Almanac

News - November 13, 2013

Menlo Park briefs: Commission wraps up specific plan review

by Sandy Brundage

It took five meetings of late-night discussion, but the Menlo Park Planning Commission has finished going over the downtown/El Camino Real specific plan.

The commission will take a look at the summary of its actions during its Nov. 18 meeting before passing along its recommendations to the City Council.

No major changes are suggested. Discussion on Nov. 4 focused on prioritizing the open space features of the plaza at Middle Avenue over vehicular access to the mixed-use development Stanford University proposes to build, and pushing the city to figure out how to fund desired infrastructure incorporated into the specific plan, such as a pedestrian-bicycle tunnel under the tracks at Middle Avenue to Burgess Park.

The Nov. 18 meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at the Civic Center, located at 701 Laurel St.

Nativity School parking

Whether to eliminate street parking along northbound Laurel Street between Oak Grove and Glenwood avenues will be taken up by the Menlo Park Transportation Commission on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

City staff is recommending the commissioners sign off on the elimination, but parents with children attending the private K-8 Nativity School at 1250 Laurel St., as well as school administrators, are protesting the plan. While city staff suggests the removal will make bicycle travel along the street safer, Nativity parents say it will make dropping off and picking up their children more hazardous.

City staff is also proposing the city make pedestrian crossing improvements at the intersection of Laurel Street and Oak Grove Avenue by restricting right turns on red and giving people more time to cross the street.

Go to tinyurl.com/qf69tey to review the staff report. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St.

Shell station closes

The Shell gas station at 1400 El Camino Real is now fenced off in preparation for removing its fuel tanks, as the owner has decided to stop selling gas. An update from the city of Menlo Park on Nov. 7 stated than an independent auto repair shop on the site has moved to 1279 El Camino Real. City staff had no further information about what the gas station's owner plans to do with his property.

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