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Alliance: City ignores church expansion

Original post made on Jan 11, 2012

==B Update:== The Menlo Park Downtown Alliance, made up of downtown business and property owners, says the draft environmental report on the city's downtown specific plan is flawed because it doesn't include expansion plans by the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. But a church spokesman says the church contemplated the expansion years ago, but is "no longer doing that."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 11:04 AM

Comments (2)

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Posted by keithw
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm

It seems about time that Menlo Park stop pretending that the Church's plans for a giant chunk of downtown should can be reasonably omitted from inclusion their long-term planning, even though the town is aware of those plans. The church's plans are more than likely enough to warrant inclusion and mention in Menlo Park's planning.

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Posted by Hates Shoddy Reporting
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm

What a shame that the Almanac is so easily used as a tool of a few Menlo Park businesses that are opposing some real downtown planning.

We all know that Richard Draeger doesn't like the downtown planning process. And the so-called "news" of his lawyers sending a new letter that makes the same, false allegations made in September
Web Link

and October
Web Link

should tell Almanac readers everything they need to know about this "news" organization -- it is simply a mouthpiece for a few downtown businesses that are concerned with one thing only -- protecting their business and thwarting competition that might result in better services and lower cost products for Menlo Park residents.

Regarding a possible church expansion, as one who has been fully invested in this planning process for a long time, I think Draeger's lawyers have it just plain wrong!

From what I understand, the church was considering some expansion back in 2008, but not any more. Instead, they expanded into Mountain View and San Mateo, spending bundles of money somewhere other than Menlo Park and bringing commerce to those areas. Their parking problem is since alleviated in Menlo Park and I'd be willing to take a big wager that they are NOT planning a parking expansion, a gym or a new worship center right now.

Did the Almanac contact the church? Did the Almanac do anything other than publish the false statements of Draeger's lawyers?

If not, I wonder whether the Almanac is willing to run a follow-up article after they do contact the church. I'll bet Draeger's lawyers are just plain wrong. (Sadly, they probably knew that when they sent their letter.)

[Portion deleted.]

Not only that, but as someone who has watched MPPC from afar, I've been impressed with what good community citizens they've been in so many ways.

Weren't they the ones who brought back ACE Hardware Store to Menlo Park through their long-term lease of 700 Santa Cruz?

Didn't they open a very successful Fair Trade Marketplace in one of the many vacant storefronts in Menlo Park over the holidays, helping the city's tax base and increasing foot traffik downtown? (Perhaps a reporter from the Almanac would care to report for the rest of us how well or poorly that little business did?)

Isn't this the church that cancels its services occasionally to send thousands of members into the community to work helping community organizations, regardless of religious affiliation?

Aren't these our neighbors?

[Portion deleted.]

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