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Menlo Park: Neighbors oppose affordable housing plan

Original post made on May 16, 2017

A proposal by nonprofit developer MidPen Housing to rebuild and expand an affordable apartment complex, yielding a maximum of 150 affordable housing units in the 1300 block of Willow Road in Belle Haven, met with resolute opposition from residents of the Menlo Park neighborhood.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 11:26 AM

Comments (12)

7 people like this
Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 16, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Curious: Would a library replace the one at the elementary school? Would its size be any different? What sort of retail might be there?

Compared to the scale of the housing that Facebook has suggested for the other side of Willow, this is pretty small potatoes. Traffic will be very slightly worst, but there will be a little more housing for low income people. I guess I'm resigned to accepting that more people will live here. The city should come back with a plan to address traffic and services first. If they do that, I'm not opposed to this.


30 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 16, 2017 at 1:57 pm

Menlo Park needs to get the planning commission and the City Council under control and stop approving all new housing projects larger than single family until they solve the traffic problems that make living in parts of Menlo Park a nightmare.


2 people like this
Posted by James Madison
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 16, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Why 4 stories? What not match the recently completed Mid-Pen Willow Road project? Why not the library branch, as retail seems to be going the way of the Dodo?


10 people like this
Posted by Jose
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 16, 2017 at 5:23 pm

I for one welcome more diverse neighbors. In fact let's bulldoze some of those old houses and build a nice 13 story hi-rise. 800/month rent.


9 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on May 16, 2017 at 5:36 pm

pearl is a registered user.

Jose -

Love your sense of humor! Thanks for the chuckle. ; )

pearl

P.S. I'm 76 years old and looking for affordable housing. If you hear of anything, let me know. ; )


20 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 17, 2017 at 12:08 pm

How would a larger MidPen development be received on the other side of 101? Just think of that unused lawn at the park on Fremont/Middle. In fact, there are three parks in a short distance in that area. Raze one and build affordable housing there. There's public transpo and shopping nearby, and plenty of other amenities. Quit burdening Belle Haven.


4 people like this
Posted by pdj
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 17, 2017 at 9:38 pm

pdj is a registered user.

Affordable housing near transportation and shopping? What an interesting concept!
As a long time Belle Haven resident, I say NIMFY (not in my front yard).


3 people like this
Posted by k
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 17, 2017 at 11:17 pm

I bike to work at Stanford and cannot afford market-rate housing. We need more affordable housing, and there must be a way to gear it toward those of us who will bike and/or use public transport, to avoid aggravating the traffic problem (and indeed, to put at least some drivers into housing where they can actually bike).


18 people like this
Posted by Apple
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 18, 2017 at 10:41 am

@k

Stanford is the largest private landowner on the peninsula. The most challenging part of build more housing is finding available land to build on. Land prices are high. Construction costs are high. The only housing that is profitable is luxury housing, which then can subsidize affordable housing. But not enough will ever be built based on that model.

Why doesn't Stanford build housing for its employees? It is massively unfair for Stanford to employ all these people, hoard all the open land, then expect neighboring cities to deal with getting their employees affordable housing.

You could then live on campus and walk to work or take a campus shuttle. Moreover, Stanford will be able to charge you way less than market rate. They won't need to make a profit on housing like every other private developer. Their land acquisition cost is zero because they already own it. They would only need to charge you what it cost to build and maintain the property, which would be peanuts in comparison to any neighboring city.

Stanford could even build next to mass transit. They own a ton of land fronting El Camino near the Palo Alto Caltrain station.


2 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 18, 2017 at 12:12 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

How can it be called "Affordable Housing" when it needs a government subsidy?


3 people like this
Posted by Yet More Of The Same Nonsense
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Because private enterprise is only interested in building *un*affordable housing these days, Hickey.

But I guess you didn't know that.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 18, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Nonsense - You haven't explained why they call it "Affordable Housing". Why not "Subsidized Housing", since the subsidy makes it affordable. And, of course, some people are "entitled" to that subsidy. What is the new "title", bestowed upon them by a benevolent government, which they assume when they accept that "entitlement"?


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