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MP council begrudgingly approves settlement

Original post made on Jul 22, 2010

They were peeved and frustrated in doing so, but Menlo Park City Council members last night (July 20) gritted their teeth and unanimously supported a settlement agreement with an anonymous plaintiff, Concerned Citizens of Menlo Park, which in 2009 sued the city and would-be developers of the property at 1300 El Camino Real.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 12:00 PM

Comments (7)

Posted by Jeesh, a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm

What gave the citizens of Menlo Park the town was modeled after the town next to the residence Louis XVI?
In actuality, Versailles is a quaint and charming place with a lucrative tourist trade, some charming shoppes, and a lot of antique stores.
51,000 sq.ft. is not that big an area...after all, I would rather see a well designed grocery store (not quaint) than an auto show room------unless it was like the fabulous show rooms which housed the autos on Van Ness in S.F made of marble and 40 ft. high ceilings with magnificent Victorian designs-------San Mateo County just seems to always be in a huff about something they deem "culturally aesthetic"....hogwash.
I hope that a grocery with a Gaudi design is placed there to escape the boring architecture which has become a symbol of the Peninsula.
It is odd how many people from similar NEW MONEY all think alike along the Peninsula Corridor. Hillsborough was the only place that had style and homes to match the individuality of the owners.


Posted by thank you, council, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 23, 2010 at 7:51 am

Seems that Draegers and Beltramos know whom to contact when they need a hitman. Pretty clear who calls the shots in our city now: the Mob, aka our local unions.


Posted by joan, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 23, 2010 at 8:34 am

I've heard of vile tactics used to bully others into doing what you want, but reading about this one makes me want to take a shower.

I find myself saying with much less frequency these days that I'm a die-hard union supporter. Union leaders, wake up. You're committing suicide.


Posted by Curious, a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2010 at 11:54 am

[Off-topic post removed; posters can begin a new thread to discuss another topic]


Posted by Long time resident, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm

If the City's general plan were modified to eliminate features like Level of Service traffic standards for intersections, these frivilous lawsuits would be much more difficult to file. This lawsuit claimed the EIR was inadequate - relative to the standards set in the general plan. Our current council majority is no/slow growth and thrives on restrictive environmental standards. This lawsuit exploited that perspective and the general plan drafted by their predessors/supporters.


Posted by Question Mark, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 23, 2010 at 8:45 pm

The council majority may have expressed annoyance this time, but they definitely encourage this type of behavior by and large- it is never too late to bring up a petty last-minute accusation or litigation. When it's his Preferred Citizen Squad (Paulie C and the Killer B's), Andy loves that kind of stuff- just look at the Bohannon process. Menlo Park, you make your bed, you sleep in it.


Posted by Deep Insider, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 24, 2010 at 10:29 am

Some facts. The lawsuit is an EIR lawsuit, not a referendum, brought by an anonymous special interest, not by a neighborhood group, that attacks the city's GHG emissions standards not its traffic LOS standards.

So at least three of the comments above are totally irrelevant.

Were the city to lose an EIR lawsuit it would simpy have to redo the analysis properly, Recirculate the EIR and could then re-approve the exact same project. This would cause delay and make future reApprovals subject to election risk and a future council. EIR lawsuits never give plaintiffs power over projects. They can only be used to compel full disclosure of impacts.

The developer is the real party in interest. The developer spends the money to defend the suit and chooses the defense attorney. If the suit prevails the plaintiffs are entitled to recover their litigation costs. I don't know whether the city or developer pays those costs.

This means that the developers attorney believed that a) the plaintiffs were sufficiently well funded, and B) that the plaintiff was likely to prevail. (I would guess that the plaintiffs revealed their identity to the developer.)

It also means that Menlo Parks standards for evaluating and determining significance of a project's impacts on climate change are legally inadequate. Hence a Green council that has had four years to develop a strong and defensible legal basis to set GHG emissions standards for Menlo Park had every reason to settle rather than admit the inadequacy of their work and suffer the political implications in an election year.

You may agree or disagree with the "Green Agenda", but the point is Green leadership, particularly Heyward Robinson and Kelly Fergusson are unable to deliver that agenda, preferring instead to engage in symbolic gestures that have no substantive impact on furthering real results. This settlement in part covers up their incompetence, and worse it allows the legal inadequacies to persist and be applied to more projects, giving the illusion that Menlo Park has enforceable standards when it doesn't.


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