Something’s up in Menlo Park: the City Council recently passed an aggressive rezoning Specific Plan that adds 680 high-density units to a very narrow area smack in the city’s downtown, with a big chunk of the proposed housing earmarked as low to very low income units.
This bad idea was sold to the city in the name of “vibrancy.” However, the hallmark of a vibrant city, such as Manhattan, is the upscale glamour and affluence that make it attractive to tourists and residents alike.
Alas, this is not what Menlo Park can expect under the combined wisdom of the state, ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments), and , coupled with our City Council’s refusal to go to bat for the residents.
The current top-down long-range planning is comprised of the following three-pronged attack: the controversial Downtown Plan, the new radical high-density zoning of the Housing Element, and the potential transforming of El Camino Real into primarily a bus route (the Grand Boulevard Initiative) as proposed by the GBI’s unelected, unaccountable Task Force.
Far from making our city “vibrant,” this would make it a gridlocked, crowded, noisy, squalid place to live, with a strained-to-bursting, floundering school system and overburdened, underfunded infrastructure, plus a shrinking tax base, and lots more people.
Isn’t it time to stand up for our community, to preserve and protect our high quality of life? Should we allow outside agencies to dictate the terms of our lives: to “get us out of our cars,” to discourage single family homes, to rob us of our local control, mobility and all that we’ve worked for and for which we pay our taxes?
Concerned residents need to bombard our City Council with calls and emails, and especially to attend the upcoming critical City Council meetings on October 22nd and 23rd, to voice their objections to high density building in our neighborhoods, or the above scenario will become our “wrenching transformation.”
Menlo Park Downtown