A proposal to build 105 apartments and less than 1,000 square feet of commercial space at 111 Independence Drive on the Bay side of Menlo Park is moving forward, following a June 24 discussion by the city's Planning Commission.
Consultants are beginning the environmental impact review process for the proposal, and are seeking public feedback on what topics should be studied to determine the project's environmental impacts.
Developer SP Menlo LLC, represented by Sateez Kadivar, proposes to replace a 15,000-square-foot office building with 105 new apartments and 115 parking spaces; the apartments would be mostly one-bedroom and studio units. The overall maximum height would be 85 feet.
Nine percent of the apartments would have two bedrooms. The building would have several common areas as well as a pool, a spa, a club room, a fitness center, a lounge, a dog run, a dog wash area, a basketball court, a bocce court and a ground-floor cafe. The proposal requests that the cafe count toward the developer's requirement to provide community amenities.
Under the city's zoning policies for this property, the city expects a developer to provide community amenities in exchange for greater, denser development permissions than would otherwise be allowed. On this property, without the provision of community amenities, the developer would be permitted to build only a maximum of 30 housing units per acre, compared with the proposed 105 units on slightly under one acre.
An initial environmental study has been done, but because of a lawsuit settlement reached between the cities of Menlo Park and East Palo Alto, new developments brought forward following the rezoning in the "ConnectMenlo" area on the Bay side of the city have to go through the more extensive environmental analysis.
The areas that have been determined to warrant further analysis by consultants are air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, traffic noise, population and housing, and transportation. After these impacts are studied, the matter will come back to the Planning Commission for additional review, and the public will get a 45-day window to provide feedback on the environmental analyses.
The developer will also complete a fiscal impact analysis to evaluate the potential value of the building and determine what is fair for the developer to provide to the community in exchange for development permits.
Planning Commissioner Henry Riggs asked if the city can find out what the impacts of the development will be on specific neighborhoods around it.
Those who wish to weigh in can send their comments to Kaitie Meador at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to her at the City of Menlo Park, Community Development Department Planning Division, 701 Laurel St., Menlo Park, CA 94025 by the deadline, 5 p.m. on Monday, July 15.
Access the preliminary environmental analysis online at here.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story indicated that Kadivar is the property owner; the property in fact belongs to his family and he is its representative.