Menlo council looks at demanding schedule Menlo Park, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Apr 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm
Menlo Park's new city manager, Alex McIntyre, has asked the City Council to approve a demanding schedule of meetings in the four-week period from May 22 to June 12, when the council would discuss and take final action on a number of issues that could affect the city for decades.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 9, 2012, 12:10 AM
Posted by Brielle Johnck, a resident of the Menlo Park: The Willows neighborhood, on Apr 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm
Well, there's a new sheriff in town! The masters of delay have been notified. Mr. Mcintyre has probably figured out how out of date the General Plan is. We are working with an 18 year old General Plan.
His approach is long overdue. Welcome to the City of Menlo Park, Mr. Mcintyre.
Posted by real truth, a resident of the Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood, on Apr 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm
The real truth is that a lot of public input has been ignored, and the consultants vision is now what is about to be approved in a rush, not the original vision from the community. Public input is most important when the details are more clear, not at the beginning, but this is an age-old technique of manipulation
Posted by truth, a resident of the Menlo Park: Belle Haven neighborhood, on Apr 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm
Please spare the old script you guys have been using. I heard the complaints in these meetings and then I watched, sometimes unhappily, while council adjusted the plans to sooth a small group of people. The folks opposing this are in MP for the money. They either own the buildings or own a business and they do not live here.
You cannot find a single city planning process more vetted than this. The frustration is how long the council let these guys hold it up.
You are living in the dark ages if you think a parking garage is unnecessary in ten years or if housing is just a scam for developers.
This is not the 1960s any more. We need new businesses that serve young families and folks who want to go out past 5pm. And we need housing near transit.
Posted by old timer, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 10, 2012 at 6:01 am
With Mayor Keith running for supervisor, she wants as much time off as possible. She along with Fergusson represent the worst in public officials, when they have their own self promotion activities supersede their responsibilities as council members. This crazy rush to get approvals and holding of meetings in the afternoon, when they know damn well the public won't be attending is a clear case of trying whatever they can to push the public opinions aside.
Ex Mayor Cline is pushing to get what has become known as "Cline's folly", the downtown / El Camino specific plan approved with as little further public involvement as possible. Ignoring the stiff opposition from the real stakeholders, the downtown property owners and merchants, and having spent 4 years and about $1.5 million on this fiasco, the net result will be a lawsuit and most likely a referendum. It is a total disaster and should not be approved.
Our part time City Attorney, Bill McClure, who has managed to sit out both the Downtown plan and High Speed Rail issues because he owns a portion of the office building where he has a private land use practice, has been a real disappointment on these issues. The City has depended so much on his excellent talents for years, and yet on these major issues he just sat them out. Our completely divided council, rather than insisting we have a full time, in house legal counsel, has allowed this arrangement to go on for far too long.
The new City manager won't last long with this kind of leadership. Lee DuBoc and company who were booted out of office a few years ago, are trying to push through their developer friendly, give aways. Imagine allowing Facebook to be given outrageous employee density on the Sun site and complaining that the City isn't being fair when asking for public benefit. Yet, Facebook just announced paying $1 billion for a 2 year old start up, that was evaluated only a couple months ago an no more than $500 million on the high end. Come on Facebook, thrown some of that cash our way, because the City is going to need plenty of cash to dig out from all the impacts that your thousands of workers are going to pile up in what was our very nice place to live.
Posted by Joe, a resident of the Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle neighborhood, on Apr 10, 2012 at 10:28 am
Let's hope they have the completion of Bay Rd on that list. It's amazing (but then again not really) how long it takes to complete this project. The road is uneven and unsafe with cars diving wherever to avoid the uneven ridges and don't get me started on how "lovely" the orange fencing looks. It's been up since last summer.
Posted by real truth, a resident of the Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood, on Apr 10, 2012 at 11:47 am
How can all the details be known? Council members gave direction in the last public meetings about both Facebook and the downtown plan. Only the consultants and Cline and Keith know the details, as the subcommittee of the council. There were issues even the contract attorney brought up.
A lot of time has passed. Much has changed. As long as there are public meetings, there should be opportunities to make even more to make the plans the best possible.
Posted by Marcy Magatelli, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm
It sounds like a lot of think, that everyone in Menlo Park, knows all about the Downtown Specific Plan, and it should just be passed without further discussion. Almost every single person I ask, knows practically nothing about it! Most people work all day, and try to keep up with their kids' schedules and school matters, etc. and barely know anything about what is going on around town, until they see it physically. Dare I remind you of the turning islands on upper Santa Cruz Ave.? Perhaps these temporary, trial experiments that have been discussed, will bring more focused interest to these plans.
Posted by truth, a resident of the Menlo Park: Belle Haven neighborhood, on Apr 11, 2012 at 9:41 am
RT, I agree with you. More public meetings in May will be critical.
Marcy, this process has been stretched out to the extreme by an oversensitive council looking to gain consensus on a controversial plan. I understand they wanted to get as many people involved as they could but at some point it is time to get to decisions.
I believe input from thousands of residents should be enough to get to a decision.
The opponent voice in the blogs and papers are really the same handful of people over and over and over.
It is time for this council to give one past round of hearings and input and get to a decision. And when Mark Flegel and Nancy C. and their lawyers sue (as non residents pretending to "look out" for the city -- these are folks who make millions off of the backs of Menlo Park residents), you will see they only want to kill this.
Posted by real truth, a resident of the Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood, on Apr 11, 2012 at 11:36 am
Since the workshops, there has been little attempt to inform the community about what the plans really are. Marcy is right. The time is now to ensure a consensus.
Unfortunately, like the Santa Cruz barriers, we won't know until things are put into place. Unlike those barriers, buildings won't be removed for another 50 years even if they aren't the vision participants expect.
Posted by truth, a resident of the Menlo Park: Belle Haven neighborhood, on Apr 11, 2012 at 12:09 pm
Not true. The specific plan draft document is online and has been public for months. Don't even pretend that this is a SC avenue street furniture debacle. It has been the most transparent planning process in city history. All of the meetings, documents, public comment are public and on the city website.
Posted by real truth, a resident of the Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood, on Apr 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm
Who in the world but a few geeks would plow through tons of documents online? The best way to help people understand is to show 3D models, story poles. Nothing like that since the workshops unless I missed them.