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Measure V is a sledgehammer when a scalpel is needed

Original post made on Nov 7, 2022

I have been reading The Almanac's coverage of Measure V with interest and concern. Since we moved to Menlo Park more than two decades ago, I've coached baseball, participated in parades, played in our parks and served on the Environmental, Transportation, and Planning commissions.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 28, 2022, 12:00 AM

Comments (4)

Posted by Tim Yaeger
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 7, 2022 at 4:54 am

Tim Yaeger is a registered user.

Well at least Chris is willing to tell you a serious problem exists in Menlo Park, I agree with him, if he understood the issue he could then make a judgement of the correct tool needed as a remedy. Chris it's apparent in this article that you don't understand the process and mechanics of the housing element and the idea of discretionary and non discretionary review. These are words that as the chair of the planning commission you should know as they are littered throughout new housing laws in California. The State of California has eliminated the "normal" planning process in Menlo Park for those parcels identified in the housing element as opportunity sites. There will not be the same process or public review for these sites. The premise of your remarks is factually incorrect. Please do more homework before trying to portray yourself as knowledgeable or if you already know this information, as you should, don't state something that is not true.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 7, 2022 at 7:33 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Well said Chris.

"It is important to remember that Menlo Park's current planning process works, ESPECIALLY WHEN CONCERNED NEIGHBORS ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE." And there's the rub. People too lazy or "busy" to engage in the process simply want to shut it down so they don't have to. "Who has time to read city council agendas?" If you want a voice you need to make time. If you don't want to make time to participate in the process, then don't complain when you feel your voice "isn't heard". You blew your chance by not MAKING it heard.

" It has consistently allowed neighbors, city staff, developers, and seven volunteer planning commissioners to work together toward the best solution." That's right. It has worked for very many years, but now the Measure V folks want to shut down a process that actually works. There is so much in our city that doesn't work, shutting down something that does is just stupid.

"The Flood Park parcel has yet to move through any of our city's current community engagement processes,..." And yet, if one listens to the Measure V folks, it's already a done deal.

Listen to one of your planning commissioners and VOTE NO ON V.

Posted by PH
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Nov 8, 2022 at 9:47 am

PH is a registered user.

@Chris "... project-scale concerns can be remedied by <things that don't reduce scale> and potential impact on the natural environment mitigated with < .. trees ...>. We have shown, time and again, that this approach can work ..."

Putting lipstick on the pig has never worked. That is why MP is fighting over how to pay off past housing karma of never-mitigated office projects. What went around has now come around.

The Planning Commission does not "plan" and has never really "planned." It reviews and approves projects, many not truly mitigated, sometimes in exchange for "public benefits", and rarely (if ever) does it deny or reduce a project.

Scale is off the table. I understand it takes courage.

You just reviewed a Willows Village project with an 800 unit net housing deficit that also displaces 1100 low income families.

What will you do? Plant a tree next to the family living in a car? Take the grocery store and let the 2031 Planning Commission shoehorn the 800 units in some neighborhood after you retire?

A perpetually and fully employed Menlo Park has been a jobs addict since forever. For over a decade Menlo Park was so derelict it didn't even bother with a Housing Element until it got sued. Four years later it doubled down with Connect Menlo, an unmitigated dumpster fire of unneeded high-density office development.

Either tell people that endless job growth is endlessly good and that the destruction of their neighborhoods is the necessary cost of this endless good, or stop approving gratuitous unmitigated projects, and cap ConnectMenlo as you capped the downtown plan.

Lipstick never mitigates the smell of pig. Non-scale features never mitigate scale. Office approvals never reduce housing deficits.

The NIMBY's didnt do it. They trusted you to do it.

Hurry. More horses leave the ConnectMenlo barn every day.

Posted by JH
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 8, 2022 at 1:07 pm

JH is a registered user.

Thanks Chris. In my view, voting NO is the correct answer and I appreciated your thoughts. While I appreciate that V proponents care deeply about their community and neighborhood, there are a number reasons that I believe No is the proper way to go, most of which have been well documented by others. The most troubling has been the proponents constant recasting of their "sales" points, frequently with errors and mis-characterizations. Then the fear-based element, also with some factual errors, emerged. It is being perceived as an "anything goes" approach which in my view has hurt their credibility. Also, the notion that flipping to a vote "of the people" is flawed because when you winnow down the city's population to 1. those of voting age and 2. those who are able to vote and do actually vote, you are at a level where less than 15 percent of the population may win -- hardly reflecting the will of the people for a topic as important as important ad this. The city council structure, while not perfect, is a publicly vetted one with members now representing each district, which is more representative that previously. Let's embrace and engage in a more inclusive system and find ways to work together to move all of MP

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