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RE: Are flawed Staff Reports being used to hasten Commissioner deliberation or to fuel false talking points about Measure M

From: Mueller, Raymond <"Mueller,>
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2014 10:47:00 -0700

Dear Mr. Collacchi:

I have been assured that an opinion from the City's contract attorney will be released today, in writing, in response to the issues both you and Ms. Johnck raised last evening. As I have not heard back from you with respect to the questions of clarification I raised below, it is my hope that this action, taken by the City's contact attorney, will satisfy your concerns. I really don't want to spend anymore public funds on independent consultants. However, I realize that your satisfaction may be somewhat dependent on the substance of the opinion.

Let's wait to the cross that bridge until we come to it, and not make any assumptions in the meantime.

With kind regards,
Ray Mueller

From: Mueller, Raymond
Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2014 11:07 PM
To: Paul Collacchi; _CCIN; _Planning Commission; gabriellejohnck_at_(domainremoved)
Subject: RE: Are flawed Staff Reports being used to hasten Commissioner deliberation or to fuel false talking points about Measure M

Dear Mr. Collacchi:

Thank you for your email this evening and for raising the matter to my attention. Until you and Ms. Johnck raised it, I was unaware of it.

I would like to be helpful. But first, let me make certain I am clear what your are requesting.

1. Are you asking that I personally review, verify, and if necessary modify the work product of the City Planning Staff and the City's contract attorney before tomorrow night's Planning Commission meeting?

2. When you asked that I obtain a written analysis that cites which sections of Measure M apply, are you requesting that analysis come from City Planning Staff and/or the City "contract attorney", or are you requesting that I obtain that opinion from a third party consultant?

I appreciate both your and Ms. Johnck's concerns. I will investigate them. However, it may well be that you both have a good faith disagreement on the interpretation of Measure M, with the City's contract attorney.

Before rushing to judgement with inflammatory innuendo, please allow me to investigate the matter.

With best regards,
Ray Mueller

From: Paul Collacchi [pjcoll_at_(domainremoved)
Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2014 7:11 PM
To: _CCIN; _Planning Commission
Subject: Are flawed Staff Reports being used to hasten Commissioner deliberation or to fuel false talking points about Measure M

The Honorable Ray Mueller

Mayor, City of Menlo Park

RE: Oct 6, 2014 Planning Commission Staff Report

Dear Mr. Mayor,

The Staff Report for the October 6 2014 Planning Commission meeting may contain a serious error attributed to the City’s "contract attorney" in his interpretation of the text of Measure M.

"The contract attorney providing services regarding Measure M has relayed that if the proposed amendments are not acted on in advance of the election, and Measure M subsequently passes, the proposed amendments would require approval by the voters in a subsequent election, due to the provisions of Measure M regarding voter control."

                                                                            October 6 2014 Planning Commission Staff Report p2.

For the record, the three proposed amendments to the Specific Plan in question are:

1. Revise text to clarify that implementation of the Burgess Park Linkage/open space Plaza” public space improvements is not dependent on the High Speed Rail Project.

2. Eliminate “Platinum LEED Certified Buildings” as a suggested Public Benefit Bonus element ; and

3. For new medical/dental office uses on El Camino Real, establish an absolute maximum of 33,333 square feet per development.

These items are clearly outside the scope of Measure M, particularly the first two, and I hope that as a former lawyer familiar with Measure M that you will see this immediately.

I also question the integrity and professionalism of the Staff Report.

· The statement is presented as hearsay.

· The hearsay is un-attributed. The alleged source is never identified.

· The claim is unsubstantiated. The Report contains no written legal opinion, and fails to justify the claim by citing specific provisions of Measure M that apply.

· The claim is false. It contradicts the City's own impartial analysis of Measure M and is refuted by my own analysis below.

Mr. Mayor, are flawed Planning Staff Reports being used to hasten or manipulate Planning Commission decisions? Are they being used to create or fuel false talking points for Measure M opponents?

I respectfully ask that you review and modify the Report, identify the source, obtain a written analysis that cites which sections of Measure M apply, and why, and, if, in your opinion, the claim is substantively wrong, issue a Press Release saying so.


/s Paul Collacchi

Why Measure M voter approval does not apply to the Specific Plan amendments under consideration by the Planning Commission

The planned amendments do not fall within the scope of Measure M. Voters control provisions in Measure M Section 3 not the Specific Plan. If the text of a proposed Specific Plan amendment does not already appear verbatim within Measure M Section 3, or "frustrate" Section 3 text, then with one exception (see below) its not subject to voter control.

"The City Council cannot amend the definitions and development standards set forth in the Measure as these provisions can be amended only with voter approval. In addition, voter approval is required to exceed the office space and non-residential square footage limits. Impartial Analysis of Measure M

Section 3 contains static verbatim copies of Specific Plan text "readopted" on behalf of voters.

"... The Measure readopts specified definitions and standards in the current Downtown Specific Plan relating to open space and office space." Impartial Analysis of Measure M

The scope of voter control can't "accidentally" expand to "unintended" or future (text) changes to the Specific Plan because Measure M cannot magically write new subsections for itself that contain the unintended or future text.

As shown in the attached outline of Measure M, Section 3 specifically contains sections of text that refer to the following Specific Plan pages

· H8, H10, H11

· E35, E50,E55,E60,E65,E70,E75,E81,E86,E92,E97 and

· G16

Texts for the proposed amendments seem to be on following Specific Plan pages The text of the proposed amendments is not that referred to in Section 3.

· D45,D46

· E17,

· E49,E54,E59,E64,E69,E74,E80,E85,E91,E96

Finally, Measure M "office" limits are in addition to other applicable Specific Plan limits (Sections 3.3.7 & 3.4.5). The proposed limit on Medical Offices does not "frustrate" Measure M office limits, and is therefore (Section 4.2) not subject to voter control.

For convenience Measure M Section 3 subsections topics are summarized below.

· Section 3.1 Defines "ECR Specific Plan Area" for use in Section 3.4

· Section 3.2 Defines "Open Space" for the Specific Plan and excludes above grade open space in calculations of minimum open space.

· Section 3.3 Defines "Office Space" for Measure M and sets the project maximum "Office Space" of 100,000 square feet.

· Section 3.4 sets the ECR Specific Plan Area limit for Office Space to 240,820 square feet.

This summary is confirmed by the City's Impartial Analysis of Measure M.

"The Measure amends the open space definitions and standards in the Downtown Specific Plan ... The Measure mandates that office space in any individual development project not exceed 100,000 square feet and caps the total net new office space approved after July 12, 2012 at 240,820 square feet." Impartial Analysis of Measure M
Received on Mon Oct 06 2014 - 10:42:31 PDT

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