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2019 City Council policy priorities and work plan

From: Henderson, Nathan <"Henderson,>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2019 20:25:46 +0000

Dear Menlo Park city council members,
My name is Nathan Henderson and I am a 5 year resident of Belle Haven.
I appreciate the city councils request for resident inputs on setting your work plan priorities for 2019.

From my perspective, the greatest priority in Belle Haven would be the development of a Belle Haven Master Plan for our community. It seems to me that there is a misconnect between the community's input on needs and priorities over the years vs. the actual projects that break ground and get built. There are numerous examples.

Presently I believe development in Belle Haven is driven by developers. They make the plans and ask for approval from the city. If the plans don't coincide with the priorities of the city council the developers "sweeten" the deal but adding extras to pacify city council concerns in order to get approval. This has led to huge amounts of office and parking construction, and a large hotel - None of which serves the Belle Haven community and only has made our horrible traffic worse.

I would like to see the city council lead the development of a Belle Haven Master Plan by engaging the community and all stakeholders such that we have a blueprint for our community to build towards. This would help ensure that the priorities of our community are addressed and implemented (eg a library, supermarket, housing, traffic reducing infrastructure, transit hubs, and of course BUS SHELTERS)

The present Facebook plan to build a "Willow Village" exemplifies developers dictating what gets built in Belle Haven. While I commend Facebook for attempting to address residents' concerns and priorities, the Willow Village plans clearly would not fit into a Belle Haven Master Plan. For starters the Willow Village completely ignores the JPB Rail Corridor and the need for our community to have a commuter light rail - with stations and a commuter hub. We need to address traffic and the flow of people before we can add any more office space, and the present Willow Village plan is primarily an office park with large parking structures. Building this village as presently designed would be a disaster for our community, but if it were built within the context of a Belle Haven Master Plan it would help create Belle Haven into a vibrant community that we all know it has the potential of becoming

I believe that Belle Haven has potential to be developed in an intelligent, thoughtful way that would create an incredible community. But we need a plan. If we just keep adding office space and parking lots we will regret it - especially at the next economic downturn.

I realize that there may be many plans and commissions that I am not aware of that may be doing the work that I have described. However if they exist they are not effective. We still don't have a library or a supermarket or any of the other high priority items that our community has asked for.

So in summary, my number 1 priority for the city council for 2019 would be to create a blueprint for the future of Belle Haven and make sure all development fits within that blueprint.

Sincerely

Nathan Henderson - Belle Haven Resident
Design Engineer Testchip IPSG/CIG
Intel Corporation
408-765-1413
Email: nathan.henderson_at_(domainremoved)
Received on Tue Feb 26 2019 - 12:25:46 PST

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