The Menlo Park Planning Commission will attempt to wrap up its downtown/El Camino Real specific plan review tonight (Nov. 4), but first, it will consider whether to allow the owners of a Sharon Heights apartment complex to make improvements to the property that would require cutting down 62 heritage trees.
The complex, at 350 Sharon Park Drive, has 459 trees on the nearly 16 acre site. If the commission approves BRE FMCA's permits, the property would end up with more trees than it had to begin with, as the owners would plant 159 replacements in addition to building a new recreation center and leasing office and making façade improvements throughout the complex that include a new dog park, bocce ball court and barbecue courtyard.
City staff have received more than a dozen emails and comments from people living near the complex, asking that the heritage trees be preserved. According to the staff report, arborists who evaluated the site indicated that 50 of the trees should be removed anyway for health reasons.
Following the public hearing on the apartment complex, the commissioners are scheduled to hold a fifth and hopefully final review of the specific plan, with the goal of formulating recommendations to pass along to the City Council.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St.
Click here to review the entire agenda and associated staff reports.
Watch tonight's meeting online.