Save Menlo? No! Save the Menlo Park Downtown Specific Plan

Submitted by Menlo Park Residents:

The future of downtown Menlo Park is under attack by a small group who believe they know what our city needs better than the planning professionals, environmental consultants, traffic experts, Planning Commission,City Council, and many residents who worked for over six years to create the current Downtown Specific Plan. 

We participated in the process that led to the existing Plan, along with 1,000 other community members.  It was a very inclusive, collaborative and transparent process.   

We witnessed residents from all parts of our city coming together to provide input, discuss, debate, and compromise. 

In any comprehensive planning effort, no one constituency gets everything they want.   But in the end, the group reached consensus on a Plan that balanced vibrancy with keeping our small town feel.  

The Planning Commission & City Council unanimously approved that Plan … and reapproved it again a year later. 

But when a small group behind the Lanza/Fry initiative didn’t get their way, they secretly crafted a misguided measure - with no public meetings and no professional examination of the business, environmental, school or even traffic impacts.  

The Lanza/Fry group hired signature collectors to stalk you at Trader Joes and the Farmers’ Market so they could put THEIR plan on the ballot.   Their initiative unwinds 6 years of hard work and is a slap in the face to all the residents that spent countless hours providing feedback. 

Let’s “save” the Downtown Specific Plan and the public process that created it and is critical for its implementation.


Skip Hilton

Menlo Park Resident


Charles Catalano

Menlo Park resident, and former At-Large Member of the Outreach Committee for the Menlo Park DTSP



Ed Zschau July 10, 2014 at 04:05 AM
I'm a Menlo Park resident and reading about the Downtown Specific Plan and the Lanza/Fry plan for the first time. Is there information online that outlines both plans / initiatives? Thanks, Ed Zschau
Burke Culligan July 10, 2014 at 11:39 AM
I agree with the position of these opinions - so what do we need to do? The Lanza/Fry plan is ridiculous
Skip Hilton July 13, 2014 at 02:57 AM
Ed - thanks for the question. There are a couple of sources that I would recommend for more information. 1. The City maintains a web page on the DTSP, and it needs an update, but still it provides good information about the 6 year effort and results: http://www.menlopark.org/149/El-Camino-Real-Downtown-Specific-Plan 2. A local resident (Dana Hendrickson) wanted to understand what was REALLY going on for himself with this recent attach on the DTSP. He has spoken at length with Save Menlo, the City, and others that have been involved in the process. Dana decided to create his own website that would be a “neutral” repository for facts and postings. He works to keep out “spin” and personal attacks. You might find his website helpful, as well: http://www.mpcdforum.com, and his opinion on the Save Menlo initiative is here: http://mpcdforum.com/my-initiative-scorecard/ Thanks for your interest in becoming an informed citizen! Skip Hilton
Skip Hilton July 13, 2014 at 03:11 AM
Burke - Thanks for your support and willingness to help. In the near term I recommend we all stay informed by visiting the sites I referenced in my last post here, and by attending City Council meetings where this will be discussed, like the meeting coming up on Tuesday at 7/15. At that meeting, the Council will review the consultant's report on Save Menlo, and vote whether or not to officially put the Initiative on the November ballot. It is unlikely that the Council will prevent the initiative from going forward, and in that case we will be building up a group to help get out the NO VOTE on this ill-conceived local initiative. There is a small but rapidly growing group that is starting work on a website and volunteer list for opposition to the initiative, but it’s not up quite yet. In the mean time, feel free to reach out to me (skiphilton@gmail.com) or John Boyle (johncboyle@gmail.com) so we can put you on the list and let you know when there is work to be done.


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