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Insufficient time and background information for real issues in revised General Plan and biannual Specific Plan City reviews.

From: domainremoved <George>
Date: Sun, 4 Oct 2015 17:39:58 -0700

To: City Council

Re: Insufficient time and background information for real issues in revised
General Plan and biannual Specific Plan City reviews.

Adequate review of the General Plan update for the biannual Specific Plan
demands more information than provided, and more time than the two business
days given, for the City Council and the public to analyze and effectively
deal with significant and important issues involving amount of development
and the benefits, burdens, and costs caused by more development. What
development is occurring and anticipated, and what are the benefits and
burdens of such development on, or to, the city, the residents, and
businesses? Those questions are not yet adequately analyzed and need more
Council attention:

1. What development is now in process (1,500,000 commercial square
feet?) or allowed by the existing general plan (2,000,000 commercial sq.
feet unstudied?) or by the specific plan, (1,000,000 square feet), (
collectively, “Existing Development”) categorized by type, including
specific breakdowns of residential, retail, and office space and location,
and what additional such development (2,000,000 sq. feet commercial?) will
would be allowed by the revised general Plan. Specific requirement or
probability breakdown of commercial space between retail (minimal, but
favored) and office space is necessary. This additional development
information is needed to analyze adequately the benefits, cost and burdens
and compare with what is required for in- process from and Existing

2. What burdens and costs are imposed upon the city of Menlo Park, its
residents, and businesses both from (1) Existing Development, and (2)
additional development to be allowed under the Revised General Plan. These
burdens and costs include housing required by new jobs, transportation
circulating through the city, including to and from the freeways,
anticipated school enrollment increases, what additional infrastructure is
needed, and how will these burdens and costs be handled and where will the
money come from to pay for handling them. What will it mean to city
revenue and costs? What benefits will the city receive and what benefits
will residents and businesses receive in exchange for burdens and costs?

   The General Plan update staff report although thick with enumerable
pages of comments to and from the planning commission and general plan
advisory committee (GPAC) does not include any decisions or presentation of
alternatives and their pros/cons by either the commission or GPAC.
Significant issues seem to be glossed over and require more explanation,
such as policy and specifics in (1) analyzing neighborhood traffic and
other issues including residential neighborhood traffic increases,
congestion, or total traffic from a project, and how measured, analyzed and
dealt with, (2) the number of new housing units needed, and the probability
they will be built, and (3) the number of new school enrollments expected
from the new housing allowed or required to achieve the city’s goals. The
Specific Plan review report does not deal with these questions, only
minutiae relating to setbacks, etc.

       Do not simply make additional comments, superficially review the
specific plan, and await a draft revised general plan a year from now to
face real problems. Now is the time to identify major issues facing the
city and ensure that these plans address them. What is the purpose of
changes suggested to land use element or circulation element, and what
happens if these changes are made? Please direct staff to provide more
specific information and alternatives with pros and cons of additional
development, and recommendations. Schedule a meeting or meetings in 60 or
90 days to consider these issues collectively, and consider merging the El
Camino Real corridor study with these topics, because they are

Thank You.

George C. Fisher.
Received on Sun Oct 04 2015 - 17:41:19 PDT

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