Environmental review ahead for 483-unit housing development | July 31, 2019 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

Almanac

News - July 31, 2019

Environmental review ahead for 483-unit housing development

by Kate Bradshaw

The Menlo Park City Council voted 4-1 on July 16, with Vice Mayor Cecilia Taylor opposed, to approve a contract with LSA Associates, a consulting firm, to conduct the environmental analysis for "Menlo Uptown," a proposed 483-unit housing development at 141 Jefferson Drive and 180-186 Constitution Drive.

The vote does not represent an endorsement of the proposal, but is instead a legal requirement — and would remain so even if the council had chosen to implement a development moratorium, as it discussed last month, City Attorney Bill McClure said.

The city is legally required to process development applications it receives, so not approving the contract could leave the city exposed to potential litigation, he added.

Several council members encouraged the developer to evaluate more community-serving square-footage in its environmental analysis, since it's not near any of the services the development's residents would otherwise need to access by car, such as a grocery store, a pharmacy, or restaurants.

Taylor also urged the developer to allocate more units for ownership rather than rent, and to provide residents air filters or other aids to protect them from air pollution from the development's proximity to the highway.

— By Kate Bradshaw

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