Greystar has submitted a request for use permit, architectural control, lot line adjustment, lot merger, below market rate housing agreement, heritage tree removals permits, and environmental review for property located at 104 Constitution Drive, 110 Constitution Drive, and 115 Independence Drive (Menlo Portal Project). The proposed project would redevelop three parcels with approximately 335 multi-family dwelling units, approximately 34,868 square feet of office, and approximately 1,600 square feet of non-office commercial space (proposed to be occupied by a child care use as the applicant’s community amenity).
The proposed project would contain two buildings, a seven-story multifamily residential building and a three story commercial building with office use on the upper levels and the neighborhood serving commercial space on the ground level. Both buildings would include above grade two-story parking garages integrated into the buildings. The project site is located in the R-MU-B (Residential Mixed Use, Bonus) zoning district. The project site currently contains three single-story office buildings totaling 64,832 square feet that would be demolished. The proposed residential building would contain approximately 326,581 square feet of gross floor area with a floor area ratio of 235 percent. The proposed commercial building would contain approximately 34,868 square feet of gross floor area with a floor area ratio of 25 percent. The proposal includes a request for an increase in height, density, and floor area ratio (FAR) under the bonus level development allowance in exchange for community amenities. The proposed project would include a below market rate housing agreement that requires a minimum of 15 percent of the units (or 48 units of the maximum 320 units permitted by the Zoning Ordinance) be affordable. In addition, the applicant is proposing to incorporate 15 additional market-rate units (which are included in the total 335 units), per the density bonus provisions in the BMR Housing Program (Chapter 16.96.040), which allows density and FAR bonuses above the maximums permitted by the Zoning Ordinance, and exceptions to the City's Zoning Ordinance requirements when BMR units are incorporated into the project. The overall proposal would be comprised of:
Residential: 326,581 square feet (335 units)
Office: 34,868 square feet
Child care: 1,600 square feet
Average Height: 60.7
Total parking: 413 spaces
Public: 9,760 square feet
Common and Private: 32,788 square feet
On February 25, 2021, the City published a notice of availability (NOA) and released the draft focused environmental impact report (EIR) for the project. The City is now accepting comments on the draft EIR through the 45-day comment period that will close at 5 p.m., Wednesday, April 14, 2021. The Planning Commission will hold a draft EIR public hearing and a general study session on the proposed project via GoToMeeting Webinar or Zoom, at its meeting on Monday, March 22, 2021. The NOA and draft EIR are available on the City’s development project environmental documents webpage.
During the development of the draft EIR, the applicant resubmitted project plans that include the following project refinements:
Added 15 units to increase the total number of units proposed from 320 units to 335 units (utilizing the City’s BMR density bonus);
Modification to the lot line location between the office and residential buildings;
Modifications to area of the publicly accessible the plaza;
Improved “activation” of the plaza by including residential amenity spaces, office amenity spaces, and publicly accessible outdoor seating areas outdoor dining area along the perimeter of the building adjoining the plaza;
Enhancements to the landscaping by including additional planting, spaces for public art, and wayfinding features;
Reallocated approximately 1,274 square feet of public open space to common open spaces for residential tenants;
Updates to façade treatment to conform to the maximum 50% stucco requirement and clarified the stucco would be “smooth troweled finish,” per the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance; and
Modifications to the office and residential building to comply with the Zoning Ordinance requirements (e.g. modulation requirements).
Previously on January 27, 2020, the proposal was reviewed at a Planning Commission for the EIR scoping session and study session. At the meeting the Planning Commission and community provided feedback on the proposed project and what topics could be studied in the focused EIR.
On July 22, 2019, the Planning Commission held a study session to review an initial version of the proposed project. The Commission's feedback on the proposal included the following points:
Additional information requested on the type of screening for the parking garage and recommendation to look at additional screening options.
Recommendation to do additional outreach and work with the surrounding neighborhood on the proposed community amenity.
Recommendation to consider providing more than 15% of the units as BMR units and include a range in income levels (extremely low to moderate), sizes, and bedroom counts on the site.
Consider ways that the publicly accessible open space could be activated such as additional seating and live music.
Consider a TDM plan that reduces the total trips for the development more than required 20%.
An Initial Study for the project was prepared and evaluated the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project and determine what level of additional environmental review would be appropriate, and was released on January 7, 2020, with a public review period from January 7, 2020 to February 7, 2020. Comments received on the initial study and scope and content of the EIR are included on the environmental documents page. In accordance with the requirements outlined in Section 15168 of the CEQA Guidelines, the project-level Initial Study was prepared to disclose the relevant impacts and mitigation measures addressed in the certified program-level ConnectMenlo EIR and discuss whether the project is within the parameters of the ConnectMenlo EIR or additional analysis would be necessary.
In addition, as a result of the settlement agreement between the City of Menlo Park and the City of East Palo Alto, housing and transportation are required to be analyzed. Based on the findings of the Initial Study, a Draft EIR has been prepared and will be included with the Notice of Availability (NOA) for the proposed project. The focused Draft EIR, technical appendices, and NOA were released on February 25, 2021 and are available on the City's development project environmental documents webpage for review.