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Comments regarding potential ballot arguments on the Lanza/Fry Initiative

From: domainremoved <PETER>
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2014 11:34:27 -0700

My concerns regarding the Lanza/Fry Initiative:

A - Process
1 - The Initiative was created in secret
2 - Without any opportunity for public review
3 - And hence without the opportunity to improve/clarify the initiative to reflect the concerns of those outside the small group that wrote it
4 - Once the first signature was gathered the language could not be changed without starting the entire filing process again
5 - No effort has been or seems to be planned to ensure that voters understand the Initiative
6 - And fundamentally the Initiatve is an attack on the good governance and transparent process that lead to the creation and adoption of the DSP

B - Substance
1 - The initiative is lengthy and covers a number of different issues
2 - Therefore the opportunity for mistakes and conflict are significant
3 - The initiative is a 'forever' document which will, as intended, preclude some changes to the Specific Plan without another vote and will also, as an untended consequence, make it difficult to make any changes to the Specific Plan, particularly given the Priority Clause:
"PRIORITY.
5.1. After this measure becomes effective, its provision shall prevail over and
supersede all provisions of the municipal code, ordinances, resolutions,
and administrative policies of the City of Menlo Park which are inferior to
the Planning Policy Documents and in conflict with any provisions of this
measure."
4 - Some of the language, as noted, does not and cannot accommodate changes in commerce such as banking and medical offices
5- The initiative would force individuals with adjacent parcels to develop them separately thereby precluding integrated design and shared amenities

C - Impact
1 - The initiative, even if not passed, has signaled to any interested party that Menlo Park's planning process and established rules cannot be relied upon and they will make their investments elsewhere.
2 - The initiative, even if not passed, has delayed moving forward with the Specific Plan.
3 - The initiative, even if not passed, has sent a chilling message to the Planning Commissioners, the City Council and the planning staff that their efforts to have an open and inclusive process can be thwarted by a small group of disgruntled citizens.

Peter Carpenter
1 Larch Drive
Atherton, Ca 94027
Received on Wed Aug 06 2014 - 11:31:07 PDT

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