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Nov 22

ConnectMenlo Project Identifies Draft Guiding Principles

Posted on November 22, 2014 at 6:50 pm by Clay Curtin

On Tuesday, November 18, 2014, the City Council received a presentation from PlaceWorks on ConnectMenlo’s draft Guiding Principles. ConnectMenlo is the project name of the City's General Plan Update focused on the Land Use and Circulation Elements of the General Plan and new zoning for the M-2 business park area near Highway 101.

The plan includes creation of guiding principles to reflect the community’s values and vision for the future, and serve as the foundation for new and innovative goals, policies and programs. The draft Guiding Principles are the result of input at two Community Workshops held in September 2014, comments received during a month-long survey process, and review by the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC).

The draft Guiding Principles are as follows:

Citywide Equity
Menlo Park neighborhoods share the benefits and impacts of local growth and enjoy equal access to quality services, education, public open space, a range of housing in balance with local job opportunities, and convenient daily shopping such as grocery stores and pharmacies.

Healthy Community
Everyone in Menlo Park can safely walk or bike to fresh food, medical services, employment, recreational facilities, and other daily destinations; land owners and occupants take pride in the appearance of property; the City enforces codes and prioritizes improvements that promote safety and healthy living; and the entire city is well-served by emergency services and community policing.

Corporate Contribution

New development in the M-2 Area provides physical community benefits in Belle Haven, including housing, schools, libraries, neighborhood retail, childcare, public open space, telecommunications, and transportation choices.

Youth Support and Education Equality
All Menlo Park children and young adults have access to high-quality childcare, education, meaningful employment opportunities, and useful training, including internship opportunities at local companies.

Multi-Modal Access
Menlo Park provides thoroughly-connected, safe and convenient transportation, adequate emergency vehicle access, and multiple options for people traveling by foot, bicycle, shuttle, bus, car, and train, including daily service along the Dumbarton Rail Corridor.

Complete Neighborhoods
Menlo Park neighborhoods are complete communities, featuring well-integrated and designed development, and vibrant commercial areas with a mix of community-focused businesses that conveniently serve adjacent neighborhoods while respecting their character.

Accessible Open Space and Recreation
Menlo Park provides safe and convenient access to an ample amount of local and regional parks and open space, recreational facilities, trails, and enhancements to wetlands and the Bay.

Competitive and Innovative Business Destination
Menlo Park embraces emerging technologies, local intelligence, entrepreneurship, and development to grow and attract successful companies that generate local economic activity and tax revenue for the entire community.

Sustainable Environmental Planning
Menlo Park supports regional collaborative efforts and employs best practices to address climate change, adapt to sea-level rise, protect natural resources, and promote energy conservation and renewable energy.

The City Council acknowledged the hard work that has been done to date, and expressed an interest in continuing the work to gain greater clarity in the draft principles.  The public is invited to attend a joint City Council and Planning Commission study session for further discussion on the draft Guiding Principles on Tuesday, December 9th, at 7:00 pm in the City Council Chambers.   This will be a hands-on opportunity to refine and finalize the principles.  At the study session, the City Council and Commission will also be providing direction on the land use alternatives for the M-2 Area that will be presented at the next community workshop, tentatively scheduled for December 18th, at the Senior Center, 7:00-9:00 pm.