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Menlo Park councilman floats compromise on Flood School housing plan

Original post made on Jul 7, 2022

A proposal put forward by Menlo Park City Council member Ray Mueller in an op-ed July 5 aims to craft a compromise on the contested housing development at the former James Flood Magnet School, but major players aren't on board yet.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 7, 2022, 10:31 AM

Comments (6)

Posted by private citizen
a resident of Laurel School
on Jul 7, 2022 at 5:37 pm

private citizen is a registered user.

Any decisions about the Flood School project need to b considered in light of the other development projects coming our way, including the county's final plan for Flood Park (posted in May), the City's housing element -- USGA, SRI, Sunset(?) and possibly Atherton's plans. The Flood Park design seems biased in favor of extensive sports facilities, 7 days per week from 9am-8:00pm. No bull horns, but a permit enables use of a sound system. The stats in support of a natural space with trails for walking and exercise stations are downplayed, even though they exceed those in favor of a largely athletic solution. Beyond the three fields (two new), we'll have tennis/pickleball courts, basketball court, a pump track and a sand volleyball pit. About the old tree canopy? MP's previous arborist declared that the park has fewer than a dozen heritage trees. They won't remove them, but 63 other vibrant, old growth trees will be felled to make way for the new design, with an additional 32 trees positioned to be removed at a later date. (See the consulting arborist's report.) In the end, they will remove almost as many trees as they originally proposed). ***The 2019 EIR states that a large increase in sports fields will cause an un-mitigateable hit to traffic congestion, circulation and noise in our area. Neighborhood streets are off limits to Flood park drive-in visitors, but no mention if Bay Rd or Van Buren will be. We have a dangerous 5-way intersection at Ringwood and Bay. Kids use the intersection to bike and walk to and from school every day. It has no traffic lights or reasonable walking or biking space. Between work and school rush hours, the area is already quite a challenge. Imagine the added congestion. If we don't look at the development holistically, we won't understand the actual hit to our small neighborhoods until it's too late.

Posted by MP_Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jul 7, 2022 at 6:31 pm

MP_Resident is a registered user.

@private citizen…fyi the city has plans to put a stoplight at the Bay/Ringwood intersection. I was originally told within the next two years about a year ago, but based on recent work crews for electrical, my guess is it might be sooner. In typical city fashion, no proactive communication has been done around this unless you spend lots of time on the city’s poorly designed website to find plans. I have yet to find plans to address the increase in cut through traffic from Van Buren on side streets like Ringwood.

Posted by East of Middlefield Road
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jul 7, 2022 at 8:56 pm

East of Middlefield Road is a registered user.

This is a compromise for who? The Flood school site never connected to the Flood Triangle. The site was never a problem when it was a school. According to the article the proposed housing would have 33% less traffic. Also traffic times would be spread out. According to the authors of the initiative the proposed apartment building is going to bring lots and lots of traffic and hoodlums driving through the neighborhood at breakneck speeds. So why would the Flood Triangle be expected to share in that? Suburban Park residents do not like the size of this project even when the city capped the size at 90 units.
So if a second access is allowed that is a start? What else is Suburban Park requiring?
There are actually two routes from Hedge Road to access Sheridan into the site not just one as the authors want you to think. One access from Bay Road and one access from Greenoaks.
Life Moves owns the property that would need to allow access through Haven House, a homeless shelter that houses 23 families. The road is very narrow, intimate and sensitive. Allowing access puts outside traffic right outside front doors and bedroom windows. Life Moves likes the site because it is a dead-end.
That is not right.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 8, 2022 at 12:17 pm

Parent is a registered user.

from the article posted on the other web site:

"result of this compromise, the measure proponents would withdraw the measure from the November election and hold the measure off the ballot while City and applicant perform the actions required in the compromise agreement."

Why does the City not want a measure on the November ballot? The city government does not impose its will on the city's residents, the city's residents imposes its will on the government.

It would seem the most democratic thing any city can do is to get a measure on a ballot, and let the citizens vote on that measure. Doing so puts the power squarely in the hands of the people. I don't see any reason why a city Government would ever try to stall such a process.

Posted by MP Father
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 8, 2022 at 5:06 pm

MP Father is a registered user.

Kudos to Council members Ray Mueller and Drew Combs for constructively attempting to negotiate a solution and to encourage bilateral discussion. Their effort stands in contrast to the more clandestine and unilateral approach practiced by Council members Nash, Wolosin, and Taylor. Ray, your constructive and balanced style will be sorely missed when you step down from the Council.

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 9, 2022 at 10:22 pm

Brian is a registered user.

I think this needs to be on the ballot and every voter should have their say. If they have a compelling reason why the initiative should be defeated then make that to the voters and let those in favor of the measure make their case. Personally I think that there are some good reasons, based on council votes in the past, to pass this initiative. I will happily make the case for passing it when the time comes.

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