Did you display your ‘I Voted’ sticker on November 4th? Election Day was a couple weeks ago and decisions, both contentious and straight-forward, were made across the country at the federal, state and local levels. One of the more fraught decisions was our own Measure M.
Menlo Park voters ultimately voted down Measure M by a healthy margin, a measure which would have amended the 2012 Menlo Park General Plan (created to encourage livable and walkable development) by imposing more restrictive development standards, specifically on open space, office space and apartment buildings. Proponents of Measure M were looking to cut down on growing local traffic congestion, thus preserving the smaller town feel of Menlo Park.
The ‘no’ camp received a whopping 62% of the votes, soundly trumping the aggressive grassroots Yes on M camp. The grassroots measure did not get the support that they (and many people) thought they were going to receive. In fact, Measure M received fewer votes than the number of signatures required to get it on the ballot in the first place. How could this happen? Did the ‘no’ camp convince those on the other side of the aisle of the necessity of the General Plan or the downsides of Measure M? Were neighbors pressed into signing the petition while not in support?
Going forward, the failure of Measure M means that the General Plan, which took six years and over $1 million dollars, will not be amended. The Almanac recently published an article, written by supporters of “no on M”, stating that they will continue to trust that the city council will look out for the city’s best interests in the spirit of moving on as well as making sure developers follow the existing complicated zoning laws with both the Stanford and Greenheart projects along the El Camino corridor.
Whether you come out in favor or against Measure M, the vote ultimately signaled how passionately people feel about our fine and diverse city. I am a proud long-time resident and realtor, and am grateful every day to work in Menlo Park. Follow my blog at davidweilhomes.com/blog.