Tonight: Menlo Park downtown plan review

Planning Commission holds first of four meetings

Menlo Park enters the next phase of its review of the proposed vision for downtown, otherwise known as the El Camino Real/downtown specific plan, when the Planning Commission holds the first of four special meetings tonight, July 11.

The goal is to provide feedback to the City Council and take public input.

The plan calls for a revamped downtown area to encourage mixed-use commercial and residential development along El Camino Real, increasing the allowable height of buildings by 8 feet.

It also includes redesigned parking plazas and new parking garages off Santa Cruz Avenue area west of El Camino, and amenities including wider sidewalks and parklets.

But in addition to unavoidably worsened air quality and traffic congestion, the draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the plan identifies as "significant and unavoidable" impacts the increased generation of greenhouse gas emissions and noise levels.

The EIR also lists mitigation measures that would turn other identified effects of development into "less than significant" impacts. The bulk of these mitigations deal with transportation, circulation, and parking. Those issues are likely to be some of the most controversial as the review moves through the Planning Commission and the City Council.

The next Planning Commission reviews are scheduled for Thursday, July 21; Thursday, July 28; and Thursday, Aug. 4.

Click here to review the plan.

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


Like this comment
Posted by member
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 11, 2011 at 1:03 pm

yep...shutting down parking for a year or so in a couple of the existing lots to build a parking structure makes a lot of sense. Geez. Will pretty much put out of business the ones that are left on Santa Cruz not to mention the Dental and Medical practices in the area.

Like this comment
Posted by frugal
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 11, 2011 at 1:06 pm

This is an insane program.

Do a scaled down version for El Camino and scrap the rest and save the money!

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