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Menlo Park council: No moratorium

Original post made on Jun 12, 2019

The Menlo Park City Council on Tuesday backed away from a proposal to enact a citywide moratorium on nonresidential development and a Bayside ban on large housing developments.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 11:57 AM

Comments (15)

2 people like this
Posted by Henry fox
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 12, 2019 at 1:16 pm

Good work Council.
The most urgent problem is to undo traffic snarl (and hence poor air quality) in Belle Haven.
Long term: Dumbarton Rail, Bart to San Jose, Direct connection Bridge to 101.

Short term: Operate Dumbarton Rail between Facebook and Redwood City on existing tracks. Uber has just announced imminent flying shuttles. Erect gondola from Belle Haven to Caltrain and beyond. (This has short construction time and is relatively inexpensive.)

3 people like this
Posted by Henry fox
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 12, 2019 at 2:20 pm

Another short-term traffic fix.
Ferries that can operate in Bay Area shallow waters and are being being tested as early as 2020.
Could bring workers from eastbay to Belle Haven.

Web Link

6 people like this
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 12, 2019 at 10:52 pm

I'm very disappointed that the council didn't enact the moratorium. The "threat" of Cal State getting involved if Menlo doesn't build more is hogwash used to support the personal preferences of Mueller & Carlton. CA state has bigger fish to fry, as in Atherton, Woodside, PV, Hillsborough, Los Altos Hills, etc.

Until local traffic problems have been solved or strongly ameliorated, there should be a moratorium. Protect R-1 zoning, figure out how to widen El Camino to 3 lanes in each direction through MP, take away parking & the curb corner bump-outs on Santa Cruz so it can be 2 lanes each direction, or 1 lane for cars & another dedicated bike & skateboard lane, get CalTrans to cut back the overgrown shrubbery on the west side of El Camino, (Hwy 82- it's their responsibility) so signs are visible + allow a bike lane.
After that's all taken care of then consider more offices, hotels, and dense multi-family housing because all those residents & workers are going to drive.

12 people like this
Posted by Wasted Moment
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 13, 2019 at 8:01 am

A wonderful opportunity to really do something about the mess that Menlo Park is mired into, was thrown aside with the defeat of a moratorium.

The result is hardly unexpected since this council is another of the "we don't care at all about quality of life for its residents --- no indeed bring on more and more development"

Well both Meuller and Carleton are due up for re-election in 2020 -- both are serving their second terms and both should be removed if they choose to run again.

What is needed are two new members to be elected who will run on a "we need a moratorium" agenda.

One might also consider a recall of Combs, who is essentially a firm no vote since he is controlled by Zuckerberg. He should have never been elected since it was perfectly obvious how he would vote.

13 people like this
Posted by Litmus Test
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 13, 2019 at 8:26 am

Only pure no growth candidates need apply for City Council.

7 people like this
Posted by No Easy Solutions
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 13, 2019 at 8:59 am

No growth is unrealistic. Unbridled growth is foolish. Smart growth is the optimal path.

Google, Facebook, Apple, mobile phone companies, etc have amassed location data from individuals cell phone that can be leveraged to determine traffic patterns. Number of cars traveling from, to, and through which roads in MP. Use that data plus development project estimates to devise traffic mitigation plans. If developers can't demonstrate a plan to mitigate future traffic and environmental impact, then don't green light the project.

12 people like this
Posted by Kevin
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Jun 13, 2019 at 11:13 am

Kevin is a registered user.

Sorry, but it's foolish to view a development moratorium as a "traffic fix" or even some kind of remediation. As long as we have major east west and north south arterials running through our city (CA-101, CA-114-Willow Road, Sand Hill Road, CA84-Bayfront Expressway, I-280), we're going to to experience "global" Silicon Valley traffic. A moratorium may sound good and be the only kind of action within the power of the council, but it would be entirely a pyrrhic victory against congestion. To really fix our congestion problem, we probably need more local housing and better cross-bay transit routes.

11 people like this
Posted by Lynne Bramlett
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 13, 2019 at 3:10 pm

Lynne Bramlett is a registered user.

Here's the link to the Staff Report on the initiation of the General Plan update that I read from during my public comment. Web Link= The report is no longer linked to the Council meeting Agenda or minutes. Note: The "Givens" do not include any focused on improving the quality of life for residents, especially those living in District 1. Staff Report 12-015: Implications to the 2011-12 City Budget Resulting from the Dissolution of the Menlo Park Community Development Agency further explains why the City wanted to find new ways of making money from the M-2 area. Web Link= I hope TownSquare readers will at least skim Chapter 2 of the California General Plan Guidelines to see what's required, and then compare that with the ConnectMenlo exercise with its focus on the M-2 area. Web Link Frankly, I welcome outside review by a suitable State agency responsible for enforcing California's General Plan Guidelines. I cannot see how the ConnectMenlo exercise can be said to have followed State requirements.

19 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 14, 2019 at 9:01 am

Mueller is a virtual lock to win in the next election, if he decides to run again. Why he would want to run again? I don’t know. Anyone watching Council meetings this year recognizes the load that guy is carrying. The real battle in the next election will be for the vacant District 3 seat. If anyone like Betsy or Cecilia get elected, then we may see more radically far-left proposals passed at Council without any common-sense moderation. It’s time to start looking for our common sense candidate now.

6 people like this
Posted by Bob McGrew
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Jun 14, 2019 at 5:08 pm

I hadn't followed this moratorium until I read this article. I'm very relieved to see it rejected. Menlo Park shouldn't shut the door to newcomers - we can be a better city than that. We can do our part to address the housing crisis.

Menlo Park is not an island. When Silicon Valley grows, the need for housing grows. If we block those 1200 apartments, we aren't just rejecting the people who live in new apartments, who will likely be high-income. Realistically, they will find a different place to rent - probably not too far away - and the rents will rise until 1200 *other* people leave, probably those who can least afford a higher rent. If we reject those 1200 apartments, we are forcing 1200 low-income families out of the Bay Area, not 1200 high-income families. It's not any better just because we can't point to which 1200 low-income families are moving out.

That's the underlying mechanism that explains why most renters I know personally in Menlo Park have left in the last five years. It's why my daughter's preschool teacher are planning to make a two-hour commute from Sacramento to live somewhere she can afford. It's why the last woman who took care my children - a lifelong resident of the Bay Area - moved to Texas with her husband so they could afford a place to live.

I support additional housing density downtown, I support it in my own neighborhood, and I support it in the rest of Menlo Park. The housing crisis in the Bay Area is real and has affected too many people - we all have to do what we can to prevent it from growing still worse. If we can't and we don't, the state will be right to take away our power to block housing.

3 people like this
Posted by Wrong post child
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jun 16, 2019 at 10:12 pm

Menlo Park will be the "poster child" for abusing its authority by adding more jobs with no room for housing. The result will be statewide legislation that empowers developers to build whatever high-density housing they like most anywhere in Menlo Park and like communties.

2 people like this
Posted by challenger advantage
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 17, 2019 at 9:57 pm

@David, it's good to hear your enthusiasm, but Mueller has never come in first place in District 5; folks in Sharon Heights probably won't go for his Muslim registry ban. Also, the Post recently ran a story about how Mueller missed four meetings this year. With district elections, any number of challengers will have an advantage.

7 people like this
Posted by Gross
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 17, 2019 at 10:28 pm

The Post article said Mueller missed two meetings when his Dad died.

The other two meetings the Post listed were when he called into two back to back meetings the same week while he was traveling for work

What sick person is going to make an issue of Ray missing two meetings when he was attending his fathers funeral services? What sick person would make an issue of it on this town forum?

2 people like this
Posted by Corporate Take-Over
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2019 at 1:57 am

The state government will tell all cities and counties what to do when cities such as Menlo Park continue to approve more job centers without adcacent or nearby (places for) additional housing. Facebook surely favors those state dictates because its employees could buy the thousands of multiplexes and condo projects that SB 50, for example, would authorize throughout the city - including in every neighborhood otherwise reserved for single-family homes. Statewide, the corporate take-over of California continues. Existing residents may cash out and get out.

Like this comment
Posted by Professionals
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 19, 2019 at 10:21 pm

Bunch of Amateurs left to running something that should be handle by competent Professionals.

What could one expect the outcome to be?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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