I have lived in apartments since I was 15. They've been in Miami, Manhattan, the Bronx, Mountain View and Menlo Park. I've lived college dorms and in old soldiers' quarters on a kibbutz in Israel. I haven't had the luxury of living in a single family home since my parents lost ours in an economic downturn in the 60's.
My current 1-bedroom apartment has perhaps 700 square feet of living space and it's very efficient and cozy. It's also close to shopping and transit, which is why I chose to live there.
So when I hear that the Derry Project will have 135 condo's per acre,is close to transit and shopping, and that the 1-bedroom units will have 900 square feet of space, I don't respond in the same way as those who have had the good fortune to live in single family homes all of their lives. These are all pluses in my book.
Contrary to an article that Andy Cohen read at City Council on Tuesday, the many apartment dwellers I know who live in Menlo Park are happy and well-adjusted. I suspect we take transit and walk or ride our bikes more often than most. What we tend not to have is an annual income of $200,000 that is now needed to purchase a home in San Mateo County.
And as our community's demographics change, we can expect to see a certain number of Menlo's senior home owners wishing to trade in their expensive-to-maintain homes for more compact, easy to manage condo and rental apartment units.
Density, like quality of life, means different things to different people. I hope our community that is dominated by single home dwellers can make room for those of us who see quality of life in other ways.