Menlo Park's downtown fire station is a step closer to undergoing a top to bottom renovation.
The new station will "be something people will be pleased to see in their neighborhood," Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman told the Planning Commission during a hearing on Dec. 15.
It will include a 7,857-square-foot, two-story firehouse; a 1,003- square-foot, single-story vintage vehicle display building; and a 342-square-foot carriage house that will be relocated from the district's Middlefield Road headquarters.
The project requires merging two lots -- 700 Oak Grove Ave. and 1231 Hoover St. -- as well as demolition of the current station and a house.
The lot merger became a source of contention during the recent election. Those standing against Measure M, an initiative to change the specific plan, argued that the initiative, if passed, would then require a special election to approve the fire-station project since one lot sits within the specific plan's boundaries while the other does not. Initiative proponents argued that wasn't true. However, the debate ended when Measure M did not pass.
Fire trucks from the 1930s and 1950s, along with a hose wagon dating back to 1900, will go on display at the new station.
In response to neighborhood concerns, district representatives said the display building will not revert to an active station in the future, and the station will not be used to host events such as wedding receptions.
"There won't be any raging parties going on at the firehouse ... that I'm aware of, anyway," Chief Schapelhouman said.
"We're very excited for the community," said Planning Commission chair Ben Eiref after a 7-0 vote in favor of allowing the project to proceed to the council for final approval.
Construction is expected to take place over two years, with Station 6 at 700 Oak Grove Ave. remaining open for operations throughout, according to the fire district.