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El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan review

From: domainremoved <Adina>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2017 18:20:50 -0800

Honorable Council Members,

Tonight, the Menlo Park City Council will receive its regular, biennial
update on the progress of the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan,
including the amount of housing and office space that is allowed under the
plan's cap.

As the staff report summarizes, the city has seen construction and/or
approval of 72% of the housing allowed downtown, and 92% of the commercial
space allowed under the plan (additional housing or commercial space would
requiring more environmental analysis). The larger sites for housing, on
El Camino Real, already have projects approved.

To address the housing crisis, we need, in Menlo Park and the region, more
housing at all income levels.

The General Plan update, focusing on the area near Belle Haven and
Facebook, included 4500 new units of housing. Since the approval of the
ECR/Downtown Specific Plan, the region's housing crisis has deepened, and
it is increasingly difficult for people at a variety of income levels to
live in the Bay Area.

I live near downtown. I think that downtown is a great place to have more
housing, including affordable housing.

More residents will improve downtown vibrancy. A transit-rich, walkable,
service-rich location is especially helpful for affordable housing, whose
residents tend to have fewer cars and for whom owning more cars than they
need is a household cost burden. Compact housing near our walkable
downtown is not an option that works for everyone, but there is an
underserved need in the community for such housing.

When the plan comes back to Council for action, I would urge additional
investigation of issues with parking and zoning details that may make it
difficult to add housing within the current 680-unit cap. And it would be
welcome to start the discussion about potential opportunities for more
housing at this excellent location.

Thank you for your consideration,

Adina Levin
Menlo Park Resident
Received on Tue Dec 05 2017 - 18:25:25 PST

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