How much power will City Council still have?


The voter approval is limited only to exceeding maximum limits for offices or changing open space requirements.

The City Council retains complete control of all other aspects of the 356-page Specific Plan, including decisions about housing, big box retail, medical office, parking, open space requirements, and approvals of public safety facilities.  We fully support Council's efforts to do more and reduce high-traffic uses.  

Initiatives only enact what they expressly state. If it is not stated, it is not enacted. - Thomas Jordan, retired Palo Alto land use lawyer.

Opponents claim that “all city decisions will have to go through a city-wide vote.” Those words are not in Measure M.  Again, initiatives only enact what they expressly state. In this case, limiting maximum office build-out. Opponents are flagrantly misstating the truth if they claim that “all city decisions” will have to get voter approval

1. From the Ballot Title (Bold added for emphasis) Shall the Ordinance entitled “An Initiative Measure Proposing Amendments to the City of Menlo Park General Plan and Menlo Park 2012 El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan Limiting Office Development, Modifying Open Space Requirements, and Requiring Voter Approval for New Non-residential Projects that Exceed Specified Development Limits” be adopted?

2. From the Impartial Summary: “…voter approval is required to exceed the office space and non-residential square footage limits.”

3. From the city’s own commissioned report: City of Menlo Park Ballot Measure Impact Analysis" dated July 10, 2014 by The Lisa Wise Consulting Group, Inc., Section 2.3 page 2-7 Voters retain authority over four (4) self-contained parameters (office and open space definitions, office and non-residential buildout caps). City Council retains control of other zoning standards related to the Plan and Initiative including rules and guidelines (e.g., height, setbacks, open space minimums, FAR), processes (e.g., monitoring caps, capturing public benefits, resolving uncertainties , rezoning parcels, planning ahead), and virtually all Specific Plan language.

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