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Two suggested priorities for the Menlo Park City Council

From: domainremoved <PETER>
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2014 10:20:45 -0800

Dear Council,

   As there is also a Fire Board meeting Tuesday evening I will be unable to speak during your Public Comments so I will provide my intended comments here:


First, I hope that in 2015 the City of Menlo Park and the Fire District will forge a significantly stronger partnership in order to better serve our citizens. I note that the Town Manager of Atherton has recently begun including the Fire Chief in his staff meetings and also now includes the Fire Chief in his department head emails. I also note the we will be dedicating a superb new fire station in East Palo Alto which was begun after we began the long and tortuous process of attempting to rebuild Station 6 in Menlo Park - and for which we have not yet even started construction. I urge you to follow these excellent accomplishments by your neighboring communities. In addition to the timely replacement of Station 6 there is also the current General Plan/M2 update which requires much more active participation by the Fire District if the plan is to meet California State standards.


Second, the Downtown ECR Specific Plan places a high priority on expanding the parking supply in the downtown area.

            I urge you to do something very bold - commission an RFP for a large automated underground garage with a park on the surface along the lines of the Willoughby Square Park and Robot Parking Garage:


Web Link <http://buildabetterburb.org/willoughby-square-park-above-parking-below/>

I suggest taking the two existing surface parking lots between Santa Cruz and Menlo and Evelyn and Chestnut and building an underground garage covering that entire area including under Crane. The entire surface area would be repurposed as a

pedestrian and bicycle park/plaza including an area for activities like the farmers' market. An automated garage covering that area could easily accommodate 5 times or more cars than the existing lots provide. The park/plaza would encourage existing Santa Cruz businesses to open out to the park/plaza.


An RFP outlining the concept would, I predict, produce some exciting development proposals that would minimize the cost to the city in exchange for a lease to the subterranean rights.


The Willoughby Square Park team has done all the hard work of thinking this through and running the numbers - why not at least ask them how and why they are doing this?

I will fund a trip by a staff or Council member to visit with the principals in the Willoughby Square Park and Robot Parking Garage project.

Peter Carpenter

1 Larch Drive

Received on Sun Dec 14 2014 - 10:15:12 PST

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