News

Menlo Park: Initiative signatures submitted

Save Menlo hopes the council adopts the changes instead of taking the initiative to the ballot box

About a dozen people gathered outside Menlo Park City Hall on May 12 to listen to Save Menlo representatives announce that they've collected a lot more than the 1,780 registered voter signatures needed to get their downtown/El Camino Real specific plan initiative on the November ballot.

The grassroots coalition organized to protest the specific plan once a large mixed-use development was proposed along El Camino Real. If a sufficient number of signatures are verified, the City Council may choose to implement the changes or put the issue before voters.

"We hope the council adopts it," said Patti Fry, a former planning commissioner who helped draft the initiative.

Those signing the petition go beyond "the usual suspects," according to Ms. Fry, who said many are new to Menlo Park and had to register to vote first.

She told the gathering that the initiative is a way to enforce the limits set by the specific plan.

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"This is not 'no growth'," Ms. Fry said. Rather than an urban downtown with high-rise office buildings, she said, the community wants balanced development with retail, transit-oriented housing, a hotel and maybe more senior housing. "But that's not what's coming forward."

According to the city's summary, the initiative restricts the amount of office space in any individual development to 100,000 square feet; limits total new office space to 240,820 square feet; and caps overall new, non-residential development to 474,000 square feet within the specific plan's boundaries. The initiative would also redefine open space to mean only areas no higher than 4 feet off the ground, thereby preventing balconies from counting as open space.

Voter approval would be needed to revise the ordinance or to exceed the size limits for office and non-residential development. Other clauses appear intended to guarantee the longevity of the measure, with one stating that if any part of the measure is invalidated, the remaining provisions remain in effect, and another allowing the initiative to supersede all conflicting ordinances and policies, according to the city's analysis.

The initiative would impact two mixed-use development proposals already in the works by cutting the amount of office space allowed in each project by about 50 percent.

Stanford University and developer John Arrillaga want to build a complex on the mostly vacant car lots along 300 to 500 El Camino Real. The 8.4-acre project would involve 199,500 square feet of office space, 10,000 square feet of retail, and up to 170 apartments.

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The proposed mixed-use complex initially contained medical offices and fewer apartments, but Stanford revised the plan after a series of discussions with city officials and Save Menlo representatives.

A second project, designed by Greenheart LLC, would put 210,000 square feet of office space, 210,000 square feet of apartments, and 13,000 square feet of retail on the 7-acre site located at 1300 El Camino Real and Oak Grove Avenue.

Greenheart representatives have stated that the proposed modifications to the specific plan, and delays caused by waiting to see what happens with the initiative, would make their project financially unfeasible.

Meanwhile, the city has found a potential consultant to conduct an independent analysis of both the initiative and the specific plan. The staff report for the May 13 meeting identifies the recommended contractor as Lisa Wise Consulting Inc., a company based in San Francisco that has not worked with the city of Menlo Park before.

The city proposes to spend $126,886 on the review, with the option to increase that by $3,408 to add a site analysis of what types of projects could be built under the initiative's proposed regulations.

"My first reaction was (that) we're in the wrong business," Mike Lanza quipped during the press conference when the cost of the analysis came up. An initiative leader, he said he hopes it leads to a regional "push back against pack and stack" development.

Mr. Lanza predicted that with three council seats open this fall, the issue could influence the election's outcome and encourage higher voter turnout than usual. Save Menlo did hire paid signature gatherers, but the number of signatures collected by volunteers was sufficient to get the initiative on the ballot, he said.

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Menlo Park: Initiative signatures submitted

Save Menlo hopes the council adopts the changes instead of taking the initiative to the ballot box

by Sandy Brundage / Almanac

Uploaded: Mon, May 12, 2014, 4:30 pm
Updated: Tue, May 13, 2014, 9:06 am

About a dozen people gathered outside Menlo Park City Hall on May 12 to listen to Save Menlo representatives announce that they've collected a lot more than the 1,780 registered voter signatures needed to get their downtown/El Camino Real specific plan initiative on the November ballot.

The grassroots coalition organized to protest the specific plan once a large mixed-use development was proposed along El Camino Real. If a sufficient number of signatures are verified, the City Council may choose to implement the changes or put the issue before voters.

"We hope the council adopts it," said Patti Fry, a former planning commissioner who helped draft the initiative.

Those signing the petition go beyond "the usual suspects," according to Ms. Fry, who said many are new to Menlo Park and had to register to vote first.

She told the gathering that the initiative is a way to enforce the limits set by the specific plan.

"This is not 'no growth'," Ms. Fry said. Rather than an urban downtown with high-rise office buildings, she said, the community wants balanced development with retail, transit-oriented housing, a hotel and maybe more senior housing. "But that's not what's coming forward."

According to the city's summary, the initiative restricts the amount of office space in any individual development to 100,000 square feet; limits total new office space to 240,820 square feet; and caps overall new, non-residential development to 474,000 square feet within the specific plan's boundaries. The initiative would also redefine open space to mean only areas no higher than 4 feet off the ground, thereby preventing balconies from counting as open space.

Voter approval would be needed to revise the ordinance or to exceed the size limits for office and non-residential development. Other clauses appear intended to guarantee the longevity of the measure, with one stating that if any part of the measure is invalidated, the remaining provisions remain in effect, and another allowing the initiative to supersede all conflicting ordinances and policies, according to the city's analysis.

The initiative would impact two mixed-use development proposals already in the works by cutting the amount of office space allowed in each project by about 50 percent.

Stanford University and developer John Arrillaga want to build a complex on the mostly vacant car lots along 300 to 500 El Camino Real. The 8.4-acre project would involve 199,500 square feet of office space, 10,000 square feet of retail, and up to 170 apartments.

The proposed mixed-use complex initially contained medical offices and fewer apartments, but Stanford revised the plan after a series of discussions with city officials and Save Menlo representatives.

A second project, designed by Greenheart LLC, would put 210,000 square feet of office space, 210,000 square feet of apartments, and 13,000 square feet of retail on the 7-acre site located at 1300 El Camino Real and Oak Grove Avenue.

Greenheart representatives have stated that the proposed modifications to the specific plan, and delays caused by waiting to see what happens with the initiative, would make their project financially unfeasible.

Meanwhile, the city has found a potential consultant to conduct an independent analysis of both the initiative and the specific plan. The staff report for the May 13 meeting identifies the recommended contractor as Lisa Wise Consulting Inc., a company based in San Francisco that has not worked with the city of Menlo Park before.

The city proposes to spend $126,886 on the review, with the option to increase that by $3,408 to add a site analysis of what types of projects could be built under the initiative's proposed regulations.

"My first reaction was (that) we're in the wrong business," Mike Lanza quipped during the press conference when the cost of the analysis came up. An initiative leader, he said he hopes it leads to a regional "push back against pack and stack" development.

Mr. Lanza predicted that with three council seats open this fall, the issue could influence the election's outcome and encourage higher voter turnout than usual. Save Menlo did hire paid signature gatherers, but the number of signatures collected by volunteers was sufficient to get the initiative on the ballot, he said.

Comments

Morris Brown
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 12, 2014 at 11:05 pm
Morris Brown, Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 12, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Videos of the announcement can be found at:

Web Link

Patti Fry, Mike Lanza, Lynore Banchoff

(10 minutes)

link to Patti Fry's concluding remarks

Web Link

(3 minutes)


Julie
another community
on May 13, 2014 at 12:10 am
Julie, another community
on May 13, 2014 at 12:10 am

Thank you very much for posting these links.


Aaron
Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 13, 2014 at 1:58 am
Aaron, Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 13, 2014 at 1:58 am

I hope that whatever is considered for the site, that the pedestrian/bike underpass (underneath Caltrain) is included, and perhaps (since the Burgess complex does not yet have this), a decent fitness gym (not a personal trainer) for our community.


Agreed
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 13, 2014 at 6:47 am
Agreed, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 13, 2014 at 6:47 am

I agree, Aaron. Also very pleased that the voices of the people living in Menlo Park, who would like to see sensible development are being heard. enough so that City Council has realized the need to listen to the citizens, and not the developer, or City Staff on matters that effect those of us living here. Instead of bringing in an overpriced consultant - and likely a biased one - I would much prefer to see the current Mayor and City Council take a stand on the initiative and figure out a way to hire competent City Staff that know how to engage the community. Ones that can present honest facts and are capable of engaging and communicating openly about a clear vision for the community. What we've got now is a contentious mess.


Menlo Voter
Menlo Park: other
on May 13, 2014 at 7:04 am
Menlo Voter, Menlo Park: other
on May 13, 2014 at 7:04 am

Agreed:

Honest facts? You mean like the "facts" Fry and Lanza have been presenting or should I say lies. Yes, it's a contentious mess because of folks like Fry and Lanza that are throwing a tantrum because the DSP didn't go they way THEY thought it should. I'm glad you're happy the council is now listening. Just one problem. If this initiative qualifies it won't matter how much the council listens. It has to either be adopted or put to a vote and if approved NOTHING the council does after that will matter. That's why handling zoning by ballot is a STUPID idea.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 13, 2014 at 7:53 am
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on May 13, 2014 at 7:53 am

Agreed - Both the Planning Commission and the City Council have taken a position - they both unanimously approved the current Specific Plan. And now they will hire an independent consultant to "provide a professional and objective analysis" of the proposed initiative". The Mayor has stated that " he expects the resulting review to provide both "pros and cons" for the initiative. It's important to have such information because if the initiative qualifies, the council will be required to either adopt it outright or put it on the ballot for a vote of the people, he said.

"We need to be educated. The public needs to be educated," Mueller said. "Then we'll be able to proceed with a thoughtful discussion."

Lanza's response is to call the Mayor a liar:

"Mike Lanza, one of the authors of the ballot initiative, said he expects the consultant's study to be biased against it."

Sad, the Lanza/Fry Initiative supporters won't answer any questions about the initiative and they don't want anybody else asking questions. And then they attack the Mayor who is trying very hard to ensure an informed and thoughtful discussion.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 13, 2014 at 9:07 am
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on May 13, 2014 at 9:07 am

Here are the questions that the Lanza/Fry Initiative supporters refuse to answer:
1 – They say it is wrong to use up most of the office capacity allowed by the Specifc Plan in the first two years and that instead it should be spread out over a 30-year period. If you owned a parcel and wanted to build a totally conforming ten-room home should you be forced to build it one room each year for the next ten years ?

2 – Save Menlo got everything they asked for in its original petition and Stanford agreed to almost all of their demands. So why are you now asking for even more and how much will be enough to satisfy you?

3 – Would Save Menlo Park members be willing to say who they really are? How many members they actually have?

4 – Do you really believe that definitions written today:

“”Financial institutions providing retail banking services.This classification includes only those institutions engaged in the on site circulation of money,including credit unions.”The foregoing Commercial Use Classification is hereby adopted by the voters”

“”Offices of firms or organizations providing professional,executive,management,or administrative services,such as accounting,advertising,architectural,computer software design,engineering,graphic design, insurance, interior design,investment,and legal offices. This classification excludes hospitals, banks,and savings and loan associations.”The foregoing Commercial Use Classification is hereby adopted by the voters.

will still be appropriate even five years from now and if they are not that there should be an election to change even one word of such definitions? What about digital age banks that do not engage in the on site circulation of money? What about a firm that wants to design robots?

5 – Who is the lawyer who helped draft this initiative and what other interests does he represent?

6 – Who is funding this effort?

7 – Do Menlo Park citizens realize that under the Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative small property owners on ECR will be restricted to 70% of their current footprint for any new/replacement construction and that the currently permitted construction to their the side lot lines would not be permitted?

8 – Do MP citizens realize that the Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative will prevent the construction of a new fire station serving the downtown area?

9 – Do MP citizens know that signatures are being obtained using paid solicitors?

10 – Do MP citizens know that claims of 6 story buildings being either permitted or proposed under the Specific Plan are simply untrue and that the tallest building proposed by Stanford is only FOUR feet taller than the existing building at the corner of ECR and Live Oak Drive?

11 – Do MP citizens know that a major new hotel project decided not to locate in Menlo Park because of the uncertainties created by the Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative?

12 – What are the other unknown and unintended (or perhaps deliberately intended) consequences of the totally unvetted Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative?

13 – Do MP citizens believe that Mike Lanza, Patti Fry and their anonymous lawyer, without any public comment, without multiple drafts, without a Draft and a Final EIR and without numerous public hearings, are really better able to define the future of your city than are your five elected city council members and your seven appointed planning commissioners and the superb city planning and transportation staff that have all worked diligently and totally in the open to produce the existing Specific Plan?

14 – Do MP citizens know that the traffic levels on ECR were significantly reduced from those permitted by the prior zoning when the Specific Plan was adopted?

15 – Do the MP citizens know that the original Stanford proposal would have produced less traffic than was was permitted by the Specific Plan?

16 – Do the MP citizens know that, as a consequence of the work of the Keith/Carlton subcommittee, that the traffic that would have been produced by the revised Stanford plan was even less than that of the original Stanford plan?

17 – What was the date and the time of the ECR traffic photo being used by Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative campaign?

18- What authority does the Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative campaign have to use the City of Menlo Park’s copyrighted logo?

19 – The Planning Commission and the City Council did a review of the Specific Plan last Fall so this raises the question: Which of the 20+ changes to the Specific Plan that are included in the Mike Lanza/Patti Fry Initiative were presented to the Planning Commission and the City Council for their public consideration during the 2013 review of the Specific Plan?

20 - Is this initiative process simply being used to gather names, support and name recognition for Lanza and/or Fry to run for the City Council this year? If it is, will Lanza and Fry reimburse the City for the cost of putting this issue on the ballot.?

I welcome answers to these questions from Lanza and Fry – or others.


Morris Brown
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 13, 2014 at 10:40 am
Morris Brown, Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 13, 2014 at 10:40 am

In the next Print Edition of the Almanac, just out on the streets of Menlo Park, is a "Guest Opinion" from John Boyle (council member from 2006-2010). It is titled

"Ex-council member rejects specific plan petition". The article has 8 main bulleted points, all of which are very negative towards the SaveMenlo Petition, and all of which are easily contested.

One point he raises I do want to refute here. Boyle writes:

""a Similar petition back in 2006 stopped the Derry property project,which has sat vacant ever since. To date, this lost opportunity has cost our community well over $10 million in development fees and lost annual, incremental property tax revenue"

Let me set this record straight.

1. The Derry referendum in 2006, collected about 3000 signatures. Rather than send to the ballot, the council strongly urged both parties, "the O'brien group, and the Menlo Park Tomorrow group (with myself as a leader), to negotiate.

2. Over about 3 months, a compromise was reached. A development agreement was approved by both parties, sent to the Planning Commission, where it was approved, and was headed to City Council, at which time the O'Brien group seeing the deterioration of the housing market decided to not proceed. The reality of the situation is that it was not the Derry Referendum which killed the O'Brien Derry project, but the bottom falling out of the housing market back than, which stopped the project.

3. The development agreement called for a much less dense, and less in height project, more public open space, more retail and a public payment to the City of $2 million.

All of this happened before and after the 2006 election. The "team" of Lee DuBoc, Mickie Winkler and John Boyle, ran for council that year and used the original O'Brien Derry project as a poster child for their campaign. DuBoc and Winkler lost their seats on council and Boyle managed to win by a margin of 104 votes. Quite clearly newly elected council members, Rich Cline, and Heyward Robinson, both of whom supported strongly the Referendum were (at least partially) elected, because they supported the Referendum and objected to the kind of development, the original Derry project represented.

Today we may well have a similar situation. There indeed will be an election in November. Will Keith, Cline and Ohtaki,(if they choose to run again) be supporting the Initiative or will they continue to ignore the wishes of the vast majority of Menlo Park voters, who want serious changes made to the Specific Plan.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 13, 2014 at 11:09 am
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on May 13, 2014 at 11:09 am

"wishes of the The vast majority have not yet voted on this issue. majority of Menlo Park voters,"


These folks are very presumptuous.
The vast majority have not yet voted on this issue.

Re the Derry project - a project delayed is often a project killed ala. Greenheart which has already stated that the delay and uncertainty caused by this initiative has destroyed the economic feasabilty of their project. And killing projects is just what the initiative supporters want.


Sam Tyler
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm
Sam Tyler, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Let me get this straight, Mr. Brown. By your constant use of the initiative process, you are saying is that you don't believe in a representative form of government. We elected the City Council to do the hard work in creating a vision of our community. The City Council asks for additional community representatives, in the form of appointed Planning Commission members, to join in the task of working on the specific plan. After six long years and countless hours of volunteer time by these community members (all of which was conducted on live television and streaming on the internet and still available online), a specific plan is brought forth and adopted.

But that isn't good enough for you and Save Menlo. You must know better because you ignore the hard work of all these people and constantly go about legislating by the ballot box. I think you and your like prefer that approach. Don't do the hard work of trying to gain consensus and spend the time to analysis what other communities are doing in the urban design. It must be easy to take a few short months to hire out-of-town signature gatherers and slam something on the ballot, then attack your elected officials when they try to conduct an impartial review of the initiative and its impact on the community. How easy that must be. Shame on you and Patti Fry and the others who constantly use the initiative process to bypass our elected officials and push forth your narrow views. Shame on Mike Lanza, Perla Ni and the Save Menlo camp for ignoring the specific plan process and then unapologetically complain about the plan after the fact.

The arrogance of these people apparently has no bounds.


Mike Keenly
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm
Mike Keenly, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm

The initiative process is a way for residents to bring an issue to the ballot when they don't believe elected officials are representing their interests. If one doesn't favor an issue, simply vote against it.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on May 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Mike - you are correct about the purpose of the initiative process.

Would you care to estimate the cost of putting this initiative on the ballot and also the cost of the uncertainty created by this initiative on the orderly development of Menlo Park?


Just Sayin'
Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm
Just Sayin', Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Sam Tyler writes: "We elected the City Council to do the hard work in creating a vision of our community."

Gosh, thank God that's not true. Hundreds in the community participated over multiple years and several different councils, to create a consensus community vision which is supposed to be STEWARDED by the City Council.

The issue is that the projects are not true to the vision, and that council is not fixing the problems in the zoning code that allow the discrepancies.

Large offices were never a goal of the Specific Plan.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 13, 2014 at 2:20 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on May 13, 2014 at 2:20 pm

"Large offices were never a goal of the Specific Plan."

Wrong - read both the Vision Statement and the Specific Plan. BOTH call for offices on ECR.


Agreed
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 13, 2014 at 3:09 pm
Agreed, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 13, 2014 at 3:09 pm

One mans Large is another mans small.


No one communicated 5 story tall buildings to the community.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on May 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm

"No one communicated 5 story tall buildings to the community. "

Clearly you, like many others, have never read the Specific Plan which clearly not only permits 5 story buildings but, for those that can't read, has illustrations showing the set backs required for the upper stories of, guess what, a FIVE story building.

Please do your homework before posting foolish statements.

Ignorance seems to be the chosen ally of the Lanza/Fry initiative proponents.


Roy Thiele-Sardiña
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm
Roy Thiele-Sardiña, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on May 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm

@Morris;

So I noticed you didn't refute the loss of income/taxes to the City.

So which part of that statement do you refute? you simply re-hashed your version of the action of 2006. And your conjecture about the election.

Again, this is a misguided initiative, and Fry/Lanza will ultimately cost the city millions in tax revenue, just as you did.

Roy Thiele-Sardina



Been there
Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 13, 2014 at 4:22 pm
Been there, Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 13, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Let's see how well the No-Growthers continue their spin on this. The campaign will be full of distortions as was the signature gathering for the Derry Project. Menlo Park residents are educated but lazy and will believe the propaganda that will be published. the NIMBYs know this.
I especially like the billboard on Valapariso Ave. that says Stop Gridlock. Like we don't have gridlock now and these developments haven't even been built. Where are these cars coming from? Look north and south and you will see Redwood City and Palo Alto building residences and comercial like mad. The amount of traffic generated from one property on El Camino or spread out on many, will be insignificant compared to what is happening outside to city limits.
What about the yard signs '30 years of development in 2 years'?
Of course most of the office space will go to these two projects. Where else will this footage go? Hello!! Did anyone notice Menlo Park is already built out? Of course the office will go on the vacant lots.
Properties like the Shell Station and the Park Theatre site may take 20,000 square feet. That is it.
The Specific Plan for Downtown was well thought out with lots of residents involvement and input. To rewind the DSP will take any vitality the city wanted during the 6 years leading up to the DSP.
Menlo Park will get what it deserves. The NIMBYs may have their day.
It would not surprise me if the Stanford Project and Greenheart Development sit back and leave these properties vacant. We deserve no less.


Sam Tyler
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 13, 2014 at 4:35 pm
Sam Tyler, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 13, 2014 at 4:35 pm

I am just saying to Just Sayin' and Agreed: Even if you never actually read the plan (which I think neither of you did), have you even looked at the cover of the document? It shows a rendering of five story buildings along El Camino Real. How can anyone look at the cover of the specific plan and then say they were surprised by a proposal that included five story buildings along El Camino Real? I think that graphic "communicated five story buildings to the community" pretty clearly.

Once again, the arrogance of these people has no bounds.




Gern
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 13, 2014 at 5:49 pm
Gern, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 13, 2014 at 5:49 pm

@Sam, your copy of the DSP must differ from mine. Mine was downloaded from the Menlo Park website with a filename of 'ecr-d_specific-plan_final.pdf' and a title page dated July 12, 2012. The cover of that document very clearly shows 4- and 3-story buildings with a predominately housing/retail mix. In fact, I just checked the new Menlo Park website and the project cover page includes the same illustration: Web Link Where is it you are seeing this five-story cover illustration? Can you send us a link?

Gern


The facts
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 13, 2014 at 10:45 pm
The facts, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 13, 2014 at 10:45 pm

As one of the many volunteer signature collectors for this initiative, I had no problem getting people to sign. Residents of Menlo Park understand that Stanford, with the aid of city staff, pulled a fast one. After years of our attending meetings and being shown pictures of pleasant resident-oriented spaces, lots of retail and cafes, no one expected massive office structures that provide no revenue and no services and only exacerbate existing gridlock.

Have any of you driven by the new SurveyMonkey building in Palo Alto? That's 50,000 square feet. The proposed projects would be 8x that big! And SurveyMonkey is set back from the street; these projects would tower over the road.

The anti-SaveMenlo namecalling (NIMBYs! No-growthers!) serves no purpose other than to reveal the shallowness of the opposition. We all want to see the vacant lots developed, but in a manner that serves the residents and the city, and all the wailing and bullying from out-of-town whiners does not detract from the fact that it is our city, and our right and responsibility to ensure that it is not ruined by bonanza zoning giveaways.


Menlo Voter
Menlo Park: other
on May 14, 2014 at 7:35 am
Menlo Voter, Menlo Park: other
on May 14, 2014 at 7:35 am

the facts:

that's a real misnomer. You continue to repeat the LIE that Stanford somehow pulled a "fast one" or had some "inside" control over the DSP process. That is a blatant and bald face lie which is countered by the actual FACTS that the DSP process that went on for six years was a totally public process. The folks that slept through the process are now throwing a tantrum because the city didn't take them by the hand like a bunch of children and tell them "you understand that this zoning change we're contemplating means office buildings, right?" It's in the DSP and it's always been there. If you slept through the process don't blame others for your lack of understanding or paying attention.


Morris Brown
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 14, 2014 at 8:43 am
Morris Brown, Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 14, 2014 at 8:43 am

At last night's City Council meeting (5/13/2014), 7 former Mayors and Initiative leader Patti Fry spoke urging Council to adopt the Initiative.

You can view their comments at:

Web Link

(about 24 minutes total)


Agreed
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 14, 2014 at 9:00 am
Agreed, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 14, 2014 at 9:00 am

Thank you for posting the link, Gern. Clearly the community was mislead. Had the developer stuck with buildings depicted in that image there wouldn't be a SaveMenlo movement. It's just wrong to pull a bait and switch and community members have every right to protest the Plans.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 14, 2014 at 10:06 am
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on May 14, 2014 at 10:06 am

" these projects would tower over the road."

No, the Specific Plan requires larger street front setbacks as well as further setbacks of the upper floors - the Survey Monkey building has neither.

"Clearly the community was mislead. "

No. Figure E 26 clearly shows a FIVE story building. You were only misled if you choose not to read the Specific Plan or, at least, look at the pictures. And the buildings proposed by Stanford are only FOUR FEET taller than an existing building on ECR.


Sam TYler
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 14, 2014 at 10:30 am
Sam TYler, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 14, 2014 at 10:30 am

Gern: As I have stated previously, the issue is height not stories. The Specific Plan mandates a height limit of 60 feet, but is silent about the number of stories. If you can find restrictions based on the number of stories, please post it here. Anyone who is quibbling over four verses five stories has not read the plan. Granted, most lay people can't relate height requirements to number of stories proposed.

Let me make my point in a different manner: If height was such a focal point of criticism of the specific plan, then why wan't the initiative drafted to lower heights within the plan area? The initiative language does absolutely nothing to lower heights.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 14, 2014 at 10:35 am
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on May 14, 2014 at 10:35 am

"then why wan't the initiative drafted to lower heights within the plan area? "

They are saving that for their next initiative - part of a carefully orchestrated plan to stall everything for as long as possible.

Make no mistake these folks want ZERO growth for Menlo Park.

Their motto is "I've got mine, everybody else stay out"


Gern
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 14, 2014 at 11:04 am
Gern, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 14, 2014 at 11:04 am

Make no mistake these folks want ZERO growth for Menlo Park. "Their motto is 'I've got mine, everybody else stay out.'"

THIS from an Atherton resident?! There simply are no words....

Gern


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 14, 2014 at 11:20 am
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on May 14, 2014 at 11:20 am

Gern - would you please start answer ALL of the questions that have been posed to you.

"Simply no words'' captures all of your responses to date.


Roy Thiele-Sardiña
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 14, 2014 at 12:22 pm
Roy Thiele-Sardiña, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on May 14, 2014 at 12:22 pm

@Gern

I am a Menlo Park resident and agree that the current Lanza/Fry people do not want ANY development. That is exactly what "I've got mine, everyone else stay out" means.

They say they want more retail, yet is has a 3-5x higher negative impact on traffic (vs. mix use plan). According to the Menlo Park traffic report for the Specific Plan. Lanza/Fry ignore that yet say they want less traffic....very hypocritical.

Roy


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on May 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm

To repeat:

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 6, 2014 at 6:41 pm
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
Gern - just answer the questions. If they are "baseless non-sequitur and wild conjecture" then explain why.


By the way Gern - what is your full name and your address ? And who, by full name, have you discussed your postings with?


sasquatch
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 14, 2014 at 2:59 pm
sasquatch, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 14, 2014 at 2:59 pm

We have been had. Mike and Patti and Perla have presented an initiative to force a retraction in the zoning that the community created - not hastily but over a five (5) year open and public process. Yes they objected then but more people said they WANT redevelopment than fear it. And more people understood that, while you can zone for a park or a swimming pool or a five star hotel, the land owner builds what will work, not what we dream. (Remember, the city also commissioned an economic analysis of viable development.)

Here's a little truth amid all the Stop Menlo hype: if the initiative passes, commitments that Stanford made to city council last Fall will go away; these included omitting medical office use (Mike and Patti didn't think of that), increased front setback, and the bike tunnel under the tracks to Burgess Park. If Stanford builds at all post-initiative, they will build medical or school space - increasing the traffic the Stop Menlo initiative claims to reduce, and/or no revenue to the city.

Mike and Patti's initiative played on the fears of Allied Arts (the support base for this frankenstein) and flat out lied about the proposed projects in order to "restrain" development. Thanks a lot.


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