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Stanford & City of MP Needs to Live Up To Commitments To Residents

From: domainremoved <Perla>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:23:37 -0700

Dear City Council and Planning Commission Members:

Given that Menlo Park provided, when Stanford suggested that it would
develop the area for Senior Housing, significant give-aways that included:

1 The City allowed Stanford to consolidate 8 parcels into one, which
resulted in a significantly reduced retail requirement of 10,000 sq ft for
the entire site.

2. The City allowed Stanford to reduce the overall open space for the site
from 40% to 30%.

3. The City allowed Stanford another reduction of the required open space
by counting the private balconies in the apartments as open space.

4. The City allowed Stanford to redefine 7 “public access” points on the
site. It insisted that language in the Specific Plan be changed from
“public access” to “Building Breaks.”

Now that Stanford is developing the lot for offices for VCs, housing for
their own employees/students, we therefore demand that Stanford should at
least live up to its minimum obligations to the city including:

1. Stanford should be held to their previous commitment of
"significant contribution toward a future bicycle crossing between the
middle Plaza portion of the project site and Burgess park with the goal of
ensuring there will be sufficient funding to construct the under crossing
in an timely manner." - per George Fisher's letter. This is the only time
in the history of Menlo Park when we will be able to get a bike/pedestrian
underpath that would be similar to what Palo Alto Medical Foundation did
under the train tracks. Stanford is going to digging the underground
parking already.

If ever there is an opportunity for Menlo Park to be connected - for kids
to get to the library, to the high-school, to get to the middle school, to
the gym, and swimming pool - instead of being separated by the train
tracks, this is it.

2. Stanford Should Pay for Their Share of City Services and Not Get
Property Tax Exemption. The housing has preference for Stanford faculty
and staff, meaning that they will apply for "nonprofit uses" and claim an
exemption from property taxes. The City has been provided plenty of
information about other cities like Cambridge, MA and Philadelphia which
receive millions in negotiated property taxes from nonprofit universities
to off-set the burdens on the city - ie: police, water, roads. Without
such negotiated taxes, there is a net loss to the city from the Stanford
project and the city's residents will be unfairly burdened with paying for
the costs of Stanford's development without reaping any benefits.

3. Stanford Should Be Held To Their Traffic Mitigation Promises: More
parking spots invites more cars. Stanford knows that and that's why to
reduce traffic on campus, it has been significantly reduced parking on
campus. However, in this case, Stanford wants 970 parking spaces for its
development. This violates the whole downtown specific plan's rationale -
allowing greater density in the downtown area near Caltrain based on the
assumption that people can work & live near by or will use Caltrain. The
allowed parking is almost 70% greater than the allowed parking in Stanford
West where 1 bedroom apartment gets only 1 car space (Here, each 1 bedroom
on average is allowed 1.7 car spaces). Stanford is taking advantage of the
greater density allowed by the city, without returning any benefits on
minimizing traffic. Stanford should only be allowed maximum 400 parking
spots. By not giving inviting more cars, this will achieving Specific
Plan's goals of reducing traffic and promoting the use of public
transportation.

4. Stanford Should Pay for Safe Bicycle Routes. Jean McCown of Stanford is
quoted as saying that bicyclists can bike on the wide sidewalks, for short
distances. This is prohibited by city and State law. Paying for safe bike
routes east/west from at least Morey/Kenwood to Alma and north/south along
El Camino should be required as part of Stanford's plans to provide
interconnectivity.

5. Stanford Should Allow For On-Site Services for Residents/Workers: The
10K square feet is a minimum required by the city. Already, Menlo Park
has an extremely limited number of cafes and restaurants. Many Menlo Park
residents drive to Palo Alto, Mountain View or Redwood city to go to cafes
or go to dinner at restaurants. For a city of our size and affluence, we
have few places for residents to go at night for dinner. The additional
2000 people living/working at the Stanford complex will need more on-site
cafes and restaurants. Otherwise, these residents/workers will get in
their cars and drive to Palo Alto/Redwood City/Mountain View for dining
choices.

6. Stanford's Traffic Impacts Should Be monitored and the City Should
Utilize Best Practices and Require a Transportation Demand Management (TDM)
plan for this project. The TDM should include trip limits by hour and day,
with electronic trip monitors to track the traffic in and out of the site.
Additional requirements on trip reduction measures/mitigations would be
triggered should the number of trips exceed the limits.

7. Stanford Should Not Create Cut-Through Traffic Allied Arts: Stanford
has agreed to put A "No Through Sign" on the side of their development at
the Cambridge driveway (cars would either turn left or right on El Camino
coming out of the complex) to prevent cars from cutting through Allied Arts
via Cambridge. The City of Menlo Park has said these are Caltrans
requirements. The City is incorrect about that since Cambridge is the
street for which we seek a change, not El Camino. The City should
therefore not only allow, but in fact, require, Stanford to put up the "No
Through Sign" to prevent cut-through onto Cambridge, a residential street.

8. The City should allow the Neighborhood Subcommittee (George Fisher,
Stefan Petry and Kevin Sheehan) created by the City, to be included in
future negotiations with Stanford.

Sincerely,

Perla Ni
Received on Mon Mar 27 2017 - 17:29:47 PDT

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