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Fire district disputes Facebook EIR

Original post made on Dec 13, 2011

Lessons learned from the draft environmental impact report for Facebook's upcoming campus development: (1) 9,400 employees can make a lot of traffic. (2) A lot of traffic makes a lot of noise. (3) Traffic's not the only problem, at least according to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.
[Web Link ==B ■ Wednesday: Transportation Commission views Facebook EIR ==] [Web Link
==B ■ How to express your views==]

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 11:40 AM

Comments (52)

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Posted by InTheKnow
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm

This is a shakedown of Facebook. The district tried to get a new aerial ladder from Bohannon from his approvals, but was rebuked.

Ofcourse, a new aerial ladder needs awe firehouse to store it.




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Posted by Dalmation
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 13, 2011 at 12:54 pm

What would ease traffic would be if fire trucks only responded to fires and not filling a second alarm for every fender bender with a broken tail light. They are going to chase facebook out of town by trying to be relevant. Hiring outside counsel is a waste of money.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 13, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Failing to require Facebook to mitigate the impacts of their project will simply impose an involuntary tax on the rest of the community as they suffer a loss of service as existing resources are diverted to serve Facebook.


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Posted by
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 13, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I can understand the fire district wanting more staffing or new equipment if this was a new complex, but Facebook just moved into an existing building.

Shouldn't these mitigations have been settled when the complex was first built?

Would the fire district claim it needs more staffing, a new truck and improved station if Sun Microsystems was still there?

And doesn't the fire district already have two ladder trucks? On occasion I believe having seen two ladder trucks parked out in front of the Middlefield Road station, and both trucks are emblazoned with Menlo Fire on the side. Perhaps they purchased the second truck used? So wouldn't this be a third ladder truck?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 13, 2011 at 4:14 pm

"Would the fire district claim it needs more staffing, a new truck and improved station if Sun Microsystems was still there?"


1 -"The employee cap of 3,600 people for the Sun Microsystems campus was established during the entitlement process in the early 1990s and was not based on the maximum number of occupants allowed by the CBC. Assuming a conservative scenario of all-office space at the East Campus, the buildings would have an occupant load of approximately 10,360 people" which is an increase of 6760

2 - the current number of employees in Menlo Park is 29,400

3 - for an increase of 23% in the total number of employees in Menlo Park.

"And doesn't the fire district already have two ladder trucks?"

The District has one ladder truck inoperation and a second much older ladder truck in reserve for when the first truck is out of service. The District does not have the staff or stations to operate both ladder trucks at the same time.


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Posted by w patterson
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm

The camels noise is under the tent. The fire department needs to stand aside so solutions equitable to the City and Facebook are reached. Any new office building and the existing office buldings have state of the art fire suppression design and will mitigate and prospective fire. Good design coupled with good fire suppression eliminate any need for additional equipment or personnel. Right?
The Fire District will review the plans of the new proposed site. Thanks for your assistance and input.
Remodel owners know the onerous requirements of the fire district.
All improvements are designed to make sure no injuries from fires occur. I see three fire engines respond to a fender bender. Trust Facebook and the City to do their job.


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Posted by dave
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 13, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Yes, the fire district does have the 9-11 tribute and fire department emblazoned on the side of their equipment. Woodside honors the MIA on their trucks. Thank you. What happen to honoring the first line of defence with a yellow ribbon on the side of the trucks?
Self promotion, no honor for those who truly gave their lives in the military for very little money. What happen Chief?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 13, 2011 at 4:37 pm

" Good design coupled with good fire suppression eliminate any need for additional equipment or personnel. Right?"

Please how me ANY service or business which can accommodate a 23% increase in demand without additional resources.

"Any new office building and the existing office buldings have state of the art fire suppression design and will mitigate and prospective fire."

The human body remains unchanged and having 23% more bodies requiring emergency responses does require mitigation.


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Posted by w patterson
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 13, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Don't get oversold by the District. They have more than adequate resouces to do the job. spiking for retirement, increase in inspectors for more upward mobility for higher salaries,and complaining about never being adequately staff are the hallmark of the fire districts goals. Give this some thought before rushing to the defense of the District.
What ever happen to the volutary fire department? Now it has become a constant problem regarding their needs and demands. So sorry this happened. Greed is a horrible thing.$120,000.00 for a truck driver and some moderate risk is unsustainable. Even the military understands the constraints for their mission and pay requirment.


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Posted by The Voice
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 13, 2011 at 7:06 pm

@Patterson a volly fire department is just not feasable. These guys are much better trained period. The fire district has a whole lot of money. For them to hold Facebook and the city hostage is nonsense. They know it too. They have been sniffing about a ladder for a while. Peter you should put a coller on your Chief


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 13, 2011 at 9:15 pm

It is interesting that "Voice" and W Patterson are apparently prepared to have their level of service reduced so that the Fire District can shift some of its existing resources to serving Facebook - which has cleverly avoided paying property taxes on its current property value by leasing rather than purchasing the Sun site.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Dec 13, 2011 at 10:21 pm

The MPFPD concern is valid given the stated number of employees for that location- w/out Facebook paying more. What, people already served by MPFPD should pay for it? Facebook should pay & they have the money- but they don't need more people pandering to them.

Please also remember that others served by MPFPD don't live in Menlo & will be adversely affected by Facebook in additional ways.


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Posted by
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2011 at 9:40 am

Peter, Thanks for explaining how the increased number of employees is driving the push for more fire personnel.

But I am still confused about the need for a new ladder truck. There is no increase in the height of the buildings at the Facebook campus, so why the need for a second ladder truck?

Wouldn't an additional fire engine and crew to staff it be sufficient? Why the need for an aerial ladder?


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Posted by Dalmation
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 14, 2011 at 12:15 pm

New ladder trucks are important to take turns sitting in, post their pictures driving in parades and delivering x-mas presents. Else it will sit out in the weather while personnel lift weights in their private athletic club.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Ladder truck provide not only vertical reach but also horizontal reach. The Gateway and Facebook projects require both capabilities.

The way that the City of Menlo Park has treated its responsibility as the Lead Agency for this project is that the City of Menlo Park has instead become the Sole Agency for this product and therefore the only beneficiary will be Menlo Park.

This project should move ahead and do so promptly. Unfortunately, because the city is blatantly ignoring the impacts of this project on other entities, this process will be delayed rather than accelerated. The EIR is supposed to be an independent analysis of the impacts of this project by an outside expert yet the city has provided detailed and on-going guidance to the contractor as to what to include and what not to include - leading to such crazy statements as "The City of East Palo Alto also raised an issue relating to the potential displacement of East Palo Alto residents. For reasons discussed below, this issue is not evaluated further in the Draft EIR because possible displacement of residents would not result in a significant physical impact on the environment." The initial "independent" analysis looked at the per capita impacts of the additional employees and, since that would have logically lead to having to consider the impacts on other agencies, the city direct the 'independent' contractor to remove that analysis for the draft EIR. EIR's seldom fail on substantive grounds but almost always fail on process grounds - the 'independent' analysis which fails, at the city's direction, to acknowledge the impacts on other agencies will doom this EIR to failure.

Just as it did with the Gateway Project the city is intentionally ignoring the impacts of this project on East Palo Alto, Atherton, the school districts and the Fire District. In the Gateway process the city actually said to the other entities that there is only so much money we can get out of the developer and we are taking all of it - including a last minute demand by Fergusson for $50k of landscape additions.

The result of this unprincipled behavior by the city would be to place an involuntary tax on the citizens of all the other effected entities in the form of a reduction in service levels as the resources of those agencies, unmitigated by Facebook, are diverted to serve the impacts of this project.

Hopefully someone from Facebook is reading this Forum and realizes that it is Facebook that will suffer from the legal delays that will occur if the city continues in its Sole Agency mode rather than being a responsible Lead Agency.

Benjamin Franklin said "You may delay, but time will be lost and lost time is never found again."


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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Far be it for me to agree with Peter carpenter, but I believe he is absolutly correct on this issue. The purpose of CEQA is to enable other affected agencies and the public to comment on the potential impacts of developement. Like it or not CEQA has been expanded to include impacts other than environmental. Welcome to California.

I cannot believe an additional 6000 employees in Menlo Park will not have an impact. Those impacts need to be addressed and mitigated.

In the event of a problem at the former Sun Campus, those employees may need to be evacuated, rescued or worse. If the MPFD does not have the manpower to respond appropriatly, guess whose going to get the complaining phone calls, it sure as hades won't be the City or Facebook. It will be MPFD......

The additional employees will need water, electricity and sewer service, they are not going to get those for free either.

The only thing I am not in agreement with is the displacement issue for EPA. When companies move or expand, people move in and out all the time. Not sure how you can mitigate that in a CEQA doc. That is the City of EPA's problem.




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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardina
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm

A new ladder truck. That is simply the request from the MPFPD everytime anything gets approved in MPK. They wanted one for gateway, now they want one for more people in Facebook's offices.....give it up guys. They are not adding any additional buildings to that campus, and you have adequate equipment and more importantly can call on neighboring cities for help in the event of a fire there.

Give up 10 firefighters and use the savings to buy it yourselves.

Roy


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Interested states:"The only thing I am not in agreement with is the displacement issue for EPA"

Here is what the law says:
"Economic or social changes may be used, however, to determine that a
physical change shall be regarded as a significant effect on the environment. Where a physical change is caused by economic or social effects of a project, the physical change may be regarded as a significant effect in the same manner as any other physical change resulting from the project. Alternatively, economic and social effects of a physical change may be used to determine that the physical change is a significant effect on the environment. If the physical change causes adverse economic or social effects on people, those adverse effects may be used as a factor in determining whether the physical change is significant. For example, if a project would cause overcrowding of a public facility and the overcrowding causes an adverse effect on people, the overcrowding would be regarded as a significant effect."


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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Peter, how does displacement constitute a "Physical Change". Certainly there exists the possibilty that these 6000 workers "could" afford to pay higher rents and mortgages, but the displacement of one person for another hardly constitutes "physical change". Even assuming that happens, how does that create a problem for the citizens of EPA. Under your scenerio Silicon Valley and its ensuing economic boom would not have been possible.

How is it possible to quantify such an issue.

As far as the overcrowding of a public facility, can you name one that would be effected to its detriment. Yes Menlo and EPA may require new resturants, stores, etc, but is'nt that what we all want.

As I said, when it comes to public services, I am in total agreeement with you.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm

"physical change" refers to the project itself, in this case the construction that Facebook proposes to undertake on both its East Campus (the former SUN site) and its West Campus.


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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Oops I guess you did not realize that the Sun Campus is not a "Public Facility". Overcrowding of the Sun Campus would be the purview of Cal-OSHA.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Please reread the citation -"Economic or social changes may be used, however, to determine that a physical change shall be regarded as a significant effect on the environment."

In this case the physical change is the Facebook project and the resulting economic or social changes that result from that project need to be evaluated to determine if they are significant. The 'overcrowding' schools, fire services etc must all be evaluated as part of the EIR and cannot be summarily dismissed. The draft EIR wrongly states:" "The City of East Palo Alto also raised an issue relating to the potential displacement of East Palo Alto residents. For reasons discussed below, this issue is not evaluated further in the Draft EIR because possible displacement of residents would not result in a significant physical impact on the environment."


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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Peter, sorry you are unable to answer my question. You stated that "if a project would cause overcrowding of a public facility and the overcrowding causes an adverse effect on people, the overcrowding would be regarded as a significant effect."

As I have already stated I believe it is entirely possible to quantifythe affect on "public services". Name a "Public Facility" that will be overcrowded, or give it up. Your initial argument is completly valid in my opinion, but as usual you only respond to the obvious.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Interested - you are focussing on the example given in the citation which refers to 'public facilities'. That is an example of an adverse effect but it is not the definition of the range of changes which must be evaluated - the citation defines those this way "If the physical change causes adverse economic or social effects on people, those adverse effects may be used as a factor in determining whether the physical change is significant.

Is that clearer?


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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Peter. I will try and tell you again. When it comes to Public Services, I COMPLETLY AGREE WITH YOU. HOW DID YOU MISS IT.....

If the MPFPD determines it cannot adequately serve an additional 6000 people it, like every other Public Agency, should be able to respond to the EIR, Draft or Final. If MPFPD determines that Facebook creates the need for new equipment, or even a damn firestation, it should be able to force Facebook to pay for it.I.E. Migtigation.

What other entity or person is going to determine what is needed for such protection, certainly not the people here, or the City, that cannot even read the Brown Act.


But your example of EPA's concerns make no sense. Just wish you could accnowledge it was a poor example.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Interested states:"But your example of EPA's concerns make no sense."

It was not my example, it was the example that is included in the CEQA Handbook.

Sorry that it was so confusing, but don't blame me - I understand their point.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm

By the way, a perfect example of a 'public facility' that will be 'overcrowded' by the Facebook physical project is the entire highway and roadway system leading to and from the project.


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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Public Facility that will be subject to overcrowding......


Going once


Going twice

Guess not


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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 6:34 pm

By the way, a perfect example of a 'public facility' that will be 'overcrowded' by the Facebook physical project is the entire highway and roadway system leading to and from the project



YES, exactly, and those can all be quantified and mitigated.

You finally got it


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm

I can lead a horse to water but I can't make it drink (or think.)


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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Yep...And what a pity you don't have what it takes to include this part of CEQA in your posts....

"(3) An indirect physical change is to be considered only if that change is a reasonably foreseeable impact which may be caused by the project. A change which is speculative or unlikely to occur is not reasonably foreseeable."

It right above the part you copied and pasted.....

SHAME ON YOU


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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I can lead a horse to water but I can't make it drink (or think.)



Your right, but I have done my best to get you to do it, but thinking is so difficult when all you do is write knee jerk reactions.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 14, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Interested:

you don't think large traffic impacts are not "...a reasonably foreseeable impact which may be caused by the project..."?

I don't think there is anything "speculative" about the impacts of 6000 employees over and above what the original (Sun) project was approved for. If you don't think so, I challenge you to get on the road about 5 pm on a weekday after Facebook fully moves in and see what the traffic is like. Try Marsh Road or Willow and let me know if you see no impacts. By the way, drive them now and make a comparison later. You and I both know there will be severe impacts. Or were you not here during the dot com boom? If you weren't, traffic was a nightmare. If you were, you know damn well, you're wrong.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm

As usual it is necessary to remind Interested that this is meant to be a place for sharing information and opinions in a respectful manner, not a place to engage in sophomoric questioning about truly obvious sentences. That is perhaps fun for Interested but not productive for those who are truly interested in the issue.

And i confess to being suckered into thinking that your question was a honest inquiry and not just simply another of your games.


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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Menlo Voter...If you read my posts you will note that I absolutly agree that ALL public Services, Roads, Schools, Fire Service, with NO exceptions should be addressed in an EIR. I invite you to read them.....

As usual, Carpenter, unable to answer a simple question, and faced with his obvious attempt to hide his lack of alacrity blames the person that calls him upon it...

Anyone yet seen a post from Carpenter where he states what "Public Facility" in EPA will be subject to "physical Change"....

The EPA argument of "Displacement" is a typical Red Herring.....People may move out and others will move in. Thats not "displacement, thats "replacement"
It happens. But again I invite Carpenter to either put up, or shut up when it comes to the "Physical Change" issue for EPA.

It won't happen.


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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, 9 minutes ago

As usual it is necessary to remind Interested that this is meant to be a place for sharing information and opinions in a respectful manner, not a place to engage in sophomoric questioning about truly obvious sentences.

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, 1 hour ago

I can lead a horse to water but I can't make it drink (or think.)

As usual, you engage in idiot behavior and then cry like a child when you get it in return.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Interested - PLEASE do your homework. Have you read the draft EIR?

"These intersections would experience a potentially significant impact.
At the State-controlled intersection of University Avenue and Bayfront Expressway, which
operates at LOS F, the Project-related traffic would increase intersection delay by greater than
four seconds causing a potentially significant impact at this intersection."


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm

I think increased traffic congestion, increased localized smog, decreased air quality, and increase in respiratory illnesses incl asthma & decreased quality of life, for starters, will be the main impacts for EPA. We're also at risk re emergency service decrease a la MPFPD being impacted, as well as slower response time due to traffic.

Depending on what happens w/FB - an IPO, or not, an IPO w/some years of success, then a downturn - who knows? - it's hard to know how long lasting the impacts will be.

MP held EPA's feet to the fire re the Univ Circle development. I understand some of the concerns, but some were asinine. A big difference, of course, was that is was a new development - & on a narrow road, abutting a high traffic road, so it's not totally analogous. However, many EPA residents, staff & city government officials clearly recall the difficulties EPA faced w/MP re Univ Circle. MP will have to listen to EPA as well - city officials are tackling the FB EIR this week & will definitely have feedback, as they should.

EPA resident displacement is also a strong possibility- not so much because the approx 1,000 IPOers will buy houses in EPA, but because it's not unlikely that some FB folks will want to buy or rent locally & there are some sweet, affordable spots here. That said, I am not sure exactly what the housing concern is, specifically - does anyone posting here know? FWIW, Belle Haven may also have similar concerns re affordable housing & displacement issues.

I'm appreciative of what FB will do for county & local coffers & that's a good thing. I'm aware that many in EPA feel the same. But it's also important that the EIR issues get hammered out immediately.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Rather than a game of 20 questions whose sole purpose is to try to play GOTCHA, I would encourage truly interested persons to at least skim the 748 page draft EIR. Then do some searches in that document for phrases like East Palo Alto, Atherton, school district and fire district and note the paucity of concern for the impacts of this projects on those communities.

Web Link


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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm


EPA resident displacement is also a strong possibility- not so much because the approx 1,000 IPOers will buy houses in EPA, but because it's not unlikely that some FB folks will want to buy or rent locally & there are some sweet, affordable spots here. That said, I am not sure exactly what the housing concern is, specifically - does anyone posting here know? FWIW, Belle Haven may also have similar concerns re affordable housing & displacement issues.

Yes Hmmm, they could. They could also go to Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, name any city on the Peninsula.

The problem is that such speculation cannot be addressed in an EIR. You could as easily say that the increase in properties in any of those place MIGHT drive up prices and hence, property taxes...But you still cannot engage in such speculation in an EIR. It is not permitted.

You could speculate that EPA might encounter a major reduction in its retail vacancy rate...No can't do that either. Its still speculation. That was and has been my only point...

As for waiting an additional four seconds at a stop light...

1-1000
2-1000
3-3000
4-1000


Well God forbid........




And once again that is a very reasonable issue to be addressed and mitigated by the State, The City of Menlo Park and The City of East Palo Alto.



But once again your "displacement" issue is absolute bunk, and you lack the cojones to say so........






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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Hmmm. The last line of my post was not directed at you


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2011 at 8:45 pm

It is not 'cojones' that are at issue but intelligence. Just read the draft EIR and quit name calling.

A noted "The City of East Palo Alto also raised an issue relating to the potential displacement of East Palo Alto residents" not me. Ask the City of East Palo why they have taken that position.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Interested, I am saying the same thing as you re displacement, because the info isn't specific. I am confident that this issue will be hashed out w/our city council & city staff & addressed - & then we will know more.

The other concerns that I mentioned are what come to mind immediately, & I'm pretty much a beginner in learning about this stuff- but lifelong resident of the peninsula who's seen companies come & go & quality of life issues wax & wane as well.

The point that Peter has made, which I agree w/& I think you do, is that this EIR is way too narrow & doesn't adequately address the very real impacts on MP's immediate neighbors. It's smart if these issues are dealt w/immediately & efficiently. If MP hadn't ignored these 2 communities, we wouldn't be bringing up these issues in this way.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Here is the Menlo Park City Attorney's position on releasing any input that has been received from other entities:

" If inter-agency comments/memos on administrative draft documents were public documents, that would discourage seeking input and comments on non public documents from other agencies—therefore the need to maintain confidentiality with respect to such documents—used to correct erroneous information, etc."

Makes one wonder what is going on behind closed doors.


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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Yes Hmmm. We do agree. If Facebook is going to require an extension of any service, the agency providing that service must have the opportunity to address it in an EIR and further require mitigation measures. Alternatively the agency can refuse to provide service. And so it should. Why should current residents have to pay for their needs.........

Believe me it has been done in the past. And you are correct, companies come and go, thats why you get the money up front.


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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Here is the Menlo Park City Attorney's position on releasing any input that has been received from other entities:




" If inter-agency comments/memos on administrative draft documents were public documents, that would discourage seeking input and comments on non public documents from other agencies—therefore the need to maintain confidentiality with respect to such documents—used to correct erroneous information, etc."

Makes one wonder what is going on behind closed doors.

What a disgrace. The purpose of the Draft EIR is to allow agencies to not just address questions in their draft documents, but to read other drafts to see if pertinent issues from other agencies had come to light.

That is the point of a Final EIR, or why bother. It becomes just a waste of paper..........




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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Here is how the CEQA Handbook deals with comments received by the Lead Agency - and there is no provision for treating those comments as confidential:

"Any person, including the applicant, may submit information or comments to the Lead Agency to assist in the preparation of the draft EIR. The submittal may be presented in any format, including the form of a draft EIR. The Lead Agency must consider all information and
comments received. The information or comments may be included in the draft EIR in whole or in part."


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Posted by Robert
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 15, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Solution is simple... Impact is great -we all read that. So FB should do like Intel when faced with a similar. Hire people who live in Oregon. Charter a plane that does two flights in the am down and two back at night. Do the same with Newark and a bus program and possibly a parking lot over there. This keeps traffic down and keeps people spending money where they live not where they work so all the Legal-types who draft EIR and City of MP concerned folks can relax.... Heck - who needs money coming into our city for restaurants, stores, car repair and the like when we can simply transport the workers in/out and meet the EIR.... Like I said it is simple.


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Posted by GIGO
a resident of another community
on Dec 17, 2011 at 7:36 am

CEQA can be frustrating, to be sure. For public services, the standard impact criterion is really just whether the project would require new/remodeled *facilities* that themselves have an impact on the environment. A pure example would be an enormous new residential subdivision at the edge of a community, where all existing stations are too far away to serve the new residences, so a new station has to be built to hit response times, and the only available land for a new station is a wetland. Really, that's about it for an fire services environmental impact under CEQA. The requirement for a new station alone isn't the trigger in this example- it's the fact that the *only* place you could build it is a wetland that turns it into a physical impact on the environment. The fiscal impacts on this hypothetical district aren't under CEQA's purview, nor are staffing/equipment needs. Even in the wetland scenario, CEQA doesn't require remediation of the impacts, just disclosure. Great law, isn't it?

It seems to me that the MP Fire District isn't making a good case about any CEQA environmental impacts, but rather the fiscal/operational impacts. The problem is, the manner in which they're doing it makes it less likely that the City of MP will adopt the pending fire services impact fee that the MPFD is wanting its member cities to enact. Like it or not, there's a political angle to this that MPFD isn't doing a great job on, IMHO.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 17, 2011 at 8:21 am

GIGI - Your interpretation of CEQA is simply wrong. Note all of the transportation impacts that the draft EIR call for to be mitigated - none of those mitigations are in the wetlands.

It is useful to read the draft EIR before commenting.


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Posted by Concerned non-MP
a resident of another community
on Dec 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Would the likely closing of Fitness 101, a 25 year business in MP be considered economic fallout? Seems The Gateway Project and Facebook combined are making square footage costs for a MP health Club/gym prohibitive. Much more money out of luxury hotels....but how will I stay fit?! I guess the Marsh Road traffic would be so bad I could not get there very easily anyway. But, driving out of town is not so hot either. Peter is right, these impacts need to be addressed better than MP has done so far.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 20, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

CEQA requires:
(b) The discussion of cumulative impacts shall reflect the severity of the impacts and their
likelihood of occurrence, but the discussion need not provide as great detail as is provided for the effects attributable to the project alone. The discussion should be guided by standards of practicality and reasonableness, and should focus on the cumulative impact to which the identified other projects contribute rather than the attributes of other projects which do not contribute to the cumulative impact. The following elements are necessary to an adequate discussion of significant cumulative impacts:
(1) Either:
(A) A list of past, present, and probable future projects producing related or cumulative
impacts, including, if necessary, those projects outside the control of the agency, or
(B) A summary of projections contained in an adopted local, regional or statewide plan, or related planning document, that describes or evaluates conditions contributing to the cumulative effect.
Such plans may include: a general plan, regional transportation plan, or plans for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. A summary of projections may also be contained in an adopted or certified prior environmental document for such a plan. Such projections may be supplemented with additional information such as a regional modeling program. Any such document shall be referenced and made available to the public at a location specified by the lead agency."


Yet the draft EIR states that regarding traffic "Uncertain mitigation measures associated with Menlo Gateway and SUMC are not included."

and "While Menlo Gateway identifies three committed mitigation measures, only the one at the intersection of Marsh Road and Bohannon Drive is included in this analysis since it is the only one under the City's control to implement." What a great way for a Lead Agency to instead become a Sole Agency.


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