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jobs, housing, and air quality

From: domainremoved <Karen>
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2019 22:10:39 +0000

Dear Mayor Mueller and Councilmembers,

As you know, Iím on the Housing Commission, and as usual, Iím writing for myself.

Iím glad to see that the council and community are talking about the impact of plans and projects on Menlo Parkís contribution to the regionís jobs/housing balance (and we should also be talking about job/housing affordability *fit*). Iím surprised and disappointed to realize how little attention we have paid to that important planning metric until now! As a result of that lack of focus, we now have large, dense office projects filled with new employees and more being built and proposed; while the planned-for housing has not kept pace. I certainly understand the desire to take a pause on adding any new office spaceÖif only we had put jobs/housing phasing into Connect Menlo we might not be discussing moratoria.

However, jobs/housing imbalance is not the only reason community members stated for supporting the proposed moratoria. They also described the disparate impact of development in Bayside as compared to the rest of Menlo Park. To that end, as I stated at the meeting, I encourage increased heights and density downtown, and a commitment to build not 100s but 1000s of new homes near our Caltrain station Ė at all levels of affordability, from extremely low income through the missing middle, and up to market rate.

We cannot change the past, but I hope that going forward, we will analyze the impact of every planning and zoning decision on:
1) its contribution to the jobs/housing balance and fit, and
2) balance of impacts (and the opportunity that comes with the impacts!) throughout the city.

I was also shocked to realize that we have apparently never done localized air quality measurements in the Bayside neighborhood. Please find a way to get a baseline measurement of air quality in a few strategic locations in the Bayside community Ė Kelly field would be an obvious location to test; Belle Haven School and the proposed outdoor activity on Jefferson Dr. might be two others.

Iím happy to discuss any of this by phone. Donít hesitate to call me at 650-868-2732.

Karen Grove
Received on Mon Jun 17 2019 - 15:04:45 PDT

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