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When disaster strikes

From: domainremoved <PETER>
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2014 15:35:28 -0700

When disaster strikes
Original post made by Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood, on Oct 6, 2014

After many years of dealing with disaster response and disaster recovery one of the things I have learned is that a key to a successful and timely disaster recovery is capable and agile local leadership.

As I was having lunch today at Borrone's I looked at the buildings on the west side of ECR between Santa Cruz and Menlo Ave and noted their age, type of construction and that they are all built out to their side property lines.

Now imagine that a severe earthquake strikes Menlo Park in late Nov 2014. All of these buildings will be seriously damaged if not destroyed and all will probably be red-tagged. Rebuilding these buildings would be a crucial and very visible part of Menlo Park's recovery.

Here are the two possible late Nov 2014 scenarios:

1 - Measure M has failed and the rebuilding can proceed promptly under the rules of the Specific Plan. Should there be any unforeseen issues those can be dealt with by two properly noticed meetings of the Council to amend the Specific Plan. The rebuilding commences immediately.

2 - Measure M has passed and its bizarre open space requirement precludes the replacement of these buildings without sideyard setbacks. The City Council is powerless to make any changes in that definition. Changing this open space requirement requires a city wide election. As a result of Senate Bill 202 (Chapter 558, Statutes of 2011), from July 2011 forward, initiative and referendum measures will only appear on general election ballots so any such election most await the next general election. The next such general election will be in June 2015. Until then the rubble will just sit there.

When thinking about Measure M details count.

Measure M is poorly worded and would deny Menlo Park’s
elected officials the ability to respond to the most likely to occur local disaster.

Peter Carpenter
Received on Mon Oct 06 2014 - 15:31:01 PDT

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