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Downtown Specific Plan housing cap

From: domainremoved <Karen>
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2017 15:32:23 -0800

Dear Councilmembers,


I read the staff update on the Downtown Specific Plan with interest.  I commend the work Menlo Park did to update the plan in 2012. It’s hard to imagine it ever consisting of only two pages!  And we’ve clearly been busy implementing the plan, to the extent that just a few years in, we are close to achieving our 20-30 year goals for new housing units and commercial space. 


In order to meet the needs of our city and our region, we must build more housing in downtown Menlo Park, at all income levels, than is allowed by our current Downtown Specific Plan.  I write to ask that we update the Downtown Specific Plan to increase the number of housing units that can be developed in and near downtown and close to public transit, and require that they include units at all income levels, including extremely low income.


In addition to addressing the housing crisis, building housing at all income levels in or near downtown and public transit will have additional benefits for our community.  People who live close to downtown are more likely to walk, rather than drive, to accomplish their errands, and to do so in Menlo Park.  More people walking and biking in downtown means more chance encounters with neighbors


 which builds community, civic engagement, and pride of place.  Adding more housing at all income levels can facilitate building connections between people historically separated by racialized policies and practices, and will improve quality of life for all. People who live near their jobs have time to volunteer to make our community more vibrant and connected. If we add a car-share location near downtown, people would even have the option to not own a car at all!


Where ever I go, I now look up and to my surprise, I often see 4-5 floors of housing!  It’s not noticeable from street level, and it’s exciting to think of imagine the vibrancy of mixed income housing in our downtown. 



Karen Grove


Received on Tue Dec 05 2017 - 17:38:59 PST

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