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Belle Haven's Current Configuration and the Connect Menlo Process

From: domainremoved <Sheryl>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 15:56:45 -0700

Hello Deanna and Justin,

I am trying to get a clearer picture of all of the development that is being proposed in the M-2 area under the Connect-Menlo Initiative. Since Belle Haven will bear the brunt of most of the impacts from any development, I want to be sure I have an accurate depiction of the current situation.

I notice that during many Connect Menlo public meetings when we discuss all of the proposed changes to housing densities, and office space in the M-2 area, we rarely have a reference point for what already exists in Belle Haven. Belle Haven specific information such as current population, population density, current number of single family homes, current number of multi family units, percentage of owner occupied homes etc. can be very useful when trying to consider the proposed development in this area. At the very least, the current housing and population assumptions being used by the City should always be a part of the Connect Menlo process otherwise, we are making decisions in a vacuum.

Since Belle Haven is part of the City of Menlo Park, it would be responsible to also have a reference point for our City as a whole. In other words, if we are developing housing throughout our city, then we should also be able to see what the overall picture is for the entire City during this season of extreme development. Asking people to imagine 4,500 units of housing added to the most densely populated part of Menlo Park is a stretch at best. But to do so without a decent frame of reference makes it seem like the decision has already been made, and could easily be considered an insult to the residents of Menlo Park.

It is difficult to imagine what is being proposed when what currently exists is not being quantified at the same time. Moving forward it would be great to have actual numerical data and a visual representation depicting what exists combined with the same information for any changes being proposed. If the new housing is proposed for an area where no housing currently exists, it is still helpful to keep current housing levels in mind. We also seem to ignore the hundreds of units that are already under construction in this area when we have these public meetings. Including information such as estimates of the corresponding population increases, traffic impacts and the demographic assumptions that are being used for the people who will live in the proposed housing (i.e. age, income levels etc.) would be extremely useful.

Do you think it would be possible to have someone provide more robust existing and proposed project data when we are required to comment on proposed changes in these public meetings? The more robust data for existing conditions combined with more robust proposed project data will help provide a better frame of reference and scope when considering the proposals. Initially the Connect Menlo process felt like the City was really trying to get and consider feedback from Menlo Park residents, but as of late, it feels like someone is trying to push through a lot of housing and office space no matter what the residents of Menlo Park say.

I appreciate your help in making more comprehensive information a part of the public meetings and survey processes.
Kind Regards,

Sheryl Bims
Resident of Menlo Park
Belle Haven
Received on Tue Mar 31 2015 - 14:57:30 PDT

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