Having just returned from a few weeks away I was mightily surprised to see the monstrous new building frames going up just a block West from the historic downtown square. If you haven't been to Redwood City in a while, I highly suggest driving Middlefield past Jefferson. What a complete change from an open view where one could see the distant mountains to a narrow street hemmed in by upward reaching steel.
While I'm sure that this was all in line with Redwood City's Specific Plan, I wonder how many now regret the enormity of this project. It kind of reminds me of watching the Atria go up on the Vegas strip.
Why write about it in this forum? Well, given the relentless back and forth regarding the Save Menlo initiative and the controversy over the MP Specific Plan, perhaps one only needs to look a bit North to see what an over-zealous approach can do a downtown. Yes, it can no longer be called "Deadwood City" but I fear that continued building is now completely changing the character of downtown as well as its sightlines and vistas.
Not being a MP resident, I can only hope everyone reads the Save Menlo Initiative and takes into considerations what passage would mean. From my perspective, regarding the ongoing controversy over the Specific Plan it seems hard to believe that there wasn't someone "asleep at the wheel" not to have considered the ramifications of the Specific Plan with regards to Stanford's and Greenheart's current proposals. I understand the reasons for the Save Menlo initiative but also why Menlo Deserves Better believes that there was a democratic process that was followed and needs to be honored. It is too bad that it seems MP can't simply wait the 2 years and then vote to re-ammend the SP without needing to have the Initiative vote this Fall. Perhaps someone can explain to me why that isn't an option? If it counts to anyone, I would also truly like someone to legitimately answer Peter Carpenter's 22 Questions, if for no other reason than to stop having to read them over and over - not that I don't love hearing from Mr. Carpenter on just about every issue in the Almanac ;) .
As to Urban Canyons & Specific Plans....perhaps in this instance, what happens in RWC should stay in RWC.
Good luck Menlo Park. It will be an interesting couple of months up to November.