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Keep moving forward on the General Plan

From: domainremoved <Skip>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2016 15:53:45 -0700

Mayor Richard Cline and Members of the City Council City of Menlo Park

Re: Keep moving forward on the General Plan

Honorable Mayor Cline and Members of the City Council,

I understand that the City Council granted a two-week extension for the
comment period on the General Plan Draft EIR, and that the Planning
Commission was unanimous in their recommendation to extend the comment
period to accommodate a few key groups that have not spent the time to
review the Draft EIR and comment. Two weeks is plenty of time to review
the DEIR and provide comments to staff. I am concerned about delays that
this will cause, but I hope that it will provide an opportunity
for additional, productive input that will help us realize our goals for
development in the M2 area.

Please keep moving forward on the General Plan, and ask that staff complete
their analysis and present to Council by the end of the year. The City is
doing its job to rezone the M2, but just setting the guidelines does not
mean that projects will be funded or get built. The sooner you complete
and approve the GP Update, the sooner we can start the projects that will
transform the M2/Bayfront area into a second downtown hub for our city.
Proposed projects for this are will bring additional housing (including
significant below market rate housing) to Menlo Park, housing supply that
is sorely needed and will help the imbalance of supply vs. demand that is
making housing unaffordable in our town. They will also bring
new amenities to the M2 area, as well as more workers and residents that
can support local businesses and create additional jobs.
Transportation improvements and incentives are planned that will mitigate
car trips and provide additional modes of public transportation. We need
to get these projects going now while the economy is doing relatively well,
or we risk a downtown that will cause the investment for these projects to

Finally, I want to STRONGLY URGE the Council stick with the
direction original given to limit the scope of the current General Plan
update to the M2/Bayfront only. The M2 area is a unique area that will
experience significant growth and development due to location of Facebook,
it is accessible by multiple transportation corridors, and it provides
an opportunity to create a second downtown area while addressing other
critical needs in housing and amenities for the Belle Haven neighborhoods.

As a community we already spent significant time and energy (plus hundreds
of hours of community involvement) to decide what we want to see in the
Santa Cruz/ECR downtown corridor. The Downtown Specific Plan was created
by the community, supported by our elected officials, improved upon during
the 2 year review cycle (with lots of public input), and even defended by
the electorate in a ballot measure. If you open the General Plan review
up to include the Downtown area or any other areas outside of the M2, you
will only delay the much needed projects that we want to see built in the
M2 area, AND further delay the projects in process along El Camino that
will reduce the blight of the last 10 years, spur additional development
in and around our city, and create vibrancy in our downtown.


   Thank you
   Respectfully submitted:

   Skip Hilton - 23 year resident of Menlo Park
Received on Tue Jul 19 2016 - 16:00:23 PDT

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