That's right: Menlo Park council takes on both general plan and specific plan tonight


Watch the meeting online.

The Menlo Park City Council has a packed agenda for its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 6, with reviews of the two major documents that guide the city's development: the general plan and the El Camino/downtown specific plan.

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

The council will first review draft updates to the general plan, considered the city's "constitution" for development and land use. The draft updates, developed by the city with help from the consulting firm PlaceWorks, propose changes in two areas: circulation, which addresses transportation, including traffic across the city; and zoning for Menlo Park's Bayfront area, which will determine the kind of structures that can be built and operate there in the future.

The review follows a Sept. 21 Planning Commission discussion when commission members and a number of residents voiced concerns about affordable housing, environmental sustainability, traffic and emergency response.

Specific plan

Next on the Oct. 6 agenda is the council's review of the El Camino Real/downtown specific plan. The council has decided to conduct periodic reviews of the plan, which it adopted in 2012 following about five years of public meetings. After the council's initial review in 2013, the council agreed to review the plan every other year.

Proposed changes to the plan were presented to the Planning Commission at its Aug. 3 meeting. The recommendations were generally supported, with some exceptions, according to a staff report.

Recommended changes to the downtown plan include revising setback requirements for the rear of buildings, establishing maximum front and side setbacks, and setting sidewalk width standards for streets that do not have sidewalks. Other proposed changes include considerations related to transportation demand management programs, electric vehicle recharging stations, hotel parking rates, and more.

For more information, see the agenda.

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