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Tonight: Arrested development on Terminal Avenue

Habitat for Humanity pulls out of housing project

School or homes? The Menlo Park City Council revisits that question on Tuesday, May 10, when it's scheduled to discuss whether to let Beechwood School, a private Belle Haven facility for K-8, buy a 1.5-acre parcel on Terminal Avenue.

For the past nine years, Habitat for Humanity had wanted to build 12 to 22 affordable homes on the site, but community opposition stalled development until the nonprofit finally pulled the plug, according to a letter sent to the city on April 29.

Even without construction, the project has run up a tab: Menlo Park has already spent $998,000 on environmental remediation to prepare the site for housing, while the nonprofit paid $481,590 to buy an adjacent parcel to get access to the building site.

Money remains an issue -- to date Beechwood hasn't offered what the council considers a fair price. Another problem is the scarcity of sites for affordable housing in Menlo Park, making the city reluctant to sell.

The council meeting starts at 7 p.m. in council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St.

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