from reclaiming the sites". Then, his escort, I think he said his name was Steve or something, and he's a campus planner, blurts out possible redevelopment scenarios, and OOOPS!, he says MEDICAL.
OMG, my man Peter was Med Ctr head honcho, then PAPC head, now bad mouthing over regulating MP Planning staff 'cause they're looking for something better than a couple of retired fire engines rusting among the weeds?
Me thinks the wools being pulled over our eyes. Is this Stanford's fairy tale?.. Was that Peter and the Wolf, dressed as a Kitty in the photo op? Or, is it Chapetto tryin' to keep that kid's probiscus from becoming quite too obvious?
Anybody who has dealt with Stanfoo knows that they will pull a Mach(iavellian) 5 when the Il Duce's Protectorate has ambitions to grow at their neighboring Duchy's expense.


Posted by taxpayer, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 15, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Firetrucks aside, few projects have come up for approval on ECR during the last three years, but the notable ones have been approved without much hassle.

1300 was a huge project with almost no changes. 1706 had very few changes. 1906 incorporated neighborhood input but no design changes.

So there are three projects that were approved "without significant changes," built to the max of existing zoning.

Peter, I know it must rankle that the city does not want to see El Camino become a dumping ground for sick trucks, but maybe you should just accept that we want to restore vitality to El Camino, not trash it up.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 5:21 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Ok, I am convinced - Menlo Park will get what is wants - an empty, conforming eyesore at 444 El Camino and an old fire station for another 5-10 years

Time for another topic.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 16, 2010 at 8:58 am

If you think 1300, 1706 and 1906 had "almost no changes," "very few changes," and were approved "without significant changes," then you are far more dilusional than I thought. You have no familiarity with the facts and certainly did not attend any of the public hearings. These were highly contentious projects and needlessly so.

You should take a minute to speak with these developers to get their take. They're easy to identify and easy to telephone.

They had nothing but complaints about the planning process and were fit to be tied. I will be surprised if they come back for more... but that's apparently the objective of this process.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2010 at 9:22 am

I've stated my opinion about how unfriendly MP is to developers, so I won't go there--its not worth the brain damage to debate the subject. But I do have a question--Peter, for you if you know the details, or for anyone who has them. I had heard that the $400K in improvements that were being required in order for the Fire District to use 444 EC while Station 6 was renovated was for things such as fire sprinklers, ADA access reqirements and other code required upgrades for buildings that include public access and 24/7 occupancy. If this is the case, I find it ironic (actually disturbing) the the Fire District, which places these same requirements on businesses and residents wishing to remodel their facilities during the permitting process, would even consider not making such upgrades themselves.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 9:39 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Fire District bends over backwards to not only meet but exceed ADA, sprinkler and other requirements in its new and renovation construction. It simply does not make economic sense to spend $400,000 to modify a TEMPORARY facility, so the Fire District decided not to even try to use 444 El Camino as a temporary station while Station 6 was being rebuilt. So WhoRUpeople can be undisturbed.

I suspect that when, and IF, the Station 6 rebuild takes place that the Fire District will, as most other property owners do, simply utilize on site trailers for temporary housing.


Posted by taxpayer, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 16, 2010 at 9:40 am

POGO, can you please describe the "substantial changes?" That was the question. Of course those projects were contentious; projects on El Camino tend to generate a lot of heat. But after the usual neighborhood input and back-and-forth, the projects were approved more or less as originally envisioned.

Can you also specify the nature of the complaints you heard? The 1300 developers, for example, had completed a huge project in Sunnyvale that was a failure and bringing them to the brink of financial ruin. Maybe Sunnyvale doesn't require the due diligence that Menlo Park does. I'd say that most of us who live here would rather have projects thoroughly vetted to avoid ending up with a slew of half-finished garbage.

This is a participatory community. Most of us like it that way. The developers who want an easy process can build in some out-of-the-way podunk that's desperate for any development. If they want the Menlo Park location and to reap the rewards thereof, then they have to play the rules.

From what I understand, Woodside doesn't have the reputation of being laissez faire when it comes to development. POGO, maybe you should be leaning on your own people to loosen up rather than trying to junk up our main thoroughfare.

I would not want to live in a community tht


Posted by taxpayer, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 16, 2010 at 9:42 am

So, Peter, the fire department should have been allowed to skirt federal laws because the facility was temporary? And the city wouldn't allow them to do so? Well, then, kudos to our planning department! I think that's highly commendable.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 9:52 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

No attempt was made to skirt the laws. Most jurisdiction do not require temporary structures to meet these requirements since the laws do not apply to such structures. The somewhat unique MP interpretation of the laws is simply one more example of policies which are designed to discourage sensible utilization of property.

I would not be surprised if MP prohibits the Fire District from using trailers when and IF the station 6 rebuild takes place. In which case MP will simply lose the coverage that station 6 provides during the 18-24 months it takes to rebuild the station. Of course MP will see this as another victory even if their fire coverage is degraded - strange but true.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 10:06 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

One of the valuable things about having a Fire District which serves three different communities is that it is easy to compare how those communities cooperate with and support the Fire District. And time and time again East Palo Alto and Atherton collaborate with the Fire District to create win-win solutions on issues like fire sprinklers and station upgrades while Menlo Park goes in exactly the opposite direction. In the end Atherton and East Palo Alto will be better served and, evidently, Menlo Park will feel that it is "in control". Frankly, I feel better being better served.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 16, 2010 at 11:41 am

Taxpayer: You have gone from saying these projects were "approved without much hassle" to saying "of course those projects were contentious" in less than 12 hours. I at least congratulate you for that admission.

These projects were reduced in both size and footprint, the setbacks were altered, the designs and facades were changed (in one case, completely flipped), more parking required, and the builders were required to alter the adjacent roads for ingress and egress, etc., etc., etc. All of these cost time and money.

But I'm not against modifying designs to conform to the city's building codes. What I'm against are cavalier changes that are based solely the whim of elected officials. That are unpredictable, change with elections. They are unfair and discouraging. Eventually, developers opt out and choose other locations. You may think that's just fine (and Sunnyvale is hardly a shining example), but you see the results everyday from one end of El Camino to the other (and no, Stanford doesn't own all of those businesses). Eventually, you'll see it on the city's income statement as tax revenues fall and those services they fund are shut down.

You are correct that Woodside isn't particularly friendly to commercial development but that's mainly because our commercial corridor isn't located not on a main thoroughfare like El Camino Real or Santa Cruz Avenue. Even our general plan states that our small commercial area is intended to serve the town (boutique market, barbers, etc.). For that reason, we don't see Staples, Borders or Chili's there. But we are not hostile to development and you've seen lots of renovation of our buildings - The Village Pub, Coldwell Banker office, the adjacent retail space and the new commercial landscape office next to The Bakery.


Posted by The Commish, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 16, 2010 at 12:26 pm

"Unfriendly" Menlo Park allowed the Fire District to expand their headquarters in Middlefield. Peter doesn't complain about that. And I'd like to know the specific reason (s) MP rejected the fire departments temporary move to El Camino.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

It turns out that Menlo Park's Zoning Ordinance doesn't even allow fire stations (which are owned and operated by the Fire District and obviously not owned and operated by the city of Menlo Park, or the county of San Mateo, or the state of California, or the government of the United States)in any of its zones including in its Public Facilities Zones:

16.49.020 Permitted uses.

The following uses are permitted in the P-F district:

(1) All public facilities used and operated for government purposes by the city of Menlo Park, the county of San Mateo, the state of California, and the government of the United States;

Imagine a city that has NO zones which permit fire stations !!

I think it is time to lobby for the same exemption from City control for Special Districts as exists for School Districts.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Commish, whoever that is, states:"Unfriendly" Menlo Park allowed the Fire District to expand their headquarters in Middlefield."

The Fire District purchased a building in a commercial zone that permitted administrative activities - no 'permission' was needed from the City for that use.

But the City did impose a long list of very expensive requirements on the Fire District's remodeling of that space - requirements that the architects stated went well beyond what is required by other jurisdictions for similar remodeling. Just one more example of the original title of this topic - Why businesses consider Menlo Park to be an unfriendly City


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Commish asks:"I'd like to know the specific reason (s) MP rejected the fire departments temporary move to El Camino."

I suggest that you ask the City.

I don't know WHY they did it just the HOW - they made it so expensive that it was no longer an economical use of the Fire District's money. This is exactly the same way that the city very successfully discourages others from locating/relocating in Menlo Park.


Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Oh the irony....Peter Carpenter has spent considerable time trying to convince us all of the need for sprinklers in residences at considerable cost to homeowners and now decries the city insistence the Fire Department should be required to do so.....Of all the two faced arguments that's the best I have heard in years.....Talk about different rules for different people......How dare the City require the Fire District to follow the rules like everybody else....

What hypocrisy.


Posted by taxpayer, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 16, 2010 at 1:43 pm

POGO, anyone who wants to build a good-sized project on ECR is going to have to jump through multiple hoops, including dealing with the neighbors, as there are residential neighborhoods within a few yards of most developments. I don't consider that a major hassle, just part of doing business. A developer who can't handle that level of community engagement probably shouldn't be in the development business.

There were no major changes to those projects. At the end of the process, the developers got 95%+ of what they'd asked for originally.

Peter, I agree with interested and others. Your "temporary" argument doesn't hold water, especially when "temporary" means 2 years and possibly, knowing how remodels tend to fall behind schedule, a lot longer. To ask that our city selectively decide not to enforce the laws is to make a mockery of them.


Posted by Carol Bartlett, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Feb 16, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Wow! Lots of emotion & personal insult are coming out, folks. I appreciate the information Mr. Carpenter presents, along with his opinions. Much of the other commentary appears merely opinionated. We all have opinions & this is a good place to express (some of) them. Only Mr. Carpenter is willing to identify himself?? Hmmm.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Any other community would say, like East Palo Alto did, 'You provide an essential service to our citizens, how can we help you upgrade your facilities to keep up with the growing demands of our community?'

As I already stated - Menlo Park will get what is wants - an empty, conforming eyesore at 444 El Camino and an old fire station for another 5-10 years.


Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Another non response. Lets try this.....A simple question..

Should MPFD be required to install sprinklers in a building in which it intends its employees to work?


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Interested asks:"Should MPFD be required to install sprinklers in a building in which it intends its employees to work? "

In my opinion Yes - so what is your point???


Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Thank you. Since you are aware that it would cost 400K to bring the premises into compliance will you now tell us what those requirements were?


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 16, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Taxpayer: You said "there were no major changes to those projects. At the end of the process, the developers got 95%+ of what they'd asked for originally."

Although you are applying a subjective scale (95%) to an objective measure (the number of design changes required by the city), you are still factually incorrect.

The names of the builders are posted very prominently in front of the sites. Assuming you are interested in the facts, and I do not make that assumption, I suggest you speak with them directly.

I have. You are wrong.

As I've said, I have no problem with changes to conform to code. I have a big problem when an elected official extracts changes just for the sake of exercising power. That's unfriendly and why so many lots and buildings are vacant... and the city's tax coffers are increasingly bare.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Interested asks:"Since you are aware that it would cost 400K to bring the premises into compliance will you now tell us what those requirements were?"

I do not have that cost breakdown. Ask the Fire District.

Interested, Commish and Truth - do you ever do any homework/fact finding of your own or do you always expect someone else to do it for you?


Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Mr. Carpenter

You began this thread. It was YOU who stated that the City of Menlo Park was not business friendly and it was YOU who advised that the City had required an expenditure of $400K for the MPFD to occupy the premises.

How bloody arrogant of you to now tell the rest of us if we want to know the details we should go and research them.

Notwithstanding the idiotic idea of putting a Fire Station at the worst bottleneck on the El Camino, If the city wants 400k of bright red fuchsias you may well have a point. If on the other hand the city's requirements mean the proposed site will be brought into compliance with current zoning laws, you don't.

How dare you treat those who disagree with you with such contempt.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.


Arrogance, contempt - no, simply taking the freeloaders to task.

If you can't take the heat, then stay out of the kitchen.


Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2010 at 4:08 pm

"Interested asks:"Since you are aware that it would cost 400K to bring the premises into compliance will you now tell us what those requirements were?"

I do not have that cost breakdown. Ask the Fire District."

Those are your words. If you don't have the cost breakdown, what are you complaining about? How exactly can you say these requirements are unreasonable WHEN YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE REQUIREMENTS ARE.

You certainly like to question every other agencies decision, why are you so reluctant to answer questions about the agency that YOU served on. Who decided to put a temporary Fire Station on the worst bottleneck on El Camino? That decision must have been made long ago while you were still on the District Board. Did you approve?. How did you come to your conclusion?.

Your so insistent on OPEN discourse about government decisions why don't you walk your talk and answer these questions.


Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, 11 minutes ago
Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac

Arrogance, contempt - no, simply taking the freeloaders to task.

If you can't take the heat, then stay out of the kitchen.


Who are the freeloaders?


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The freeloaders are those who use this Forum solely to ask literally endless and repetitive questions of others and then to personally attack them, and who bring nothing else to the table.

My ONLY question of others remains unanswered - do you ever do any homework/fact finding of your own or do you always expect someone else to do it for you?

If the shoe fits, then wear it.


Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm

So I shall assume that you will not provide the information about the improvements the City required to approve the MPFD use of the property on El Camino, despite your criticism of that requirement. I shall also assume that you are not interested in advising the rest of us why the Board you served on thought it prudent to place a fire station in the middle of the worst traffic bottleneck on the El Camino.

Thank you Mr. Carpenter, your willingness to share this information has been most enlightening.

Oh, and I certainly hope that your referring to those who question your opinions as "freeloaders" has been noted by the Almanac. Perhaps the next time you stamp your feet about name calling they will take it into account.






Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Interested - 90% of the facts in this thread came from me. I cannot give you information that I do not have, i.e the cost breakdown of the $400k of permanent improvements which the City wanted for the temporary use of a very small portion of the 444 El Camino site.

My ONLY question of others remains unanswered - do you ever do any homework/fact finding of your own or do you always expect someone else to do it for you?


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Interested notes:"your referring to those who question your opinions as "freeloaders"

I stated: "The freeloaders are those who use this Forum solely to ask literally endless and repetitive questions of others and then to personally attack them, and who bring nothing else to the table."

I said nothing about people who question my opinions. I welcome a dialogue on opinions but I get quickly bored with people who just ask repetitive questions and don't contribute to the content of a thread.

So, if the shoe fits, then wear it.

But please do answer my question.


Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Mr Carpenter.

The whole point of this thread, YOUR THREAD, was that the MPFD was not willing to spend $400K on improvements to the property and that the City of Menlo Parks requirements were unreasonable.....

NOW you state that you have no idea what requirements of the City were and that we, as individual citizens, should attempt to discover information that YOU as a member of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District cannot.

I thought that since you are so incensed by the City of Menlo Parks requirements for the fire district to occupy these premises you would have known what the city was asking for?....BUT CLEARLY YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT IS YOU ARE OPPOSED TO.

And then unwilling to answer those who seek clarity, you refer to us as freeloaders? I can understand why you have never run for serious public office..You would never stand the heat of that kitchen.





Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I have held significant Federal offices where I got lots of heat and I have twice been elected to public office by my fellow citizens. So I have no problem taking heat. Taking childish abuse is another matter.

I was asked for the cost breakdown of the $400k and I simply responded that I did not have the cost breakdown. That question was asked and answered four times. I never stated that "I have no idea what requirements of the City were".

I stated: "The freeloaders are those who use this Forum solely to ask literally endless and repetitive questions of others and then to personally attack them, and who bring nothing else to the table."
I said nothing about those who seek clarity. If you feel that this refers to you, then so be it.


Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Mr Carpenter. Thank you for your resume....Unfortunately I do not have a position available for someone of your limited ability.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

An example of childish abuse by Interested "Unfortunately I do not have a position available for someone of your limited ability."

Sad


Posted by Curioso, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Does anyone have info on how Tesla made it work next door? Presumably they would have faced a lot of the same issues. Not that I ever go there, and I'm not sure what the deal was on sales taxes (remember some controversy), but at least the lights are on and it doesn't look too bad.


Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Mr Carpenter. Thank you for your input


Posted by Richard Hine, managing editor of The Almanac
on Feb 16, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Richard Hine is a registered user.

I'm closing this thread. I think this topic has been exhausted, and has veered into characterizations of other posters. You are welcome to start a new thread on the Tesla question. At the top of the thread, click on the "Post a New Topic" link.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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