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Opponents kick off campaign against ballot initiative stripping Menlo Park council of rezoning powers

Original post made on Aug 30, 2022

With Election Day approaching, Menlo Park Neighbors for Affordable Homes (MPNAH) has started canvassing and holding public events opposing the Menlo Balance initiative, which will appear on ballots as Measure V this November.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 30, 2022, 1:52 PM

Comments (118)

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 30, 2022 at 2:27 pm

Brian is a registered user.

After reading this article I am confused, is the group opposed to Measure V "Menlo Park Neighbors for Affordable Homes" just a rename of "Menlo Together" because the Article seems to refer to Menlo Together and not the other group.

Yes, a lot of development has been in the Belle Haven neighborhood and I have heard from residents who are not happy about that. Who approved that? The Menlo Park city council is who. The majority of the council seems opposed to the views of the current residents and that is why Measure V was started in the first place. It got more than the required signatures in a very short time which seems to indicate strong support for this measure. Look at things the council is considering now or will be in the near future, more office space development like Willow Village which will not help solve the housing issues that Facebook/Meta helped cause. If the city council is serious about housing then put a complete stop to office space development until Menlo Park not only meets but exceeds the required number of housing units.

As for those who don't seem to care about the neighbors that started Measure V, go drive around the neighborhood and look at the entry/egress points for this new development.


Posted by Rvengosh
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Aug 30, 2022 at 8:30 pm

Rvengosh is a registered user.

We need more housing in Menlo Park and in the Bay Area in general. Enough with the NIMBY nonsense.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 31, 2022 at 12:58 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Let imagine that Measure V passes and then the Council during the course of the next year wants to rezone 10 properties. In fairness to the individual property owners and to the individual neighborhoods each of those would have to be placed on a separate ballot at at total yearly cost of almost $500,000.
And all of them would PASS because 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 all these election.

This is a fatally flawed measure.


Posted by Menlo Lifestyle
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Aug 31, 2022 at 6:54 am

Menlo Lifestyle is a registered user.

“ When really the best solution for development -- full stop -- especially housing, would be in all of Menlo Park,”

Every homeowner in Menlo Park should remind themselves of this quote every day until the election. These groups, funded by YIMBY groups outside of Menlo Park, want to fundamentally change the city you’ve all invested your life savings into. They see single family homes unfair and racist to everyone who can’t afford to move in next to you. These special interest homeless and housing advocates know you won’t vote to destroy your own neighborhoods, but they can move their agenda forward with only 3 progressive city council members. They’re shamelessly using teachers to sell their big developments.

Measure V was only necessary because the city council told Menlo homeowners “too bad” to a huge low income building dropped into an existing neighborhood. If this Measure doesn’t pass there’s nothing preventing them from doing this next door to you. Don’t let them take your neighborhood away from you. You paid for it, you should have a voice. Don’t accept “too bad” and interests outside Menlo telling you you’re unfair and racist.


Posted by Ron
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Aug 31, 2022 at 12:42 pm

Ron is a registered user.

The crucial element that all voters need to consider is this: isn't it in the better interest of ALL residents of Menlo Park when ALL the voters are allowed to vote on zoning changes in their neighborhood? When is it "better for all residents" if only 4-5 City Council politicians make zoning decisions that affect all 40,000 approx. residents? Is it not better for the entire city and all residents when ALL of the voters are allowed to vote on significant changes that affects everyone?


Posted by Frozen
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 31, 2022 at 2:51 pm

Frozen is a registered user.

The let's-build-houses-in-parks supporters (Menlo Together/MPNAH) want you to believe that the need for constant elections will snarl all development. That's not true: planning commissioners tell me that very few projects require significant rezoning, and those tend to be large scale -- like the Bohannon Gateway project that was voted on by residents.

Menlo Park is not a big city, and over-development anywhere will affect all of us.

MP? NAH! -- ignore the hyperbole. They've got their own agenda, and it's not about serving residents or our needs.


Posted by MP Reader
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 31, 2022 at 4:22 pm

MP Reader is a registered user.

To answer Menlo Lifestyle’s question about how to prevent development: between astronomical land acquisition and construction costs, and the small size of most R-1 lots, there are plenty of structural and economic factors that already prevent single-family homes as being rebuilt as anything but. That's one of many factors in why there hasn't ever been any real multi-family developer interest in typical R-1 sites.

However, the other key factor is that, in addition to all of the above, the City has an extensive review and public input process for land use decisions, and the city has stated multiple times that they heard loud and clear during this housing element cycle that the community preferred rezoning larger parcels (such as Flood, which is 2+ acres), rather than typical, smaller R-1 residential lots with existing homes. Council and planners honored that feedback by not rezoning any R-1 sites with homes, and this was perhaps not an especially difficult decision given that there's no reason to expect that the small parcels will turn over as multifamily. State housing law requires that sites must be feasible to count as opportunity sites.

The responsiveness that many people think this measure would provide is actually already there and more. Today and at any time, residents can engage in land use decisions by calling, writing to, and voting for Council; attending meetings; completing surveys; and more. Those who engaged with this process by asking to keep R-1 zoning for lots with existing homes were heard, and the housing element reflects those wishes. Flood was included because it's a larger parcel. It’s surprising that neighbors would be surprised that something could be proposed there; it's always existed as a large site in the neighborhood.

As Peter notes above, this measure actually changes the review mechanism substantially and perhaps not in the way some would-be supporters would hope. Zoning by city-wide ballot is far less predictable -- or nuanced.


Posted by PH
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 31, 2022 at 8:15 pm

PH is a registered user.

@MPReader "... there are plenty of structural and economic factors that already prevent single-family homes as being rebuilt as anything but."

Here's a 24-unit apartment complex proposed for two merged single family lots in Palo Alto College terrace. Web Link

Note the density exceeds 70du/acre and requires the minimum amount of parcel aggregation -- two. Developers are ready to build in single family neighborhoods. NOW. All they need is a willing council. Menlo Together's ignorance about land-use economics, shouldn't be Menlo Park's loss.

The risk is highest in those neighborhoods with the highest percentage of investor-owned homes. I get texts every day to buy my home in Menlo Park. Speculators are ready to build. They just need a willing pro-housing council.




Posted by PH
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 31, 2022 at 8:26 pm

PH is a registered user.

MPNAH is a being bankrolled by Karen Grove and John Matthew Sobrato. Web Link


Posted by smallbusinessownerCZ
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 31, 2022 at 8:55 pm

smallbusinessownerCZ is a registered user.

I am proud to be a part of this effort and applaud Menlo Together, the Council, and the generous donors who are doing what they can to try and help build a better and more equitable city. This particular effort is designed to help bring housing to teachers and staff. Teachers and staff work hard and are dedicated to bring the youth of this world we live in forward in life. I cannot think of any better reason than that to help encourage those to Vote NO on V.


Posted by Resident
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2022 at 12:43 am

Resident is a registered user.

Why doesn’t the Ravenswood School District just give down payment assistance to help staff buy houses in East Palo Alto?

The action would solve several of the concerns mentioned in this article, and concerns mentioned in several other articles over the last year. Concerns addressed….

1. In district housing for staff. The benefits of less commuters and people connected to the places they are working.

2. More families/children in the Ravenswood district. Enrollment has been declining, why not add the children of Ravenswood staff members to the schools. I went to the school my Dad was a teacher at, I loved it!

3. More owner lived houses in EPA. I have seen information that points to a 60-40 or even 70-30 split between rentals and owner occupied homes. Possibly 70% of the homes being rented? Often owned by investors or LLC that have no stake, care, connection, or even local residence connected with EPA. It would be much easier to fix the problems with EPAs government if you had actual homeowners voting for their community and families.

4. Staffing shortages would be fixed by the district locking tenured teachers into the homes with the option to eliminate the need to payback the down payment if they teach in district for 15-20 years. The teacher/staff would pay the mortgage, so the district could get up to ten homes for less than $4 million dollars (by making 10 $400k down payments).

5. If this was to be established, especially in the current slowing housing market in EPA, they could probably get 20 homes for 20 staff member families (300 staff right?) by the end of this calendar year for less than 8 million.

6. Buying existing homes would keep density stable (probably lower density in EPA since most rentals have way more than 5 occupants) and save on all the material, gas, water, and road space that the construction would require.


Posted by Michael
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 1, 2022 at 12:20 pm

Michael is a registered user.

Thankfully the state legislature is stepping in and cauterizing the decades of wounds inflicted by NIMBY policy on our housing. All local control will be gone shortly and the real work of building like our lives and environment depends on it can begin.


Posted by Running hard to stay in place
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 1, 2022 at 12:42 pm

Running hard to stay in place is a registered user.

Causes of wildly expensive housing around here:

1) Residential real estate has become an enormous magnet for worldwide speculative investment.
2) Tech investment has been fueled by decades of loose monetary policy, bringing tons of money to the table of tech executives who want detached single family homes.
3) Commercial real estate developers have bought and paid for the zoning that they want, no matter the impact on the local residents.
4) Capital gains taxes on sale of real estate make it extremely disadvantageous for existing home owners to sell.

Of course supply is limited, same for everywhere else. People want homes not condos.

We should all reject pathetic attempts to slur people with the term NIMBY.

Any new commercial developments (ex retail) should pull 100% of their weight with ABAG required housing. If we had been doing that all along, then the state / ABAG would not be pressuring us to double the housing stock in MP.

Doubling the housing stock of any city in a short time, with no new land, is insane.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 1, 2022 at 12:52 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Of course supply is limited, same for everywhere else. People want homes not condos"

Not true. My wife and I downsized from a big house in Atherton to a much smaller townhouse in Menlo Park and it was a huge increase in our quality of life.

If Menlo Park allowed the same densities as we have in Park Forest, which was annexed from the County, it could quadruple its housing stock.


Posted by Parent
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 1, 2022 at 1:04 pm

Parent is a registered user.

Menlo Park has thousands upon thousands of residents. The city council has 5 people who happen to be residents. Let's make sure a small group of people - 3 out of 5 - does not impact thousands of others.

It's never a bad thing to put things to a vote of the population. Democracy.


Posted by Parent
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 1, 2022 at 1:09 pm

Parent is a registered user.

"If Menlo Park allowed the same densities as we have in Park Forest, which was annexed from the County, it could quadruple its housing stock."

And quadruple the traffic. Has anyone tried getting across town at 8:30 AM? Bay Road, Ringwood, Oak Grove, Ravenswood, Marsh Road - all gridlocked.

And then of course it would putting a strain on an already over subscribed sewer, police, fire, and school system.

Menlo Park was not built for this type of quadrupled growth.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 1, 2022 at 1:17 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"It's never a bad thing to put things to a vote of the population."

But when only 30 % of the people actually vote that means that 16% of the voters determine what the answer is.

True democracy only works if everybody votes and that has NEVER happened in Menlo Park.


Posted by Parent
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 1, 2022 at 2:38 pm

Parent is a registered user.

"But when only 30 % of the people actually vote that means that 16% of the voters determine what the answer is."

Which is far superior to 3 out of 5 council members determining an answer, especially if those 3 have a "vision" that is not in line with 16% of Menlo Park voters.

It's clear that putting so much power into the hands of 3 is not wise. I think this is exactly why Menlo Balance was compelled to get this item out for a wider vote. I applaud the efforts of the people who organized Menlo Balance.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 1, 2022 at 4:16 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Think about how voters would vote on a proposed rezoning NOT in their neighborhood.

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 all these election.

This is a fatally flawed measure.


Posted by Parent
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 1, 2022 at 6:18 pm

Parent is a registered user.

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

A rational voter will vote against density, anywhere.

Why? Because a rational voter understands Menlo Park has very little vacant land.

A rational voter understands streets such as El Camino, Ravenswood, and Willow are already suffering from gridlock.

A rational voter understands Menlo Park schools cannot accommodate a crush of new students.

A rational voter sees heavy traffic on normally quiet residential streets because the main roads are clogged.

A rational voter understands Menlo Park is "built out", and a rational voter understands there is no "housing crisis". Every other apartment building on Coleman Avenue has a "for rent" sign in front.






Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 1, 2022 at 10:37 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Parent - you are ignoring the driving force here which is the new State law which requires Menlo Park to increases its housing stock.

Therefore a rational voter would understand that State law REQUIRES Menlo Park to increase its housing density and would therefore vote to approve such increases in an other neighborhood in order to reduce the need to increase density in their neighborhood.


Posted by Raoul
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 2, 2022 at 6:45 am

Raoul is a registered user.

Gonna go out on a limb and predict that FEAR will win the day come November 8th.


Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 2, 2022 at 9:47 am

Iris is a registered user.

I submit that rezoning residential properties should never be done property-by-property but rather as part of a broader planning process. The town council isn't stripped of its power to rezone but rather it is stripped of its exclusive power; if Measure V passes, such rezoning would require a vote of the residents, too. That can be planned and scheduled!

Numerous writers in this thread seem to think that single-family residential neighborhoods are the only place to put more housing. With its focus on only single-family-zoned land, Measure V actually appears to encourage rezoning of non-residential land as either mixed use or residential. I don't know if that was intended when Measure V was written but such rezoning would help rebalance the housing and jobs equation.


Posted by kbehroozi
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 2, 2022 at 11:09 am

kbehroozi is a registered user.

@Iris, If you don't want residential properties to be zoned on a case-by-case basis then you probably shouldn't vote yes on Measure V, because that's exactly what the measure would require.

In the status quo, Menlo Park city council rezones land periodically in exactly the kind of broader, citywide planning process that you describe. And in our most recently planning process (the Housing Element Update), the overwhelming majority of proposed sites for additional housing were commercial/infill parcels or existing multi-family neighborhoods–just the kinds of locations you are suggesting.

Fact: that housing element update didn't include ANY zoning changes to single-family homes.

What a lot of people seem not to know is that single-family zoning in our city doesn't just apply to residential lots with houses on them–it also applies to a number of institutional properties (churches, private schools, our fire district headquarters, the seminary, and the site of a former public school adjacent to Flood Park). Many of these could be strategic locations for more affordable housing–if not now, then 15-20 years from now. None of these could be included in the city planning process going forward if this ballot measure passes–they'd need to be considered on an ad hoc basis, through expensive general elections. If the fire district wanted to build dorm-style housing on their headquarters, they'd need to go to the voters before going through the regular city planning process. If a private school wanted to build teacher housing, same deal. If a church wanted to build a preschool (or a community center, or really anything that isn't part of the current use case), THEY'D need to go to the voters. And those voters wouldn't be deliberating/voting publicly after taking community input and hearing the informed opinions of staff experts–nor could they be voted out of office for making bad decisions.

Populism doesn't tend to lead to good policy outcomes. Measure V is no exception.


Posted by Running hard to stay in place
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 2, 2022 at 4:03 pm

Running hard to stay in place is a registered user.

@kbehroozi

Measure V is appropriate.

As you state, zoning changes are rare, almost invariably part of a city-wide initiative like the special plan or driven by deep pocketed development interest like Menlo Gateway.

I'd like to see another initiative that will force any new office developments to 100% offset the added housing, rather than dumping that obligation on the city.

The city council has done a poor job representing the interests of the people in Menlo Park.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 3, 2022 at 4:04 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

“The city council has done a poor job representing the interests of the people in Menlo Park.”

I wonder how many of the proponents of Measure V have ever run for elected office or served on City committees?

How many have even voted in the last four Council election?

Democracy is hard work and it involves much more than posting on the Town Square.


Posted by Running hard to stay in place
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 3, 2022 at 8:01 am

Running hard to stay in place is a registered user.

Peter

Sounds like you agree with my statement that the city council has done a poor job representing the residents of Menlo Park.

As for your statement to the effect that people don't put in enough work to fix things, that's true as far as it goes. However, the first statement stands.

Also, for the few people who have run and served, who had no interest fraternizing with developers, no ego invested, who did not receive sinecures with big tech companies or run for higher office, etc, I say thank you, and I know exactly how pointless the job of serving can be.

The system is broken and the initiative is appropriate.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 3, 2022 at 8:26 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

“ Peter

Sounds like you agree with my statement that the city council has done a poor job representing the residents of Menlo Park.”

On the contrary I think our elected Council is working diligently to serve the best interests of the citizens who elected them rather than becoming the protector of the privileged few who grabbed the brass ring or were born with a silver spoon in their mouth.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 3, 2022 at 8:29 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Governing by initiative is the road to disaster. It is a blunt instrument that does not deal with situations outside the norm well at all. One only need look at the state to see how well it doesn't work.

If the proponents of this measure and Measure M had their way we'd still be looking at vacant car dealerships on ECR. They probably would have been fine with it, but as evidenced by the vote, the majority of us were not.

Vote NO on Measure V.


Posted by Frozen
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 3, 2022 at 9:53 am

Frozen is a registered user.

No one wanted vacant car lots (or really, any car lots) on El Camino. Another bit of propaganda perpetuated by the deep-pocketed opponents to M, which scared enough people into voting it down. M simply tried to preserve the terms of the Specific Plan, which the two big developments trashed. No consequences for rich developers -- there never are.

No one is asking for government by initiative. This particular initiative is meant to send a message to the council: we don't want housing in parks. We don't want our neighborhoods destroyed. We don't want naive council members meeting with developers and allowing sweet talk and a free dinner to lull them into agreeing to a project that serves only the developers, not the city or its residents. Our council can do a better job of meeting the needs of residents if they understand the parameters.They work for us.Not all of them get that yet.

Peter: as someone who has served on a Menlo Park commission and also on a number of key MP task forces, I have a pretty good understanding of local politics. I've seen how much damage a misguided councilmember can wreak. That said, people get involved in their own ways, on their own time, and I applaud both the backers of M and V who stuck their necks out -- and opened themselves to personal defamation, as we saw with M -- on behalf of fellow residents.


Posted by Running hard to stay in place
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 3, 2022 at 10:12 am

Running hard to stay in place is a registered user.

Some of the posters here seem to have contempt for property rights and want to use government as a blunt force to fix the world.

You have to be blind to history to miss the problems with this.

Imagine railing against the initiative process in a city the size of Menlo Park, while supporting actions to remove local control.

At the state level, initiatives are a mixed bag, but corporate lobbying and insider dealing is a constant problem and the real source of so many of the problems we have. Double that at the federal level.

Having been around Menlo Park city government I am well aware that the city manager and the planning department view themselves as servants to development interests and to Sacramento. The public is mostly regarded as a nuisance.

It's easy to gaslight the public, to divide and confuse them.

The initiative process cuts through this.

V is appropriate.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 3, 2022 at 11:00 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Government by initiative is a disaster.

If you don’t trust your elected represent then get off your butt and run for office.

Under an initiative system less than 15% of the registered voters can decide an issue and seldom have they done the kind of hard homework that our elected representatives do every day.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 3, 2022 at 11:09 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

If the supporters of Measure V really believe in community control they would require that any vote on rezoning would require approval by 51% of the registered voters.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 3, 2022 at 5:07 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"M simply tried to preserve the terms of the Specific Plan, which the two big developments trashed."

Bull. The developments comply with the requirements of the DSP. They didn't trash it, they complied. Those behind Measure M wanted to stop any and all development and the voter saw through it and voted down by a landslide. The measure V folks essentially want to do the same thing.

If no one is asking for government by initiative, they should withdraw the initiative, because governing by initiative is exactly what they are trying to do.


Posted by Rob Silano
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 3, 2022 at 8:24 pm

Rob Silano is a registered user.

Peter:

This will be a costly adventure for the taxpayers of Menlo Park. The Suburban Park homeowners association invited all council members to speak to the group. Only 4 spoke, yet, the council member from District 1, did not accept the invitation. This was the same council member that spoke at a “ no against ballot measure V”, rally just recently.

It appears members of the “Menlo Balance Group” saw that a 3-2 vote was in the future, and their destiny was with a council majority that did not reside in their district, making a decision for their neighborhood, where many were concerned about safety, overcrowding, and a building that would be too large for their neighborhood.

These people are concerned with the residents that will live there too. A one- entry, exit and entrance, 90 or more units with parking issues? A water sprinkler system that would have to probably employ a 55,000 gallon storage tank there. Finally, an EIR that encompasses the entire projects, not individual specific ones as the Flood property.

Many of these people that support Menlo Balance are employed as school employees or have children that are employed as such. They understand firsthand the problem of housing in our area. They are not against teacher housing, just size.

There are many programs that assist teachers in obtaining assistance to purchase homes. One example;

The HELPER Act, administered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), will create a one-time use home loan program under the FHA.

The Ravenwood School District could sell the parcel for over $12 million or partner with a developer to build 15-16 homes, sell them, use the gross profit of about $33 million to assist their employees with low interest loans.

Ravenwood School Officials met with Menlo Balance. A comprise could not be worked out, even though a smaller proposal of apartments were presented by the school district in 2018. It was withdrawn by them.

Let the people vote to decide.


Posted by Menlo Lifestyle
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 4, 2022 at 9:31 am

Menlo Lifestyle is a registered user.

I’m not sure why this “for the teachers” myth is still propagated. I guess it’s hard to convince people to turn their quiet neighborhoods into the Tenderloin is too big a lift without some sob story.

The simple fact is that RCSD refuses to set aside a certain number of rentals for teachers. The only bone they’re throwing teachers is “first dibs” on a certain number of units. All others go to market rate rentals, leaving teachers no better than where they are today. And really, how many of you want your employer as your landlord? Leave your job, get evicted! It’s entirely possible that not one teacher will live in this complex.

They refused a proposal to build denser housing (like townhomes) on the property and sell them to teachers. Everyone talks about generational wealth inequity but they refuse to sell to teachers. Why? Will Eger, business officer for RCSD, has said in repeated interviews and meetings that their primary focus is on district revenue.

If you’re in favor od dense housing, so be it. But drop the “for teachers” nonsense.


Posted by PH
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 4, 2022 at 1:29 pm

PH is a registered user.

@PeterCarpenter "Under an initiative system less than 15% of the registered voters can decide an issue"

In competitive district elections council members have been elected with fewer than 10% of the registered voters. The Menlo Together majority has received fewer total votes than many individual at-large council members from elections past.

Under the Initiative 100% of registered voters COULD decide an issue, its up to them. In a district election, voters can never choose 80% of the decision makers who exercise city-wide impact.

It's not a very representative system. There are problems.





Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 4, 2022 at 1:59 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"In competitive district elections council members have been elected with fewer than 10% of the registered voters. The Menlo Together majority has received fewer total votes than many individual at-large council members from elections past."

Of course! With district elections each district has about 20% of the total registered voters so it would be impossible for any of them to receive as many votes as the winners did when we had city wide elections.

The sponsors of Measure V would have been much smarter if they set it up so that the voters in each district voted on zoning changes in their district but, as I have said before, the sponsors really did not think this initiative through very carefully. I doubt it will pass but if it does I predict every city wide vote to reject a single area zoning change will fail.


Posted by MPMom
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 4, 2022 at 3:24 pm

MPMom is a registered user.

Having just received a "No on V" door hanger, I am appalled at the language and misleading and false information contained in the flyer. Shame on these folks for using these scare tactics. If people would just read the contents of the Menlo Balance proposal, they'll find that they are all for affordable housing (which should be defined as "rental units" rather than implying owned homes). The residents in the various neighborhoods of Menlo Park should have a say in how the land near their lifelong investment will be used, how it will affect the surrounding infrastructure, and how it will be accessed. As a resident of Menlo Park for over four decades, I am ashamed of the lack of support and understanding in our city counsel as well as of the many residents who refer to the proponents of the measure as NIMBY and racist. Heck, knock on some doors in Suburban Park and you'd be surprised at how wonderfully colorful it is. YES on V!


Posted by Menlo Lifestyle
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 4, 2022 at 3:53 pm

Menlo Lifestyle is a registered user.

@MPMom, the Almanac won’t post anything referring to the fact that RCSD turned down a proposal to develop that property and SELL to teachers. Not enough revenue, said the district more than once. As it stands it’s just another place to rent, and zero units are actually set aside for teachers. And who exactly wants to rent from their employer?!?!?


Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 5, 2022 at 8:08 am

Iris is a registered user.

@kbehroozi "None of these could be included in the city planning process ...they'd need to be considered on an ad hoc basis."
Really? For these properties you describe, it appears that neither the current nor probable future uses match the current single family zoning of the properties. If this measure passes, the city can still decide through its planning process that these and possibly other properties currently zoned single family may be needed for another purpose, and put all that rezoning up for a vote in the next general election.


Posted by Dawn1234
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 5, 2022 at 9:00 am

Dawn1234 is a registered user.

Thank you Peter for your great points.

I oppose Measure V for 3 reasons.

1. "Zoning by city-wide ballot is far less predictable -- or nuanced." It's a terrible idea. I vote against such measures regardless of the outcome desired.

2. Anyone who has read Color of Law - or lived in this community for long enough knows that the zoning boundaries in our town have origins in race based systems. The realtors of this town worked together to ensure that the "character" of neighborhoods was preserved.

3. Ravenswood Schools cannot at this point compete with the salary scales of many of its neighbor districts. This year, 1/3 of their teaching staff is new. No district can pay its teachers enough to purchase houses in this area. This will help keep teachers in the district. Also, I like public land to stay in public hands when possible.

It seems like most neighborhoods in Menlo Park have multi-family dwellings and that the neighborhoods that don't simply want others to shoulder the "burden" of having mixed income neighborhoods. I air quote burden because it is anything but - and research bears it out.

This is about one part of town being mad that they can't bully members of council not from their district. The website clearly calls out the districting as the source of the problem. We have districting, because the needs of one neighborhood were long ignored because they had no council representation. This is an effort to work around that now corrected injustice.

I know the members of council. They all want what is best for our town and don't all agree what that is.

Vote No on V. It doesn't stop the conversation - it just gives it fair representation at the council level where zoning decisions should be made using a thoughtful process that balances the needs of our entire community.


Posted by Dawn1234
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 5, 2022 at 9:08 am

Dawn1234 is a registered user.

Also, I would like to add a thing about traffic. Another thing we know is that a large majority of our traffic is bound for the east bay. Know why? Affordable housing. Nobody drives that far because the weather is nicer - though they have some sweet open spaces. If people who work here can live here, they won't have to clog the roads as much with cars. And - you aren't in traffic, you are traffic. Not everyone can (I know that), but choose an alternative mode than car if you can. It's better for everyone.


Posted by Rob Silano
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 5, 2022 at 9:18 am

Rob Silano is a registered user.

Hi Dawn:

A majority of the council as in the past has used Belle Haven to build many projects. Clark Park and Kelly Field could be next for development. With Measure V, voters in Belle Haven could stop it.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 5, 2022 at 9:25 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"With Measure V, voters in Belle Haven could stop it."

Wrong. Under Measure V the voters in Belle Haven will be outnumbered 4-1 by voters in the other four districts.

Whoever wrote this Measure simply did not think it through.

It is a horrible proposal that is driven by selfish fears and, because it is so poorly drafted, if passed it will never result in the rejection of a rezoning proposal.


Posted by PH
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 5, 2022 at 9:29 am

PH is a registered user.

@Iris "... and put all that rezoning for a vote in the next general election."

Exactly. The Initiative presents a series of disconnected ad hoc zoning changes to the public as a single batch in regular intervals, thereby curbing ad hoc zoning and adding discipline to the rezoning process.

Housing Element cycles are 8-year cycles. There's no reason why council can't engage early in an 8-year cycle to create a mediated community wide process to determine rezonings for the next 8-year cycle. In that capacity council members would act as mediators not ideologues. District members would be on equal footing to insure that each district is impacted equally and fairly, otherwise the public will vote thumbs down.

There would be no case where three out-of-district council members consider housing on Sharon Park or Flood School without simultaneously accepting dense housing in their own districts in the same cycle.

If council members have a legacy problem with ConnectMenlo because it concentrates development near Belle Haven then change it. Don't complain about it, and then implement it. No-one is forcing council to vote for discretionary approvals of ConnectMenlo projects That's on them.




Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 5, 2022 at 9:36 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" and put all that rezoning for a vote in the next general election."

Interesting idea but that is NOT what Measure V would require. Measure V is written in such a way that the Council can put rezoning actions on any ballot it wishes.

Individual rezoning proposals could be added to any ballot not just the General Election ballot. And to be fair to both property owners and neighborhoods each proposed rezoning action would need to be a separate ballot issue.


Posted by Dawn1234
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 5, 2022 at 10:28 am

Dawn1234 is a registered user.

Belle Haven knows full well where the residents of our city stand when only Belle Haven is affected. BH residents don't need a new ballot measure for that.

We should reject this effort to mute our council voice on city-wide issues.

Vote No on V.


Posted by Dawn1234
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 5, 2022 at 10:33 am

Dawn1234 is a registered user.

From Rob:
"their destiny was with a council majority that did not reside in their district, making a decision for their neighborhood, where many were concerned about safety, overcrowding, and a building that would be too large for their neighborhood"

It's as if you'd lived in Belle Haven the last 40 years before we got a district representative. It can be frustrating to have to share in the burden of housing because new voices at the table see things differently.


Posted by Dawn1234
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 5, 2022 at 11:22 am

Dawn1234 is a registered user.

Also, it's fear mongering to suggest that parkland WILL be turned over to housing. I know there were proposals to include housing on a new library building in Burgess Park - allowing some distinction for city buildings vs. city parks. I'm not a big fan of private housing in public spaces and would be happy to raise that objection with council. Suggesting that Karl E. Clark park is going to be next for development in a neighborhood oversaturated with development is just fear mongering.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 5, 2022 at 12:15 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"It's as if you'd lived in Belle Haven the last 40 years before we got a district representative."

Exactly the combination of district elections and new state mandates make it a certainty that the new housing burden will have be shared by all of us.

I have lived in a big house in Atherton, a smaller house in Suburban Park and now in a much denser townhouse development in Park Forest and I can say without reservation that my quality of life in Park Forest is superior to what I had before.

Measure V is simply a fear driven attempt of a few lucky people to deny others the opportunity to live, god forbid, in THEIR neighborhood.


Posted by PH
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 5, 2022 at 1:17 pm

PH is a registered user.

@PeterCarpent "Under Measure V the voters in Belle Haven will be outnumbered 4-1 by voters in the other four districts."

Without Measure V, Belle Haven COUNCIL members are already outnumbered 4-1 by COUNCIL members from other districts.

The Report insinuates unfairness to Belle Haven by the Council rezonings in ConnectMenlo. Any over-development or zoning harm done to Belle Haven, to date, has been done by COUNCIL rezoning not the Initiative.




Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 5, 2022 at 1:22 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"A majority of the council as in the past has used Belle Haven to build many projects. Clark Park and Kelly Field could be next for development. With Measure V, voters in Belle Haven could stop it."

"With Measure V, voters in Belle Haven could stop it."

Wrong. Under Measure V the voters in Belle Haven will be outnumbered 4-1 by voters in the other four districts.

Whoever wrote this Measure simply did not think it through.


Posted by Frozen
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 5, 2022 at 1:33 pm

Frozen is a registered user.

I'm liking the strategy of the No on V contingent: try to talk over everyone, while at the same time accusing us all of racism and hurling every mote of fear-mongering propaganda you can find.

Except...Menlo Park voters aren't as dumb as you seem to think. Right now, it looks like V will pass handily.


Posted by Dawn1234
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 5, 2022 at 2:34 pm

Dawn1234 is a registered user.

Where is the talking over everyone?
I've seen no accusations of racism on this forum - though the connection between race and MP zoning is historical fact that should not be ignored and is a relevant part of this conversation. Especially since it is part of the reason we have elections by district which is called out as an issue on the pro Measure V website.
It looks to me like a disagreement about the net effect of Measure V and points that are difficult to refute. Just because you don't like the information being presented doesn't mean you're being talked over.
The strategy to share more information with voters so they understand what is being asked of them and the effect beyond the James Flood campus is just good civic engagement.


Posted by PH
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 5, 2022 at 5:52 pm

PH is a registered user.

@Dawn1234 "Interesting idea but that is NOT what Measure V would require. ... Council can put rezoning actions on any ballot it wishes."

Exactly. Council can choose. They control the timing of rezonings. Council can create a policy to determine when it would put a batch of Housing Element related R-1 rezonings before the voters. "The list" might never produce many affordable units, but it won't be long before State mandates force MR zoning in to R-1 neighborhoods, off list.

Its a VERY, VERY good idea to conduct community wide Housing Element cycles in advance of each 8-year update, build 5-0 consensus among district council members, then put a batch of fairly distributed R-1 zoning changes before voters.

Or have a district v district ad hoc zoning blood bath every 8 years.


Posted by K. Dumont
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 5, 2022 at 6:33 pm

K. Dumont is a registered user.

How did we get to where 'housing as an investment’ is an argument against housing as a basic human need?

I've lived in the Bay Area since the 1950s. I grew up in a working family, in a single family 'owned' home. In the 80s and 90s, the orchards of my youth were literally uprooted and replaced by exclusive housing tracts. Policies like those in Measure V have been used repeatedly to protect exclusive, single family zoning and exclude affordable, multifamily housing. This is how we got here.

Regarding disparaging comments about 'rental units': Rental units ARE ‘owned homes,’ and the taxes paid support infrastructure. I resent the implication that renters like myself (a technical writer), my husband (a teacher), and our friends–a doctor and an engineer with two young children–aren't desirable neighbors. For each of us, our rental unit *is* a home.

I prefer to walk or bike to do errands because it’s better for the environment. I recycle and compost. I lovingly tend my plants and flowers. I chat with my neighbors. I keep an eye out for who's coming and going in our neighborhood. I also care about traffic in my neighborhood. Having lived next to Stanford housing developments totaling hundreds of new homes, I can tell you that neighborhood traffic did NOT get substantially worse, despite initial fears.

Measure V would prop up the failed housing policies of the past. Housing construction for the wealthy would continue unimpeded, while affordable housing projects on at least 23 desirable sites across Menlo Park, including Ravenswood teacher housing, would be DOA. In Saratoga, where a similar measure passed in the 90s, NOT ONE affordable housing project has been brought to a vote–this requirement is a dealbreaker for any developer.

Measure V would only fuel the rising number of displaced working families. It would only worsen the disastrous climate effects of having 90% of our workforce commuting from outside Menlo Park.

In short, Measure V is a Very Bad Idea.


Posted by Dawn1234
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 5, 2022 at 6:45 pm

Dawn1234 is a registered user.

You mean have this fight every time we want to rezone? I think elections already eat up way too much money. More opportunities for money to make policy decisions more invisibly (because election finance lacks the transparency of city finances)...

No thank you.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 5, 2022 at 7:56 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Measure V is poorly crafted and if approved will not achieve the exclusionary objectives desired by its authors.

Best case it will fail to be approved by the voters.

Worst case it will be approved and will result in many expensive ballot issues none of which will result in disapproving a Council proposed upzoning given the State mandate for Menlo Park to increase its housing stock and the self interests of the many more voters in neighborhoods NOT involved in the proposed upzoning who will vote to permit upzoning elsewhere in order to reduce the need for upzoning in their neighborhood.


Posted by MenloVoter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 6, 2022 at 7:27 am

MenloVoter. is a registered user.

Prediction: If Measure V passes we will see numerous unintended consequences as we always do when trying to govern by proposition. Many people that voted for Measure V and then are affected by these unintended consequences will be very upset. To that I say, you did it to yourselves.

If, like me, you want to avoid unintended consequences, vote NO on Measure V.


Posted by Rob Silano
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 6, 2022 at 7:39 am

Rob Silano is a registered user.

Major real estate and developers would rather pay and influence 5 council members for their campaigns than deal with 40,000 plus residents. Follow the money against Measure V. Council and big money bought it on themselves. We may have to live with it if Measure V passes. In Menlo Park, we are in a spin “ it’s not the money, but the money”. Against Measure V fund raising projected total $400,000. Sad


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 6, 2022 at 7:58 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Major real estate and developers would rather pay and influence 5 council members for their campaigns than deal with 40,000 plus residents."

Sadly the Measure V authors are as poorly informed as to the number of registered voters as they are with the unintended and inevitable consequences of their measure.

Money will have very little to do with how Menlo Park's 20,000 registered voters will vote on any individual upzoning proposal if Measure V passes - most of them will vote in their own self interest to approve upzoning anywhere but in their neighborhood in order to meet State mandates.

Measure V codifies NIMBYism.


Posted by new guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 6, 2022 at 9:25 am

new guy is a registered user.

Just want to bring this one back to where I think this all started. A majority of our current council, for some unknown reason, would not even look into creating a measure blocking the rezoning of our limited park space (removing park space for subsidized housing).

So reasonable people are left to assume that the council (the majority who blocked on parks) who also are vocally in alignment on where to rezone, are not working in our (the MP citizens/voters) best interests. Since our current society does not allow for free/open speech/discussion, we are left with measure V. My bets are on it passing since it may be years until we get back to elected representatives that focus on our town, and not on higher office... politically correct issues, etc.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 6, 2022 at 10:15 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

From the Almanac:

“Those who didn't support Mueller's ordinance agreed they didn't want to build housing in parks, but rather pointed to the topic as a non-issue, or as Complete Streets Commission member Katie Behroozi put it, "a red herring."


Posted by new guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 6, 2022 at 12:15 pm

new guy is a registered user.

From the Almanac:

"The topic of developing housing in city parks rose to the fore of the community discourse after Housing Commission Chair and Sharon Heights resident Karen Grove said in recent public meetings that the city should discuss the possibility of using underutilized parts of city parks."

Grove is spending her Intel heiress money on "Menlo Together", and certain members of the council are affiliated with that group. Not hard to guess which ones...

I did get the mailing stating that parks could be used for housing, this is a fact.

Ms. Grove was Chair of the Housing Commission and had proposed converting two acres of wooded open space on the west end of Sharon Park to high‐density housing units. She has also proposed considering Burgess Park for housing development.


Quite a few extra words, money, and CC hearing time, for a simple "red herring."


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 6, 2022 at 1:35 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The fact is that the entire Council agreed that it had no interest in using park land for housing so there was no need to waste the considerable staff time required to draft and then debate an unnecessary ordinance.


Posted by new guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 6, 2022 at 4:04 pm

new guy is a registered user.

thinking out loud:

kind of wish they "wasted" time on a simple ordinance a few months ago, then the amount of time and expense for this measure, and potential future expenses caused by it.


Posted by Andrew C.
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 6, 2022 at 4:13 pm

Andrew C. is a registered user.

Several folks here have expressed concern that should Measure V pass, it will add all sorts of challenging steps to zoning changes in the future. This is correct. Here are some of those steps:

* Arrange meetings with impacted neighborhoods to learn about concerns and share the value of the project
* Have an actual traffic/infrastructure study done and share the results
* Explore all entry point options, including negotiating with Caltrans and a County Park about an access point, then share these findings with the community
* Then put it out to vote

Bullet points 1-3 are basic city planning. They should have existed before Measure V, and they will have to exist afterwards if Measure V passes. Measure V grew out of a total failure in our system. It's unfortunate that logical city planning had to be forced but here we are.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 6, 2022 at 5:31 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I think most of the posters would be surprised at what actually happens in the current planning process. Almost everything cited as being required by Measure V proponents except the city wide vote (which as explained above will invariably fail to stop any upzoning) currently occurs.

The problem is that very few citizens take the time or effort to attend planning Commission and Council meetings and instead prefer the much less demanding approach of criticizing a process that they don't understand and which they have chosen not to participate in.


Posted by Dawn1234
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 6, 2022 at 6:25 pm

Dawn1234 is a registered user.

Is there a reason that a neighborhood within walking distance of a full service grocery store, thriving patio eating, and a post office isn't currently shouldering multi-family housing? Is there some historic zoning that resulted in certain neighborhoods being excluded from MF housing?


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 6, 2022 at 7:05 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Is there some historic zoning that resulted in certain neighborhoods being excluded from MF housing?"

Yes. Before District elections it was easy for former Councils to place the housing and growth burden on Belle Haven. Now that we have district elections that is harder to do and some Suburban Park residents properly feel that their prior entitlement is threatened. Measure V is an attempt to codify NIMBYism.


Posted by Andrew C.
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 7, 2022 at 9:07 am

Andrew C. is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter wrote: "Almost everything cited as being required by Measure V proponents except the city wide vote (which as explained above will invariably fail to stop any upzoning) currently occurs."

This is completely incorrect. The neighborhood of Suburban Park had to do our own research to learn what was being proposed on the Flood School site. We had to proactively invite every single City Council member to visit with us, not vice versa. We pleaded for traffic studies, negotiations on entry points, and environmental impact reports. We were told those would come "after" a zoning approval change. It's completely false that you state that this occurred. It did not. It was going to be pushed through without a single one of these steps, and it took a major civic action to force this potentially new approach.


Posted by Stuart Soffer
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 7, 2022 at 1:44 pm

Stuart Soffer is a registered user.

Please use real names. Makes your statement credible.

You wouldn't vote for a council member based on a pseudonym, would you?

Well, maybe you would.



Posted by Stuart Soffer
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 7, 2022 at 1:47 pm

Stuart Soffer is a registered user.

I'm giggling about testifying in court as an expert witness using "Dawn1234"


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 7, 2022 at 7:53 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Interestingly none of the things Andrew discusses are even mentioned in Measure V and all of these things can and do occur in the normal course of rezoning. If I am wrong then please cite the language in Measure V which addresses these procedural steps.

It seems like some people want to be spoon fed rather than taking the time to participate in Planning Commission and Council meetings and doing their homework with the information provided when rezoning is being considered.

Or perhaps their objective is simply to impede the process in order to preserve their current favored status as a neighborhood which makes zero contribution to increasing the housing stock?


Posted by Running hard to stay in place
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 7, 2022 at 8:06 pm

Running hard to stay in place is a registered user.

Andrew goes to some effort here to explain how difficult it was for the community to get what they wanted, how they had to be proactive and not assume anything, not assume good faith by the city council etc.

And what is Peter's response?

"It seems like some people want to be spoon fed rather than taking the time to participate in Planning Commission and Council meetings and doing their homework with the information provided when rezoning is being considered."

These are the words of a troll, looking ONLY to create an angry response.

Andrew understands and has explained how difficult it is for a community to be heard and get the outcome it wants.

This is an endorsement of the very essence of measure V.

In fact, we need another initiative which will not allow the city council to approve any project which would increase Menlo Park's housing allocation.

Any commercial project should pull its weight in terms of the housing allocation.

Otherwise we all pay the price, while the developers dump that burden on us for their own benefit.

Given past history, we obviously can not trust the city council to look after our interests, no matter how carefully we watch them, no matter how many comments we make or letters we write.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 7, 2022 at 8:14 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I served as a Planning Commissioner in Palo Alto for 4 1/2 years and I am well aware that there are always some people who simply refuse to participate in the established process (because it can be hard work and it it does take time) and instead want to get special treatment. Understandable but not persuasive.


Posted by Running hard to stay in place
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 7, 2022 at 8:38 pm

Running hard to stay in place is a registered user.

The parties who seek and get special treatment are Bohannon, Stanford, Meta, Greenheart, Pollack, etc, etc.

A lot of money is being made and Menlo Park's housing allocation is insanely high.

The Menlo Park city council has not served the interests of the residents.

You rail against the public not paying attention or attending enough meetings.

You are carrying water for the deep pockets who are buying access and stroking your own ego.

The Menlo Park city council does exactly the same thing.


Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 7, 2022 at 8:43 pm

Iris is a registered user.

@Peter Carpenter "Before District elections it was easy for former Councils to place the housing and growth burden on Belle Haven."
This is misleading. Historically, roughly half of Menlo Park's housing stock is MF, located in various parts of the city (think Linfield Oaks, Sharon Heights, the El Camino corridor, and where you yourself live for example).

Most of the ConnectMenlo plan sessions were held in Belle Haven so there was considerable input from what became District 1. It is unfortunate that so much jobs growth was targeted for land near the Belle Haven residential area, with accompanying housing growth under the guise of Live, Work, Play.

The plan should be revisited rather than make ad hoc decisions like the Flood School proposal in the midst of an existing neighborhood wherever in Menlo Park that occurs.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 7, 2022 at 8:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Andrew understands and has explained how difficult it is for a community to be heard "

It would be helpful if Measure V posters each indicated how many Planning Commission and Council meetings they have taken the time to attend in the last 12 months.

"and get the outcome it wants."

That is the essence of their motivation - they fear that they won't get "the outcome it wants".

Tell that to the residents of Belle Haven.


Posted by Frozen
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 7, 2022 at 9:03 pm

Frozen is a registered user.

Measure V is on the ballot because many residents understand that the city council is not looking out for residents' best interests with regard to commercial and residential development. Andrew C's posts outline the issues as well as the process that should be occurring (but isn't).

The No on V contingent has no counterarguments and can only resort to middle school name-calling and assertions of moral or experiential superiority. Someone who served as planning commissioner in Palo Alto 50 years ago may not have the best perspective on Menlo Park politics in the 2020s.

Most of the increase in our city's housing allocation is driven by one inordinately successful corporation that has been allowed to expand with impunity and hasn't had to bear most of the consequences. Instead, the council is trying to push that burden onto Menlo Park residential neighborhoods. We are not responsible for the city's negligence and we don't want to see our quality of life destroyed because of it.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 8, 2022 at 6:39 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Sadly Measure V says NOTHING about the procedural steps that some people feel are missing.

Asa former Palo Alto Planning Commissioner AND a Menlo Fire Director for 16 years who oversaw numerous Fire District projects go through the city's planning process I can assure you the procedural safeguards are already there. However you have to do your homework and attend long often boring meetings to exercise those procedural tools - most people simply don't care enough to do that.

And a city wide vote on an upzoning in one neighborhood will overwhelmingly approve that upzoning in order to decrease the pressure on the other neighborhoods.

Measure V does not address the alleged missing process steps and will lead to a string of upzoning approvals. It was simply poorly crafted.


Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 8, 2022 at 7:30 am

Iris is a registered user.

Speaking of procedural steps - what's with updating a Housing Element without updating the rest of the general plan? What's with not updating the zoning rules when it is clear that the scenarios predicted in plans (DSP and ConnectMenlo) are not what is happening?
Business practices change (cramming ever more workers in the same spaces)and economic conditions change. But in Menlo Park, periodic comprehensive reviews are not being done. Prior to the 2016 ConnectMenlo update, the previous comprehensive plan was created in 1994!




Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 8, 2022 at 7:34 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Iris - Great comments. That is exactly what needs to do be done. Follow the State mandated planning process exactly as it requires. That is where all this energy should be focussed - making sure MP follows the prescribed process which is already embodied in State law.


Posted by Rob Silano
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 8, 2022 at 7:51 am

Rob Silano is a registered user.

Peter:

Both serving together we never pulled the stunts that the majority of this council has done: we were open, transparent, and listened to the voters. We can be proud of our accomplishments at the Fire District.

I remember 2 citizens representing a “ Bike to School” group. The Menlo Park Council did not support their quest for crosswalks to be built for bike safety. Those 2; now council members, came to the fire board for funding. Our board 5-0 approved their request.

We listened to them and paid for the project.

We listened again to residents of Belle Haven and did not approve a station 77 rebuilt that would take 3 homes next to station 77.

Again: we listened to the voters…

We listened to our voting public.

Remember our quest to rebuild station 6 dealing with the Menlo Park. 7 years it took us to get that rebuild approved by the city.

Menlo Balance saw many problems with the council.

1) Attempting to hold council meetings without the whole council.

2) Letting their personal agendas get in the way of what a large group of residents are strongly opposed to.

One council member didn’t even address the group when invited?

The handwriting was on the wall. The majority of the council bought this on themselves and their real estate and developers.

No choice now; costly, an huge adventure; but their last stand. They even meet with the RCSD, for a smaller apartment building and with 2 entry-exits… more safe, smaller, and a workable solution.

No comprise!
NOW… let the voter decide..a true test of the council’s effectiveness.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 8, 2022 at 8:41 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Rob - All of you above comments are correct.

The problem is that Measure V if passed would simply provide one more obstacle (and an ineffective one) and does not address any of the above issues.

Can you imagine the voters in Belle Haven and Sharon Heights voting against an upzoning in Suburban Park?



Whoever crafted Measure V simply does not understand the dynamics of a city wide election on upzoning in a single neighborhood given the Sate mandate for MP to increase its housing stock. The more upzoning in other neighborhoods the less pressure for more housing in "my" neighborhood.


Posted by Andrew C.
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 8, 2022 at 10:02 am

Andrew C. is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter wrote: "Interestingly none of the things Andrew discusses are even mentioned in Measure V and all of these things can and do occur in the normal course of rezoning. If I am wrong then please cite the language in Measure V which addresses these procedural steps."

Peter, you again say these things "can and do occur." In the case of the Flood School site, these things did not occur. We had to build the dialogue, and not every City Council member was even willing to meet with us. We had to dig to find answers. We asked for the necessary studies that would show whether a small neighborhood could handle such a potentially large change, and were told that it wouldn't happen until after the zoning decision. I'm not sure how else to explain that it's false to say these things occurred when they did not.

As for your question about the specific language in Measure V that addresses these steps, you're correct in that these issues are not spelled out. They don't have to be, because if the process goes to a city-wide majority vote. Those necessary steps will be built into the system. Do City Council campaign rules specifically state that candidates have to get out and campaign during an election? Of course not, but if they don't they will have a difficult time getting elected.

If Measure V passes, one of the key benefits will be that the City Council will have to reach out to their constituents, will have to be able to answer tough questions like "can a small residential street handle traffic flow of this capacity?" If they don't, they will risk losing the city-wide vote. It's will automatically be built into the process as it should be.


Posted by Frozen
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 8, 2022 at 10:30 am

Frozen is a registered user.

Peter, you keep insisting that people should have no say in the matter unless they sit through hours of meetings. Yet you also are opposed to direct democracy. Which is it? Do we elect representatives and expect them to make decisions on our behalf, or do we all need to be involved at every step?

Many people living in Menlo Park have demanding work schedules. Kids who need to be fed and put to bed in the evening. Other family, personal, and professional commitments. We all pay a lot in taxes and we expect our elected officials to do their job, just as we juggle our many roles and responsibilities.

But right now most of those officials are failing us. Hence, Measure V, and as much as it pains you, the voters -- including those who have never experienced a 7-hour council meeting -- will decide. That may not be the world you prefer but it's the system we have.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 8, 2022 at 11:16 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Peter, you keep insisting that people should have no say in the matter unless they sit through hours of meetings."
They can also communicate their desires to their elected representatives by phone or email or letters but that is usually less impactful

"Yet you also are opposed to direct democracy."

Not at all but as I pointed out direct democracy is hard work and the citizens of Menlo Park have routinely demonstrated by their less than 100% turnout rate their unwillingness to participate in every election.

" Do we elect representatives and expect them to make decisions on our behalf, or do we all need to be involved at every step?" That is each citizen's individual choice BUT if you don't take the time to be involved then quit complaining OR run for office yourself.


Posted by Running hard to stay in place
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 8, 2022 at 11:53 am

Running hard to stay in place is a registered user.

The cost of poor / captured governance is diffuse, but the benefits are concentrated.

"Run for office or shut up" is not a solution.

Those running for office have little to gain. The people benefiting from all of this don't run for office.

Our only solution to this problem is to restrict the ability of government to do harm.

If you can't do this on the state level, do it on the local level.

The initiative is a reflection of this reality, and we will be seeing MUCH more of this sort of thing. People are fed up.

If I do run for office, it will be with a mind to restrict the abuse of government authority to harm the residents of Menlo Park, not to stick my finger in the dike for 4 or 8 years, or to pretend I'm a big shot while harming the city.

"Run for office or shut up" is a massive insult to the residents of this city.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 8, 2022 at 12:28 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Running... Lead, follow or get out of the way.

If you don't approve of your current elected Council member then either run for that office or support someone who shares your values to run for that office.

If you don't approve of a specific decision then develop a consensus for change among your fellow residents.

But don't propose poorly constructed Measures that will achieve nothing.

Nobody has yet explained why the residents of other neighborhoods would oppose an upzoning in Suburban Park give the State's housing mandates to more housing in Menlo Park. The more upzoning in other neighborhoods the less pressure for more housing in "my" neighborhood


Posted by Running hard to stay in place
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 8, 2022 at 1:10 pm

Running hard to stay in place is a registered user.

A troll simply seeks to disparage others, to call them out for not doing enough, or for doing the wrong thing.

A troll does not propose solutions, does not discuss anything in good faith, accuses others of doing what the troll is doing.

Trolling is about being a hypocrite and deriving satisfaction when no one ever calls you out for it.


Posted by Westbrook
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 8, 2022 at 3:35 pm

Westbrook is a registered user.

Peter 8/31/22,

"And all of them would PASS because 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 all these elections.

This is a fatally flawed measure."

Peter, If I understand you correctly. You were right in the beginning, The majority would vote for zoning changes in other neighborhoods. They will pass every time.

It's really that simple.


Posted by Dawn1234
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 8, 2022 at 6:17 pm

Dawn1234 is a registered user.

Just because you are listened to does not mean you will get what you want. The message about all the council members not being beholden to this neighborhood is clear.

There are small residential streets (smaller, I think) all over town that support multi-family housing.

Belle Haven is full of small residential streets that handle traffic (when Facebook employees aren't cutting through) and couldn't even use this poorly written measure because it's only designed for the neighborhoods with the largest lots.

Residents in the 56% of the city who can't avail themselves of this "protection" against ruined neighborhoods should vote no on V.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 8, 2022 at 6:37 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Dawn - Thank you your perspective. I did not realize what how elitist Measure V is.

The authors of Measure V have clearly demonstrated their narrow self interest.


Posted by Dawn1234
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 8, 2022 at 7:54 pm

Dawn1234 is a registered user.

I might be wrong about that. It's possible I misread it. It's too hot for me to tackle it tonight, but I don't want to be misleading if I'm wrong. I still think it's elitist.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 8, 2022 at 8:42 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I think that Measure V should be renamed as the Greenwood-Hedge Protection Ordinance.

I doubt that the rest of Suburban Park supports Measure V and they should not be held responsible for Measure V's unenlightend self interest.


Posted by MPMom
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 9, 2022 at 9:29 am

MPMom is a registered user.

Peter,
You are dead wrong. The residents of Oakhurst, Greenwood Place, Dunsmuir, Bay, all of Greenwood Drive and Hedge, and most especially Sheridan are against the development being accessed unsafely and disruptively through their neighborhood. And unlike the opposition to V would like you to believe, Suburban Park is NOT against affordable rental housing, particularly for teachers. I could go on, but it seems pointless with someone like you who always wants to have the last word.


Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 9, 2022 at 10:25 am

Iris is a registered user.

Why upzone in neighborhoods rather than in non-residential areas?


Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 9, 2022 at 10:25 am

Iris is a registered user.

Why upzone in neighborhoods rather than zone for housing in non-residential areas?


Posted by Stuart Soffer
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 9, 2022 at 11:19 am

Stuart Soffer is a registered user.

I'll say this again:

In the old days prospective council members ascended to council with the experience of zoning laws and public debates garnered first on the planning and finance commissions.

We presently have some council members motivated by someone's ideology and not personal experience. People who couldn't zone a flop house. Ah, those were the days. When some city employees were caught with their pants down.

Iris: "Why upzone in neighborhoods rather than zone for housing in non-residential areas?"

Iris: Tough to do. Like parking lots, operated but not owned, by the city, which are comprised (that's patent talk) of many sublots whose ownership may be in dispute.



Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 9, 2022 at 12:01 pm

Iris is a registered user.

@Dawn1234 "Belle Haven ...couldn't even use this ... measure because it's only designed for the neighborhoods with the largest lots."

That simply is not true. Nearly all of Belle Haven is zoned R1-U so the measure would apply. See zoning map on city website

Web Link


Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 9, 2022 at 12:05 pm

Iris is a registered user.

@Stuart Soffer
I was not suggesting only to look at parking lots but also to modify the zoning of land where offices are now or warehouses are now. Most of these don't even provide sales tax revenue but add to housing demand.


Posted by smallbusinessownerCZ
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 9, 2022 at 12:18 pm

smallbusinessownerCZ is a registered user.

I am proud of my involvement with Menlo Together and the NO on V campaign. The 2016 election was a wake-up call for people. It was a call to get involved, pay attention to local issues and local politics. It is where change could begin to happen. A number of people (mostly women) looked around and found issues at the local level. A number of people who do not support their efforts really need to check themselves. The wide majority of people who are teaching our youth, feeding our youth, cleaning homes & schools, tending to gardens, working the checkout lanes at your favorites stores, serving your food at restaurants, etc, the list is endless are running out of affordable (if they even exist) places to live. This city and cities across California need to address some really important issues, affordable housing for all and the climate. It is really hard for me to understand the attacks on council members and the founders of Menlo Together. They are really good people and deserve better.


Posted by Stuart Soffer
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 9, 2022 at 12:48 pm

Stuart Soffer is a registered user.

@ Iris, whatever your real name is.

"@Stuart Soffer
I was not suggesting only to look at parking lots but also to modify the zoning of land where offices are now or warehouses are now. Most of these don't even provide sales tax revenue but add to housing demand." Owners have rights to their properties as presently zoned.

This reminds me of George's Speedy Mart. Provided sales tax. And booze and drugs.


Where do you live? Single family, Multi family, what area? Do you rent or own?

Have a look at 345 Middlefield. Its for sale. You can buy it.


"Most of these don't even provide sales tax revenue but add to housing demand." Provide one address/business.. Firehouses? Palantir? 1010 El camino (provides property and sales taxes)

I really suggest that you apply to the Planning Commission

I looked at a warehouse on Haven Avenue a few days ago. There's a reason it's a warehouse. Terrible area for housing on that block. No recreation facilities.

Here's an exercise for you. For every application under discussion by the city, get the address and drive by. You'll learn a lot.

I did this for every application I considered while on the planning commission. Maybe I should return to the planning commission, but I work in San Francisco.











Posted by PH
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 9, 2022 at 12:56 pm

PH is a registered user.

@Dawn123 "Belle Haven ... couldn't even use this poorly written measure because it's only designed for the neighborhoods with the largest lots."

"Belle Haven City" was first subdivided in the early 30's along with another subdivision called "Newbridge Park" subdivided in the late 20's. BHC included parcels on both sides of what is now called 101. That is why street names in "Flood Triangle" are identical to those in "Belle Haven."

They are one and the same neighborhood, not separate neighborhoods, or Identical twins with an identical land-use history, relative to zoning.

There are similar subdivisions in the Willows that encompass East Palo Alto parcels with similar street names and lots sizes.

These subdivisions were made when that land was part of San Mateo County and before it was annexed by Menlo Park.

A quick glance at the subdivision maps and current assessor maps, shows that the parcels have not changed, and that lot sizes in both Flood Triangle and Belle Haven are the same. You can also check this using Menlo Park's online GIS and "open data" portal.

It has been this way since 1930 well before Belle Haven/Flood was annexed into Menlo Park. MP overlaid its zoning onto the existing San Mateo County parcels as they were originally subdivided.

(It's one reason why Menlo Park has many "sub-standard" R-1-U lots that are not 7000sf in size, and why the "minimum lot size" designation for any R-1-x zoning designation is meaningless.)

It's hard to imagine why Flood residents would think that Measure V somehow protects them without it also providing identical protection to identical parcel sizes on identical street names with identical zoning located in Belle Haven.

They may be wrong, but not elitist.



Posted by Stuart Soffer
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 9, 2022 at 3:00 pm

Stuart Soffer is a registered user.



@smallbusinessownerCZ says:

"I am proud of my involvement with Menlo Together and the NO on V campaign"

But not proud enough to use his or her real name.



Posted by Rob Silano
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 9, 2022 at 3:27 pm

Rob Silano is a registered user.

I know Stu…. But I respect her undercover role. It would affect her business.


Posted by smallbusinessownerCZ
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 9, 2022 at 3:47 pm

smallbusinessownerCZ is a registered user.

For the record, thought it might be obvious - Kathleen Daly - Cafe Zoë
small business owner 14 years in Menlo Park. Proud supporter of the Ravenswood School District and the Menlo Park City School District.


Posted by smallbusinessownerCZ
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 9, 2022 at 3:48 pm

smallbusinessownerCZ is a registered user.

For the record, thought it might be obvious - Kathleen Daly - Cafe Zoë
small business owner for 14 years in Menlo Park. Proud supporter of the Ravenswood School District and the Menlo Park City School District.


Posted by Dawn1234
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 9, 2022 at 9:08 pm

Dawn1234 is a registered user.

Also, you can sit down with your demands for people to use real names. Great that you have a position that isn't threatened. Pretty presumptuous and rude to call out everyone who isn't like you. And please, giggle away - but you'd be the fool calling an unknown alias as an expert witness.
You do you.


Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 13, 2022 at 3:20 pm

Iris is a registered user.

@Stu -- office buildings that house any professional services businesses do not provide sales tax revenue. Meta is a big example, as are legal and VC firms.
As for areas that could be converted from offices to housing, what about the Bohannon Office park near Bay? There's even a park and shopping center nearby. Vacant offices downtown on Menlo Ave, along Middlefield....I see opportunities all over.


Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 18, 2022 at 8:40 am

Iris is a registered user.

@Almanac - the headline is biased and inaccurate. Measure V does not strip the Council of its zoning powers. It adds a step for rezoning low-density neighborhoods to turn them into high-density. Those sort of actions should be taken very infrequently and deserve the support of the entire community.

The Council has avoided addressing the root problems: non-residential zoning and economics. The non-residential zoning rules have not kept up with business practices (packing more workers into buildings), resulting in far more people coming to Menlo Park to work and wanting to live nearby than any of Menlo Park's Plans assumed. And this Council is poised to approve Willow "Village" that adds housing needs for 850+ units more than it provides. Like other cities, Menlo Park is not requiring full mitigation of the housing demand.
The other root problem is that Menlo Park's housing is very expensive. Economic assistance or subsidies are a better answer to economic integration than to ruin what's best about Menlo Park's neighborhoods.
Existing neighborhoods should not have to carry the burden of the Council's inaction and failure to address the flawed non-residential zoning rules.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 18, 2022 at 10:18 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Economic assistance or subsidies are a better answer to economic integration than to ruin what's best about Menlo Park's neighborhoods."

And just how many MP taxpayers would be willing to pay even $1000/yr more in a parcel tax to support such subsidies?


Posted by PH
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 18, 2022 at 1:51 pm

PH is a registered user.

@Peter Carpenter "how many MP taxpayers would be willing to pay even $1000/yr more in a parcel tax to support such subsidies?"

Few, and that is exactly the point: affordable housing advocates don't have the resources to deliver ..... affordable housing.

They are tilting at windmills.

Market rate housing only produces expensive, luxury housing in Menlo Park.

YIMBY's mean well, but they are being used by the State, to insert dense, market rate zoning into R-1 neighborhoods that will produce luxury units for high-salaried tech workers not store clerks.

Bait and switch. Pretend to zone for "affordable", build "luxury."

Measure V gives grounded voters, who have not drunk the YIMBY cool-aid, the final authority to push State-mandated zoning into better locations than R-1 neighborhoods.





Posted by PH
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 18, 2022 at 5:25 pm

PH is a registered user.

@PeterCarpenter Just to get back to policy and finding some money for subsidized housing ....

Raise the AB1600 impact fees on office.

And, honestly, if you don't collect the full market fee you're subsidizing office and creating homelessness by design.

But, the fee could be raised, as Simitian did with Stanford.

The other way to go is the way Palo Alto is going, which is to assess a business tax.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 18, 2022 at 5:50 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Measure V gives grounded voters, who have not drunk the YIMBY cool-aid, the final authority to push State-mandated zoning into better locations than R-1 neighborhoods."

Thank you Measure V supporter for being so clear about your purpose!!

"Exclusionary zoning laws place restrictions on the types of homes that can be built in a particular neighborhood. Common examples include minimum lot size requirements, minimum square footage requirements, prohibitions on multi-family homes, and limits on the height of buildings. The origins of such laws date back to the nineteenth century, as many cities were concerned about fire hazards as well as light-and-air regulations. In the subsequent decades, some zoning laws have been used to discriminate against people of color and to maintain property prices in suburban and, more recently, urban neighborhoods."

Web Link

"Housing discrimination on the basis of race has been outlawed for more than half a century, yet Americans still reside in neighborhoods significantly divided by race and, to a lesser extent, class. Although this state of affairs has multiple causes, one of the most important is land use regulations that are used by cities and towns to exclude certain types of people from neighborhoods and even entire towns. Zoning in particular is one such tool."

Web Link


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 18, 2022 at 9:25 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

It is interesting and telling that when studies are posted that show that zoning has been used to discriminate the supporters of Measure V remain silent.

Their silence speaks volumes.


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