News

Menlo Park downtown plan moves to final review

"And there's a lot to discuss," Mayor Rich Cline commented at one point during Tuesday night's (Oct. 4) review of Menlo Park's draft downtown/El Camino Real specific plan.

He wasn't joking. There was still so much to discuss, in fact, that the meeting ran past midnight again.

The review focused on portions of El Camino Real, particularly parcels owned by Stanford University, with some digression into how to link public benefits to preferred land uses.

But finally, those on the dais gave a unanimous green light to moving the plan forward to the next phase. Unlike the Planning Commission, however, the council opted not to take a formal vote to do so.

"The Council could have made a final vote (as the Commission did), or the Commission could have directed their guidance be moved forward as unanimous consent (as the Council did)," Associate Planner Thomas Rogers explained to the Almanac in an email.

He said that it was hard to set a specific date for the next meeting. Staff has "a bit of work to do" to compile the council's recommendations, he noted, which affects the timeline for returning to the Planning Commission and City Council with a final draft of the plan and its environmental impact report.

The first meeting with the Planning Commission on the final plan probably won't happen until January at the earliest, according to Rogers, and will then be followed by council review.

"You've given us a lot to chew on," Rogers said near the end of the meeting, and later closed out the discussion by appreciating the council's attention to detail. "Thanks, and we'll see you again."

A detailed look at the council's recommendations will appear in the next issue of the Almanac. Click here to review all documents associated with the specific plan.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arch Conservative
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 6, 2011 at 10:37 am

Golly gee!!!! Can't wait to see what has what this latest "Downtown Menlo Park Improvement Plan" has to say. What is it- the 10th or 11th "Comprehensive Plan" to have been devleoped by outside consultants? How much has Menlo spent on like plans? And nothing ever gets done. Menlo continues on the steep down slope- El Camino is a disaster from Valparaiso to the Creek- some of those establishments have been boarded up for over ten years. The North side of ECR from Santa Cruz Avenue to within 50 yards of Middle, is the only nice area. The rest of ECR is a disgrace- and nothing will ever get done.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Card-Carrying Liberal
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 6, 2011 at 10:46 am

Archie, we agree on this! Good grief, could we please stop dickering about it and fill those buildings? How can 10 years of vacancy help our budget? Quit with the consultants, quit the NIMBYism, and let's get some occupancy.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by former MP resident
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Historically, Menlo Park has been outspoken about many things - Sand Hill Rd expansion, Car dealerships/mixed use proposals along ECR, Guild Theatre, downtown parking to name a few.
As the expression goes it's time for it's citizens to unite and be part of the solution, not the problem.


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