Tonight: Menlo Park studies proposed M2 zoning changes


It's time for the decision-makers to take a first look at what residents have said they hope to see in Menlo Park's M2 industrial district, when the City Council and Planning Commission hold a joint study session tonight (March 31).

The city is in the middle of updating its general plan, which provides the overall "constitution" for development standards, land uses and transportation in Menlo Park, with a particular focus on the M2, the area roughly bordered by the San Francisco Bay, University Avenue, U.S. 101 and Marsh Road.

In a series of workshops and surveys asking what they'd like to see in the M2, community members singled out public services such as a grocery store and possibly a second train station. They also suggested allowing buildings of two to six stories, with retail at ground level.

The zoning changes recommended by the general plan advisory committee could allow up to 2.5 million square feet of non-residential buildings beyond what is currently allowed, according to the staff report, along with:

■ Approximately 4,500 new housing units.

■ Approximately 5,300 new jobs.

■ Approximately 600 new hotel rooms.

The committee emphasized that infrastructure upgrades and benefits to the community must be part of allowing new development.

More information is available on the city's ConnectMenlo page.

Tonight's regular meeting starts at 7 p.m. following a closed session. It will be held in the council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. and streamed live online.

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2 people like this
Posted by Let's think this through
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 31, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Can our schools handle the resulting increase in enrollment?

Can our streets handle the resulting increase in traffic?

Will current residents have affordable housing options?

Let's think carefully about these changes.

1 person likes this
Posted by Verification, please
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Mar 31, 2015 at 1:05 pm

M-2 will bring in 5,300 new jobs? Better check with Facebook about this number. Our business development director seems to think that full build out of Facebook means a total of 20,000 Facebook employees. Does this mean in Belle Haven? The council might consider capping the office in M-2 and concentrating on housing, housing and more housing.

The Fire Department might thinking about expanding the Chilco street station, adding more engines (one with high rise ladder) so that reaching fires on the East side of the freeway can be handled without engines fighting auto congestion on Willow and University Ave.

Can the Almanac verify the 5,300 new jobs number?

1 person likes this
Posted by think again
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 31, 2015 at 3:19 pm

Q: Can our schools handle the resulting increase in enrollment?

A: Yes, that district has two schools that are empty. One is in flood park, the other is on Willow Rd (and will soon be rented out to the GAIS)

2 people like this
Posted by more verification
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 31, 2015 at 3:25 pm

And how much new housing does this mean, and how many new residents? We cannot assume all this would be created in Belle Have, can we?

How much is this on top of what exists now and how much has been approved in the downtown area through the specific plan?

We need to understand how much more our city may grow if this is adopted.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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