The Menlo Park City Council will meet Tuesday night, March 15, to review a yearly report on the state of the city's housing and housing policy program, and could authorize a contract with a consultant to prepare an environmental impact review of Stanford's proposed eight-acre mixed-use development project between 100 and 700 El Camino Real.
The council will also hear more about the process to install bus shelters in Belle Haven, possibly authorize changes to the city's shuttle program to expand services, and review the city's budget.
Each year, Menlo Park is mandated by the state to report on its "Housing Element," or the part of the city's general plan that addresses housing, which was updated in 2014. Over the last few weeks, the matter was brought to the city's housing and planning commissions.
Those discussions raised questions about what mechanisms could be used to encourage higher density and more affordable housing, and whether affordable housing should be part of the public benefits negotiations over proposed developments.
The report said that new construction in 2015 will add 25 very-low-income and 20 low-income units, and 703 units intended for above-moderate-income residents, yielding a total of 748 new housing units in Menlo Park. That's up from 71 new units in 2014.
Stanford in late September submitted to the city's planners revised designs for an 8.4-acre development between 100 and 700 El Camino Real, and along the Caltrain tracks.
Because that the proposal appears to comply the city's El Camino Real/downtown specific plan, Stanford can apply to the city for a streamlined environmental impact review, a state-mandated process that analyzes a range of potential impacts a new development can have on the existing land and community.
In the review, a consultant would analyze whether the project will have significant effects on transportation, traffic and traffic noise, and on air quality during construction. The review is expected to take 13 months and would be slated for completion in March 2017.
The work would be done by a consultant contracted by the city. The expected cost is $255,660, which Stanford would pay.
Belle Haven bus shelters
Menlo Park city staff reported that efforts to get new bus shelters in Belle Haven built, and old bus shelters in the rest of Menlo Park rebuilt, are underway.
City staff is working with SamTrans to find locations in Belle Haven that meet SamTrans requirements for bus shelters, which include factors such as high ridership, urban areas, high street visibility (for advertisers), and priority in minority census tracts. Priority locations are expected to be identified the next few weeks, said Nikki Nagaya, Menlo Park transportation manager.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at 701 Laurel St. in the Menlo Park Civic Center.