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Facebook enters partnership to build 394 apartments in Menlo Park

Original post made on Oct 1, 2013

One question that quickly arose when Facebook decided to relocate to and then expand in Menlo Park was, "What about employee housing?" The social media company answered that question on Tuesday by announcing its partnership with St. Anton, a real estate developer, to build a 394-unit apartment complex on 10 acres of land off Marsh Road.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 1, 2013, 11:51 AM

Comments (63)

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Can someone tell me: Is this the area where the City used to hold kite flying events and residents could walk and hike? Will residents have access to this area of the City or is it restricted to FB use? Will non-employees have options to buy this housing? Will people be able to use the walking paths in this area? Or, has FB been given exclusive use of this large area?


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Posted by JG
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Who pays for additional police and fire services for 400 - 600 new apartment residents? Will already over crowded city school districts be effected?


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Posted by John Murphy
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm

"Who pays for additional police and fire services for 400 - 600 new apartment residents? Will already over crowded city school districts be effected?"

JG - there is this wonderful magical thing called "Property Taxes". These being new units, they will not have a deflated prop 13 basis, the residents of the new units would be honestly have a better claim to services than anyone else, financially.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Who pays for additional police and fire services for 400 - 600 new apartment residents?"

These properties will pay property taxes which will fund the necessary services and their taxes will be based on the current value of the new construction not some 20 or 30 year old assessment.

I am waiting for Save Menlo to come out in opposition to this superb development because it will increase traffic on Bay and Marsh Roads!


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Posted by Louise68
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Gosh -- only 15 "affordable" units out of 394 units being built? That is far too few. Guess the elitists who live here --- and run this city -- want to keep the "riff-raff" out -- except to mow and blow their lawns, wash their dishes in restaurants, etc.

Maybe the City should think really hard about where our public safety personnel can afford to live: certainly not here in Menlo Park! In a disaster or big emergency, many off-duty public safety personnel will have to travel all the way from the Central Valley to the Mid-peninsula before they will be able to render aid to these same elitists -- who apparently think a disaster will never happen here. Has everyone forgotten about the San Andreas and Hayward Faults? These same elitists seem not to care at all about those who are not wealthy.


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 1, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

JG, the answer was in the article. This is a $120MM construction project (plus assessed land cost) at 1.25% that's an additional $1,500,000 in taxes (plus the 1.25% of the land value).....sounds like they'll be paying for the added services themselves (and then some)

Roy


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Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 1, 2013 at 5:14 pm

I'm curious: Menlo Park had a mandate to significantly increase the number of "affordable" units - there was a plan to put a couple hundred (not just 15) off Haven Avenue. I think 15 is just what Facebook would fund. Is this the same development? If so, it seems pretty nice... every neighborhood was pushing to have affordable housing built elsewhere. I thought Haven Avenue was picked because it was "out of sight/out of mind/not in my neighborhood" - with only industrial properties as neighbors. This doesn't look so bad.


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Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Mercury News article from half a year ago:

Web Link

"The Menlo Park City Council told staff Tuesday to begin the process of rezoning six sites to allow a total of 900 high-density homes, with the bulk of them in the city's east side.

"The six sites the council approved for at least 30 housing units per acre include the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs land on the 700 block of Willow Road (60 units), the 1200 block of Willow Road (42 units), the 1300 block of Willow Road (36 units), the 700 and 800 blocks of Hamilton Avenue in Belle Haven (216 units), a U.S. Post Service site at 3875 Bohannon Drive (76 units) and the 3600 block of Haven Avenue (464 units).

"Haven Avenue, which is east of Highway 101 and north of Marsh Road, would have a 'larger percentage of affordable housing,' McClure said."

15 out of 394 doesn't seem very high ... I assume more will have that designation. I've heard affordable housing can either raise crime ... or lower it. Really don't know, but I'm now biased in favor of it. High density housing, if done correctly, can be an environmentally responsible way of providing good quality of life. People here can go to Bedwell Bayshore park to get their open space, and have a number of services conveniently located.


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Posted by Stu Soffer
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 1, 2013 at 5:46 pm

There was an earlier article (July) in the San Jose Business Journal about this project and the developer. The article states that "St. Anton is planning for 10 to 12 percent of its units to affordable", which would be 40-50 units.

Web Link




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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 1, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Affordable housing = socialism


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Affordable housing = a very good investment in Menlo Park's future


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 2, 2013 at 8:09 am

Affordable housing is not an investment for Menlo Park. Menlo Park pays nothing for it. The developer is held hostage and forced to provide what an unfettered market will not provide. Ultimately that means the buyers of the market rate units pick up the tab. If people want to live in Menlo Park they need to do those things necessary to afford themselves the income to do so. To provide it for them is socialism pure and simple. And that is decidedly NOT a good investment.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Oct 2, 2013 at 11:47 am

Affordable housing ensures that there will be a mix of services available in Menlo Park.

The people who teach your children, provide retail and services for you and your home will not have to live 50 miles away to do so. If middle class goods and services providers are excluded from the community they will add their commuting costs to the prices they charge you and the rates will be outrageous.

I know you find a lot of things attractive about being a wealthy island -- but your rote conservative line is foolish.


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Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 2, 2013 at 12:04 pm

The developer got the right to create high-density housing due to rezoning; this probably increased the value of his land significantly. In return, they're expected to make a certain number of the units affordable. The article is about how they're getting assistance from Facebook. High-density housing is a actually the best way to make housing that is affordable to buy more affordable to build. I think some efforts at making affordable housing stock available are misguided, but I cringe at slapping the label "held hostage" - it seems the developer got something very important for the value of his property(rezoning), and, in return, is requested to provide a social benefit (some percent of affordable housing). Consider this: it should actually minimize the time people are on the freeway driving, actually reducing congestion overall.


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Posted by Confused
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 2, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Can anyone describe what this "partnership" between St. Anton and Facebook actually is? I see a lot of quotes from FB, but I don't see any details about the deal the two of them reportedly cut.


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Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Here's a more detailed description of the project, from July:

Web Link

Apparently, another developer is looking to build in that area also.


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Posted by commissioner
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm

neighbor - the area where the City used to hold kite flying events and residents can walk and hike is a city-owned public park called Bedwell Bayfront Park. Residents will continue to have access to this park. This housing will be located near that area of the City. Non-employees of Facebook will have options to RENT this housing. People will be able to continue using the walking paths in this area -- FB HAS NOT been given exclusive use of this large area. The total number of affordable units will be greater than 15 - Facebook is paying for 15 as a part of the City's below market rate housing requirements for new commercial developments. The developer (St. Anton) is providing an additional number of affordable units (10-20 percent).


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 2, 2013 at 7:51 pm

neighbor:

no affordable housing does not " ensures that there will be a mix of services available in Menlo Park."

"The people who teach your children, provide retail and services for you and your home will not have to live 50 miles away to do so."

You forgot police and firefighters. Teachers make too much money to qualify for "affordable" housing. As do police and firefighters. People providing retails services also don't qualify for "affordable" housing in this area because they don't make nearly enough. Affordable housing is a joke. It is never occupied by those it is supposedly there to help.


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Posted by WhoRUpeple
a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2013 at 8:25 am

The article said that the developer hopes to start "immediately". Has there already been an EIR to comply with CEQA done on this project. I do not recall seeing any notice of preparation (NOP), any draft or final EIR notices. For a project this size such an analysis would generally take 12 months or more depending on the number of other projects in the City's pipeline. Unless, of course, MP provides preferential treatment for the project because of the FB connection. But, I do believe it does require an EIR.


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Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2013 at 8:31 am

A previous poster identified that the property taxes this project would generate would amount $1.5M, and from that concluded it will pay for all added services "and then some". In addition to the EIR requirement I mentioned previously, MP generally requires a FIA (financial impact analysis) for such projects. The FIA not only identifies the revenue side of the issues, but the expense side as well (rather than assuming neutrality or "then some"). Again, has an FIA already been done?


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Posted by so many possible outcomes
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Oct 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I sure hope the SUHSD, Ravenswood, and MPSD are in direct meetings with Facebook and the MP City Council to figure out how to educate the children who live in these 394 apartments.
Everyone is scrambling trying to figure out what to do with 22+% highschool growth (which doesn't take into account any new construction).

Mr. Zuckerberg generously donated 100 million to long troubled Newark public school district. Imagine what he could do for Ravenswood? Let the philanthropy begin!

And for God's sake school district administrators: engage NOW, not after the fact.


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Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm

"Affordable" housing is a misguided concept. Full time police & fire dept. employees, sanitation workers & teachers make too much money to qualify. So do many retail employees. Top salespeople at Nordstrom's make over $100k. So do many hairstylists. Part-time retail & restaurant workers don't make enough.

The moral of the story is, work full-time & live within your means, as in where you can afford to live. No Facebook employees will qualify for "affordable" housing so why should they have to build it.

Let me know when I can go rent some affordable housing in Hillsborough or Atherton.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"figure out how to educate the children who live in these 394 apartments."

That is what property taxes are for and these apartments will pay a lot of property taxes. In fact, because these apartments will be assessed at full current value, they will pay more per capita than most other residents of the school districts.

The challenge is for the school districts to learn to live with the income that they receive. Building multi million dollar performing arts centers that are used only a small percentage of the time rather than building high quality classrooms that are needed and used all the time is an example of having their priorities confused.


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Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 4, 2013 at 12:06 am

Read the current details:
Web Link

Seems like a good deal given the growth of FB. Dense new infill housing units, close to FB, oriented toward mostly young, childless professionals. Nice high assessed tax values. What's not to like ?

Anton Menlo Community Details:

- 35 studio residences
- 208 one-bedroom residences
- 139 two-bedroom residences
- 12 three-bedroom residences


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 4, 2013 at 6:48 am

557 additional cars on the streets.


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Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 4, 2013 at 7:30 am

Those cars are already on the road commuting to FB, or will be. Having housing within biking/walking distance is our best chance to recuse traffic, especially if the housing has local amenitie, like groceries, restaurants, etc. Once again, what's not to like (if you live in reality) ?


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Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 4, 2013 at 11:34 am

It's pretty obvious that, although it has a certain percentage of "affordable" units, this development isn't exactly public housing. I think certain people are in denial about the need for less expensive housing - there will always be a need for people to do jobs that pay less - it's not good that they do monster commutes. That housing doesn't have to be fancy, just adequate. If that less expensive housing can be made available without subsidies - all the better; that's hard to achieve on the peninsula.

That aside, this has the attractive aspects of the proposed Saltworks project, without many of the negative ones. It's not on wetlands, and it provides housing that minimizes the need for long commutes. If the people who end up living here actually work in San Francisco, instead of Facebook - then there's a traffic problem. (If I were a Facebook employee, I'm not sure how crazy I'd be about being with my coworkers 100% of the time.) But if this housing does what it's supposed to do, it's a good idea.


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Posted by Same old
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 4, 2013 at 11:37 am

You know the old "fooled me once..."??? Every time developers want to construct new housing, they claim that no families with children will be moving in. "All occupants will be childless seniors or 20-somethings without kids." Right, because the Facebook employees, who now enjoy living in San Francisco and taking the free shuttle to work, are going to want to move to an apartment in the middle of nowhere. Straight face test anyone?

There have been at least five significant housing projects that I recall in which the developers claimed "no impact on schools." Vintage Oaks was only going to house five school-aged kids. Right. The 60-unit development on Linfield wasn't going to have kids any older than 3. Nope, place is crawling with school-aged kids.

So let's get real here. Seniors aren't going to want these apartments. Too far from everything, can't walk anywhere except the park. Your gardener isn't going to give up his house with the 3-car garage and swimming pool so he can squash his family into one of these units. He'd rather drive. The SF residents aren't going to be lured to Menlo Park.

Nothing wrong with kids moving in. But there is something wrong with planning that's based on some fantasy rather than on what's likely to occur. This will have a major impact on schools and recreational demands, as will any and all new housing built in this city. (Unless it's explicitly senior housing.)


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Posted by Rick
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm

I'd like to see the projected size and sale price of these affordable units. I'm willing to bet that they are not what less affluent people would consider affordable. $1.5 million in property taxes (is that all?) won't go very far when it comes to meeting the increased demands on city services. A million or two isn't what it used to be.

Those who sneer at the idea of police, firefighters etc. living in our city should consider the need for the proximity of emergency services during disasters, for example, an earthquake. Do you really want to rely on people who have to drive 30 + to get the scene? Consider, also, that a major quake brings down bridges and closes freeways.

As for the snide comment that schools should live within their means, I think we are all aware that the excellent schools serving Atherton and Menlo Park have contributed significantly to property values. Perhaps if our schools cut corners in the interests of economy, our schools would no longer be excellent. Our property values would soon reflect that lack of excellence.

Funding for the MA performing arts center was a done deal before the economic downturn. Anyone with a modicum of knowledge about school finances would know that monies apportioned for specific projects may not be used to fund anything else. Not only that, the center is an asset to the whole neighborhood.

By the way, why is it that people with right-wing political aspirations must always put down our public schools and our teachers?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"As for the snide comment that schools should live within their means, "

Nothing snide about it - they should live within their means. Is Rick proposing that the schools should be exempt from having a balanced budget? If so, who will pay their deficit?

" Anyone with a modicum of knowledge about school finances would know that monies apportioned for specific projects may not be used to fund anything else."
Correct, but why did the school district put a higher priority on getting funds for the performing arts centers than funds for classrooms?

" put down our public schools and our teachers" Nobody did - read my comments carefully. I questioned the priorities of the elected and appointed officials not the competence of the teachers or the quality of the schools.

Please pay attention before posting stupid statements.


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Posted by Rick
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 4, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Good grief! I seem to have it a nerve with Peter Carpenter. Does Mr. Carpenter spend all his time on Almanac comment pages? He comments so frequently that I wonder how he has time for anything else.

Read my comments carefully. I did not suggest that schools should be exempt from having a balanced budget. However, it should be noted that our affluent community imposes far higher demands on our school districts than demands imposed on poorer districts. Meeting those demands is very expensive.

Further, the MA performing arts center was welcomed by the community and seen as a benefit for students' education. If only we'd had a crystal ball . . .


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" it should be noted that our affluent community imposes far higher demands on our school districts than demands imposed on poorer districts." Is that why SUHSD busses students from EPA to Claremont and Sequoia?


"Meeting those demands is very expensive."

That why the school districts get revenue from property taxes which are based on property values in those affluent communities.


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Posted by Rick
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 4, 2013 at 5:54 pm

@peter c. Sigh. Peter, I have a life beyond commenting, so I won't bother to address your latest opinionated comment. Have a lovely evening. Me? I'll have a lovely evening dining at one of Menlo Park's fine restaurants. Over and out.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 4, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"I'll have a lovely evening dining at one of Menlo Park's fine restaurants."
Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to participate in a civic dialogue.

Perhaps you ca explain why the Fire Board, using current demographic data, decided to invest in additional land and expand its fire stations to meet the needs of a growing population , when SUHSD, with the same demographic data, chose instead to build performing arts centers rather than increasing classroom capacity?

And why SUHSD continues to bus EPA students to Claremont and Sequoia when "affluent" M-A is right at their doorstep?


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Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 4, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Peter,
MA added a number of classrooms within the PAC and subsequent tech building (I) expansion.
As far as demographic data, please excuse my frankness, but you only have to worry about households, which is far simpler to predict than incoming public school students. The school districts have done an OK job of predicting incoming numbers due to new development, but have blown it on the growing number of school age kids moving into existing housing, something you don't even need to react to.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 5, 2013 at 11:03 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"have blown it on the growing number of school age kids moving into existing housing"

They should have looked at the census data which reports by age groups including ages 10-14 and the enrollment in the elementary schools - this is not rocket science.

For example, here is the data for Menlo Park - note the big increase in ages 0-10 which will have an impact on elementary schools now and the high schools in next 5-10 years:

2000 to 2010 Census Comparison for ZIP Code 94025
SEX AND AGE 2000 2010 % Change
Total population 39,061 40,526 +3.75%
Under 5 years 2,608 3,090 +18.48%
5 to 9 years 2,633 3,020 +14.70%
10 to 14 years 2,271 2,460 +8.32%


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Posted by fwiw
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm


> They should have looked at the census data...

Sigh. That's not a bad point that paying attention to the census is certainly a reasonable thing to do. In this case, 2010 demographic data was published May 26, 2011. The school board meets once more without time to even glance at the data before going on hiatus til August 2011. They return and start talking about growth plans in 2012.

So as I understand the complaint is, the district should have presciently known back when they were authorizing the 2008 bond measure that the $16M out of $160M total allocation should have been redeployed to classrooms instead because the census data they would see 4 years later would show a dramatic uptick from the mean data they had been monitoring for the past 30 years?

And even then, it's not like the classroom space is not available across the district. Woodside High is underutilized. Move Las Lomitas and one MP elementary to Woodside High, bring Ravenswood back to MA and we're done.

Oh, only now, we will have a near political riot from the Las Lomitas and MP parents moving and we will totally ignore the complete minority imbalance that would exist in the district. For something like a dozen years or more, the district was under court order to maintain racial balance within 5% of the total population across each school in the district. Now it's apparently a.o.k to do the exact opposite thing that was litigated towards for almost a score of years. Not that Carlmont parents wouldn't be happy to see it.

And I'm with "stats" on the comparison to the fire district. The fire district has it easy. You take your trained monkeys and they divy up the district by geographic response time. You build your stations according to road and access throughput times based on the number of parcels in the district. As those parcels get built you add some additional engines and crews. And the best part is that once a building gets built, it never gets unbuilt. Once density is increased, it almost never decreases. And as to paying attention to demographic shifts, you don't even have to care except you maybe need to bring another crew online. But if you don't it doesn't even get noticed until their is an area wide natural disaster, so we don't even get to really know how the district is REALLY doing.

And then best of all for the district, when it shifts resources, it gets to almost transparently redistrict properties to be served by different substations. I'll bet you've not once had somebody on the border complain that they got moved from substation 27 to being served by substation 42 to save 28 seconds of response time. Look at the outcry that SUSHD gets when they try to respond to Ravenswood transit times by giving them first choice at moving to MA.

I'm with "stats on this; it's a silly comparison. I have my own criticisms of the SUHSD but this complaint is just way off base, in my opinion. Adding/removing capacity with modulars is easy and gives the district time to figure out what the new level for homostasis is.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Elementary school enrollment data is available every year and there is no indication that there has been some big influx of students now entering high school who had not previously been in the elementary schools.


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Posted by fwiw
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm


It would be absurd to deploy new permanent classrooms every time that there is a two year uptick in demographic population, especially when district capacity is there is absorb them.

The rational thing to do is to talk it out with your constituents, see what they are willing to live with and/or fund, then move forward after seeing if a blip justifies it. No student is going to die if they go to a modular for a year or three or class size itself blips up for a couple of years.

Moreover, just building more classrooms ignores both the fact that capacity in district IS there and that just increasing population at the "popular" high school may not be the right answer. So far the board IS taking the proper approach, imho.

If the district did build 10 extra classrooms at MA and endorse that school being 35% larger than the other district schools, then the blip faded, would the board get any slack from critics?

I think I've made a bunch of valid points that you have dismissed with one pithy sentence. So we probably aren't going to see eye to eye on this one.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

fwiw - you are correct that you have made a number of valid points and I regret that you feel that I have dismissed them. What I think we can both agree on is that the SUHSD needs to make some difficult decisions regarding school assignment rules/boundaries and how best to handle the increased census regardless of whether it is a blip or a longer term trend.


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Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm

That it would be as easy as you suggest Peter - just use census numbers ? The actual growth in MP public school enrollment was 38% over the 1996-2011 vs. perhaps 25% that would have been gleaned from your methods.

Web Link

You just did a big "fail" Peter, doing worse in planning than the local school boards.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 5, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

stats - you are not paying attention.The data you quoted is the data that I stated should be used to project SUHSD enrollment:

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, 2 hours ago
Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online

Elementary school enrollment data is available every year.


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Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm

@No Peter,
You are not paying attention - Your suggested census big increase (15-18% over 10 years = 25% over 15 years) comes nowhere close to the actuals (38% over 15 years). There's another big factor at play that you missed and is somewhat unpredictable - the % of kids enrolling in public schools. Due to improving public schools, caps on the size of private schools and the economy, we've seen a far greater % of local kids vector into the public school system. Read the report and learn, instead of taking a holier-than-thou attitude.


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Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm

@Old,
Your "fool me once" hypothesis is in error. Take a look at the link below:
Web Link
The public EIR estimate for public school impact for the Linfield Oaks 2 project was 28. There were 17 kids in MPCSD from that project and we can extrapolate 8 more at MA making the total 25 - quite close to the estimate.
I believe the EIR estimate for Vintage Oaks was 110 students. There might have been a point in 2006 where 89 kids were in MPCSD, plus an estimated 40 more at MA (130 est. total), but that number has fallen off from that peak to 55 in MPCSD (83 est. total).
By far, the biggest single source of recent growth in the MPCSD was growth in existing housing the Willows
Bottom line: EIR estimates were accurate. New development has NOT been big culprit, as much as you would like it to be. Go find another scapegoat.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

states - you are not paying attention. I stated that the SUHSD should be looking at both census data and elementary school enrollment data. I gave MP census data as an example to show how the census dealt with age groups. I never made specific projections.


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Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

@Peter,
Take a look at the trendline on page 18. Enrollment growth in MPCSD didn't start until 2003 (the first year with enrollment larger than 1996) and the hypergrowth trend in the district really wasn't certain until 2007, the year the PAC was already underway. I also heard that the rate of kids transitioning from Hillview to MA jumped 15% in 2008-2010 due to the recession. So your pat answers don't really carry water. You're a smart guy and a good leader, but there's more complexity to making the right decisions on this issue than you are are willing to recognize right now. The answer shouldn't always be, "do it like the fire district".


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I fully recognize the complexity of the decision making involving providing the same quality of education to every SUHSD student but I don't accept that making those difficult decisions should be deferred.


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Posted by Same old
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 5, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Apples and oranges, Stats. The school district did indeed know those kids were coming. But that's not what the developers told the council. Did you attend or watch those meetings? I did. The council members asked about impacts on schools and were assured that no school-aged kids would be moving in to those developments! Thus satisfied, they gave the developers the green light. (In one surreal instance, a council member was so besotted with the idea that no child in the development would be older than 3 that she went off on a tangent -- during the meeting! -- to start designing a play structure that would be appropriate for a preschooler.)

While I'm talking about incorrect stats -- and I can crunch numbers too! -- a certain fire district aspirant keeps trotting out the fact that the fire district serves a fivefold larger population than the schools do. Well, yes...and no. Out of every 1000 households in the fire district, what percent receive service every year? 1%? And what is the average duration of service? I'd guess it's under an hour, since most calls are for the paramedics. Whereas if we're talking about 1000 students in the district, the district will be serving close to 100% every day for over 180 days for 6-7 hours a day.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 5, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Same old - not an aspirant. I have served as a Director of the Fire District fir 9 years and the District is a model for local government. Balanced budgets, same level of service for everyone, building for the future and no parcel taxes.


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Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 6, 2013 at 9:10 am

@Same,
I'm not disagreeing with you on what developers claim. It's in the records that the Linfield Oaks 2 developer claimed the number would be lower than the EIR. But it is also true that for 2011, the number was indeed lower (25 vs. 28).

My main contention is that new developments have been a far less heinous source of enrollment growth than turnover on existing properties. The school districts at least plan and charge impact fees for new development, but get killed by turnover of existing homes to new families. That's what the statistics show, if you actually care about the numbers.


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Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 6, 2013 at 9:31 am

@Peter,
I agree - Not sure about Ravenswood stats, but MPCSD and Los Lomitas trendlines suggest that we need 50% more classroom capacity at the south end of the district by 2017 than we had in 2003, assuming the schools were full in 2003. Then there is also the consideration of max campus sizes. What's your solution ?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 6, 2013 at 10:02 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I would propose that each of the elementary school districts add one more school designed in such a way that it could be converted temporarily to other uses when demand slackens. Priority would be to have every child receive the same quality education and to go to the closest school.

For SUHSD I propose that they build a fifth high school east of 101 and then redraw all assignment boundaries so that every student receives the same quality education and goes to the closest school.

Big bucks but it will never be cheaper to do than now.


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Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 7, 2013 at 8:45 am

@Peter,
I think your suggestions are underway in two elementary districts mentioned. If the taxpayers approve there will be a new second small-scale Laurel campus that could be rented out as a private school, again, if demand slackens. Plus La Entrada will get an expansion, which would be harder to adapt for other uses in the future, but given that Philip Brooks' lease runs until 2022, the options are limited.

As for the SUHSD, I do question whether a fifth comprehensive high-school is even possible from a land acquisition perspective.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 7, 2013 at 9:13 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"As for the SUHSD, I do question whether a fifth comprehensive high-school is even possible from a land acquisition perspective."


There are numerous suitable parcels east of 101 for a fifth campus - some vacant and others occupied by low value uses.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 7, 2013 at 9:20 am

I think people have deviated from the original article. I suggest you start a new thread if you want to talk about schools, etc.


Can anyone tell me where this parcel that Facebook is building on is actually located -- more than "just off Marsh Rd."?


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Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2013 at 9:48 am

Facebook is not building this project, Anton is the developer. Facebook is simply using this development as the mechanism to fulfill a condition of approval that was imposed on their office project requiring them to fund 15 units affordable housing in the area. I know of nothing that says the people who buy these 394 units will necessarily be Facebook employees. Those who aren't, likely will not walk to where ever they work.


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Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 7, 2013 at 11:36 am

@Joe,
Yes, we've going pretty far afield, though almost all new development criticism rolls back to impact on schools and traffic. My original point was that due to the composition of units in this development (mostly studio to 2 bedroom), the location (biking distance to FB), and the on-site shopping and amenities, this development would have minimal or even beneficial school and traffic impacts - we'll have to see the EIR.

In the meantime, here's your map:
Web Link


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Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2013 at 8:12 am

@stats

I've been told by a credible source that this project was covered in the EIR done for the recent Housing Element process and another one isn't necessary. Again, my concern is that there is nothing that says these units will be occupied by FB employees, thus the traffic impacts are a real question mark in my view.


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Posted by same old
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 8, 2013 at 9:47 am

My understanding of recent legislation is that no EIR is required. There's a watered-down environmental review, but the real estate development interests are so dominant in Sacramento that they managed to pull all CEQA's teeth.

Facebook has come under fire for potentially stripping the EPA/Belle Haven area of all affordable housing. This project enables them to say "see -- we're adding housing, not taking it away." Doesn't mean any FB employees will trade their SF pied a terre for a tiny apartment near the former dump. Most of them will not.


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Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 8, 2013 at 2:01 pm

@Same and Who,
You are right - I don't think EIR is required based on the staff report:
Web Link
Based on floorspace and size of the units (see the report for more info) I can't see this development burdening schools more than Linfield Oaks 2. I do see it as legitimate housing for tons of FaceBookers who were not there pre-IPO and cannot afford a pied a terre in SF. Seems like ideal young, single professional housing, and not ideal for families with kids.


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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 8, 2013 at 3:51 pm

How about an on-site charter school to minimize the impact on the school District? It could use non-union teachers to reduce costs. Maybe it could be linked to an on-line education source.


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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 8, 2013 at 3:57 pm

The new residents of this project might provide the needed impetus for a golf course at Bedwell Bayfront Park. (the old dump site)


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Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm

@Jack,
We're probably talking about 20-25 kids at most. Not even one full class, even if they were all in the same grade. Think the development is in the Redwood City Elementary district and within Sequoia HS attendance boundary.


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