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Willow Village Proposal

From: domainremoved <Nathan>
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2019 19:00:27 +0000 (UTC)

Dear City CouncilMembers

As a concerned resident of Belle Haven, I have recentlyreviewed the present Willow Village project proposal, and I have also met withthe Signature Group to discuss the project issues I saw with the proposal. Theyagreed to look into some of my concerns listed below.  I believe if the cityand Facebook address these issues, the Willow Village project has the potentialof greatly enhancing Belle Haven and the entire city of Menlo Park. 

·      The present proposal only has one gradeseparation for pedestrians and bicycles planned across Willow placed adjacentto the Bayfront Expressway. This would primarily serve Facebook and not cityresidents. A second grade separation will be essential (preferably around Ivy)in order to successfully integrate the Willow Village with the Belle Havencommunity.

·      The parking structures in the plan aredesignated for Facebook employees only. The Signature group agreed to look intothe possibility of placing one of the parking structures in one of the presentFacebook parking lots on the campus located north of the Bayfront Expressway.The connection between the Facebook campus and the Willow Villagewill be excellent so it won't be an issue for employees to park on one side ofthe Bayfront and then take a shuttle, bike or walk to the Willow Villageoffices. The extra land freed up by this move could be used for additionalhousing or community space.  

·      The housing proposed in the project is much lessthan similar projects (e.g. Google's Mountain View office/housing project) whencalculated as a ratio of office square feet added per housing unit. The cityshould require more housing in this project before granting approval. If theone of the parking structures is moved to the Facebook campus this would freeup much land for this additional housing.

·      Resident Parking: The Signature Group plannedonly one parking spot per housing unit. They told me this was based on cityrules/guidelines, however this will be woefully inadequate. Even withsubsidized housing in the bay area, virtually all households require 2 incomesthus 2 cars. The parking per household must be increased especially sinceovernight street parking is not available to residents of Menlo Park. TheSignature Group also admitted that no data analysis has been made on typicalparking needs for supermarkets and shopping districts, so the present parkingplan is likely insufficient. They told me that they would compare their parkingplan to similar projects, however I believe that a specific analysisconsidering the Willow corridor should be required. 

·      Transit Center: The proposal has a transitcenter planned at the ground level of one of the parking structures on thesouth-eastern corner of the project area. This is the furthest point possiblefrom the future Dumbarton Rail station. This doesn't make any sense. TheTransit Center should be as close as possible to the Dumbarton rail. Also thepresent proposal has not been made in coordination and collaboration withthe Menlo Park Transportation Master Plan (TMP). If the Willow Villageproposal were done with extensive traffic/parking analysis and in coordinationwith the TMP, it might even alleviate the present traffic nightmare on Willow.

·      Belle Haven Survey: The Willow Village proposalhas some dedicated community space for a park and a community center. To datethe Signature Group has collected resident's opinions and views via communityoutreach meetings to get feedback on the allocation of this space. Thisoutreach while welcome might not accurately reflect the needs and desires ofthe community. In my discussions with them they seemed willing to doing adoor-to-door canvas/survey to get a better understanding of resident'spriorities. How community space is allocated can be a contentious topic, but bycollecting accurate data the design will align will the communities needs anddesires.

Pleaseconsider these issues when reviewing the Willow Village proposal.

Sincerely

NathanHenderson

BelleHaven Resident

 
Received on Sun Apr 14 2019 - 11:57:08 PDT

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