Town Square

Lost opportunity for BMR housing

Original post made by Renee Batti, associate editor of The Almanac, on Mar 27, 2007

<B>The following letter by Elizabeth Lasensky was published in the Almanac's March 28 print edition:</B>

This story contains 424 words.

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Posted by Gern Blanston
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Mar 29, 2007 at 4:44 pm

Elizabeth Lasensky writes: "In essence, a moratorium has been created without public discussion or vote of the council."

The only "moratorium" I am aware of is that placed on the aspirations of developers who worked in concert with the previous council majority (the Three Stooges of Infill Development) to foist their overly-dense projects on our fair city. If the beneficiaries of the Derry and Cadillac projects had been able to rein in their greed and stick to existing general plan and zoning requirements for height and density we wouldn't be having this discussion, in all likelihood -- both projects would probably be advancing with nary a complaint. True, we'd have fewer homes and BMR units as a result, but I, for one, am okay with that outcome, as are the thousands of Derry referendum supporters, it would seem.

I know it's not PC to oppose increasingly dense infill development, especially when BMR units are at stake, and I do not oppose all infill development (the Derry property is a prime candidate for redevelopment), but the benefits to Menlo Park of these projects (as approved by the former council majority) simply do not outweigh the costs. And on a strictly personal level I don't wish for Menlo Park to become any more "urban" (read "crowded") than it already is -- leave those noble aspirations to Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City, and other communities.

Ms. Lasensky and many other MP residents may disagree, and I respect that.


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Posted by Homeowner
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on Mar 29, 2007 at 6:06 pm

I hope the Council represents all of the residents, not just the interests of the people like Ms Lasensky on the BMR list. By considering everyone, the Council must balance competing interests, which are the wants and needs and concerns of existing residents.
The city has not instituted a moratorium; the Council was quite clear that the city will still process applications for projects, even those that don't comply with city rules like the Derry and Cadillac projects. I actually wish the Council would put such projects to the bottom of the heap so staff can get on with working toward a plan for what the community supports and is willing to tolerate.
Conceptually many are supportive of BMR housing but it's the 90% of the rest of the project units that are not BMR that cause problems that aren't tolerated well. Why support more traffic when we need more revenue to support the residents we already have?