1300 El Camino Real (Sand Hill Property Company)

Current Status
This page provides information about the Sand Hill Property Company application known as "1300 El Camino Real", which was under review primarily between 2006-2010. The newer project also known as 1300 El Camino Real, submitted by Greenheart Land Company, is discussed separately on its own project page.

On July 20, 2010, the City Council reviewed the Settlement Agreement approved by the Petitioners and the Real Parties in Interest in the CEQA litigation entitled, Concerned Citizens of Menlo Park v. City of Menlo Park, et. al. The staff report is available online.

The City Council approved the project on October 6, 2009. On October 20, 2009, a second reading of the ordinance to rezone the property was waived and the final wording of the conditions of approval contained in the Planned Development Permit was ratified.

Project Description
The applicant, Sand Hill Property Company, proposed 110,065 square feet of commercial space. The primary project description and 2 project variants / options are as follows.

Primary Project Description
  • Grocery store / market with associated alcohol sales (51,365 square feet)
  • Non-medical office (58,700 square feet)
Option 1
  • Grocery store / market with associated alcohol sales (15,000 square feet)
  • Retail / restaurant with associated alcohol sales (11,365 square feet)
  • Health and fitness club with associated spa including sports massage (25,000 square feet)
  • Non-medical office (58,700 square feet)
Option 2
  • Retail / restaurant with associated alcohol sales (26,365 square feet)
  • Health and fitness club with associated spa including sports massage (25,000 square feet)
  • Non-medical office (58,700 square feet)
The project is proposed to have two-story building elements with a maximum building height of approximately 40 feet where 30 feet is the maximum building height permitted by the pre-existing zoning designation, and 424 parking spaces in an at-grade and below-grade parking structure where 661 parking spaces would be required by the pre-existing zoning designation. The project area comprises approximately 3.4 acres north of Oak Grove Avenue between the Caltrain tracks and El Camino Real. The property is currently vacant and formerly contained the Cadillac dealership. The existing vacant structures would be demolished, and the automobile storage component would be eliminated.

Required Applications
The project required the following applications:
  1. Rezoning the property from the C-4 (ECR) zoning district (General Commercial Applicable to El Camino Real) to the P-D zoning district (Planned Development)
  2. Planned Development Permit to establish specific development regulations and architectural designs
  3. Lot Merger and Minor Subdivision to merge 6 existing lots and create up to 4 commercial condominium units
  4. Below Market Rate (BMR) Agreement for the payment of in-lieu fees associated with the city's Below Market Rate Housing Program
  5. Heritage Tree Removal Permit to remove 3 onsite and 4 offsite heritage trees from the project site
  6. Environmental Review to analyze the potential environmental impacts of the proposal
In response to a request by the City Council, the applicant has also prepared a mixed-use residential alternative plan set that is analyzed in the Alternatives section of the Draft Environmental Impact Report. The residential alternative would require similar entitlements as the proposed project and is proposed to have a similar architectural style. The alternative would consist of 36 residential units, 58,700 square feet of non-medical office, and 22,895 square feet of retail / restaurant uses with 415 at-grade and below-grade parking spaces. This concept utilizes density bonus square footage as provided for in section 16.96.040 of the Zoning Ordinance.

Required Review
The proposal was reviewed by the Planning Commission for Rezoning, Planned Development Permit, Lot Merger and Subdivision, and Environmental Review, and it received a recommendation for approval. The proposal was reviewed by the Housing Commission and received a positive recommendation on the BMR Agreement to provide in-lieu fees associated with the city's BMR Housing Program. The City Council was the final decision-making body on these applications and the Heritage Tree Removal Permit.