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Follow up on an agenda item at the Council Meeting

From: domainremoved <Nami>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2020 09:07:11 -0800

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Dear Menlo Park Council Members:

I am resending the attached email in the hope for a response. I have been in touch with the Publics Works department and was advised to follow up again regarding the matter described in the attached email.

As described below, I would appreciate if we could schedule a time to meet and discuss the proposal that was submitted for consideration at the Council Meeting as an agenda item E4 on November 5, 2019. We would be happy to meet at a location and date/time that is convenient.

Thank you for your consideration.

Begin forwarded message:

From: Nami Turner <nami_at_(domainremoved)
Subject: Follow up on Nov. 5 Council Meeting
Date: December 9, 2019 at 6:55:37 AM PST
To: rdmueller_at_(domainremoved)
Cc: Terry Turner <tnt_at_(domainremoved)

Dear Mayor Mueller, Council Members Carlton and Nash,

We wanted to reach out to you to ask about one of the agenda items at the November 5 Council Meeting. The agenda item is E4, for the Resolution No. 6525 regarding the proposal for the abandonment of public right-of-way along the portion of 600 block of Woodland Avenue. The adoption of the resolution was presented as a consent item to be forwarded for consideration and further discussion at the Planning Commission.

Although we respect the Council’s decision not to adopt the resolution and thus declining the application to be forwarded to the Planning Commission for consideration, we would like an opportunity to discuss what led to our decision to submit this application. As the City staff explained in the staff report, the multistep process for proposed abandonment is designed to ensure that any concerns or issues can be discussed further in a public hearing at a later stage in the process. However, we feel that due to the very quick nature of the hearing at the Council Meeting on November 5, the application did not receive a full discussion of the existing conditions and safety concerns, or the public benefits of the draft proposal.

As explained in the staff report, this proposal may benefit the City and the public in the following areas:

  * Existing conditions of the property boundaries are inconsistent with the recorded property line and the roadway, and the large portion of the right-of-way is not used or maintained as publicly accessible roadway or walkway. This makes it unclear who the responsible party is for liability and maintenance purposes. Making the boundaries clear will allow for proper improvements of the frontage area for public access.
  * The proposal includes an installation of valley gutter and asphalt walkway, which is lacking in the current condition. If you are familiar with this stretch of Woodland Avenue, you may know that these improvements would greatly increase the safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  * The frontage improvements described above will enhance the benefit of installing the asphalt walkway as part of the proposed construction project at 611 Woodland, as it will extend the walkable pathway all the way to Baywood Avenue. As it stands, the current scope of work at 611 Woodland only improves the condition in front of just one property, and will not address the conditions of the most dangerous part of the roadway.
  * The proposal also dedicates enough right-of-way for potential public improvements in the future, relieving the concern about potential future improvements such as a dedicated bike lane.

As homeowners, we are very much aware of the dangerous conditions along the sharp curve at this location and are in favor of making improvements. This is a fairly well-traveled pathway by pedestrians and we would like to see that people can walk safely. However, with an unusually excessive right-of-way in front of our property, we are unsure of the best way to move forward with any landscaping or sidewalk improvements. Additionally, with the excessive right-of-way that is as large as the legal parcel, the burden of maintenance responsibility cannot be understated. The submission of this application was in our effort to clarify the boundaries and attempt to start planning for much needed frontage improvements.

Rather than trying to describe the actual situation in email and drawings, I believe seeing it in person may make it clear the motivation behind this application. I wonder if you could spare a short time from your busy schedule to visit our property so we can get your thoughts on how we may address your concerns about the proposal. We would very much appreciate your guidance on possible ways to revive the proposal within the City’s existing process for clarification of the right-of-way before we look into other avenues for clarification of the legal boundaries.

Thank you for your time and service at the City Council,

Terry and Nami Turner
609 Woodland Avenue
Received on Wed Jan 22 2020 - 09:10:56 PST

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