Sept. 28, 2022
BY MARY N. GILLES
Menlo Park residents! It’s time to concentrate as a result of Measure V is about personal property rights and your funding in your property is in danger.
The Metropolis Council majority of Betsy Nash, Jen Wolosin and Cecilia Taylor wouldn’t compromise with the Suburban Park residents on a balanced strategy to growing the Flood Faculty website. This neighborhood of slender streets, small parcels and lots of younger households, will probably be severely and negatively impacted by the ingress and egress of recent residents if the challenge is overbuilt.
Whereas the residents from Suburban Park who created Measure V have been motivated to arrange Measure V primarily based on what occurred to them, they crafted the initiative to guard different neighborhoods in Menlo Park from any majority of council members who would have carte blanche to create high- density in low-density neighborhoods the place they’ll by no means be accountable within the subsequent election.
By means of background, since Menlo Park created 5 voting districts a number of years in the past, there are not citywide elections for council members.
It is a massive a part of the issue. Drew Combs, who truly represents Suburban Park, is in opposition to an overbuilt challenge on the Flood Faculty website and had proposed a compromise that his constituents agreed to. However the Nash/Wolosin/Taylor block wouldn’t conform to it. So, the three council members who will decide that can negatively influence Suburban Park are immune from being ousted within the subsequent election cycle by these residents.
The nasty reality: any council member whose vote negatively impacts neighborhoods aside from their very own district can’t be held accountable! For instance, the identical situation can occur in Sharon Heights, which is the neighborhood represented by Ray Mueller. If Betsy Nash, Jen Wolosin and Cecilia Taylor resolve to create a high-density improvement at Sharon Park (one was tried previously), they will do it regardless of the objections of Ray Mueller and his constituents of Sharon Heights.
Districting is inherently unhealthy for our metropolis and isn’t the reply to addressing the under-represented group of Belle Haven (the rationale district voting was put in place).
If Measure V passes, rising the density in low density neighborhoods must be completed by a citywide determination.
That is our solely possibility to guard every neighborhood from a majority council that can up-zone neighborhoods the place these council members aren’t accountable.
From my perspective, single-family zoned neighborhoods are valuable and extremely costly. Our metropolis leaders ought to do all the pieces of their energy to protect our lovely neighborhoods and act in a extra accountable method to create extra housing or change zoning.
Till the district construction is deserted, the residents haven’t any alternative however to vote “sure” on Measure V to regain their energy over their properties and their neighborhoods.
Mary N. Gilles is a longtime Menlo Park Realtor.