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Mayors Urge Yes on T

From: Kelly Fergusson <kj_at_(domain_name_was_removed)>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2010 09:20:56 -0700


I don't make a habit of posting to this email log, but the statements being circulated by No on T are too misleading to let pass. What follows is a letter from five Menlo Park Mayors (current and former) that rebuts the letter that was posted to this log earlier in the week. A formatted pdf of the letter is attached. -- Kelly Fergusson, Councilwoman


Dear Menlo Park Resident,

We’d like to take this opportunity to correct recent statements in a letter you may have received from opponents of Measure T, the Menlo Gateway project, and to provide further insight as to why we believe that a YES on Measure T vote this Tuesday is a vote for Menlo Park’s best interests moving forward.

Some misstatements from the letter need correction:

“…approvals shortchanged other impacted agencies, such as the fire district and school districts, of fair fees and reimbursements.”

The Facts: In addition to annual revenues of $1.65 million to the city, Menlo Gateway will generate $15.6 million in one-time impact fees, which will be shared by public agencies, including the Fire District and local schools. The developer also has agreed to contribute to a Fire District-sponsored fire-impact fee study, and to provide funding for the installation of a traffic signal priority system designed to speed the movement of fire equipment in the area. The Fire District Board President has endorsed Menlo Gateway and Yes on Measure T. Menlo Gateway also will generate more than $600,000 net annually to the Sequoia Union High School District (which includes Menlo-Atherton High School) and the San Mateo College Community College District, serving thousands of students from Menlo Park.

“… project is too large and should be reduced in size....This could eliminate traffic impacts and allow nearby property owners to develop their properties as well.”

The Facts: Studies by the City’s consultants BAE showed that the project is sized correctly. And nothing in the Developers’ Agreement prevents other property owners in the area from developing their properties. In fact, the project is supported by many tenants and property owners in the M2 district because Menlo Gateway will revitalize this underutilized section of the City. Traffic impacts also have been grossly exaggerated. Menlo Park imposed stringent trip reduction requirements -­ including shuttles to Caltrain stations, free transit passes and car/van pool incentives­with monetary penalties to ensure trip limits are met.

“… project mix needs to be changed. There should be housing with jobs, and tenants should be technology companies that produce sales tax…”

The Facts: Menlo Gateway’s proposed class-A office space has already attracted interest from many prominent Silicon Valley firms, including technology companies and supporting businesses. Introducing housing into this predominantly industrial/office park would generate
incompatibility issues and would not generate any new revenue to the city.

“We fear this council rushed to make a decision that should be made by a future generation of leaders after better planning.”

The Facts: Menlo Gateway was approved after more than four years of community meetings, public hearings and good-faith negotiation between the developer and city. These negotiations resulted in significant modifications to the project that will bring even more revenue and community benefits to Menlo Park, and a development that meets the highest current standards of sustainability.

“…Before proposing that (Rosewood) hotel, Stanford proposed a larger Westin hotel that was correctly rejected by Menlo Park.”

The Facts: Menlo Gateway and the Rosewood Hotel are two distinct projects on two distinct sites on opposite sides of the city. Each is sized appropriately for its area. The city’s hotel consultant, HVS, confirmed the demand for the proposed new hotel in its location east of Highway 101.

Review the Facts and Vote

Please don’t be misled. All the issues -­ traffic, revenue, jobs, public benefits, school/housing impacts and more -­ were thoroughly examined during the lengthy public review.* As a result of this deliberative process, the City Council approved Menlo Gateway subject to a public vote on Measure T.

Now, as you prepare to vote, we hope you’ll consider why Menlo Gateway is one of very few projects ever proposed for Menlo Park that has received such widespread support­from both the San Mateo Democratic and Republican parties, the Chamber of Commerce, the Belle Haven Neighborhood Association, hundreds of citizens and community leaders, and all four local newspapers ­-The Almanac, Daily News, Daily Post and the WAMP.

See who is endorsing Menlo Gateway at
<http://www.menlogateway.com/resources/endorsements>www.menlogateway.com/resources/endorsements

  We also hope that once you review all the facts, you’ll agree that Menlo Gateway -­ with its $1.65 million in net new revenue annually for the city, its thousands of new jobs, its millions in local economic benefits, its annual revenue for local schools, its ideal location east of Highway 101 and its leading-edge green
development -­ is a very good deal for Menlo Park, and that you will join us in voting YES on Measure T.

Sincerely,

Richard Cline, Mayor
Kelly Fergusson, Former Mayor
Chuck Kinney, Former Mayor
Heyward Robinson, Former Mayor
Gail Slocum, Former Mayor

*All facts are publicly available on the Menlo Park City website at
www.menlopark.org/projects/comdev_iac.htm. Financial information, traffic information, city benefits and more are all detailed.

Received on Fri Oct 29 2010 - 09:22:06 PDT

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