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City, developers comment on proposed initiative

Original post made on Mar 5, 2014

Response from city officials and developers to a potential ballot initiative on the Menlo Park downtown/El Camino Real specific plan ranged from lukewarm to "let's talk about it."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 12:00 AM


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Posted by Be Rational
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 5, 2014 at 12:19 pm

I agree absolutely with Jim Cogan, Menlo's economic development manager, that restricting development in the Specific Plan area is a terrible idea. Or neighboring city, Palo Alto, already has a name for itself. Redwood City to our north has made great strides towards upgrading their city by a vibrant downtown areas because the city supports improvements.

Save Menlo's supporters seem to want to leave Menlo Park as a place between two other real cities. A stretch of empty car lots does not seem to be a good way to introduce the world to our city. Just because Stanford or Arrillaga or Greenheart "has money" does not mean that they do no get a fair shake. Lots of commercial properties are owned by small businesses or partnerships of several small businesses and not by huge corporations.

I would gather most of Save Menlo's supporters are also probably exceedingly rich by anyone else's standards. If property owners in the Specific Plan should be penalized for having money then Save Menlo residents who are worth more than $2 million dollars should be disallowed from making their kitchen bigger because it makes other people with less money mad or they should be made to paid a "public benefit" fee also! Sounds crazy when put that way but not any different than what Save Menlo proposes for commercial property owners.

Did the Save Menlo folks have not even considered all the actual people who are in these dreaded "offices" that they want to restrict? The people working in these offices are our friends, our neighbors and our family. They are making a living in these "office." These "office people" are your architects, your accountants, your doctors, your dentists, your physical therapists, your therapists, and other people that help us with our lives.

Let's all not be so selfish as so say that the people that are in the offices do not have a right to be here in Menlo Park. Let's also respect the people who live here who want to have access to the folks that work in these offices.

Then Save Menlo's says that children will be run over by increased traffic on El Camino. There is already a lot of traffic of on El Camino. It has been by no means a country road for many years. Therefore, it stands to reason that small children should never be left unattended on El Camino! Moreover, I highly doubt that drivers going to offices would ever have any intention running over small children.

Let's also give Stanford a break -- Stanford is the reason why our homes are worth so much and why we never have the severe recessions that have affected every other portion of our country. In fact, the success of Stanford's influence on business and innovation is why there are so many people around here like Save Menlo who have so much free time on their hands to protest other people's livelihoods and businesses.

All of us, including Save Menlo, should spend more time bettering the world and not just complaining about everything. The zoning laws will never please anyone. 6 years is more than enough time and money to have spent on the Specific Plan. I don't want my taxpayer money going to this.