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Menlo Park council race: Tensions grow over residential rezoning

Two would-be competitors sought campaign promises from candidate Wolosin

Jen Wolosin. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

With days to go until Election Day, Menlo Park's District 3 race continues to generate controversy.

This year, the only contested City Council seat up for election is in District 3, which includes the neighborhoods of Vintage Oaks, Felton Gables, Linfield Oaks, part of the Caltrain line and a small square of Menlo Park west of El Camino Real bordered by Santa Cruz Avenue, Valparaiso Avenue and Crane Street. The three candidates running for the seat are Jen Wolosin, a bike and pedestrian safety advocate and parent; Max Fennell, a professional triathlete and coffee entrepreneur; and Chelsea Nguyen, a project manager at Cisco, veteran and single mother.

Whoever is elected will participate in leading the city's update to its housing element, a process that will require the city to comply with a state mandate requiring cities to adjust its zoning rules to allow for its "fair share" of new housing to meet the region's growth.

The latest projections from the Association of Bay Area Governments indicate Menlo Park could be on the hook to zone for 3,075 new housing units, 1,218 of which would be required for low- or very low-income households.

One of the key issues that at least some district residents say is shaping their decision is opposition to statements Wolosin has made about being open to considering changing zoning in single-family residential areas to permit duplexes or triplexes.

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Although Wolosin has been the most vocal about her openness to evaluating single-family zoning to permit denser housing, both Nguyen and Fennell told The Almanac they are also supportive of the idea.

In an email, Nguyen said she supported rezoning single-family homes to permit multiple houses – but with a significant caveat. She said she would only favor doing so, "if the fence height limit is changed as well, at least up to 30 feet to protect privacy for the neighboring houses."

Fennell, in an email, said he also supported rezoning. "I think rezoning for duplexes or triplexes is important in helping to address the housing crisis right now," he said.

Campaign promises?

Two prominent District 3 residents in particular are advocating against Wolosin's campaign based on the single-family rezoning question. Both also tried to extract promises from Wolosin and were turned down, asking for a vote for a Planning Commission seat and to rule out rezoning in single-family housing areas.

Stu Soffer and Marc Bryman each told The Almanac they had considered running for the council seat, but decided against it. Soffer is an expert witness in intellectual property matters who writes the "Deep Menlo" blog on The Almanac website, and Bryman is a realtor and Parks and Recreation commissioner.

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Both Soffer and Bryman expressed sharp opposition to the notion of rezoning single-family areas in Menlo Park for more housing. Soffer said it could diminish the value of single-family homes. Bryman said he favored looking at increasing what's allowed in areas already zoned for multifamily housing first.

After seeing how much time council members are now spending on Zoom, Soffer said he decided not to run and instead approached Wolosin, asking for her to vote to appoint him to a seat on the city's Planning Commission should she be elected.

Wolosin confirmed she declined to promise Soffer a vote for a Planning Commission seat.

In an interview, Soffer said that Wolosin's decision to deny his request did not affect his decision to support Nguyen, and he has not made the same request of any other candidate.

Bryman said he spoke with current and former council members about also running for the council seat. He said he too considered running but figured it would take him away from home too much.

Councilman and District 5 candidate Ray Mueller said he spoke with Bryman, as well as the three candidates, about what the position entailed before the race began and offered to answer questions. He said he told them he wasn't planning to get involved in the race but added, "I don't think it'd be apropriate for me to discourage someone from running."

After the first of several candidate forums, which was hosted by the League of Women Voters, Bryman questioned Wolosin about her rezoning position.

In a text, Bryman said Wolosin could win his support if she removed the possibility of reconsidering single-family zoning from her campaign platform. "If you can tell me now that R1 (the city planning code for single-family zoning) is off the table and you will not advocate for it, I can support you and speak up about it," he wrote. She responded that she understood his position, but didn't commit to his request. Later that day, Bryman sent out an email to an unknown number of district residents, urging them to vote against her and consider Nguyen's candidacy, according to an email provided to The Almanac.

Wolosin later told Bryman via text that she felt it would be premature to rule out possible policies before the community has had a chance to weigh in.

In an interview, Wolosin said that rezoning is just one of many housing policies she's open to considering if elected and tasked with working on the city's new housing element. "(Rezoning) R1 is not the centerpiece of my campaign," she said. "Housing is a hot topic. It's very personal. I understand that."

As of The Almanac's press time, it also wasn't immediately clear whether the question of reconsidering single-family zoning was affecting votes. An active member of the Felton Gables neighborhood, Marcy Abramowitz, said that the main issues she's hearing people discuss are grade separations and revitalizing downtown.

Are you a District 3 resident? Let us know what key issues shaped your vote at [email protected]

Campaign spending updates

Between Sept. 20 and Oct. 17, Wolosin reported that her campaign had raised $100 in new funds, via a contribution from Joe Adelson of Menlo Park. So far this year her campaign has raised $11,917 and spent $12,516, with $5,522 spent between Sept. 20 and Oct. 17.

Both Fennell and Nguyen did not plan to raise or spend more than $2,000.

While Nguyen's campaign spending remains under $2,000, she told The Almanac her campaign received a $1,700 donation through ActBlue, which she used to pay for campaign and door signs. She designed them herself to keep costs low, she said.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that ActBlue donated to Nguyen's campaign. It has been edited to note that the donation was made through ActBlue, a fundraising platform for Democratic donors to make contributions to candidates or causes.

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Menlo Park council race: Tensions grow over residential rezoning

Two would-be competitors sought campaign promises from candidate Wolosin

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Thu, Oct 29, 2020, 11:31 am

With days to go until Election Day, Menlo Park's District 3 race continues to generate controversy.

This year, the only contested City Council seat up for election is in District 3, which includes the neighborhoods of Vintage Oaks, Felton Gables, Linfield Oaks, part of the Caltrain line and a small square of Menlo Park west of El Camino Real bordered by Santa Cruz Avenue, Valparaiso Avenue and Crane Street. The three candidates running for the seat are Jen Wolosin, a bike and pedestrian safety advocate and parent; Max Fennell, a professional triathlete and coffee entrepreneur; and Chelsea Nguyen, a project manager at Cisco, veteran and single mother.

Whoever is elected will participate in leading the city's update to its housing element, a process that will require the city to comply with a state mandate requiring cities to adjust its zoning rules to allow for its "fair share" of new housing to meet the region's growth.

The latest projections from the Association of Bay Area Governments indicate Menlo Park could be on the hook to zone for 3,075 new housing units, 1,218 of which would be required for low- or very low-income households.

One of the key issues that at least some district residents say is shaping their decision is opposition to statements Wolosin has made about being open to considering changing zoning in single-family residential areas to permit duplexes or triplexes.

Although Wolosin has been the most vocal about her openness to evaluating single-family zoning to permit denser housing, both Nguyen and Fennell told The Almanac they are also supportive of the idea.

In an email, Nguyen said she supported rezoning single-family homes to permit multiple houses – but with a significant caveat. She said she would only favor doing so, "if the fence height limit is changed as well, at least up to 30 feet to protect privacy for the neighboring houses."

Fennell, in an email, said he also supported rezoning. "I think rezoning for duplexes or triplexes is important in helping to address the housing crisis right now," he said.

Two prominent District 3 residents in particular are advocating against Wolosin's campaign based on the single-family rezoning question. Both also tried to extract promises from Wolosin and were turned down, asking for a vote for a Planning Commission seat and to rule out rezoning in single-family housing areas.

Stu Soffer and Marc Bryman each told The Almanac they had considered running for the council seat, but decided against it. Soffer is an expert witness in intellectual property matters who writes the "Deep Menlo" blog on The Almanac website, and Bryman is a realtor and Parks and Recreation commissioner.

Both Soffer and Bryman expressed sharp opposition to the notion of rezoning single-family areas in Menlo Park for more housing. Soffer said it could diminish the value of single-family homes. Bryman said he favored looking at increasing what's allowed in areas already zoned for multifamily housing first.

After seeing how much time council members are now spending on Zoom, Soffer said he decided not to run and instead approached Wolosin, asking for her to vote to appoint him to a seat on the city's Planning Commission should she be elected.

Wolosin confirmed she declined to promise Soffer a vote for a Planning Commission seat.

In an interview, Soffer said that Wolosin's decision to deny his request did not affect his decision to support Nguyen, and he has not made the same request of any other candidate.

Bryman said he spoke with current and former council members about also running for the council seat. He said he too considered running but figured it would take him away from home too much.

Councilman and District 5 candidate Ray Mueller said he spoke with Bryman, as well as the three candidates, about what the position entailed before the race began and offered to answer questions. He said he told them he wasn't planning to get involved in the race but added, "I don't think it'd be apropriate for me to discourage someone from running."

After the first of several candidate forums, which was hosted by the League of Women Voters, Bryman questioned Wolosin about her rezoning position.

In a text, Bryman said Wolosin could win his support if she removed the possibility of reconsidering single-family zoning from her campaign platform. "If you can tell me now that R1 (the city planning code for single-family zoning) is off the table and you will not advocate for it, I can support you and speak up about it," he wrote. She responded that she understood his position, but didn't commit to his request. Later that day, Bryman sent out an email to an unknown number of district residents, urging them to vote against her and consider Nguyen's candidacy, according to an email provided to The Almanac.

Wolosin later told Bryman via text that she felt it would be premature to rule out possible policies before the community has had a chance to weigh in.

In an interview, Wolosin said that rezoning is just one of many housing policies she's open to considering if elected and tasked with working on the city's new housing element. "(Rezoning) R1 is not the centerpiece of my campaign," she said. "Housing is a hot topic. It's very personal. I understand that."

As of The Almanac's press time, it also wasn't immediately clear whether the question of reconsidering single-family zoning was affecting votes. An active member of the Felton Gables neighborhood, Marcy Abramowitz, said that the main issues she's hearing people discuss are grade separations and revitalizing downtown.

Are you a District 3 resident? Let us know what key issues shaped your vote at [email protected]

Between Sept. 20 and Oct. 17, Wolosin reported that her campaign had raised $100 in new funds, via a contribution from Joe Adelson of Menlo Park. So far this year her campaign has raised $11,917 and spent $12,516, with $5,522 spent between Sept. 20 and Oct. 17.

Both Fennell and Nguyen did not plan to raise or spend more than $2,000.

While Nguyen's campaign spending remains under $2,000, she told The Almanac her campaign received a $1,700 donation through ActBlue, which she used to pay for campaign and door signs. She designed them herself to keep costs low, she said.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that ActBlue donated to Nguyen's campaign. It has been edited to note that the donation was made through ActBlue, a fundraising platform for Democratic donors to make contributions to candidates or causes.

Comments

conscience
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 29, 2020 at 12:59 pm
conscience, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2020 at 12:59 pm
14 people like this

I'd like for Ms. Wolosin to be transparent about what, as a council member, the would support on rezoning the USGS property. Will she support a mix of high density housing....not just town homes!


U.Block
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 29, 2020 at 1:12 pm
U.Block, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2020 at 1:12 pm
51 people like this

Did Ms. Nguyen recommend *thirty* foot fence heights, or is this a misunderstanding? I don't think I've ever seen a fence that high. Perhaps around a prison yard???


Jack O'Lantern
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Oct 29, 2020 at 1:35 pm
Jack O'Lantern, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2020 at 1:35 pm
72 people like this

The USGS site and what will become of it is one of the biggest issues in the D3 race.
@conscience is right. Townhomes or multifamily density is the question? Most of the D3 campaigning has been an ideological discussion with scant attention to actual details of the City Council action that is foreseeable in District 3. Wolosin and the other candidates have not provided unambiguous responses on this issue. Wolosin is emphazing housing in her campaign. Will she back it up and support multi-family density housing at the USGS site?

I read Ngyuen's response to the single family home zoning change issue, about the 30ft fencing, to obviously be tounge in cheek sarcasm, highlighting percieved privacy concerns raised by the zoning change. @ublock, why so petty?


U.Block
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 29, 2020 at 1:42 pm
U.Block, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2020 at 1:42 pm
27 people like this

@Jack I *literally* asked for clarification. It did not read as sarcasm to me and was written here as a very plain statement. This is why the author should clarify. If not sarcasm, I wouldn't find concern over fences that high to be petty.

And I don't even understand the sentiment. The duplexes in my neighborhood are the same height as single-family residences.


Jack O'Lantern
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Oct 29, 2020 at 1:50 pm
Jack O'Lantern, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2020 at 1:50 pm
57 people like this

@UBlock, comparing a minority candidate's statement on land use (which is plainly sarcastic) to creating the conditions of a prison yard, as you did in the body of your response and in the moniker you have chosen, is 100 percent petty.


U.Block
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 29, 2020 at 2:09 pm
U.Block, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2020 at 2:09 pm
21 people like this

@Jack O'Lantern Bwaaaa ha ha ha... you assume I "chose a moniker" to imply something about the candidate and prisons. I literally used my first initial and last name. <...still laughing...> I can't believe "Jack O'Lantern" is [falsely] calling me out for creating a moniker with some sort of sinister intent.

For the record: I find it unwise to *assume* things from very simple statements and prefer to ask for clarification. Was Ms. Nguyen's request for 30-foot fences serious or sarcasm? (Note that I'm asking the original author) If sarcasm, I'd recommend the author note that. If serious, then this is not petty whatsoever as I would *not* want a 30-foot fence next to my house.

Have a Happy Halloween, Jack O'.


Jack O'Lantern
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Oct 29, 2020 at 2:22 pm
Jack O'Lantern, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2020 at 2:22 pm
49 people like this

@Ublock You want us to believe your last name is Block and you were not making a reference to a prison?

That is quite a coincidence, given you referenced a prison yard in your initial post
and as everyone knows a "block" is a control unit or segregation unit (also called a "block" ) in a prison. Web Link

Focusing on Nguyen's sarcastic comment, making references to prison yards? This really isn't a very good way to support your candidate and divert attention away from the focus of the article.


Goodbye R1 Zoning
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 29, 2020 at 3:01 pm
Goodbye R1 Zoning, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2020 at 3:01 pm
7 people like this

"In an interview, Wolosin said that rezoning is just one of many housing policies she's open to considering if elected and tasked with working on the city's new housing element. "(Rezoning) R1 is not the centerpiece of my campaign," she said."

Rezoning may not be the centerpiece, but it is central. For insight, explore Menlo Together's website. Web Link Jen Wolosin is a member, as are others with influential MP positions. You will find links to articles and petitions encouraging more dense housing near transit and downtown, meaning district 3.

IMHO, Jen Wolosin will overturn R1 zoning. Stu Soffer and Marc Bryman, you missed your chance.


CyberVoter
Registered user
Atherton: other
on Oct 29, 2020 at 5:16 pm
CyberVoter, Atherton: other
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2020 at 5:16 pm
9 people like this

1) I'm surprised that no one mentions that we should demand that the State reconsider the "mandates". Apparently, we have handed the State Bureaucrats total control over our lives & our neighborhoods! Where will it end? Is there anything that Newsom does not want to mandate? Menlo Park is no longer the family-centered community that we once admired.
2) High rise housing @ Transit stops? Has anyone noticed that people are avoiding sitting/standing in enclosed, dirty mass transit? Ridership will never meet the vastly overstated numbers "forecasted" by our "Urban Planners" and dense housing isn't desirable either!


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Oct 29, 2020 at 5:21 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park: Park Forest
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2020 at 5:21 pm
42 people like this

I am concerned that an Almanac blogger wrote a blog endorsing one candidate without disclosing that he had asked another candidate, who he did not then endorse, for a quid pro quo which she refused.

Kudos to Wolosin for refusing the requested quid pro quo.


Dagwood
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 29, 2020 at 8:07 pm
Dagwood, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2020 at 8:07 pm
20 people like this

There are many lovely and vibrant mixed multifamily and single family neighborhoods in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Long Beach among other communities. These housing mixes often also support longer-term residents of a wider range of ages, family configurations and incomes, a positive outcome otherwise difficult to achieve with more homogeneous zoning.


Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Oct 29, 2020 at 9:04 pm
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2020 at 9:04 pm
7 people like this

I have to say I find it funny that a person with the Moniker of Jack O'Lantern calls out another person for their name. I would have to give they win to U. Block on that one

As for sarcasm, really? I am not sure I read it that way. I will give you that sarcasm does not translate well to print but even so Nguyen should have known better than to even make that statement. Claiming is is sarcasm is as believable as when Trump says he was just joking about investigating injecting bleach...

I have to say at this point the District 3 race is rapidly becoming the lesser of the 3 evils, or the best of 3 bad choices. I know that as a homeowner in Menlo Park if a candidate tried to rezone the residential properties in Menlo Park for higher density that I would support recalling that person.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Oct 29, 2020 at 9:29 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park: Park Forest
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2020 at 9:29 pm
9 people like this

I am perplexed that the Publisher himself removed an endorsement of my candidacy for the Fire Board * from this Forum because he felt it too powerful and yet that same Publisher ignores the fact that an Almanac blogger wrote a blog endorsing one candidate without disclosing that he had asked another candidate, who he did not then endorse, for a quid pro quo which she refused.

*
Web Link

On Sep 2, 2020, at 9:12 AM, Bill Johnson wrote:

Hi Peter and Tom,

This was removed for two reasons. First, we don't permit candidates to post third-party endorsements. You can imagine what that would lead to, both in terms of fact-checking and candidates flooding the site with endorsements. Second, high-profile endorsements from public figures aren't allowed even if posted by them. Advertising is the proper place to publicize such endorsements. We don't have the means to verify the authenticity of such postings and the forum is not intended as a way for candidates to publicize their influential backers' testimonials. The goal is to allow regular citizens to share their views and personal experiences. During campaigns we work very hard to keep comments focused on substantive issues and the contrasts among candidates. I'm sure both of you, having decades of political experience, can appreciate the need for this.

Tom, great to connect with you. It's been a long time. I'm glad to see you're still working hard to improve our messed up political system. Let us all hope for a decisive Trump defeat in November so we can begin repairing the damage.

Best wishes,

Bill


CyberVoter
Registered user
Atherton: other
on Oct 29, 2020 at 10:14 pm
CyberVoter, Atherton: other
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2020 at 10:14 pm
6 people like this

Bill:

I find your editorial note totally inappropriate as the owner of the publication & you lose any semblance of neutrality on any issue!

"Let us all hope for a decisive Trump defeat in November so we can begin repairing the damage."

Agree or not, you have overstepped the boundary!


Timely Vote,
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Oct 30, 2020 at 1:46 am
Timely Vote,, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Oct 30, 2020 at 1:46 am
8 people like this

Bill did I miss something or did you do what you were telling Peter not to do, You endorsed a candidate, biden, by attacking Trump, unless you're writing in some one, I thought the press was to remain neutral, I expect some clarification please, Similar to dorsey you're telling us what we as the people can't do and you as the press can.


jgftw
Registered user
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 30, 2020 at 7:43 am
jgftw, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
Registered user
on Oct 30, 2020 at 7:43 am
4 people like this

@Bill It’s a little shocking how brazenly open and comfortable you feel being so partisan as a publisher.


Local94025
Registered user
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 30, 2020 at 9:19 am
Local94025, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
Registered user
on Oct 30, 2020 at 9:19 am
10 people like this

I agree about the 30 foot fence not being sarcasm as the journalist would have said so and the only place I can think of ever seeing one IS a prison yard. Not even SFO has fences that high.

As for High-density on USGS, all for it. Tri plexes and duplexes, they are not already allowed thru-out MP? and why not?! (Rhetorical)
MP has approved huge houses (with zero yard) some next to tiny ones, 2 on Menalto, one on Johnson off the top of my head. Low density Multi-family Du's and Tri's make total sense, great for mulit-generatoinal living - and No ones property values are going down because of it. Do a little research before claiming that. They are all over neighboring communities and it's just as expensive to live there. For petes sake someone just paid over $3 mill to live ON Willow Rd, the busy part.


Jack O'Lantern
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Oct 30, 2020 at 9:45 am
Jack O'Lantern, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Oct 30, 2020 at 9:45 am
42 people like this

So the minority candidate who has recieved racist emails in this campaign now has to endure the dog whistle that her comment about a fence will make people's homes look like prison yards, despite the obvious sarcasm, and ignoring that the fence comment was in response to the 30 foot tall triplex next to property line that Wolosin is proposing considering. It begs the question, does the 30ft tall wall of the side of triplex make people feel like they are in a prison yard as well? I would hope not. But does it make a difference that Wolosin proposed it as opposed to Ngyuen?


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Oct 30, 2020 at 11:42 am
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park: Park Forest
Registered user
on Oct 30, 2020 at 11:42 am
4 people like this

"Bill did I miss something or did you do what you were telling Peter not to do, You endorsed a candidate,...."

To be clear - The Publisher did not prohibit me from endorsing a candidate.

What the Publisher did was to remove the Honorable Tom Campbell's strong endorsement of me from the Town Forum on the grounds that "high-profile endorsements from public figures aren't allowed even if posted by them. Advertising is the proper place to publicize such endorsements."



Chelsea
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 30, 2020 at 3:01 pm
Chelsea, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Oct 30, 2020 at 3:01 pm
2 people like this

U-Block: If you have a house behind or next to you (perhaps a 2-story), so close that you might feel that you no longer have the privacy, you would want to have as high a fence as possible. So this is not really a funny matter. It does matter to some residents who may not welcome having very close neighbors. We need to be mindful of that fact.

Jack O'Lantern: It is true USGS is a big issue, and a prime site. However, it would be naive to think that we will be able to develop on that site. It IS Federal land, not City land. It would be naive that we could outbid other developers for the USGS site ($$$) and then pay to build housing ($$$), especially due to Covid, we will not have the kind of income we normally get (sales taxes, hotel taxes). Where the world would we have the money to pay for the USGS site and the find the money to build it?
I would say we need to use City-owned land, like downtown parking lots, and then have a Bond Measure to pay for the housing development. We would not have to raise as much as trying to get money to pay for USGS land as well. While all of us would love to own the USGS property, it is not likely that we will get it. It is naive to think that somehow we have tons of cash laying around to be able to do both (buying and building). I think we need to leave USGS off the table until we get it (IF we are able to get it).


U.Block
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 30, 2020 at 5:08 pm
U.Block, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Oct 30, 2020 at 5:08 pm
16 people like this

@Chelsea Thanks for the response and engaging in the conversation!

Please note that I never said this was funny. "Jack O'Lantern" said the issue was petty and I was saying that it was not petty as some people may not appreciate fences like that getting built. I laughed at "Jack's" assumption that I'm using a fake/derogatory pseudonym (which I'm not) while he is posting from an obviously fake pseudonym. I did not laugh at the topic as a whole and was simply asking for clarification from the author.

It sounds to me like you were not being sarcastic about allowing ultra-tall fences, unlike what "Jack" assumed. My opinion: I have no problem with new fence rules being explored as housing styles change, but I cannot envision a scenario where I'd like to have a 30-foot fence (or even 15 or 20 feet) on the property line next to my house. I'd much rather have a 30-foot tall building at the appropriate setback as a neighbor.

I applaud all three candidates for being willing to look at housing in Menlo Park and accepting that changes might be necessary. I think transit and housing are two of our biggest issues to address. I'm a District 3 homeowner now, but have lived here since being a graduate student and renter many years ago.


Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Oct 30, 2020 at 8:19 pm
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Oct 30, 2020 at 8:19 pm
24 people like this

So not sarcasm it seems. Kind of what it sounded like originally. I can not even imagine how dark a single family home would be if it were surrounded by a 30 foot fence, even a 15 or 20 foot fence should keep the property in deep shade most of the day. How depressing.

The city needs to stay out of the landlord business. They should not be buying and developing low income housing on public land (which as tax payers we all own). They should use the powers of permit control to require developers to add low income housing to property that they already want to develop. They can do that with the USGS property as it won't be Federal land once it is sole to a private developer.


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