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Jun 14

Final environmental impact report released for Menlo Uptown Project

Posted on June 14, 2021 at 7:29 pm by Clay Curtin

The proposed Menlo Uptown project in the Bayfront Area reached a project milestone Friday, June 11, 2021, with the release of its final environmental impact report (Final EIR). The Final EIR includes a response to all substantive comments received on the draft EIR and any edits to the text of the draft EIR. The Final EIR is available on the city’s development projects environmental documents page. A hard copy is also now available for a curbside pickup at the Menlo Park Main Library.

The Final EIR for the proposed project does not identify any significant and unavoidable environmental impacts that would result from the implementation of the proposed project. The Final EIR identifies potentially significant environmental impacts that can be mitigated to a less than significant level (LTS/M) in the following categories: Air Quality and Noise. The Final EIR identifies less than significant (LTS) environmental impacts in the following categories: Population and Housing, Transportation and Greenhouse Gas Emissions. An initial study was previously prepared to disclose the relevant impacts and mitigation measures addressed in the certified program-level ConnectMenlo Final EIR.

At its June 21, 2021, meeting, the Planning Commission is scheduled to review and determine whether to certify the project-level Final EIR. It will also review and act on the requested land use entitlements for the proposed project. The Planning Commission meeting begins at 7 p.m. and will be held via Zoom.

The Planning Commission is the final decision-making body on the entitlements with the exception of the major subdivision to adjust the existing parcels and create 42 for-sale condominium townhomes, for which the Planning Commission is a recommending body to the City Council. The Planning Commission’s recommendation on the major subdivision will be forwarded to the City Council for consideration at a future public meeting and all other entitlements would be final unless appealed to the City Council. 

Members of the public are encouraged to review the Final EIR and participate in the upcoming June 21, 2021, Planning Commission meeting, to provide comments on the Final EIR and the proposed project for consideration by the Planning Commission. If you would like to submit written comments on the Final EIR, you are encouraged to do so before 5:30 p.m., Monday, June 21, 2021. Written comments must be submitted by email to Senior Planner Tom Smith or by letter to Tom Smith, Community Development, 701 Laurel St., Menlo Park, CA 94025. Email correspondence is preferred. 

The proposed project, located at 141 Jefferson Drive and 180-186 Constitution Drive, would redevelop the site with 483 multifamily dwelling units, consisting of 441 multifamily rental units and 42 for-sale townhome units and an approximately 2,940 square foot commercial space located in the R-MU-B (Residential Mixed Use, Bonus) zoning district. The proposed project would include a Below Market Rate (BMR) housing agreement that requires a minimum of 15% (or 73 units) be affordable. The applicant is proposing to provide 67 rental BMR units and 6 for-sale townhome BMR units. The applicant has provided two BMR scenarios. In each scenario the 6 for-sale BMR units would be affordable to moderate-income households. For the rental units, one option would designate all of the rental BMR units affordable to low-income households and the other option would include a mix of rental BMR units affordable to very low, low-, and moderate-income households. 

The proposal includes a request for an increase in height, density, and FAR under the bonus level development allowance in exchange for community amenities. The applicant is proposing two options for its community amenity, with an alternative to provide the commercial space to a nonprofit to use for administrative offices and an alternative to provide the commercial space to a health care nonprofit to use as an urgent care or express care health center. Both community amenity alternatives include additional contributions to either a community land trust or the health care network.

For more information and updates, please visit the Menlo Uptown project page.