Voters in Menlo Park decidedly rejected a controversial initiative that would have cut in half the amount of future office space allowed in the city’s downtown and El Camino Real areas. Sixty-two percent of voters decided to keep current land-use guidelines and to continue the City Council’s negotiations with two developers proposing to build hundreds of apartments and up to 409,500 square feet of offices.
Kirsten Keith, a City Council member who won re-election yesterday to a second four-year term, opposed Measure M, along with Mayor Ray Mueller and the rest of the council.
“What we can learn from the vote yesterday is that people want to move forward with making Menlo Park a better place to be, and Measure M is not the answer to that,” said Keith, as she took her two dogs for a walk this morning.
Last month, the City Council asked Stanford University to modify its development project after an analysis showed it would significantly increase traffic congestion. (Peninsula Press is a project of the Stanford Journalism Program at Stanford University.) Keith said the council is waiting to see an environmental impact report of Greenheart Land Company, the other main developer.
“We have already been negotiating public benefits with the developers,” said Keith, a former Menlo Park mayor. “We still have a long process to go.”