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November 02, 2005

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Publication Date: Wednesday, November 02, 2005

MENLO PARK: Council approves 47 new homes MENLO PARK: Council approves 47 new homes (November 02, 2005)

By Rory Brown

Almanac Staff Writer

A 6.2-acre spot in Menlo Park that was once home to a cluster of industrial sites just got approval to become a whole lot greener.

At its October 25 meeting, the City Council unanimously approved a proposal by Palo Alto-based Clarum Homes to amend the general plan to make way for the construction of 47 homes, all with environmentally friendly features, and 20 of which will be priced as below market rate (BMR) units.

The decision marked the end of what City Manager David Boesch labeled "one of the larger projects the redevelopment department has been working on."

The detached two-story, single-family homes will be built at 507-555 Hamilton Ave., between Chilco Street and Henderson Avenue. The site was previously filled by a variety of industrial and commercial uses, including plumbing and painting companies that were demolished in 2003.

The new homes will surround a new 0.92-acre park, which will also be constructed by the developer.

The land designation for a portion of the site will change from medium density residential to parks and recreation in order to construct the park.

City staff is estimating the annual costs of maintaining the park and the neighborhood's public streets and drainage system at approximately $18,000, according to the staff report.

An unusually high 43 percent of the homes will be BMR units -- much more than the required 15 percent. The BMR units will be sold in the range of $325,000 to $400,000, said Megan Norwood, management analyst for the housing and redevelopment department.

Certain city residents and employees will have precedence in purchasing the BMR homes.

Applicants that will receive preference include public school teachers, city of Menlo Park employees, Belle Haven residents, health care workers who live or work in Menlo Park, and firefighters and paramedics of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

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