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Are flawed Staff Reports being used to hasten Commissioner deliberation or to fuel false talking points about Measure M

From: domainremoved <Paul>
Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2014 19:11:57 -0700

The Honorable Ray Mueller

Mayor, City of Menlo Park

 

RE: Oct 6, 2014 Planning Commission Staff Report

 

Dear Mr. Mayor,

 

The Staff Report for the October 6 2014 Planning Commission meeting may
contain a serious error attributed to the City's "contract attorney" in his
interpretation of the text of Measure M.

 

"The contract attorney providing services regarding Measure M has relayed
that if the proposed amendments are not acted on in advance of the election,
and Measure M subsequently passes, the proposed amendments would require
approval by the voters in a subsequent election, due to the provisions of
Measure M regarding voter control."

 
October 6 2014 Planning Commission Staff Report p2.

 

For the record, the three proposed amendments to the Specific Plan in
question are:

 

1. Revise text to clarify that implementation of the Burgess Park
Linkage/open space Plaza" public space improvements is not dependent on the
High Speed Rail Project.

2. Eliminate "Platinum LEED Certified Buildings" as a suggested Public
Benefit Bonus element ; and

3. For new medical/dental office uses on El Camino Real, establish an
absolute maximum of 33,333 square feet per development.

 

These items are clearly outside the scope of Measure M, particularly the
first two, and I hope that as a former lawyer familiar with Measure M that
you will see this immediately.

 

I also question the integrity and professionalism of the Staff Report.

 

* The statement is presented as hearsay.

* The hearsay is un-attributed. The alleged source is never
identified.

* The claim is unsubstantiated. The Report contains no written legal
opinion, and fails to justify the claim by citing specific provisions of
Measure M that apply.

* The claim is false. It contradicts the City's own impartial
analysis of Measure M and is refuted by my own analysis below.

 

Mr. Mayor, are flawed Planning Staff Reports being used to hasten or
manipulate Planning Commission decisions? Are they being used to create or
fuel false talking points for Measure M opponents?

 

I respectfully ask that you review and modify the Report, identify the
source, obtain a written analysis that cites which sections of Measure M
apply, and why, and, if, in your opinion, the claim is substantively wrong,
issue a Press Release saying so.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

/s Paul Collacchi

 

 

 

Why Measure M voter approval does not apply to the Specific Plan amendments
under consideration by the Planning Commission

 

The planned amendments do not fall within the scope of Measure M. Voters
control provisions in Measure M Section 3 not the Specific Plan. If the
text of a proposed Specific Plan amendment does not already appear verbatim
within Measure M Section 3, or "frustrate" Section 3 text, then with one
exception (see below) its not subject to voter control.

 

"The City Council cannot amend the definitions and development standards set
forth in the Measure as these provisions can be amended only with voter
approval. In addition, voter approval is required to exceed the office space
and non-residential square footage limits. Impartial Analysis of Measure M

 

Section 3 contains static verbatim copies of Specific Plan text "readopted"
on behalf of voters.

 

"... The Measure readopts specified definitions and standards in the current
Downtown Specific Plan relating to open space and office space."
Impartial Analysis of Measure M

 

The scope of voter control can't "accidentally" expand to "unintended" or
future (text) changes to the Specific Plan because Measure M cannot
magically write new subsections for itself that contain the unintended or
future text.

 

As shown in the attached outline of Measure M, Section 3 specifically
contains sections of text that refer to the following Specific Plan pages

 

* H8, H10, H11

* E35, E50,E55,E60,E65,E70,E75,E81,E86,E92,E97 and

* G16

 

Texts for the proposed amendments seem to be on following Specific Plan
pages The text of the proposed amendments is not that referred to in
Section 3.

 

* D45,D46

* E17,

* E49,E54,E59,E64,E69,E74,E80,E85,E91,E96

 

Finally, Measure M "office" limits are in addition to other applicable
Specific Plan limits (Sections 3.3.7 & 3.4.5). The proposed limit on
Medical Offices does not "frustrate" Measure M office limits, and is
therefore (Section 4.2) not subject to voter control.

 

For convenience Measure M Section 3 subsections topics are summarized below.

 

* Section 3.1 Defines "ECR Specific Plan Area" for use in Section 3.4

* Section 3.2 Defines "Open Space" for the Specific Plan and excludes
above grade open space in calculations of minimum open space.

* Section 3.3 Defines "Office Space" for Measure M and sets the
project maximum "Office Space" of 100,000 square feet.

* Section 3.4 sets the ECR Specific Plan Area limit for Office Space
to 240,820 square feet.

 

This summary is confirmed by the City's Impartial Analysis of Measure M.

 

"The Measure amends the open space definitions and standards in the Downtown
Specific Plan ... The Measure mandates that office space in any individual
development project not exceed 100,000 square feet and caps the total net
new office space approved after July 12, 2012 at 240,820 square feet."
Impartial Analysis of Measure M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Received on Sun Oct 05 2014 - 19:07:46 PDT

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