By Erin Glanville, Special to the Almanac
The governing board of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District on Tuesday night stepped back from a proposal that the district oppose new development in the city's M-2 industrial zone until the city can guarantee funds for additional fire services.
Fire board member Peter Carpenter had proposed that the board adopt a resolution to this effect on Tuesday.
But hours before the meeting, the district received a letter from City Manager Alex McInltyre expressing support for the concept of a fire impact fee on new development and proposing "further conversation" between district and city officials.
The fire board decided to table the resolution and agreed to a meeting between district and city officials on Tuesday, Jan. 27.
Those expected to participate in the meeting are fire board members Virginia Chang Kiraly and Rex Ianson, Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman, Mayor Catherine Carlton, Councilman Peter Ohtaki, and Mr. McIntyre
In proposing the resolution, Mr. Carpenter cited what he considers a pattern of city officials ignoring the fire district's concerns about how new development affects the district's ability to provide emergency services.
The proposed "upzoning" in the M-2 district would bring in too much development for the area's fire station to handle and would take limited resources away from the Belle Haven neighborhood, Mr. Carpenter said. "To grant development rights without understanding the impact is irresponsible," he said.
The M2 district roughly spans parcels wedged between the San Francisco Bay, University Avenue, Marsh Road and U.S. 101. The area has seen a jump in development activity during the past four years with the arrival of Facebook headquarters and the approval of the Bohannon Menlo Gateway project.