Tonight: Meeting on Facebook's expansion

Commission to discuss public benefits Facebook could provide

By Barbara Wood

Special to the Almanac

Facebook's plans to expand its new Menlo Park headquarters to eventually hold as many as 9,400 employees will be discussed in a study session of the Menlo Park Planning Commission on Thursday, Jan. 12, in the Menlo Park City Council Chambers, 701 Laurel Street. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.

The meeting was continued from the commission's Tuesday night meeting. Among the topics to be discussed are what public benefits Facebook could be asked to provide as part of the development agreement for the project.

At other meetings, requests have been made for completion of a gap in the nearby Bay Trail bike trail and for amenities in the Belle Haven neighborhood the project is in.

Facebook has proposed a two-phased project. The first phase involves existing buildings at the intersection of Willow Road and Bayfront Expressway, which is being called the East Campus. The second phase is across the street on Constitution Drive where Facebook will demolish vacant office buildings to build a new complex.

The commissioners will also discuss Facebook's request to swap the existing cap of 3,600 employees on the East Campus site for a limit on the number of vehicle trips that could be made to and from the campus. Facebook has proposed capping the morning and afternoon rush hour periods (7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) to 2,600 trips with a total daily cap of 15,000 trips.

Facebook now has about 2,000 employees at the Menlo Park headquarters. The new trip cap could allow as many as 6,600 workers to use that site.

Discussion will also include the environmental report on Facebook's plans, including both campuses. On the West Campus, Facebook has asked to exceed the existing 35-foot building height limits in the industrial zone with buildings as tall as five stories.

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