Tonight: Menlo Park downtown plan review

Council also considers paying $3.5 million to keep RDA

On Tuesday, Sept. 13, the Menlo Park City Council returns to contemplate a subject near and dear to residents' hearts, judging by the amount of email sent to the council during the past week: the downtown/El Camino Real specific plan.

Lest anyone think the council has nothing better to do, also on the agenda is a public input session on the selection of a new city manager at 6 p.m. and, an hour later during the regular meeting, a debate on whether the city should pay the state $3.5 million to keep its redevelopment agency open.

The regular meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at the Civic Center, at 701 Laurel St.

Click here to review the agenda.

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by Long Time Menlo Man
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 13, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Don't let the vocal minority shout over the majority who have already spoken. The majority has spoken through countless meetings and study sessions. Get on with it!

Like this comment
Posted by long time menlo woman
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm

How do you know what the majority wants?
The public just got the detailed plan and a sense of the expected impacts. Now is the very most important time for people to talk about the plan and make it the best possible for the residents. We want a nice looking downtown and el camino that have plenty of restaurants and stores where we can get what we need locally but without lots of traffic or extra taxes. From what I can tell, the plan isn't there yet.

Like this comment
Posted by Long Time Menlo Man
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

How do I know what the majority wants? I don't. The plan does though. The plan is there. The plan is done. The city and consultants took all the input from the people who participated in all of these public input meetings. There were literally thousands of people (total) at these meetings. I attended several over the last 2 years. Obviously you didn't participate in all the meetings leading up to this plan. All meetings were public, all were advertised, most were well attended. To say "The plan isn't there yet" demonstrates a lack of public awareness of what's been done publicly over the last 2+ years.

Like this comment
Posted by not there yet
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Most residents simply don't have the time to attend public input meetings. But even those who attended meetings will be surprised if this plan is approved -- many provisions sneaked into the plan after the public phase ended.

If you polled residents, I'd guess that over 90% know nothing about the plan to densify El Camino, and will be horrified if/when construction on tall, high-density buildings begins.

This plan deserves all the scrutiny it is receiving, and more. The only people who want to rush into it blindly are the developers who stand to make windfall profits if the plan is approved without further modifications or enhancements.

Like this comment
Posted by long time menlo woman
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I agree totally with not there yet. I tried to go to most of the meetings. There was no discussion earlier about the size of buildings that would be ok without providing some benefit to the community. What I heard was that heights of 5 storeys was an absolute maximum in special circumstances, not what could be allowed anytime. I didn't hear that there could be buildings in the parking lots next to the grocery stores downtown. I didn't hear that the whole thing would not be financially beneficial to the city unless there were hotels. I didn't hear that building this transit-oriented housing would worsen the city's greenhouse gas emissions (I thought it was supposed to help our own city, not make our city the pollution pit for the rest of the bay area).

Like this comment
Posted by same old same old
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

"long time menlo woman" and "not there yet" are recycling the same tired arguments that were used to try and stop the Menlo Center development (Kepler's/Boronne building, well-regarded by the community), Menlo Gateway (passed with 64.5% voter approval), and even the downtown Farmer's Market (beloved by the community, even though Draeger's originally said it would put them out of business). How many times do we have to go through this?

Like this comment
Posted by long time menlo woman,
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 14, 2011 at 11:01 pm

so it's ok to attack people and not what they are saying? That's really old and not productive.
What do those other projects have to do with this? I don't even understand the connection.
The point is that there is a lot of new information in the plan and about the project that was not part of the workshops. Those who are trying to hurry this up must be hoping no one notices.

Like this comment
Posted by AJ
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Sep 18, 2011 at 9:17 am

Help me out here…where is it written that we are put on this earth to enrich developers?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

After experiencing harassment, owner of Zareen's restaurants speaks out about Islamophobia, racism
By Elena Kadvany | 28 comments | 7,925 views

Good News: The New Menlo Park Rail Subcommittee Hits A Home Run
By Dana Hendrickson | 12 comments | 1,689 views

Premarital and Couples: Tips for Hearing (Listening) and Being Known
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,275 views

Two degrees can do all that?
By Sherry Listgarten | 2 comments | 787 views

Tame, Maim and Claim the Wild Sea Vegetable
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 301 views


Register today!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More