Two members of Menlo Park's City Council met with land developer David Bohannon Tuesday to express their "grave concern" over focus groups the Bohannon Development Co. is holding.
The focus group effort comes with Mr. Bohannon's company currently in negotiations with the city over his proposal for a million-square-foot office/hotel complex near Marsh Road and Bayfront Expressway.
In an interview, Mr. Bohannon portrayed the current round of public opinion polling -- focus groups and phone surveys -- as an extension of an earlier survey on his project, saying he wants to gauge residents' reaction to the proposal, and to prepare for the possibility of a referendum.
But Councilwoman Kelly Fergusson said at the council's Jan. 12 meeting that she is concerned Mr. Bohannon could be preparing to launch a ballot initiative. Ms. Fergusson said she and Councilman Andy Cohen met with Mr. Bohannon Tuesday morning to express their concerns.
"These activities really could be used to undermine the negotiations," Ms. Fergusson said. "This kind of information could be used to go around the council, and it could be used to apply pressure to us to compromise in a way that we feel is not in the best interests of Menlo Park."
Asked if he has plans to launch an initiative, Mr. Bohannon said, "At this moment I certainly don't. Right now, we are just doing research."
Check the Jan. 20 print edition of The Almanac for more information.