For example, the City Council has agreed to reevaluate the process to choose public benefits, and the thresholds at which developers will be required to contribute. Some of the main backers of Measure M were supporters of lower thresholds. The way the plan is playing out in practice, those concerns seem correct. Spurred by community concerns, the City Council has needed to go to Stanford and negotiate on a one off basis to urge Stanford to contribute to a bicycle/pedestrian crossing through their property that will connect east and west across the train tracks, which was one of the community's goals for the plan. The process should be more standardized - it shouldn't take this much one-off negotiation to do the obvious thing and require the developer to contribute to this key piece of infrastructure.
Another important topic is housing. The projects that first came forward under the plan are 50/50 housing and office in terms of physical space, but that still means more workers than residents (think about it - an office worker gets maybe 250 square feet of office space, which is smaller than an apartment.) Meanwhile, in 2013, San Mateo County and Santa Clara County added 85,000 new jobs and only 15,000 housing units.
The need for jobs/housing balance at the level of each small city is debatable, but on a regional level, this is insanity. This election, Mountain View has just elected a solid pro-housing majority. Menlo Park Council can examine what other steps we can take to address the growing imbalance - not alone, but in collaboration with other cities in the region.
There are more potential improvements relating to traffic. Due to the results of a traffic study, the Stanford project will need to conduct an environmental impact report and Council has given them direction to reduce traffic, either by better vehicle trip reductions or making the buildings smaller. Other cities in the area, including Palo Alto, Mountain View, San Mateo, and now Redwood City are moving faster than we are in creating policies to support less driving, traffic, and parking demand.
A related topic is El Camino. Now that there are likely to be more residents and workers on El Camino, across the street from downtown and Safeway, how much does the city want to improve the pedestrian environment for people who live and work here, compared to people who choose El Camino as a throughway on the way to Redwood City or Mountain View, instead of the freeway.
The good news is that without Measure M, which would have required new ballot measures to make changes to plan specifics - City Council will continue to be able to make changes in response to new information and citizen input. Hopefully the Council will use this power well to make improvements where they are needed.