Menlo Flats

Menlo Flats rendering
Greystar has submitted a proposed project, tentatively named Menlo Flats, to redevelop three parcels with approximately 158 multifamily dwelling rental units and 14,400 square feet of commercial 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 ConnectMenlo 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 Housing Ordinance.

City staff is evaluating the project proposal to refine the review process, tentative project schedule, required land use entitlements, and the appropriate environmental review. It is anticipated that the following land use entitlements would be applicable to the proposed project:

  • Environmental review
  • Use permit
  • Architectural control
  • Below Market Rate (BMR) housing agreement

Current status

On January 28, 2020, the applicant submitted a preliminary application under the provisions of Senate Bill 330 (SB 330), the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, which became effective January 1, 2020. SB 330 is intended to streamline housing projects that are subject to discretionary review under local zoning laws. The bill establishes a two-step process by which an applicant can “lock in” applicable fees and development regulations by submitting a Preliminary Application. The Preliminary Application does not require as much detail as a typical project application package and ensures a project is only subject to the applicable development regulations and fees in effect at the time the Preliminary Application is accepted as complete by the local jurisdiction. Submittal of a Preliminary Application begins a timeline in which the project must be reviewed and acted upon by the decision-making body and must be followed by a complete development permit application.

Staff has reviewed the Menlo Flats project components and determined that the project is eligible for review under the provisions of SB 330. On July 27, 2020, the applicant submitted the SB 330 application. Staff is currently in the process of reviewing the application for compliance with the City’s codes, ordinances, and policies. A determination of compliance will be issued upon completion of staff review in accordance with the requirements of SB 330. The Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing for the environmental impact report scoping session and study session for the proposed project on December 7, 2020.

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 is open from November 16, 2020 to December 21, 2020. Public comments on the proposed scope of the EIR can be submitted to Payal Bhagat, Community Development, 701 Laurel Street, Menlo Park, CA 94025 or via email. More information is available in the “Related Documents” section of this web page.