April 25, 2022 - Planning Commission public hearing

On display until October 08, 2022, 07:00 PM

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on this item via Zoom, Monday, April 25, 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.

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 draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the following application:

Conditional Development Permit, Development Agreement, Rezoning, General Plan and Zoning Map Amendments, Vesting Tentative Map, Below Market Rate (BMR) Housing Agreement, and Environmental Review/Signature Development Group and Peninsula Innovation Partners, LLC on behalf of Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly Facebook, Inc.)/1350-1390 Willow Road, 925-1098 Hamilton Avenue, and 1005-1275 Hamilton Court:

The proposed Master Plan would comprehensively redevelop an approximately 59-acre existing industrial, research and development (R&D), and warehousing campus (referred to as the main project site) with up to 1,730 housing units, up to 200,000 square feet of retail uses, an approximately 1,600,000 square feet office campus for Meta, formerly Facebook, (up to 1.25 million square feet of office space, with the balance [e.g., space for accessory uses, including meeting and collaboration space totaling 350,000 square feet if the office square footage is maximized] in multiple buildings), a 193 room hotel, and publicly accessible open space including an approximately 3.5 acre publicly accessible park, a dog park, a town square, and a 2-acre elevated park. A minimum of 15 percent (260 units), and up to 17.8 percent (308 units) if the commercial linkage units are constructed on-site, of the 1,730 units would be BMR units per the City’s BMR Ordinance, including approximately 120 age-restricted senior units. The proposed project also includes a potential project variant that would increase the total number of housing units by up to 200 units for a total of 1,930 units, for consideration by decision makers as part of the requested land use entitlements. The proposed project includes a below grade publicly accessible tunnel that would connect the main project site with the West Campus for use by bicyclists, pedestrians, and Meta trams.

The proposal includes a request for an increase in height, floor area ratio (FAR), and density under the bonus level development allowance in exchange for community amenities. The proposed project also includes the realignment of Hamilton Avenue and an elevated park to connect the main project site with the Belle Haven Neighborhood Shopping Center. The masterplan requires a General Plan Circulation Element and Zoning Map amendment to modify the locations of internal site circulation (public rights-of-ways and paseos). The proposed project includes adjustment requests from the City’s design standards for specific buildings, modifications to the City’s BMR guidelines, and an adjustment to the City’s application of its transportation demand management (TDM) requirements.

As a separate future project, the environmental analysis has considered reconstruction of an existing service station at 1399 Willow Road and an approximately 6,700 square foot expansion at the Belle Haven neighborhood shopping center (1401 Willow Road and 871-883 Hamilton Avenue) as a future separate phase that would require separate use permits and architectural control permits. These parcels across Willow Road are referred to as the Hamilton Avenue Parcels. The main project site encompasses multiple parcels zoned O-B (Office) and R-MU-B (Residential Mixed Use). The Hamilton Avenue Parcels are zoned C-2-S (Neighborhood Shopping, Restrictive). The proposed project includes a request to remove 266 heritage trees on the main project site and three heritage trees on the Hamilton Avenue Parcels. The proposed project also includes a request for the use and storage of hazardous materials (diesel fuel) for back up emergency generators on the main Project Site and the Hamilton Avenue Parcels.

A Draft EIR has been prepared and will be released on Friday, April 8, 2022. A Notice of Preparation (NOP) was released on September 18, 2019, and included a public review period from September 18, 2019 through October 18, 2019 to solicit comments on the scope and content of the Draft EIR. In accordance with CEQA, the certified program-level ConnectMenlo EIR served as the first-tier environmental analysis. Further, this Draft EIR was prepared in compliance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement between the City of East Palo Alto and the City of Menlo Park. The Draft EIR was prepared to address potential physical environmental effects of the proposed project in the following areas: aesthetics, air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, energy, geology and soils, greenhouse gas emissions, hazards and hazardous materials, land use, noise, population and housing, public services, transportation, utilities and service systems, hydrology and water quality. The Draft EIR identifies significant and unavoidable impacts in the following topic areas: air quality and noise. The City is requesting comments on the content of this Draft EIR. The project site does not contain a toxic release site, per Section 6596.2 of the California Government Code.

Copies of the Draft EIR and NOA will be available on the City’s website at https://beta.menlopark.org/willowvillage, starting Friday, April 8, 2022. A hard copy is available for review at the Main Library, 800 Alma Street, and the Belle Haven Branch Library, 413 Ivy Drive. Interested parties should inquire at the library information desk.

The 45-day comment period required by CEQA Guidelines Section 15105 for the Draft EIR has been set from Friday, April 8, 2022 through Monday, May 23, 2022. Written comments should be submitted by email to Acting Planning Manager Kyle Perata at ktperata@menlopark.org, or by letter to Kyle Perata, Acting Planning Manager, Community Development, 701 Laurel St., Menlo Park, CA 94025, no later than 5:00 p.m., Monday, May 23, 2022. Following the close of the public review period, the City will prepare a Final EIR, which will include responses to all substantive comments received on the Draft EIR.

If you would like to submit written comments on the draft environmental impact report, you are encouraged to do so before 5 p.m., Monday, May 23, 2022. Written comments may be submitted to Acting Planning Manager Kyle Perata at ktperata@menlopark.org or mailed to:

Kyle Perata
Community Development
701 Laurel St.
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, email correspondence is preferred. Please contact Acting Planning Manager Kyle Perata with any questions or comments.