March 28, 2022 - Planning Commission public hearing

On display until September 28, 2022, 07:00 PM

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on this item via Zoom, on Monday, March 28, 2022, at 7 p.m. or as near as possible thereafter, at which time and place interested persons may appear and be heard. The Zoom meeting link will be published as part of the meeting agenda at least 72 hours in advance. If you challenge this item in court, you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the public hearing described in this notice, or in written correspondence delivered to the City of Menlo Park at, or before, the public hearing.

The Planning Commission is the acting body on the requested use permit, architectural control, BMR housing agreement, and the certification of the Final EIR, unless the project is appealed or called-up to the City Council for review.

Visit the city website for Planning Commission agenda, public hearing and staff report information at menlopark.org/PlanningCommissionAgenda.

The City of Menlo Park, as the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act, has prepared a focused Final Environmental Impact Report for the following application:

Use Permit, Architectural Control, Below Market Rate Housing Agreement, Heritage Tree Removals and associated Environmental Review/Andrew Morcos for Greystar/ 165 Jefferson Drive (Menlo Flats Project):

Request for a use permit, architectural control, environmental review, below market rate (BMR) housing agreement, heritage tree removals, and BMR housing density bonus to redevelop the project site with approximately 158 multifamily dwelling units and approximately 15,000 square feet of commercial space on a 1.38-acre parcel.

The proposed mixed-use building would be eight stories in height, including three levels of above grade podium parking. The commercial space would be located on the first and second floors. The project site is located in the R-MU-B (Residential Mixed Use, Bonus) zoning district. The project site currently contains a one-story, approximately 24,300-square foot office building that would be demolished. The proposed building would contain approximately 153,964 square feet of gross floor area of residential uses with a floor area ratio of approximately 256%.

The proposed building would contain a commercial component of approximately 15,000 square feet of gross floor area with a floor area ratio of approximately 25%. 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 applicant is proposing to pay the community amenities in-lieu fee for the proposed project. The proposed project would include a below market rate housing agreement that requires a minimum of 15% of the units (or 21 units of the 138 maximum units allowed by the zoning ordinance before accounting for the 20 bonus units) be affordable. The applicant is proposing to incorporate 20 additional market-rate units (which are included in the total 158 units), per the density bonus provisions in the BMR Housing Program (Chapter 16.96.040), which allows density and FAR bonuses, and exceptions to the city zoning ordinance requirements when BMR units are incorporated into the project. The proposed project includes the removal of two heritage trees.

The Final Environmental Impact Report pursuant to CEQA will be released Wednesday, March 16, 2022. 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 in the following categories: Air Quality, Transportation and Noise. The Final EIR identifies less than significant environmental impacts in the following categories: Population and Housing and Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Previously, an Initial Study was released Nov. 16, 2020, and included a public review period from Nov. 16, 2020, through Dec. 21, 2020, to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project and determine what level of additional environmental review would be appropriate. In accordance with Section 15168 of the CEQA Guidelines, the project-level IS 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.

Based on the findings of the IS and consistent with the settlement agreement between the City of Menlo Park and the City of East Palo Alto, a Draft EIR was prepared to address potential physical environmental effects of the proposed project in the following areas: population and housing, transportation, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and noise (operation period traffic and stationary noise). The Draft EIR did not identify any significant and unavoidable environmental impacts from the proposed project. The Draft EIR was circulated for a 45-day public review from Oct. 25, 2021 through Dec. 9, 2021 and the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the Draft EIR at its meeting Nov. 15, 2021. The Final EIR includes responses to all substantive comments received on the Draft EIR. The project location does not contain a toxic site pursuant to Section 6596.2 of the Government Code.

The Final EIR will be available on the project page on the city website at menlopark.org/menloflats starting Wednesday, March 16, 2022. A hard copy is available for review at the Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma St., and the Belle Haven Branch Library, 413 Ivy Drive. Interested parties should inquire at the library information desk.

If you would like to submit written comments on the Final EIR, you are encouraged to do so before 5:30 p.m., Monday, March 28, 2022. Written comments may be submitted to Contract Principal Planner Payal Bhagat at pbhagat@menlopark.org or mailed to:

Payal Bhagat
Community Development
701 Laurel St.
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, email correspondence is preferred. Please contact Contract Principal Planner Payal Bhagat with any questions or comments.