Jun 17

111 Independence Drive project enters the environmental review process

Posted on June 17, 2019 at 5:44 pm by Clay Curtin

On June 14, City staff released a notice of preparation and initial study for the proposed project, located at 111 Independence Drive. The notice of preparation is part of the environmental review process and identifies that an environmental impact report (EIR) will be prepared for the proposed project.

The proposed project includes a new eight-story residential apartment building with 105 dwelling units and a community-serving retail space. The site contains an existing one-story office building, approximately 15,000 square feet in size, which would be demolished as part of the project. Based on the requirements of the City’s BMR Ordinance, 14 residential units (15 percent) would be provided as below market rate (BMR) units. The project also includes a publicly accessible open space along Independence Drive, which would remain owned and managed by the applicant. The proposal includes a request for an increase in height, density and FAR under the bonus level development allowance, which is subject to obtaining a use permit and providing one or more community amenities. 

As identified in the initial study, a focused EIR will be prepared to study potential new or increased impacts in the following areas: air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, noise (traffic noise), population and housing, and transportation and traffic. The City is requesting comments on the scope and content of the focused EIR during a 30-day comment period from June 14, 2019, to July 15, 2019. Comments can also be provided at the Planning Commission’s June 24, 2019, EIR scoping session.

In addition to an EIR scoping session, the Planning Commission will also hold a study session on the project to allow for members of the public and the Planning Commission to provide general feedback to the applicant and staff on the project proposal. The meeting takes place at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. The meeting agenda and staff report will be published Thursday, June 20, 2019.

For more information, including previous Planning Commission study session staff reports and plan sets, visit the 111 Independence Drive project page.

111 Independence Drive rendering
Jun 17

June 24 Planning Commission study session planned for proposed Menlo Portal mixed-use development

Posted on June 17, 2019 at 5:44 pm by Clay Curtin

The Planning Commission will hold a study session on the proposed Menlo Portal project, located at 115 Independence Drive, 104 and 110 Constitution Drive. The meeting takes place at 7 p.m., Monday, June 24, in the City Council Chambers. The meeting agenda and staff report will be published Thursday, June 20, 2019. 

The City received an initial application March 28, 2019, to construct a seven-story residential building with 320 rental units and three-story commercial building with 33,100 square feet of office and 1,608 square feet of neighborhood benefit space. The proposed residential building would contain approximately 311,341 square feet of gross floor area with a floor area ratio of 223 percent. The proposed commercial building would contain approximately 34,708 square feet of gross floor area with a floor area ratio of 25 percent. The proposal includes a request for an increase in height, density and FAR under the bonus level development allowance, which is subject to obtaining a use permit and providing one or more community amenities. 

This study session is the first step in discussing the proposed project and will be followed by subsequent Planning Commission meetings.

Menlo Portal 115 Independence Drive 104 and 110 Constitution Drive rendering
Jun 17

Laurel School fourth-graders design sustainable cities

Posted on June 17, 2019 at 5:44 pm by Clay Curtin

Recently, staff from the City’s Sustainability Division had a nice chat with fourth-graders at Laurel School about their project “Geometrocity” and discussed a bit about their work at the City of Menlo Park. The class is working in four teams to design “Geometrocity,” a city inclusive of climate change and urbanization issues, including denser and affordable housing. Common themes from the designs were electric vehicles, solar and wind infrastructure, public transit, mixed-use buildings, rooftop gardens and livable/walkable spaces. 

The groups first focused on designing cities based on needs and then added a few items for fun, including a strong desire for a frozen yogurt store. From their 2D design, the teams will apply math concepts and use building supplies (Legos) to construct model cities over the coming weeks. 

For more information about Menlo Park’s strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, please visit the Climate Action Plan webpage.

Laurel School fourth-graders design sustainable cities