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Smart Voter
San Mateo County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Measure T
Menlo Gateway Project
City of Menlo Park

Majority Approval Required

Pass: 7,612 / 64.5% Yes votes ...... 4,189 / 35.5% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jan 6 3:01pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (21/21)
65.3% Voter Turnout (226,259/346,516)
Information shown below: Official Information | Arguments |

Shall the voters affirm the decision of the Menlo Park City Council to approve the Menlo Gateway project and amend the City's General Plan to permit construction of offices, research and development space, a hotel, health club and restaurant on property located east of Highway 101 near Marsh Road?

Official Sources of Information


Debate Video - Community Media Center
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Arguments For Measure T Arguments Against Measure T
Yes on MEASURE T: Millions in Annual City Revenues. Thousands of Jobs and a State-of-the-Art Business District East of 101.

Menlo Park has a proud heritage of environmental stewardship, business innovation, and economic vitality. Today, new economic uncertainties require our city to tap into that spirit and secure our future.

Menlo Gateway is a new office and hotel project East of U.S. Route 101 in Menlo Park that promises to bring millions of dollars in annual revenue and thousands of local jobs, revitalizing our business district, and creating vast opportunities for new, local innovative companies.

Menlo Gateway will:

  • hire local residents first

  • direct almost $2 million for improvements in the neighboring Belle Haven community, along with Bedwell Bayfront Park and the waterfront area at Bayfront Expressway and Marsh Road

  • provide a new four-star hotel and regional sports and fitness club projected to net the city more than $1.4 million annually

  • locate far from residental neighborhoods, east of Interstate 101

  • reduce its traffic by more than 17% and achieve environmental leadership with Gold and Silver LEED status

  • provide more than $600,000 annually for our local high school district

The location, revenue and job creation, funding for local neighborhood, high school, and park improvements, and the environmental standards of the project make this worthy of Menlo Park's approval.

Menlo Gateway has been through three years of public scrutiny including six community meetings, seven Planning Commission meetings, and more than 15 City Council meetings. Each of these groups comprised of residents and neighbors determined the project offered acceptable benefits and mitigations that outweighed the impacts.

We encourage you to join neighbors and residents and vote YES on MEASURE T to approve the Menlo Gateway and help secure new revenues and jobs for Menlo Park.

/s/ Richard Cline, Mayor, Menlo Park

/s/ Fran Dehn, President/CEO, Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce

/s/ Matt Henry, Resident

/s/ Kristen Kuntz-Duriseti, Chair, Environmental Quality Commission

/s/ Chris Thomsen, Trustee, Sequoia Union High School District

Rebuttal to Arguments For
We support a hotel and its revenue, like the new Rosewood Hotel but this project's massive 1.5 million square feet of offices and parking garages produce nearly all the negative impacts and only $227 thousand in NET yearly revenue.

Do not believe the hype.

  • construction and jobs will only follow economic recovery, not lead it.
  • not one dime comes to any K-8 school in Menlo Park
  • the "impartial analysis" describes revenue but omits costs
  • traffic increases from 2,019 to 13,131 trips all within 1.5 miles of every Menlo Park neighborhood east of El Camino

This project is NOT "green" or sustainable:

  • not required to meet any current or future city or national green building standards, including LEED;
  • doubles site greenhouse gas emissions;
  • increases citywide greenhouse gas emissions, exceeding city and state (AB32) goals, and grandfathers emissions pollution rights even if construction begins in twenty years when regulations are tougher;
  • uses 10% of Menlo Park's remaining water allocation, risking insufficient water supplies in drought years;
  • provides no housing and is not near transit;
  • does not provide new Fire Equipment requested by the Fire District.

If Menlo Park wants hotels, zone for them. If Menlo Park wants jobs, require the project to start immediately, not 8 years from now. If Menlo Park wants revenue, use proper planning methods to retain and attract sales tax producing businesses.

This is not a good deal for Menlo Park. Vote NO.

/s/ James R. (Jim) Madison, Community Volunteer

/s/ Calvin M. Jones, Former Mayor

/s/ Andrew Cohen, Council Member

/s/ Vincent Bressler, Planning Commissioner

/s/ Morris Brown, MP Resident

Vote NO on T - Menlo Park's leaders negotiated a bad deal.

Menlo Park gives too much for too little. Menlo Gateway is too big. The 1.7 million square feet of office, hotel, and parking structures is a six-fold increase over the current allowed maximum. The density bonus adds $40-60 million yearly to Bohannon's cash flow, in exchange for a small fraction trickling down to the city.

Menlo Gateway

  • creates significant unmitigated environmental impacts for traffic, carbon emissions, water, and air quality that outweigh all financial benefits. Traffic will choke 101, Marsh, Middlefield, and Willow. "101 will be gadawful mess" (Mayor Cline).

  • builds no new housing but creates new demand for 1799 new homes, adding pressure for unsustainably dense housing projects located, locally (downtown, Allied Arts, Belle Haven) and regionally (Cargill).

  • provides no revenue for Menlo Park K-8 schools

  • sets bad planning precedents. It codifies generous zoning densities and creates lax new development standards written by the developer. This encourages others in East Menlo Park to play "let's make a deal" to get the Bohannon zoning and drive out even more sales tax generators.

  • will not solve any near-term economic problems. Menlo Gateway cannot be built soon. Bohannon can wait up to 20 years and then conform to obsolete 2009 city laws.

  • inhibits other future projects including sales tax generators (and competitors) that could bring economic recovery. "The City agrees that (it) shall not approve other projects that place a burden on the City's infrastructure without considering prior approval of this project" (Developer Agreement 3.3).

There are cleaner, more sustainable ways to generate revenue (Menlo Park's new Rosewood Hotel). And there is time for planning. Menlo Park should finish its development plan for East Menlo Park before considering Menlo Gateway.

/s/ Andrew Cohen, Councilman

/s/ Jack Morris, Former Mayor

/s/ Paul Collacchi, Principal Office & Treasurer

/s/ Charlie Bourne, Transportation Commissioner

/s/ Patti Fry, Former Planning Commission Chair

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
The opponents of this Measure make mistaken claims about the project size and the negotiations. Here are the facts:

FACT: No project in Menlo Park's history has delivered the revenue, the jobs, and the environmental mitigations that Menlo Gateway promises.

FACT: Menlo Gateway is projected to net Menlo Park $1.4 million annually and another $600,000 for schools in Menlo Park.

FACT: The Belle Haven community and the Bedwell Bayfront Park would stand to benefit from $1.75 million for capital improvements.

FACT: Menlo Gateway is located far from residental neighborhoods and adjacent to U.S. Route 101.

FACT: Menlo Park negotiated a revenue guarantee for the life of the agreement.

FACT: Menlo Park negotiated the hotel portion of the development be completed first to bring in the highest revenue return the quickest.

FACT: Menlo Park negotiated $300,000 in penalties should Menlo Gateway wish to delay the project start.

FACT: Consultants hired by the city at the urging of project opponents evaluated the market and endorsed the terms of the Menlo Gateway agreement.

FACT: Menlo Gateway is supported by the local high school district, the City Council, the Planning Commission, the Belle Haven Homeowners Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and a long list of civic leaders.

These leaders are residents and neighbors, many with children in our schools, who have the same interests and share the same resources and they vote YES on Measure T.

We urge you to join your former Mayors and neighbors and vote YES on Measure T.

/s/ Gail L. Slocum, Former Mayor

/s/ Charles M. Kinney, Former Mayor

/s/ Patty Boyle, Chr, MP Housing Commission

/s/ Ted Schlein, Managing Director, KPCB

/s/ Allan Bedwell, Friends of Bedwell Bayfront Park

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