Town Square: Changes in Stanford-Arrillaga plan | April 17, 2013 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


Viewpoint - April 17, 2013

Town Square: Changes in Stanford-Arrillaga plan

While some say Stanford and developer John Arrillaga took a step in the right direction by adding housing and reducing medical office space for its proposed El Camino Real development in Menlo Park, others said the changes don't go far enough. Here are some posts from the Almanac's online Town Square forum (

Posted by longtime resident

This type of anti development opposition occurred 25 years ago when the Kepler's - Cafe Borrone Building was proposed. Similar fears and dire warnings highlighted by traffic. Their fears were not realized. Quite the opposite. Fortunately we had strong leaders at the time who based their decisions on the facts in the staff and environmental reports — not the misinformation campaigns of a few neighborhood activists. Where have all the leaders gone?

Posted by Heads should roll

Oh, right, and people objected to the Golden Gate Bridge too. Therefore, every project that draws public objection should be automatically approved. Is that written in the Rabblerouser's Guide to Politics? I don't remember opposition to the Kepler's/Borrone project, though I expect there was some. But how can you compare? Kepler's had been a much-loved institution for years; many of us were glad to see it move to bigger quarters. And the cafe-with-plaza combo? Exactly what the consultants promised us for the specific plan! Also note that Kepler's/Borrone is appropriately sized for the site. Whereas this proposed monstrosity, with only a narrow strip separating it from El Camino, is going to loom over the street. We keep seeing references to five stories, but it's actually 60 feet high. (That is not what the people wanted, by the way. I went to the meetings.) We can and should return those parcels to their prior zone. Then, and only then, will the proposal be given the scrutiny it demands.