Town Square

Post a New Topic

Menlo Park: Specific plan initiative signatures certified

Original post made on Jun 20, 2014

The grassroots initiative to change sections of Menlo Park's downtown/El Camino Real plan has enough registered voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot, the city announced Thursday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 20, 2014, 7:43 AM

Comments (46)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by kkw
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 20, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Voting in November gives the residents of Menlo Park a voice. Adopting this ordinance and tying the hands of future councils gives only those who pushed this process a voice. Either way, those of us block or two too far north will have none. That is as it is, but adopting this ordinance without a vote of the people would be absurd.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Stay informed about the FACTS - not the spin and misconceptions - about the Specific Plan, the Stanford plans for El Camino Real and the ballot initiative at both www.mpcdforum.com and our city's website => Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 20, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

This initiative has already had a chilling effect on development in our town. Passage will virtually freeze it. That is the point of the drafters of the initiative who want to force their own narrow self interests on the rest of the town. All I can say is if it passes, enjoy the view. We'll have empty lots for a long time as evidenced by the permanent fencing Stanford has replaced the temporary fencing with on their property.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gern
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 21, 2014 at 9:45 am

"This initiative has already had a chilling effect on development in our town. Passage will virtually freeze it."

Utter. Nonsense. Somehow Greenheart is able to forge ahead with their EIR while Hunter Properties eagerly snapped up the Roger Reynolds site with plans to redevelop it, all despite this "chilling effect." Can you offer one example of the initiative stifling development, without trundling out Peter's limp and unsubstantiated claim about the Banyan Tree Group/Banyan Group/Banyan Investment Group once again?

"All I can say is if it passes, enjoy the view. We'll have empty lots for a long time as evidenced by the permanent fencing Stanford has replaced the temporary fencing with on their property."

Is this "permanent fencing" a universal developer code for the intention to do nothing with a property for a decade? Failing that, please provide your direct source at Stanford which allows you to speak with such certainty about their intentions.

Gern


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 21, 2014 at 9:58 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here clear evidence of the chill:

"Greenheart principal Bob Burke said in an email Wednesday that the company is proceeding with the required environmental studies, at its own cost, because "we cannot assume that it (initiative) will win" if it qualifies for the ballot.

The initiative "has major flaws with multiple unfortunate consequences, namely that Menlo Park residents will miss the opportunity to achieve the full vibrancy of the Downtown," he wrote."

Not clear enough for you?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 21, 2014 at 11:17 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is what Jim Cogan has already stated regarding the initiative:
"Jim Cogan, the city's economic development manager, said he's worried the initiative is a step backward. "My professional opinion is that it's a bad thing for Menlo Park. It will stifle investment in the downtown improvements and likely mean that the property owners will miss out on the financing necessary to redevelop the vacant car lots."

Gern - re the Roger Reynolds site - weeks ago you promised to send an email to the city asking for conformation re BGI's interest.
Posted by Gern, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 10, 2014 at 12:50 pm
I will send an email to Jim Cogan asking him to confirm Peter's claim about the hotel and, unlike Peter, will post the full text of my message as well as Jim's response here, assuming I receive one."

Gern - Please post your email and the city's response.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 21, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Gern:

if Stanford had any intention of developing their property in the near future why would they replace temporary fencing with permanent fencing? Even you can deduce the likely answer. As one with experience in the building industry I can tell you temporary fencing is just that, temporary. What has been installed is permanent and will require a lot more effort to remove than temp fencing should the time ever come they wish to develop the property. It doesn't take a "direct line" to Stanford to be able to figure this one out.

Hunter properties plans on building housing and only housing. No mixed use. No sales tax revenue for the city and the addition of much more traffic to El Camino than offices will. The traffic study Savemenlo demanded backs that up.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by oldtimer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 21, 2014 at 2:27 pm


The best advice to anyone reading these comments is:

1. Menlo Voter, who has acknowledged being a developer, so one should just ignore his comments.

2. Surely filter out any comments from Peter Carpenter, who has no standing since he is not a Menlo Park Resident, and obviously from all of his postings, is just trolling for all things Stanford.

3. When reading something from a City employer, such as Gogan, remember Staff is looking to "feather their beds"; they are fully biased in favor of all development, and certainly at odds with making MP a place to enhance the quality of life for MP residents.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 21, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Oldtimer - interesting that you have no interest in facts.

Hopefully other Menlo Park residents will be better informed before they vote.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 21, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

old timer:

you need to work on your reading comprehension. I have NEVER said I was a developer. I'm not. Never have been. I am a builder. I build primarily high end, single family homes. I have done some commercial construction, but none in Menlo Park.

I don't have a dog in this fight other than I don't want to see the current blight in our town continued. And I strenuously object to those with a narrow self interest that isn't in the best interest of our town trying to shove that narrow self interest down my throat and the throats of the rest of the citizens of this town that want and expect vibrancy in our downtown.

We also expect a open, transparent, public process that took years to develop the DSP to be followed. We don't expect that process and plan to be overturned by a few self interested individuals with their own agenda.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 21, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Hopefully everyone except old-timer will actually read the Lanza/Fry initiative and note that, among its many other faults, it actually proposes to be THE Supreme Doctrine for the City of Menlo Park:

"Section 5. PRIORITY.
5.1. After this measure becomes effective, its provision shall prevail over and
supersede all provisions of the municipal code, ordinances, resolutions,
and administrative policies of the City of Menlo Park which are inferior to
the Planning Policy Documents and in conflict with any provisions of this
measure."


Is this arrogance or ignorance?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by get real
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 21, 2014 at 5:19 pm

The initiative is clear about the definitions it is using. If it didn't, there would be complaints about lack of clarity. Of course it should prevail over the few Plan elements that it affects. Why do it otherwise.

It affects only 4 elements of the Plan: Requires the voters to modify the Plan's Maximum Buildout limit of non-residential SF or to exceed the exact same amount of office SF that was in the Plan's environmental and financial forecasts and impact analysis, doesn't allow counting of balconies and upper level decks toward project open space, and limits the amount of office per project to 100,000 SF.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 21, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

get real:

you need to actually read the initiative instead of listening to the BS put forward by Lanza/Fry. This initiative does far more than you seem to think.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No Easy Solutions
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 22, 2014 at 9:15 am

@get real: don't forget that any changes will require another initiative. So if there are unintended consequences, it'll be more difficult, expensive, and longer to change

@oldtimer: I guess anyone that disagrees with your view should be ignored. Nice way to advance this important dialogue.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 22, 2014 at 9:16 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Those who think the Lanza/Fry initiative just involves a few simple changes should note the number of definitions included in the initiative and that none of those definitions can be changed except by n expensive a city wide vote.

Section 3 ECR SPECIFIC PLAN AREA VOTER-ADOPTED
DEVELOPMENT DEFINITIONS AND STANDARDS includes no less than 12 separate definitions: Sec 3.1,
3.2.1,
3.2.2,
3.2.3,
3.2.4,
3.2.5,
3.2.6,
3.3.1,
3.3.2,
3.3.3,
3.3.4,
and 3.3.5.


The initiative then states:
"the voter adopted development standards AND DEFINITIONS set forth in Section 3,
above, may be repealed or amended only by a majority vote of the
electorate of the City of Menlo Park voting "YES" on a ballot measure
proposing such repeal or amendment at a regular or special election."

Codifying all these definition and making any changes in them subject to voter approval is a recipe for both disaster and, guess what, making sure that nothing happens.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by get real
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 22, 2014 at 1:15 pm

The definitions are the exact same as in the Specific Plan. Nothing new.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The definitions are the exact same as in the Specific Plan. Nothing new."

Wrong - you folks can't even read what is in the initiative:
"The foregoing definition is hereby amended, restated and adopted by the voters to instead read:"

"The foregoing Standard is hereby amended,restated and adopted by the voters to instead read: "

"are each hereby amended, restated and adopted by the voters to instead read
at the places where the foregoing statement appears: "

etc, etc.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 22, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

get real:

you need to. It's clear you have either read neither the DSP or the initiative or you've only read the initiative and are drinking the Lanza/Fry Koolaid as to what is in the DSP. They DO NOT say the same things or use the same definitions. Use your head. What would be the point of an initiative if all it did is say the same thing as the DSP which is already in place?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 22, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Lanza/Fry initiative will allow anybody, anytime to challenge ANY proposed change to the DSP by claiming that the proposed change " would be inconsistent with or frustrate the implementation of the voter-adopted development standards and definitions set forth in Section 3".

Such a claim would not have be either reasonable or logical - just made. And "frustrate" is a low and ambiguous standard.

Clearly the Council would not be able to settle such a challenge to its own actions so the challenge would have to go to a judge to decide if the Council contemplated change " would be inconsistent with or frustrate the implementation of the voter-adopted development standards and definitions set forth in Section 3":

"4.2. Consistent with the Planning and Zoning Law and applicable case law, the
City shall not adopt any other new provisions or amendments to the Policy
Planning Documents that would be inconsistent with or frustrate the
implementation of the voter-adopted development standards and
definitions set forth in Section 3, above, absent voter approval of a
conforming amendment to those voter-adopted provisions."

The lawyer who helped write this is clearly setting up his own pension plan by ensuring his continued employment.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 22, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

frustrate:

annul, baffle, balk, be obstructive, bring to nought, cancel, check, checkmate, confound, counter, counteract, cripple, disappoint, disconcert, discourage, foil, forestall, frustrari, hinder, invalidate, let down, mar, neutralize, nullify, obstruct, oppose, outwit, override, prevent, render invalid, render null and void, spoil, stultify, stymie, thwart, undermine, undo


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gern
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 23, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Gern is a registered user.

@Menlo Voter, where the Karpenter Koolaid is concerned I would humbly suggest abstinence. "Get real" hit the mark in that Peter clearly intimates all the following definitions include changes, when in reality only four do (3.2.1, 3.2.5, 3.2.6 all define ground floor open space; 3.3.5 constrains maximum office space):

3.2.1: "Open Space" definition amended by the initiative to include only ground floor (no higher than four feet).
3.2.2: "Private Open Space" definition unchanged in the initiative — same as the DSP.
3.2.3: "Common Outdoor Open Space" definition unchanged in the initiative — same as the DSP.
3.2.4: Residential open space requirements definition unchanged in the initiative — same as the DSP.
3.2.5: "Ground floor open space" further clarified as being no higher than four feet.
3.2.6: Restating the ground floor open space requirement in tables E6-E15 for each DSP district.
3.3.1: Commercial Use Classification for Offices, Business and Professional unchanged in the initiative — same as the DSP.
3.3.2: Commercial Use Classification for Offices, Medical and Dental unchanged in the initiative — same as the DSP.
3.3.3: Commercial Use Classification, Banks and Other Financial Institutions unchanged in the initiative — same as the DSP.
3.3.4: Collectivizes "Office Space" — no substantive change.
3.3.5: Maximum office space constrained to 100,000 square feet.

Just when Peter Carpenter's campaign of misinformation can appear to sink no lower we see comments such as the above, wherein obfuscation has clearly become his ally and muse.

Obfuscate: confuse, make unclear, blur, muddle, complicate, overcomplicate, muddy, cloud, befog


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Gern - I am glad that you are actually reading and quoting from the initiative. But pay closer attention to the details- all of the so called unchanged definitions are in fact, via the initiative, frozen by the phrase "The foregoing standard is hereby adopted by the voters." That means that none of those definitions can be changed in the future without a city wide vote - simply stupid.

PS. When will we see you emails regarding the Roger Reynolds property?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 23, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Gern - this is exactly what I posted:

"Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 22, 2014 at 9:16 am
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
Those who think the Lanza/Fry initiative just involves a few simple changes should note the number of definitions included in the initiative and that none of those definitions can be changed except by n expensive a city wide vote."

I NEVER stated that "all the following definitions include changes,"

I did clearly state:
"Codifying all these definition and making any changes in them subject to voter approval is a recipe for both disaster and, guess what, making sure that nothing happens."

Please read what I post more carefully and please stop putting words in my mouth that I never said - i.e, lying about what I said. The printed record always proves you wrong.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gern
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 23, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Gern is a registered user.

"That means that none of those definitions can be changed in the future without a city wide vote - simply stupid."

Ah, Peter, that begs the obvious question: why would we wish to change those definitions inherited unchanged from the DSP (Private Open Space, etc.) since all are the result of a six-year exercise in representative democracy? Put another way, if you are open to the possible need to change the definition of Private Open Space, why is it the very harbinger of evil to wish to alter Maximum Office Space or Open Space, as the initiative seeks to do? And why cement the very few changes found in the initiative for another 28 years? In case we saddle ourselves with another council more interested in serving developers than residents, for one (I have Winkler/Duboc/Jellins in mind as much as the current council).

In truth, of all the "unintended consequences" you've floated thus far the fire station zoning issue is the only one to give me pause, though that's a flaw inherited form the DSP, of course. *If* Menlo Park needs a new downtown fire station in the coming 28 years we'll address it with a vote then -- assuming you are correct and a vote is truly necessary -- a small price to pay to prevent 800,000 square feet of new development from bookending our town.

Oh, I did send Jim Cogan two email messages asking for clarification about your claims and received no response. Perhaps to his credit, he appears to want nothing to do with you, me and this forum. Feel free to ask him about those messages since the two of you appear to be tight.

Gern


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 23, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Gern - "I did send Jim Cogan two email messages"
Please post them so we can all see what you asked for.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gern
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 23, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Gern is a registered user.

"I NEVER stated that 'all the following definitions include changes'"

More of Peter's patent obfuscation, leaving out the leading word of my quoted text, "*intimates* all the following definitions include changes." Your comment from Jun 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm clearly intimates far more changes than are actually found in the cited sections or definitions of the initiative. Your denial of same borders on clownish.

Gern


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 23, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Gern asks - "why would we wish to change those definitions inherited unchanged from the DSP (Private Open Space, etc.) since all are the result of a six-year exercise in representative democracy?"

Simply because changing definitions is something that should be within the purview of the Planning Commission and the ELECTED City Council based on the circumstances of the city five or ten years from now. It would be foolish to allow Save Menlo to hold the city hostage to Save Menlo's whims and unaccountable leadership.

And Gern - when are you going to apologize for lying about what I have posted?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 23, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Gern states - "Your comment from Jun 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm clearly intimates..."

Gern - I say what I mean and I document what I say.

Only you can be held responsible for what you intimate - and your track record is horrible. You try to put the words in other people's mouth that you would like to intimate what they said. The printed record always proves you wrong.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gern
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 23, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Gern is a registered user.

"Gern - I say what I mean and I document what I say."

Exactly, as on April 1st of this year when you chastised Menlo Park and SaveMenlo supporters for missing out on the "innovative retail investment" approved by the Palo Alto Planning Commission, one known as F.I.Y., the ""forage it yourself" farm and restaurant John Arrillaga planned to build on the site of the old Apple Store on University Avenue [Web Link, comment near the bottom].

You're prone to mistakes and other failings, Peter just like the rest of us.

Gern


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 23, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Gern - It was April First and, yes, I fell for it. Point out my mistakes any time and I will admit to them.

But that is very different than your LYING again and again about what I have posted. Please note this Forum's rules:

"Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gern
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 23, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Gern is a registered user.

"But that is very different than your LYING again and again about what I have posted. Please note this Forum's rules."

I have never lied about you, about what you've said, or about anyone else in this forum. I've guessed at your intentions -- your intimations -- and made you the butt of light satire, but I've never intentionally attributed words to you that weren't your own, except perhaps in some few cases where humor was the obvious or failed intent.

You, on the contrary, are so eager to label others within and without this forum "dumb" and "lazy" liars that you make a mockery of the forum rules. Your Ahabian focus on vilifying initiative supporters, most routinely seen in the continued use of the "Lanza/Fry" moniker, which provides a target for your angst, has likely done more to galvanize concerned residents round the initiative than any other single factor. Your pompous thrumming in this forum is so off-putting that it could very well be responsible for half the signatures gathered on the petition. If that's your intent -- if you're secretly throwing yourself on your blade for the sake of Menlo Park -- then my hat's off to you.

Gern


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 23, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Gern states"
"I have never lied about you, about what you've said, or about anyone else in this forum."

Well here are two recent examples of such lies:

First:
Gern - "Peter clearly intimates all the following definitions include changes,"

Peter replied - "I NEVER stated that "all the following definitions include changes,"

I did clearly state:
"Codifying all these definition and making any changes in them subject to voter approval is a recipe for both disaster and, guess what, making sure that nothing happens."

Please read what I post more carefully and please stop putting words in my mouth that I never said - i.e, lying about what I said. The printed record always proves you wrong."

Second:

Gern states - "The university likely understands opportunity cost far better than Mr. Carpenter, as well, and given the choice between building a ~300,000 square foot project or doing nothing with the property would surely opt for the former."

Peter replies - "TRUE but the initiative PREVENTS Stanford from 'building a ~300,000 square foot project'"

Gern respons - "So the above is your admission that the initiative in no way blocks a 300,000 square foot mixed-use project on 500 ECR East, with an office cap of 100,000 square feet. "

Peter replies - "Gern - I never said that; you continue to LIE about what other people say. PLEASE STOP."

**************

The record is clear - one lie and another. And a constant refusal to answer questions posed to him


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 23, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

For those forum readers who have joined us late - forget my back and forths with Gern as it will clearly lead nowhere productive.

*************************

Here is the growing list of questions which the Lanaz/Fry supporters are unwilling or unable to answer:

1 – They say it is wrong to use up most of the office capacity allowed by the Specifc Plan in the first two years and that instead it should be spread out over a 30-year period. If you owned a parcel and wanted to build a totally conforming ten-room home should you be forced to build it one room each year for the next ten years ?

2 – Save Menlo got everything they asked for in its original petition and Stanford agreed to almost all of their demands. So why are you now asking for even more and how much will be enough to satisfy you?

3 – Would Save Menlo Park members be willing to say who they really are? How many members they actually have?

4 – Do you really believe that definitions written today:

""Financial institutions providing retail banking services.This classification includes only those institutions engaged in the on site circulation of money,including credit unions."The foregoing Commercial Use Classification is hereby adopted by the voters"

""Offices of firms or organizations providing professional,executive,management,or administrative services,such as accounting,advertising,architectural,computer software design,engineering,graphic design, insurance, interior design,investment,and legal offices. This classification excludes hospitals, banks,and savings and loan associations."The foregoing Commercial Use Classification is hereby adopted by the voters.

will still be appropriate even five years from now and if they are not that there should be an election to change even one word of such definitions? What about digital age banks that do not engage in the on site circulation of money? What about a firm that wants to design robots?

5 – Who is the lawyer who helped draft this initiative and what other interests does he represent?

6 – Who is funding this effort?

7 – Do Menlo Park citizens realize that under the Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative small property owners on ECR will be restricted to 70% of their current footprint for any new/replacement construction and that the currently permitted construction to their the side lot lines would not be permitted?

8 – Do MP citizens realize that the Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative will prevent the construction of a new fire station serving the downtown area?

9 – Do MP citizens know that signatures are being obtained using paid solicitors?

10 – Do MP citizens know that claims of 6 story buildings being either permitted or proposed under the Specific Plan are simply untrue and that the tallest building proposed by Stanford is only FOUR feet taller than the existing building at the corner of ECR and Live Oak Drive?

11 – Do MP citizens know that a major new hotel project decided not to locate in Menlo Park because of the uncertainties created by the Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative?

12 – What are the other unknown and unintended (or perhaps deliberately intended) consequences of the totally unvetted Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative?

13 – Do MP citizens believe that Mike Lanza, Patti Fry and their anonymous lawyer, without any public comment, without multiple drafts, without a Draft and a Final EIR and without numerous public hearings, are really better able to define the future of your city than are your five elected city council members and your seven appointed planning commissioners and the superb city planning and transportation staff that have all worked diligently and totally in the open to produce the existing Specific Plan?

14 – Do MP citizens know that the traffic levels on ECR were significantly reduced from those permitted by the prior zoning when the Specific Plan was adopted?

15 – Do the MP citizens know that the original Stanford proposal would have produced less traffic than was was permitted by the Specific Plan?

16 – Do the MP citizens know that, as a consequence of the work of the Keith/Carlton subcommittee, that the traffic that would have been produced by the revised Stanford plan was even less than that of the original Stanford plan?

17 – What was the date and the time of the ECR traffic photo being used by Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative campaign?

18- What authority does the Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative campaign have to use the City of Menlo Park's copyrighted logo?

19 – The Planning Commission and the City Council did a review of the Specific Plan last Fall so this raises the question: Which of the 20+ changes to the Specific Plan that are included in the Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative were presented to the Planning Commission and the City Council for their public consideration during the 2013 review of the Specific Plan?

20 - Is this initiative process simply being used to gather names, support and name recognition for Lanza and/or Fry to run for the City Council this year? If it is, will Lanza and Fry reimburse the City for the cost of putting this issue on the ballot.?

21 - Why did Lanza/Fry include the words "or frustrate" in the initiative section 4.2?
"4.2. Consistent with the Planning and Zoning Law and applicable case law, the
City shall not adopt any other new provisions or amendments to the Policy
Planning Documents that would be inconsistent with or frustrate the
implementation of the voter-adopted development standards and
definitions set forth in Section 3, above, absent voter approval of a
conforming amendment to those voter-adopted provisions."

Clearly "would be inconsistent" would have been sufficient so why add "or frustrate"?
Is this simply a Trojan Horse that would allow Save Menlo to forever challenge any change to the DSP?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Brian is a registered user.

It is nice to see the Peter "I don't even live in Menlo Park" and the Menlo Voter attack machine in affect. Anything anyone says gets ripped apart with the same old rhetoric. Well go ahead and rip into this...

I don't care if there are empty lots in Menlo Park. I would rather have empty lots than loads more traffic on El Camino, Santa Cruz, Willow and Marsh which is what those developments would generate. It's bad enough with out them, try turning from Middlefield to Willow during the evening commute.

For those who have lived in Menlo Park long enough you probably remember the cement and building supply business on El Camino, they took up an entire block and I don't recall people complaining about that "blight". I was fine with them and I am fine with vacant lots, but in reality that won't happen. The space will get developed into something smaller that will benefit Menlo Park and generate property tax. And in the meantime Menlo will collect property tax on the lots as they stand now.

Your arguments about "permanent fencing" reminds me of Chicken Little...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 24, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - it is clear that you totally buy into the real goal of Save Menlo which is to stop everything. No problem, that is your choice.

But do you realize how very little property taxes those vacant parcels pay? Check it out and then you will realize how much you are asking your fellow MP residents to give up just so you can have vacant lots. Why don't you post those property tax totals when you get them so we can all be better educated.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 24, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Brian:

the traffic study which Save Menlo DEMANDED showed that these offices would add LESS traffic than allowed by the DSP. Not to mention that the "mixed use" which Save Menlo is supposedly enamored with will add much MORE traffic than office uses.

Enjoy the view.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gern
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 24, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Gern is a registered user.

"It is clear that you totally buy into the real goal of Save Menlo which is to stop everything."

When Peter surmises or, more accurately, grasps at straws, as he's done above, it is the hard factual reporting of a seasoned professional blogger, as he fancies himself, but when others speculate about the motivations of others they are mere liars. To inhabit Peter's black-and-white world for a moment, then, either SaveMenlo has clearly stated it wishes to stop all development in Menlo Park, citations for which Peter will now produce, or Peter Carpenter is lying about SaveMenlo -- there is no middle ground.

"The traffic study which Save Menlo DEMANDED showed that these offices would add LESS traffic than allowed by the DSP."

Menlo Park Deserves Bugger made a big deal about this traffic number at their coming-out party a few weeks ago, shortly after Roy proclaimed they were on "a mission from God," to the visible unease of most in attendance at that City Council meeting (Web Link). Peter, Roy and company would like us to focus on the Stanford traffic study alone and to pay no attention to what El Camino could be like when the proposed Stanford, Greenheart, and Arrillaga Towers projects are completed, a situation which will only be worsened as Stanford continues to develop its medical complex and other projects off Sand Hill Road.

To paraphrase Twain/Disraeli, there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and traffic studies. It doesn't take a traffic engineer to realize if the aforementioned projects are built as currently proposed there will be no reasonable mitigation to the increase in traffic on El Camino Real through Menlo Park, or to the added cut-through traffic in our adjoining neighborhoods. None.

Gern


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 24, 2014 at 7:16 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Gern:

you folks demanded the traffic study and when it didn't show what you wanted it to you now claim it is lies. Sorry, you can't have it both ways. You and Save Menlo are full of it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 24, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Peter,

Have you looked at the property valuation for this area? Housing prices are skyrocketing and everytime one sells that is more property tax for the county and city. I am not really worried about a few parcels on El Camino.


Adding that much office space will generate additional traffic, it is common sense. You provide a place for thousands of people to work and you will add thousands of cars to the roads. If you want to pretend that everyone will take the train or bike to work go ahead, but that is sticking your head in the sand. The feeder roads can't handle the traffic they have now, they certainly can't handle another 1000 trips in and out of downtown on a daily basis. And beofre you jump on my 1000 number it is what I beileve is a conservative estimate by me based on the size they want to develop.

As for MPDB, I hope you spend a lot of money, your and Stanfords because in the end it will come down to the voters and I have been seeing a lot of lawn signs in support of the initiative. Time will tell


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 24, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Brian:

so you don't care about a few parcels on ECR? Let's see. Conservatively the cost of the Stanford project is $50 million. So property tax on that is $1 million more a year than is currently being collected. Yeah, who gives a crap about a million more in property taxes a year? Seriously, think this through.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 24, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

Brian,

You need to be VERY worried about the taxes those properties do NOT produce.

The Derry Lane Project's demise cost menlo park almost $10M in TAX revenue. That is $10M NOT spent on our parks, and for our families. $10M that could have improved roads, pools, recreational facilities.

So please don't dismiss the money unless you wantto write the check to cover the shortfall.

Menlo Park continues to be underfunded on their CalPERS pension payments,and needs MORE money to do that.

Roy


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 24, 2014 at 9:07 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - What you are saying is that it is more important to YOU to have three fewer cars in front of YOU at Willow and Middlefield than it is for the community of Menlo Park to be financially stable.

Selfish in the extreme.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 24, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian states - "Have you looked at the property valuation for this area? "

You need to understand Prop 13 - the valuation of the Stanford properties is 30 years old. Those properties are assessed at a fraction of their current value. Is that what you really want?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 25, 2014 at 3:14 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I will repost my concerns regarding the petition.

A - Process
1 - The petition was created in secret
2 - Without any opportunity for public review
3 - And hence without the opportunity to improve/clarify the initiative to reflect the concerns of those outside the small group that wrote it.
4 - Once the first signature is gathered the language cannot be changed without starting the entire filing process again.
5 - No effort has been or seems to be planned to ensure that potential signers of the petition have even read it.

B - Substance
1 - The initiative is lengthy and covers a number of different issues
2 - Therefore the opportunity for mistakes and conflict are significant
3 - The initiative is a 'forever' document which will, as intended, preclude some changes to the Specific Plan without another vote and will also, as an untended consequence, make it difficult to make any changes to the Specific Plan, particularly given the Priority Clause:
"PRIORITY.
5.1. After this measure becomes effective, its provision shall prevail over and
supersede all provisions of the municipal code, ordinances, resolutions,
and administrative policies of the City of Menlo Park which are inferior to
the Planning Policy Documents and in conflict with any provisions of this
measure."
4 - Some of the language, as noted, does not and cannot accommodate changes in commerce such as banking and medical offices.
5- The initiative would force individuals with adjacent parcels to develop them separately thereby precluding integrated design and shared amenities.

C - Impact
1 - The initiative, even if not passed, will signal to any interested party that Menlo Park's planning process and established rules cannot be relied upon and they will make their investments elsewhere.
2 - The initiative, even if not passed, will delay moving forward with the Specific Plan.
3 - The initiative, even if not passed, will send a chilling message to the Planning Commissioners, the City Council and the planning staff that their efforts to have an open and inclusive process can be thwarted by a small group of disgruntled citizens.

I am sure that others can add concerns that I have overlooked

The irony is that Save Menlo is proposing an initiative whose language has never been presented for public comment and which they want to be binding over all other city ordinances for thirty years. No public discussion, no opportunity for revisions or corrections - just take it or leave it. Correcting even a single error in the initiative ( and a 12 page document produced in secret without public input and review is likely to have a number of both errors and policy misstatements) would require another expensive ballot measure:
"the voter adopted development standards and definitions set forth in Section 3, above, may be repealed or amended only by a majority vote of the electorate of the City of Menlo Park voting "YES" on a ballot measure proposing such repeal or amendment at a regular or special election."

Save Menlo wants to substitute their judgement and their choice of words for a multi-year, deliberative, iterative process including scores of open forums, Planning Commission meetings and Council meetings, all with public input, that produced the current Downtown ECR Specific Plan.

I welcome debate on the specific language in the initiative and I am confident that such debate will illuminate its flaws and educate the voters.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 26, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Hmmm. NO answers from Lanza/Fry or Savemenlo. Not surprising.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 26, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

As an example of the chilling effect that the Lanza/Fry initiative has had on projects being submitted to the city here is what is happening regarding the Fire District's proposal to build a new fire station serving the downtown area:

"At the May 22nd meeting, and in subsequent e-mails and conversations with City Staff, the
District provided the City with the Resolutions and requested that the City expedite the Station 6 Project. The City has informed District Staff that they are unable to expedite the Station 6 application so that the approvals will be effective this year. Therefore, the City suggested that the District consider other options for processing the application."

"In the event that the City makes the determination that the Initiative applies to the Station 6 Project, the District would either have to contest that determination in court or obtain voter approval for the Station 6 Project. This would delay the Project by at least six months to a year and cost the District approximately $95,000 in election costs."

I will therefore introduce the following motions at the next Fire Board meeting:

1 -The Fire Board hereby determines that if the City of Menlo Park is unwilling to proceed expeditiously with the two Fire Board resolutions regarding Station 6 that no further expenditures will be made to rebuild Station 6 at its current location and the District will instead build a new fire station outside of the Downtown ECR Specific plan area.


2 - The Fire Board hereby determines that if the proposed Lanza/Fry initiative is passed by the voters that no further expenditures will be made to rebuild Station 6 at its current location and the District will instead build a new fire station outside of the Downtown ECR Specific plan area.


One only wonders what private developers are experiencing at the hands of a city staff that refuses to operate under existing ordinances and instead sits on its hands until November.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


To post your comment, please click here to Log in

Remember me?
Forgot Password?
or register. This topic is only for those who have signed up to participate by providing their email address and establishing a screen name.

Men Are Good For Three Things
By Laura Stec | 27 comments | 2,579 views

Storytime is Full
By Cheryl Bac | 4 comments | 900 views

Menlo Park – Close to the Action
By Paul Bendix | 0 comments | 423 views

Yes on Measure B to improve our quality of life and public safety
By Steve Levy | 4 comments | 418 views

Helping Local Veterans
By Erin Glanville | 0 comments | 121 views