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Why I'll be voting against the Menlo Balance initiative

Original post made on Aug 12, 2022

A group named Menlo Balance formed by residents of Suburban Park has been in the news recently because of a ballot initiative they've written titled the Menlo Park Neighborhood Protection and General Plan Consistency Initiative. The group collected sufficient signatures to qualify it for the November ballot and it was subsequently scrutinized by the City Council at two recent meetings during which some Menlo Park residents reported that canvassers had made misleading statements about plans for new housing to induce them to sign the petition.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 12, 2022, 12:00 AM

Comments (5)

Posted by Menlo Lifestyle
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Aug 12, 2022 at 5:21 pm

Menlo Lifestyle is a registered user.

Once again another misleading opinion piece that misrepresents the measure on the ballot in November. This measure ONLY says that if a property is currently zoned residential single-family homes that any re-zoning be approved by the voters of Menlo Park. The writer admits that the housing plan has identified many areas that “are not scattered throughout the City in the midst of areas that are primarily residential” for affordable housing. But the fact remains some are. And today there are zero protections from the city council approving a large development in your neighborhood.

What these advocates, many well funded from outside our community, are saying is that we single family homeowners are selfish (and if you believe the advocacy groups racist) for wanting to preserve the Menlo Park that we all invested our families and our lives in. And their argument boils down to “these people want to live in Menlo Park, too!” Well I think it’s unfair that I can’t buy a house in Atherton for $200K. Shame on them for not allowing that.

Not everybody is as rich as a former tech CEO, and frankly none of these developments approach his neighborhood. So if he’s outraged about the “crisis” he should lobby his block, buy out a home or two, and develop it into a 5 story 90 or 100 unit affordable housing unit and lay out the welcome wagon. For some reason I don’t believe his neighbors would agree.


Posted by MiddleAged Menlo Parker
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Aug 12, 2022 at 6:09 pm

MiddleAged Menlo Parker is a registered user.

..."some Menlo Park residents reported that canvassers had made misleading statements about plans for new housing to induce them to sign the petition."

I read the flyer handed out with the petition (prior to signing it) and it seemed factual and not misleading. It also included a url to the Menlo Balance website should anyone desire more information on the issue. So if anyone felt confused about the pros/cons, they should have researched the topic more before signing the petition. A good lesson for anyone signing ANYTHING.

Also: can someone please fix the typo in the title of this article?


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 13, 2022 at 3:35 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 Menlo Lifestyle
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Aug 13, 2022 at 6:12 am

Menlo Lifestyle is a registered user.

More misinformation about the ballot measure. This doesn’t address any specific parcel, and simply gives the homeowners of Menlo Park control of dense low income housing moving into their neighborhood.

And to Peter’s point, the vast majority of Menlo homeowners want to preserve what they love about this town. Any neighborhood destroyed impacts the values of everyone’s property. It’s not a game of hot potato. It’s everybody working together to keep these SF housing advocates from turning harming us all.


Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 16, 2022 at 7:54 am

Iris is a registered user.

Measure M? Wasn't that the failed attempt years ago to limit office development to what the downtown plan consultants said?


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