We've all learned many unpleasant lessons from the Stanford/Arrillaga project, including how the City was apparently misled about Stanford's intentions regarding major plan elements like senior housing and a hotel.
But we've also learned that we apparently cannot rely on the Menlo Park Planning Department to carry out what we would have thought was their responsibility. For example, how does a busy driveway get defined in the Stanford project as a public plaza for pedestrians? How do private balconies get defined as open space?
Shouldn't it be the responsibility of our paid professionals in the Planning Department to raise red flags over such absurdities? Or is it left to citizen-volunteers-- City Council members, Planning Commission members, or members of the community--to conduct the monitoring that is obviously essential?
Who, exactly, does the Planning Department work for?