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Planning Commission critiques Greystar housing proposal

Original post made on Mar 5, 2019

Members of the Menlo Park Planning Commission were frank in their skepticism that a large new housing development proposed by development company Greystar would work at the scale proposed without significant modifications during a study session held Feb. 25.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 5, 2019, 8:34 AM

Comments (7)

3 people like this
Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 5, 2019 at 10:18 am

They should do a study - do the people who live at Anton Menlo and 777 Hamilton work in the neighborhood? Is there any reason it would not be the same for this development? Be pragmatic; if the people who live there will work in this neighborhood, it might improve traffic conditions; if not, it certainly won't. The city should already know the answer about the other developments, but if they don't, they should find out.


2 people like this
Posted by sie
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 5, 2019 at 1:38 pm

sie is a registered user.

I agree that gathering information about the other two apartment complexes would be helpful, but only if they take all types of vehicular traffic into account. That includes Uber and Lyft cars as well as the food-delivery vehicles. Merely counting the number of residents who walk or bike to the workplace doesn't begin to account for the level of traffic coming into and out of these types of complexes, judging from what I see regularly at 777 Hamilton.


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Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 5, 2019 at 5:11 pm

@sie, yes a full traffic study would be best; knowing if residents of these complexes live here is a good starting point.

As I see, the real problem is those periods of time the traffic becomes intolerable (particularly in the late afternoon/early evening). Outside that time period, I'm not too concerned. Since I've started working at home, it's unusual for me to confront a traffic issue - because I simply do not go out at those times. I know many people don't have that luxury.

It's good to remember that someone who has to drive 20 times as far to get work contributes 20 times as much to traffic at rush hour.


2 people like this
Posted by bigger picture
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 6, 2019 at 9:02 am

The growth in jobs has been in Belle Haven, so there would be less traffic if there were more housing near the jobs.

If the amenities proposed for Willow Village come along, there will be a grocery, pharmacy in Belle Haven. What really is needed for the Greystar proposal is on-the-ground open space to relieve the urban feel of it and to provide a healthier living environment where people go outside, plants grow, and kids can play. The city needs to re-look at its open space requirements. Balconies are great for outdoor access, but there is nothing like "real" open space.

BTW the Willow Village (ha) proposal includes some new, huge offices buildings that exacerbate the jobs:housing imbalance. The community shouldn't get overly enticed by the grocery and housing, the latter being a pittance compared to the new demand for housing that all the Facebook employees and contractors are bringing to Menlo Park.


2 people like this
Posted by sie
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 6, 2019 at 1:50 pm

sie is a registered user.

@bigger picture: As you may know from the Willow Village proposal, the grocery store, pharmacy and retail areas are being planned for the final phase of construction, which means years and years before Belle Haven residents receive this much-needed benefit. So even if all of the 1,500-2,000 people in the Greystar development were working at Facebook, they’d still be heading out onto heavily congested roads like Marsh and Willow to get dinner or do their shopping through much of the 2020s. This doesn’t include the 3,000-4,000 people who will be living in the Willow Village housing, which will also be in use long before the retail area opens.

Solutions to the traffic congestion in the SR 84/Belle Haven area need to be in place before thousands more people are dropped, as Henry Riggs put it, “in traffic jam central.”


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of another community
on Mar 7, 2019 at 10:26 am

This development is directly across the street from the Sequoia District's new high school--has that been taken into account?


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Posted by bigger picture
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 7, 2019 at 3:32 pm

@sie "from the Willow Village proposal, the grocery store, pharmacy and retail areas are being planned for the final phase of construction, which means years and years before Belle Haven residents receive this much-needed benefit. "
Only if the City Council approves that timing.


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