Belle Haven residents don't like 'Bayfront' label for M-2 zone | News | Almanac Online |


Belle Haven residents don't like 'Bayfront' label for M-2 zone


Some residents of Menlo Park's Belle Haven neighborhood say they don't like the fact that the industrial district around them, long known as the M-2 zone, is now being relabeled the Bayfront. Some said the new label will separate their residential area from the improvements being planned for the industrial zone.

On Tuesday night, Oct. 6, a little more than halfway through a two-year process, Menlo Park's City Council took a look at the progress the city has been making on revising the city's general plan. The plan is a state-mandated document that serves as the city's constitution upon which its regulations are based. The update is focusing on the M-2 industrial area and on the city's "circulation" systems of streets, paths and trails.

A number of speakers told the council they feel the fact that the plan has relabeled the M-2 area as the Bayfront, an area separate from Belle Haven, may hurt Belle Haven and leave the perception that any improvements that are being made are in the Bayfront, not Belle Haven.

"By separating and creating this new neighborhood, it's kind of like you're cutting us off in the Belle Haven area," said Toni Marie Ali, a Belle Haven resident. Instead, she said, the city should be looked at "as one functioning unit."

"We're not separate, we're one community," she said.

Another resident, Pamela Jones, said the labeling of the area being studied as the Bayfront, or M-2 Bayfront, may have left some Belle Haven residents not understanding that their neighborhood would be affected by the changes.

Vicky Robledo said changing the name of the industrial area separates it from Belle Haven. "The Bayfront has always been part of Belle Haven," she said. Giving the industrial area its own name "creates a barrier – you create a wall," she said.

"I'm a little heartbroken that the area is being renamed," said resident Maya Perkins. She said Belle Haven residents also want one of the slogans of the plan, "live, work, play," which refers to the fact that new developments will be asked to provide not only work places, but also residences and amenities such as shopping or restaurants.

"Why is this distinction being made?" she asked. "It feels like (Belle Haven) is being cut off."

Council members appeared to agree that the Bayfront label should be reconsidered. Councilman Rich Cline said that the project was meant to improve the industrial area, "not to change anything about Belle Haven."

"My bias is always, it's Menlo Park," he said. "This is one community."

Councilwoman Kirsten Keith agreed. "I think this calling it the Bayfront is not the way to go," she said. "I think it's important to keep Belle Haven as the name for this."

Charlie Knox, who heads up the team of consultants working on the general plan revisions, said he would work on the issue. "We are looking for a name for the non-residential portions" of the area, he said. "There's no intent here to talk about changing the name of the Belle Haven neighborhood."

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7 people like this
Posted by Rouchard
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 7, 2015 at 12:10 pm

Belle Haven has been left out of so much of Menlo Park's upgrades, plans and revitalization, this new move to call part of it Bayfront is just another separation tactic. We see right through your segregation plan. Please don't treat us this way, we are your service workers. We are the backbone of all the food service and service industry for West Menlo.

Like this comment
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 7, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Belle Haven translates to Beautiful Haven. Nothing wrong with that.

8 people like this
Posted by 48 year resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 7, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Why the segregation? Why are we being pushed out of our homes? This community is rich in culture and I feel its very disrespectful to even think to change it. Please keep our neighborhood Belle Haven. My cousin lived in this neighborhood in the 50's. The name was Belle Haven when it was an all White community and when the demographics changed in the 60's and 70's we didn't change the name so why should it change now?

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 7, 2015 at 10:15 pm

I understand ,
but you have to admit great sounding name,

Also consultant at council meeting said lots of time and additional cost to go back and change back,

money could be spent on other things for the area

Like this comment
Posted by Kielie
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 8, 2015 at 5:24 pm

City Council should be coming up with a plan to build affordable housing in BELLE HAVEN, not wasting time changing names. Imagine the logistic nightmare of a name change! Improvements to benefit the whole community please, stop farting around with trivial stuff.

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