Menlo Flats

Menlo Flats rendering
Greystar has submitted a request for a use permit, architectural control, Below Market Rate (BMR) housing agreement, community amenities agreement, environmental review, and density bonus to redevelop an existing parcel with approximately 158 multi-family dwelling units and approximately 15,000 square feet of commercial space comprised of approximately 13,400 square feet of office space and approximately 1,600 square feet of community amenities space on a 1.38-acre site. The project site is located at 165 Jefferson Drive in the R-MU-B (Residential Mixed Use - Bonus) zoning district. The proposed project would utilize bonus level gross floor area (GFA), density, and height in exchange for community amenities, as defined through the Connect Menlo process. Additional density and GFA above the maximum bonus level residential density would be achieved through the density bonus provision of the City's Below Market Rate (BMR) Housing Ordinance.

The proposed project would include a BMR housing agreement which requires a minimum of 15 percent of the units be designated for below market rate. This equates to 21 units of the 135 units prior to accounting for any density bonus from the BMR Housing Ordinance. The applicant is proposing to incorporate 20 additional market-rate units (included in the 158 total units), per the density bonus provisions in the BMR Housing Ordinance (Chapter 16.96.040). The project site currently contains an approximately 24,311-square-foot commercial office building that would be demolished.

The overall proposal would be comprised of:
  • 253,702 square feet of total gross floor area (GFA)
  • 156,729 square feet of residential GFA (158 units)
  • 15,000 square feet of non-residential GFA
  • An average height of 66.6 feet and a maximum height of 84 feet, 11 inches
  • 176 parking spaces
  • 5,022 square feet of public open space
  • 20,929 square feet of private open space

Current status


On November 16, 2020, the City released the Notice of Preparation (NOP) and Initial Study (IS) for the proposed Menlo Flats project. the NOP is part of the environmental review process and identifies that a focused environmental impact report (EIR) will be prepared for the proposed project. On December 7, 2020, the Planning Commission held an EIR scoping session to solicit feedback on the scope and content of the EIR. The NOP comment period closed on December 21, 2020, and comments received on the NOP are available for review on the City's development projects environmental documents page. Based on the findings of the Initial Study, a Focused Draft Environmental Impact Report or DEIR was prepared. The DEIR, technical appendices, and Notice of Availability (NOA) were released Monday, October 25, 2021, with the 45-day public comment period beginning Monday, October 25, 2021, through Thursday, December 9, 2021, and are available on the City's development project environmental documents webpage. The City will accept comments on the DEIR through the 45-day comment period that will close at 5 p.m., Thursday, December 9, 2021. The Planning Commission will hold a DEIR public hearing and a general study session on the proposed project via Zoom, at its meeting Monday, November 15, 2021

In accordance to CEQA, staff will create a response to comments document which includes any text changes to the DEIR, commonly known as the Final EIR. The Planning Commission is the final decision-making body on the project, unless the Planning Commission’s action are appealed to the City Council. A meeting agenda and staff report for the November 15, 2021, Planning Commission meeting will be made available for review the Thursday before the meeting date.

The project requires a fiscal impact analysis and a community amenities proposal. A community amenities appraisal, compliant with the City’s approved appraisal instructions, has been prepared and approved by the City’s Assistant Community Development Director.

Environmental review

An initial study and focused environmental impact report (EIR) are required for the project. A contract to start the environmental review process was approved by the City Council on July 23, 2020. A Notice of Preparation and Initial Study for the project were released on November 16, 2020 and a public comment period was open from November 16, 2020, to December 21, 2020.  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 if additional analysis would be necessary.

Additionally, as a result of the settlement agreement between the City of Menlo Park and the City of East Palo Alto, housing and transportation were required to be analyzed. Based on the findings of the initial study, a DEIR was prepared and was included with the Notice of Availability (NOA) for the proposed project. The focused DEIR, technical appendices, and Notice of Availability (NOA) were released Monday, October 25, 2021, with the 45-day public comment period beginning on Monday, October 25, 2021, through Thursday, December 9, 2021, and are available on the City's development project environmental documents webpage. The City will accept comments on the DEIR through the 45-day comment period that closes at 5 p.m., Thursday, December 9, 2021.