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Menlo Balance initiative faces council scrutiny, resident complaints

Original post made on Jun 30, 2022

Menlo Balance's initiative to prohibit the Menlo Park City Council from redesignating lots zoned for single-family homes without voter approval has verified all the signatures needed to appear on the November ballot.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 30, 2022, 11:23 AM

Comments (14)

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 30, 2022 at 12:05 pm

Brian is a registered user.

The signatures have been collected and verified, this belongs on the ballot for the voters to decide. I hope that the council does not try to block or prevent it, I don't think that would be well received by the voters.


Posted by Rachel
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 30, 2022 at 12:35 pm

Rachel is a registered user.

I was surprised by how biased this article is. There are only quotes from critics and none from supporters of the ballot initiative. I'm disappointed The Almanac is publishing such one-sided journalism.


Posted by Belle Haven Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 30, 2022 at 12:42 pm

Belle Haven Resident is a registered user.

If the signatures were collected by people who lied to the public, it would be good for the public to know a full analysis before being called on to vote on the initiative.


Posted by Menlo Park resident
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 30, 2022 at 1:47 pm

Menlo Park resident is a registered user.

The canvasser who came to our door blatantly lied about what the initiative would do -- he said that the city council is planning commercial development in residential neighborhoods. I knew enough about what it would do that I calmly told him he was wrong and that I wouldn't sign the petition.


Posted by SoodyQ
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 30, 2022 at 1:57 pm

SoodyQ is a registered user.

As a matter of fact (as I commented in another article on this subject), a woman collecting signatures for this initiative at the downtown Menlo Park Farmers Market stated to me, directly and without any ambiguity, that the initiative was supported by Council Member Ray Mueller. Those were her words, not mine. The exchange happened before the June election as Council Member Mueller's signs were present around the market.

I told her point-blank that I would not sign the petition regardless of who may or may not support it.

Given that members of the Council have not stated their support for this initiative (including Council Member Mueller), it would stand to reason that the signature gatherer/s have been falsifying information during the signature gathering. For the avoidance of doubt, I am not stating that Council Member Mueller supports the initiative, just that it is what the woman said.


Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 30, 2022 at 2:03 pm

Brian is a registered user.

I signed the petition and was approached by several people at different times to sign it. Of course I read what I was signing before I signed, as any person should do. I can state without question that none of the people who approached me misrepresented the petition or mentioned anyone supporting it. They collected well over the necessary number of signatures to make the ballot and it should be on the ballot. If you oppose it then vote against it. Pretty simple...


Posted by Frozen
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 30, 2022 at 2:09 pm

Frozen is a registered user.

Having read the arguments made by Menlo Balance -- and heard the obfuscations from Menlo Together (the people who support housing in parks?) I see Menlo Balance as more supportive of residents and our long-term quality of life. Menlo Together supports the profit motives of developers; our neighborhoods and residents are collateral damage in their vision.

Every time one of these threads appears, the same anti-Menlo Balance propaganda is posted. Someone claims that someone who was collecting signatures said something that may or may not be true. How about instead quoting from the actual Menlo Balance website or initiative? The detractors don't do that because they know they have no argument.

I trust that Menlo Park voters will educate themselves before the election. I realize that Menlo Together/the council majority don't want to give that kind of agency to the people who actually live/vote here, but their efforts to mislead us will only alienate more residents and result in a greater victory for the initiative.


Posted by Menlo Lifestyle
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 30, 2022 at 4:07 pm

Menlo Lifestyle is a registered user.

It's very easy for the vocal people against the initiative to start screaming "people lied to us!" to obfuscate the fact that more than the required signatures were lawfully collected. The signatures were collected by residents who were instructed at community meetings to honestly represent what the current law allows and what changes this initiative proposed. This initiative does nothing to stop housing in any way. It simply takes the zoning control for single family homes away from 5 people, 4 of whom residents cannot vote for, and puts it back in the hands of residents.

If the city council doesn't like control being taken away they should have spent more time fighting for out neighborhoods. I hope they don't break the law and refuse to put the initiative on the ballot.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jul 2, 2022 at 8:28 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I don't think the sponsors have carefully considered the dynamics of a city wide vote on a neighborhood specific project.

Perhaps the sponsors of Measure M will explain why they think that voters NOT impacted by a zoning change in someone else's neighborhood would vote against that change.

The rational voter would vote FOR increased density elsewhere in order to reduce the need for greater density in their neighborhood.

And voters concerned with equity issues would also support a zoning density increase.

The only voters motivated to vote against the change would be the immediate neighbors and, by definition, the immediate neighbors would be a small minority of the total voters.

And we would all bear the considerable cost of each such election.

I think the Measure M folks need to go back to the drawing board.


Posted by Ray Mueller
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jul 5, 2022 at 2:56 pm

Ray Mueller is a registered user.

InMenlo has published an op-ed I penned advocating for a proposed solution at: Web Link


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jul 5, 2022 at 3:05 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Thank you Ray and Drew for a superb proposal which would be hard for anyone to reject except on narrow personal interest grounds.


Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 7, 2022 at 4:11 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

Thanks Ray & Drew.

Perfectly reasonable solution.

Roy


Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 7, 2022 at 4:11 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

Thanks Ray & Drew

Perfectly reasonable solution.

Roy


Posted by Menlo Lifestyle
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jul 11, 2022 at 1:30 pm

Menlo Lifestyle is a registered user.

To answer your question Peter, if the city council can stick a monster apartment building (90 units where 12 single family homes would sit) in the middle of one existing neighborhood they might do it in any of our neighborhoods. 9 out of 10 Menlo homeowners approached during the petition drive were angry that this city council was so casually destroying the Menlo that they have invested their lives in. They know very well if you trash one corner of the city it eventually creeps into everywhere.


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