The second phase of Facebook's campus development in Menlo Park collected a series of unanimous approvals from the Planning Commission on Monday night (Feb. 25).
Facebook proposes to build an "office in a forest" designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry on its west campus at 312 and 313 Constitution Drive in Menlo Park, across from its headquarters off Willow Road.
The commissioners voted 6-0, with Commissioner John Onken recused, to approve the series of permits, ordinance and rezoning adjustments, and below-market-rate housing agreement.
City staff said the project should go before the City Council toward the end of March.
The Planning Commission's approvals were in line with staff recommendations, with some small revisions, such as specifying a number of trees and heritage trees that Facebook should strive to preserve during construction.
Staff recommended that:
"The proposed West Campus component of the Facebook Campus Project would redevelop an existing vacant site and is projected to accommodate approximately 2,800 new employees for the City.
"To minimize impacts to the community, the West Campus project proposal includes a Trip Cap and robust Transportation Demand Management program, which would limit the increase in vehicular trips associated with the Project, ... and related air quality and noise impacts.
"As part of the review of the Facebook Campus Project, an EIR was prepared and certified, and an EIR addendum was also prepared to confirm that the revised West Campus project would not result in any new significant physical environmental impacts or increase the severity of previously identified physical environmental impacts. The certified EIR and EIR addendum determined that the Facebook Campus Project, inclusive of the West Campus component, would result in significant and unavoidable impacts related to transportation, air quality and noise.
"However, as identified in the Fiscal Impact Analysis prepared for the Facebook Campus Project, implementation of the Project is projected to have a net positive fiscal impact for the City. Finally, the West Campus project would provide extensive public benefits as presented in the Development Agreement prepared for the Project, including monetary contributions to the City's General Fund.
"Staff believes that the Project includes substantial benefits that outweigh its significant, and adverse environmental impacts. As such, staff recommends that the Planning Commission recommend that the City Council pursue the following ... (1) adopt a resolution adopting the Statement of Overriding Considerations, and Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program, (2) approve an ordinance to rezone the Project Site to M-2(X), (3) adopt a resolution approving the Conditional Development Permit, (4) approve an ordinance for the Development Agreement, (5) adopt a resolution approving the Below Market Rate Housing agreement, (6) adopt a resolution approving a Lot Line Adjustment, and (7) adopt a resolution approving the Heritage Tree Removal Permits.
"If the Planning Commission does not believe that the potential positive benefits outweigh the potential negative impacts, staff recommends that the Planning Commission provide input to the Council on each of the requested actions.
Earlier story: Facebook, Menlo come to terms over new campus.