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High school district wary of Facebook's 'Willow Village'

Original post made on Mar 22, 2018

"Dear Mr. Zuckerberg," starts a March 2 letter Sequoia Union High School District Superintendent Mary Streshly wrote to the Facebook CEO, in which she raises some concerns she has with the company's proposed "Willow Village."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, March 22, 2018, 11:04 AM

Comments (24)

Posted by Davena Gentry
a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2018 at 12:17 pm

I strongly encourage people to attend the "Facebook Village Open House" this evening and learn more about this massive project and how it will impact Menlo AND all of the surrounding communities!! IMHO MP should hit the "pause" button, we need to get a handle on traffic.

Posted by diesel
a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2018 at 12:38 pm

diesel is a registered user.

Even if the housing will not increase the high school enrollment , that same high school is preparing and training students who may be future FB employees. So shouldn't FB be contributing a great deal to M-A (and other nearby schools) out of self-interest?

Posted by Jackrabbit
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Mar 22, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Broom FACEBOOK! Ship these carpetbaggers back to NJ. They almost singlehandedly have destroyed the sense of community that WAS Menlo Park. The compromise of personal information and their inability to be honest with their members is more proof that this is a bogus operation interested ONLY in getting rich(er)!

Posted by Enuff
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 22, 2018 at 12:46 pm

It seems the MP City Council will let anyone build anything, no matter how out of proportion it is for our small city, as long as the developers pay for the privilege of destroying our city.
This also applies to Facebook's gargantuan plans for Menlo Park.
There are 2 choices: let Facebook buy us off in one way or another--in this case by paying the school district "impact fees" etc., OR: standing up to the project and saying: No Thank You!
Who exactly does our City Council represent--the residents or Facebook?
And by the way, who knows the future?
Facebook is in trouble currently due to the recent data leak scandal. Why destroy Menlo Park, overburden our schools, clog our streets with gridlock--all for a company that may not even be here some years down the road.
But even if it stays, Facebook has already outgrown Menlo Park.
Don't forget the huge Stanford project that will take up many blocks on El Camino, or the Greenheart project, etc.
Scads of towering office buildings and high-rise apartment houses and traffic, traffic, traffic .
Goodbye to our lovely community that was a great place to raise children, and to enjoy the quiet contentment of suburban life.

Posted by kapi
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Mar 22, 2018 at 1:01 pm

How ironic that the first "Facebook village open house" is being held the same evening as Menlo-Atherton High School's Open House--making it impossible for parents to attend both. This sort of tone-deaf response by Facebook needs to stop. If you are going to be a part of this community, than REALLY be a part of this community! I hope that the dates of future info sessions are more carefully considered.

Posted by cowgirl in the city
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Mar 22, 2018 at 1:03 pm

Enuff -I couldn't agree more. Facebook has outgrown Menlo Park. What a disgrace.
Everyone who is able should attend that meeting tonight (fb open house) and start the protest. Stop the insanity.

Posted by Elementary not high school will be impacted
a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2018 at 1:20 pm

Elementary not high school will be impacted is a registered user.

I actually agree with FB that few high school students will live in the "Village" in the near future based on the average age of their employees (28). Even old Legacy companies such as HP have relatively young employees with an average age of 39. What will be impacted are the elementary schools.

Web Link

Posted by Parent
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 22, 2018 at 1:25 pm

It’s time for voters to make a change on City Council. A great start would be in the new district that includes Suburban Park and the Willows. Voters should reject Kirsten Keith and remove her from the City Council.

Last year an editorial in Palo Alto said it best:

"Menlo Park city officials, including Mayor Kirsten Keith, who express delight at Facebook's proposal and explain this is just what the city had in mind when it approved its new general plan last year, do a disservice to their constituents and to the region."

Web Link

Posted by Claire
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Mar 22, 2018 at 2:18 pm

The article doesn't mention if the elementary school district is also raising concerns. I assume this would be Ravenswood which has had its own set of problems lately.

Posted by Liesel
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Mar 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm

Liesel is a registered user.

All I can say is that I am so sad for Menlo Park. It is no longer the bucolic, friendly hometown kinda place where everyone knew most everyone else. I hope they stop the development madness, but I fear that Menlo Park may have passed a tipping point and will just be one more over crowded with too much traffic town along the Peninsula.

Posted by XYZ
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 22, 2018 at 4:07 pm

Hello, ppl
Wake up!!!
Everything changing.
No more of what you got used to.
No more.
Different time, different generation, different everything.
Thise school' super: intendants/visors/boards/etc... When its too many students-too bad, when its few students- too bad also.
Schools will be also different. And schools will be better.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 22, 2018 at 5:38 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

There was never a time in recent history "where everyone knew everyone else". You just don't have that in a CITY of 35,000 people. And that's what we are. And it's time to accept the fact and move on. The entire Bay Area has seen tremendous growth, not just Menlo Park. And it will continue. Things change. Get over it.

Posted by The voice
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 22, 2018 at 6:21 pm

A city of 35,000 people with an influx of 20,000 at Facebook alone. This has been a long time coming. The cozy relationship with Facebook it’s developers, Haven Av developement, Hamilton Av developement. The ex police chief hopping in bed with Facebook. Spending $200,000 on mindfulness training! City council closing there eyes. And everyone knew the traffic would end like this. They pushed their agenda and now it has reached the limit of tolerance. Wake up? Keep arguing about a library that we don’t need while all this has happened it’s past tense

Posted by Dagwood
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 22, 2018 at 6:53 pm

Regarding the expected number of additional students : Facebook may not even end up managing these apartments. They can not be so certain of the residents even five years from now. Facebook is a developer here first, a social media behemoth second. As a developer their plan has to be assessed in terms of its total long-term impacts. Our over-population and congestion is the baseline which has to be drastically improved. It cannot be made an iota worse and any development should make it measurably better. FB is proceeding apace on their Dumbarton plans which is a great start. Don’t count them out, but set the bar high.

Posted by Read The Room, Mary
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 22, 2018 at 8:35 pm

Are you kidding me? Everyone and their mother understands that the Bay Area needs housing, but Sequoia Union is arguing for the opposite? Give me a break.

Posted by Ream The Room, Mary
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 22, 2018 at 8:38 pm

Let me be clear: I do NOT like Facebook, but this kind of "sorry, the Peninsula is full- should've gotten here earlier!" perspective really chaps my hide.

School districts in this area get a lot of money through impact fees and property taxes, and it's THEIR JOB to figure out how to allocate it productively. If Mary Streshly can't do that, she's basically saying that she doesn't know how to do her job.

Posted by kbehroozi
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Mar 22, 2018 at 9:13 pm

kbehroozi is a registered user.

It's actually their third open house...and there will be more. If you want to be involved, pay attention, show up, and provide constructive feedback.

Posted by margomca
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Mar 23, 2018 at 2:59 pm

margomca is a registered user.

While not much can be done to mitigate the impact on primary, middle and high schools by this projected influx of new students, FB CAN do much to mitigate the safety issue. If FB can ferry workers to their MP campus (which also greatly cuts down traffic) it can also provide busses for students to safely get across 101. The busses could transport ALL students, not just those who live in this new area. That would be a wonderful contribution to this area and I'm sure would make EPA and Belle Haven parents be much more positive about FB. In the meantime, they should have spaces in their new campus to offer all kinds of tech classes to students in evenings and weekends. As someone earlier noted, these students may well be future FB workers, and certainly FB users. Right now FB has a lot of egg on its face. Here's a small wash cloth, Mr. Zuckerberg!

Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 26, 2018 at 11:39 am

Let's not forget that the commenters who decry the ruining of MP and want zero growth are they very same people who courted offices for tech companies while obstructing any sort of growth in housing or infrastructure. You all elected the city council and you all created the current situation. Please stop. You are the the cause of increased traffic and high cost of housing and living. NOT FB. You invited them here and have benefited greatly. It is the fault greedy, selfish long term homeowners of MP.

Posted by been there
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 26, 2018 at 2:21 pm

been there is a registered user.

The school districts charge on a per square foot basis for the impact the new residential and commercial space will have to enlarge and improve schools. This is why it is called a 'school impact fee'. This is also in addition to the annual income these school districts also collects from school bonds and property taxes.
To say the schools are burdened from the addition of newly constructed residential space as well as commercial space is false. They collect extra money for every addition square foot of added space.
To complain that Facebook is unfairly burdening to schools is false. The school districts are being more than compensated when one considers the normal Facebook employees don't have school aged children.
If the school districts feel the compensation is inadequate to build new schools for the new growing population, they should change how much the charge on a per square foot basis. It is wrong to ask Facebook to step write a large check regardless of the size of their bank account.

Posted by Lynne Bramlett
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 26, 2018 at 4:23 pm

Lynne Bramlett is a registered user.

At the Tuesday, March 27 City Council meeting, the G4 Consent Calendar topic pertains to Facebook's further development. Staff recommends that Council "Waive the second reading and adopt an ordinance approving the Amended and Restated Development Agreement for the Facebook East Campus Located at 1 Hacker Way. The Hacker Way location might be the same as "Facebook Village." (If so, using consistent terminology would help the public better keep track of the issue.) I need to read/skim the 80+ report (linked to the council topic) to better understand this matter. However, anyone concerned about Facebook's growing presence in MP and/or this particular development, please write and consider making a public comment at the meeting. While it might feel good to post here, council may not read these comments. Speaking out publicly also encourages others to come forward. See you tomorrow night!

Posted by Lynne Bramlett
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 26, 2018 at 4:24 pm

Lynne Bramlett is a registered user.

Oops. Forgot to add links to the staff report pertaining to Facebook. Web Link You can obtain the entire agenda at Web Link

Posted by Most adults are eventual parents
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 27, 2018 at 1:50 pm

Facebook's avg age of 29 means many will have middle-schoolers by the time this village is fully built, and High schoolers in another couple years. However, many will move to single-family housing if they can when they have school-age kids.

And with age distribution, up to half probably already have kids in a school somewhere.

In other news, according to flood predictions in the LA Times yesterday, Facebook and all lower areas of the bay area will be flooded in the next 100 year flood anyway (which is apparently over-due).

Plan for that! Build housing, but not in a flood or earthquake zone...

Posted by Bay Area Professional
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 11, 2018 at 11:12 am

All these concerns surrounding 'overcrowding' and 'traffic' bc M-A and the rest of the bay area shirked their responsibilities to build new housing and infrastructure to accommodate the population boom that has continually increased in the past 40 years.

2400 current students / 300 students = 8 * 60 million = 480 million valuation for M-A high school!?!

You're asking 200k per student from FB?! AND as a blank check to do whatever you want with it?! Give me a break.

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