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Menlo Park Municipal Code Title 8, Chapter 53
It applies to all tenants, both current and prospective.
A one year lease must be offered to a tenant, in writing, every twelve months.
The ordinance does not specify how to prove a one year lease was offered. It is a best practice for landlords to keep track of offering tenants a one year lease and keep all of the signed rejected/accepted offers. The ordinance does specify, “a rejection of the offer must be documented in writing and signed by the tenant” and “signing of a lease which has a minimum term of one year shall be considered an offer in writing.”
No. The landlord is responsible for providing this documentation the tenants. Remember, the one year lease offer must be in writing and the specified language (in question above) must be included in the lease agreement.
That would be up to a court to determine, not the City. Question of fact as to whether they received and rejected/didn’t accept the offer, or whether never received the offer unless you have proof of delivery.
It is recommended the landlord send the tenant a notification by certified mail.
A tenant may reject the one year lease option. A rejection of the offer must be documented in writing and signed by the tenant.
Landlords must offer tenants a one year lease, but the landlord and tenant may agree to other rental terms.
No. Landlord are only obligated to offer tenants a one year lease every twelve months.
No. The landlord is only obligated to offer a tenant a one year lease every twelve months. Even after the six-month lease is up, the landlord does not need to offer the tenant a one year lease.
No. The decision to renew a lease is between the landlord and tenant.
The ordinance does not address rate increases, but if the landlord and tenant agree to a rate increase within the lease agreement, it should be written within the contract of the lease agreement.
The ordinance provides a tenant with the opportunity to file a civil claim against the landlord. For free legal advice, contact Community Legal Services. As an alternative, Project Sentinel offers free tenant/landlord dispute mediation.
Many other changes are also impacting the Belle Haven neighborhood, including new land uses (the Facebook campuses and Menlo Gateway), changing demographics, and rising housing costs. With all of these changes, the City wants to have an up-to-date understanding of neighborhood needs, issues and priorities so it can consider this information in its decision-making.
The Visioning Process is unique in that it will identify a set of priorities with City decision-makers, identify specific actions and roles, and help build neighborhood capacity so that residents can work effectively with the City to realize the vision.
In Belle Haven, the Community Services Department oversees Kelly Park, the pool, senior center, library, Onetta Harris Community Center, and the Child Development Center and is a partner at the Community School. Many programs and services at these facilities are supported by the Community Services Department.
City services like Police and Public Works are all funded by Menlo Park’s share of tax dollars, including sales and property taxes and other revenue sources. Community Services, like recreation programs, the Menlo Children’s Center (including the after-school program), the pool and other activities on the Burgess Campus are largely funded by the fees participants in these programs pay. Community Services in Belle Haven, like the Onetta Harris Community Center, the senior center, the after-school program and the Child Development Center are more reliant on tax funds since user fees are typically lower in Belle Haven.
Several schools draw students from the Belle Haven neighborhood, such as Belle Haven and Willow Oaks Elementary Schools. These schools are part of the Ravenswood School District, while other Menlo Park neighborhoods are part of the Menlo Park City School District. Students from the whole city come together to attend high school at Menlo-Atherton High School beginning in 9th grade.
The Tinsley court-ordered desegregation program allows students of color living in the Ravenswood City School District attendance area who will be entering kindergarten, first or second grade in the following school year to apply for transfers to the following seven districts: Belmont-Redwood Shores, Las Lomitas, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Portola Valley, San Carlos and Woodside. Non-minority students in those seven districts and Redwood City may apply for transfers to Ravenswood.
Coordination of the “full service” school approach is led by the City through the Community School Director, who works side-by-side with the school principal. The Community School Director is tasked with addressing the barriers to learning, providing access to vital services and forging strategic partnerships so that the principal can focus on student achievement, teacher performance, increasing test scores and improving the school climate.
If the addition is a FEMA substantial improvement, then the project must comply with FEMA regulations for building in the flood plain and with the City’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance. In short, these requirements include:
a. Elevating the building above the BFE (requirements will vary on type of project - refer to question 6.)b. Anchoring the building to prevent flotation and lateral movementc. Using materials below BFE that are resistant to flood damaged. Using construction methods that minimize flood damagee. Placing utilities above the BFE (HVAC system, electrical and communication wiring, etc)f. Wet-flood-proofing parts the building that are below BFE
If the improvement is being made to a commercial building, the City has a separate worksheet. Call the Engineering Division at 650-330-6740.
a. The building is wet-flood-proofedb. The crawl space height does not exceed four feet c. The crawl space floor is no greater than two feet below the lowest adjacent grade
a. The crawl space floor is no greater than two feet below the lowest adjacent gradeb. The crawlspace height does not exceed four feetc. The building is wet-flood-proofed
Raising your house may reduce the cost of your flood insurance. Ask your insurance agent how much you will save. Multiply the yearly savings by the years you plan to spend in the house. Compare that expense to the cost of raising the house.
The City encourages all building projects in the flood zone, even those that are not FEMA substantial improvements, to comply with FEMA regulations and City ordinance. Structures in compliance with FEMA regulations keep people safer, improve the City’s emergency preparedness and disaster resilience.
All projects completed less that 36 months prior to an application for a building permit are counted toward the cost of the improvement project when deciding whether it is a substantial improvement. If 36 months have elapsed between the issuance of the ‘certificate of occupancy’ for a prior project and the date of application for a new project, then only the new project is counted when determining whether it is a substantial improvement.
However, if the garage slab is below BFE then the lowest adjacent grade (driveway approach) will also be below BFE. This will make it impossible to reduce the cost of flood insurance by removing the home from the flood zone through the LOMA process.
The following Guiding Principles were accepted by the City Council on December 16, 2014.Citywide EquityMenlo Park neighborhoods are protected from unreasonable development and unreasonable cut-through traffic, share the benefits and impacts of local growth, and enjoy equal access to quality services, education, public open space, housing that complements local job opportunities with affordability that limits displacement of current residents, and convenient daily shopping such as grocery stores and pharmacies.Healthy CommunityEveryone in Menlo Park enjoys healthy living spaces, high quality of life, and can safely walk or bike to fresh food, medical services, employment, recreational facilities, and other daily destinations; land owners and occupants take pride in the appearance of property; Menlo Park achieves code compliance and prioritizes improvements that promote safety and healthy living; and the entire city is well-served by emergency services and community policing.Competitive and Innovative Business DestinationMenlo Park embraces emerging technologies, local intelligence, and entrepreneurship, and welcomes reasonable development without excessive traffic congestion that will grow and attract successful companies and innovators that generate local economic activity and tax revenue for the entire community.Corporate ContributionIn exchange for added development potential, construction projects provide physical benefits in the adjacent neighborhood (such as Belle Haven for growth north of US 101), including jobs, housing, schools, libraries, neighborhood retail, childcare, public open space, high speed internet access, and transportation choices.Youth Support and Education ExcellenceMenlo Park children and young adults have equal access to excellent childcare, education, meaningful employment opportunities, and useful training, including internship opportunities at local companies.Great Transportation OptionsMenlo Park provides thoroughly-connected, safe and convenient transportation, adequate emergency vehicle access, and multiple options for people traveling by foot, bicycle, shuttle, bus, car, and train, including daily service along the Dumbarton Rail Corridor.Complete Neighborhoods and Commercial CorridorsMenlo Park neighborhoods are complete communities, featuring well integrated and designed development along vibrant commercial corridors with a live-work-play mix of community-focused businesses that conveniently serve adjacent neighborhoods while respecting their residential character.Accessible Open Space and RecreationMenlo Park provides safe and convenient access to an ample amount of local and regional parks and a range of public open space types, recreational facilities, trails, and enhancements to wetlands and the Bay.Sustainable Environmental PlanningMenlo Park is a leader in efforts to address climate change, adapt to sea-level rise, protect natural and built resources, conserve energy, manage water, utilize renewable energy, and promote green building.
On August 21, 2017, the City received a letter from Attorney Kevin Shenkman demanding that the City Council elections transition from the current “at-large” method to by-district” in order to conform to the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). Mr. Shenkman alleges that the City of Menlo Park is in violation of the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 and that “racially polarized voting” occurs in the city.The City Council is taking advantage of AB 350, California Elections Code 10010, which provides for a short window on opportunity to discuss, invite and receive public input and ultimately decide if the City should adopt a district based elections process.The key provisions of AB 350 affords the City an additional 90 days to comply before a lawsuit can be filed as it is safe harbored from litigation throughout the public hearing and ordinance process.
The Federal Voting Rights Act (FVRA) was adopted in 1965 and is intended to protect the rights of all citizens to participate in the voting process. The CVRA was passed in the California State Legislature in 2001, based on the Legislature’s belief that minorities and other members of protected classes were being denied the opportunity to have representation of their choosing at the local level because of a number of issues associated with at-large elections. Upon a finding of a violation of the CVRA, the act requires that “the court shall implement appropriate remedies, including the imposition of district-based elections that are tailored to remedy the violation.” As such, the default remedy and the clearly identified remedy by the Legislature is district-based elections.
Read more about the FVRA, the CVRA and CVRA Safe Harbor information.
Dozens of cities, school districts and other local agencies in California have faced similar challenges in recent years.Other cities have voluntarily or been forced to adopt changes to their method of electing City Council members. While some cities have settled claims out of court by agreeing to shift to district elections, others have defended at-large elections through the court system and have incurred significant legal costs because the CVRA gives plaintiffs the right to recover attorney fees.
The threshold to establish liability under the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) is considered low. The Federal Voting Rights Act requires four conditions to be met to prove a city is not in compliance. The CVRA only has two condition requirements.
A by-district election process means voters within a designated City Council electoral district elect one City Council member who must also reside in and be a registered voter of that district.
The City of Menlo Park currently elects City Council members through an at-large election process, which means that each voter elects all members of the City Council.
Many factors may be considered, but population equality is the most important. Other factors include:
The City Council adopted a resolution indicating its intent to transition to district elections, and will hold several public hearings to take public testimony, suggestions and allow for community input in developing maps meeting these elements.
A community of interest is a neighborhood or community that would benefit from being in the same district because of shared interest, view or characteristics. Possible community features or boundary definitions include:
The districting process timeline is prescribed by the California Election Code 10010.
The City has a 45 day period (from the receipt of the letter dated August 21, 2017) to consider if it desires to transition to election by districts and to adopt a resolution indicating so. Once the City Council adopts a resolution indicating its intent to transition to districts (adopted on October 4, 2017), the City has 90 days to do so. This process totals 135 days.
The plaintiff may agree to voluntarily delay filing a CVRA lawsuit and provide the City more time conduct public outreach and gather public input, if the agency is demonstrating progress.
A professional demographer is hired by the City to create proposed district boundaries, with suggestions and feedback from residents. Tools will be made available for the public to draw and submit sample maps. Residents will be able to provide input on boundaries and suggested criteria for creating boundaries. The district process will be transparent and accessible to all residents in the City of Menlo Park. Ultimately, the City Council adopts an ordinance establishing district boundaries.
Residents in Menlo Park can attend public hearings and community meetings to learn about next steps in determining the process.If you are unable to attend the public meetings, the City of Menlo Park is pleased to provide you with live and archived public meetings online at menlopark.org/streaming. City Council meetings are also broadcast live on government access Channel 26.The City’s district elections project website will be updated as new information becomes available.
We want our future choices to include information about impacts (both positive and negative) so we can make informed decisions about the area as a whole, not as individual projects are proposed and we want to ensure public investment successfully leverages private investment and results in improved prosperity for the community overall. A specific plan helps achieve these important goals.
Because of this proximity, the long-term vision for each area needs to consider the other, such as by El Camino Real providing uses that support but don't directly compete with downtown's retail core. As the iterative workshop-based process has unfolded, the community has had the opportunity to tailor the plans for downtown, El Camino Real, and the station area in detail.
El Camino Real is a key roadway connecting cities throughout the Peninsula, and it provides a key transportation route through downtown Menlo Park. El Camino Real serves many local businesses fronting and adjacent to the street, and is one of few north-south thoroughfares in the City, providing connections for residents to jobs and services in Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Atherton, Redwood City, and beyond.
El Camino Real also divides the City, with the downtown business district on the west side and the Civic Center, recreation facilities and library on the east side, and the Menlo Park City School District schools straddling both sides. This orientation requires frequent crossings by Menlo Park residents on a daily basis, and represents a challenging situation for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists making short trips to local destinations.
The El Camino Real corridor and Downtown Menlo Park were recently re-envisioned through the City’s El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan (Specific Plan), adopted by the Menlo Park City Council in June 2012. The Specific Plan provides the framework for redevelopment of many underutilized parcels in the Plan Area, and encourages transit-oriented, mixed-use and infill development. Menlo Park also adopted a “Complete Streets” Policy in January 2013 to improve its commitment to a comprehensive, integrated transportation network that allows safe and convenient travel along and across streets for all users – including pedestrians, bicyclists, persons with disabilities, motorists, movers of commercial goods, users and operators of public transportation, seniors, children, youth, and families, emergency vehicles, and freight.
1. Occurrence of congested conditions and delay to motorists, transit vehicles, and emergency vehicles during peak commute hours;2. Occurrence of a bottleneck for vehicular traffic in the northbound direction, where El Camino Real, Sand Hill Road, and Alma Street (six total lanes) feed traffic to El Camino Real, which drops from three to two lanes at Ravenswood Avenue-Menlo Avenue;3. Ability to serve local traffic and connect local businesses, including provision of on-street parking; 4. Safety of motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians traveling along and across El Camino Real;5. Barriers to vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians attempting to cross El Camino Real;6. Prevalence of motorists making U-turns at Cambridge Avenue;7. Comfort of bicyclists traveling on El Camino Real, and bicyclists’ need to access local destinations in the corridor; and8. Designation of El Camino Real as a Class II bike lane/minimum Class III bike route facility in the Specific Plan.
Please watch for details on upcoming events. You can also contact us directly with your thoughts and sign up for email updates on the project. We look forward to hearing your ideas on how to improve El Camino Real.
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The City’s Floodplain Manager can provide the needed documentation to your insurance agent. Email a copy of the letter you received from the NFIP or FEMA to WJLoy@menlopark.org, or call 650-330-6740.
In the early 1970s the City of Menlo Park followed FEMAs procedure to develop a map showing where floods were most likely to occur. The maps were based on historic records of rainfall, tides and volume of water flowing down local creeks. The maps have been updated five times since then and are due to be updated again in 2017.
The National Flood Insurance Program, through your homeowners’ insurance company, uses these maps to decide who needs flood insurance and how much it should cost.
a. You moved into your home and purchased your flood insurance policy before April 4, 1999b. Before April 4, 1999 your lot was not in a special flood hazard area. After April 4, 1999 your lot was inside a special flood hazard area.c. You have carried flood insurance continuously since you first obtained it.
There are several categories of SFHA. They include A, AE, AO, A99, V and VE. Each has a different flood insurance cost associated with it.
Homes in SFHAs that have been paid for with federally-backed mortgages are required to carry flood insurance.
Both of our existing library buildings are out of date and do not meet current or future user needs. We asked the library users what they wanted to see in an updated library, and they told us that it should be a center for lifelong learning, a hub for technology and a gathering place for collaboration, connection and growth. These added demands on public library space require all new facilities.
In June of 2017, Mr. John Arrillaga came forward with a generous offer: If the City paid the first $20 million of construction costs for a new Main Library, he would pay the rest. It is anticipated that constructing a new Main Library could cost as much as $60 million. On the basis of public feedback, the City Council asked staff to plan new facilities for both the Main Library and the Belle Haven branch.
Library staff sought community input during the development of the Library Strategic Plan and the Library Space Needs Assessment and is currently doing the same regarding the siting and uses of the Main Library building. Please join us at one of the workshops to tell us your thoughts. Future meetings will be held to gather input from neighborhood residents for Belle Haven Library services and uses. Council also funded a community based needs assessment for the Belle Haven branch. That process is underway.
Staff estimates that in addition to the $20 million needed to trigger the Arrillaga donation, there could be up to an additional $10 million in soft costs paid by the City associated with a new Main Library. These costs would be for preparing the building site, relocating/reconstructing utilities, and outfitting the new facility with shelving and furniture. A cost estimate for a new Belle Haven Library has not yet been determined.
The City’s Finance and Audit Subcommittee recommended several options: using reserves and paying back the funds with an increase in transient occupancy taxes or utility users taxes; taking out a loan to fund the costs; placing a bond measure for the costs before the voters, or a combination of these.
Mr. Arrillaga’s gift enables the City to significantly leverage the money it spends toward a new Main Library facility; it is not transferable to other City projects. It also saves money by allowing the construction to begin sooner, as building costs increase over time.
Planning for the new branch library is proceeding along the same track as taken by the new Main Library, through conducting a Belle Haven Neighborhood Library Needs Assessment and forming a Belle Haven Neighborhood Library Advisory Committee. The Belle Haven Branch Library is located inside the Belle Haven Elementary School; since the City does not own the school grounds, a new location must be found. In the meantime, the City Council approved funds both for updates to the existing facility and its collections, and an increase in open hours and staffing.
The Main Library was originally constructed in 1957, and expanded and remodeled in 1967, 1991, and 2012. The large scale renovations needed under the current plan would cost nearly as much as a new facility.
There are no plans to reduce the size of the Main Library’s current collection; on the contrary, our new building will have more space for reading and sharing stories. A new library in Belle Haven will allow an increase in the size of the collection housed there now.
They could be. It's been suggested that a new main library building could include affordable housing or public meeting space. Join us at one of the public meetings being held soon - that's where we will gather input on possible additional uses.
Join us and share your thoughts. Public meetings to gather input on the new main library's siting and uses will be held on December 4, January 17, and February 15. The City is forming a Belle Haven Neighborhood Library Advisory Committee to assist with the process of building a new branch library, and you can volunteer through November 22 here. Check the project page for other ways to get involved.
Although mosquito control pesticides pose very low risks, some people may prefer to avoid or even further minimize exposure. People who suffer from chemical sensitivities or breathing conditions such as asthma can reduce their potential for exposure by staying indoors during the application period and may want to consult their physician or local health department for more information.
For more information, and to determine if a report can be released to you, visit our police records page. For information about the status of your report, please contact the Records Division at 650-330-6310
Violation - Enforcement 1st - Warning only. Educate customer on proper water conservation practices 2nd - $50 fine 3rd - $100 fine 4th - $200 fine, and review by the Public Works Director (or his/her designee) to determine if a flow restricting device should be installed 5th - $500 fine, and review by the Public Works Director (or his/her designee) to determine if water service should be discontinued6th - $500 fine, water service shall be discontinued
Cal Water and O'Connor Tract Cooperative water customers should contact their respective water provider for more information about their enforcement procedures and penalties.
California Water Service 844-726-8579 Toll Free www.calwater.comO'Connor Tract Coop Water 650-321-2723 www.oconnorwater.org
- High Efficiency Washer Rebates ($125 rebate)- High Efficiency Toilet Rebates (up to $100 per toilet)- Lawn Be Gone Rebate Program ($2 per sq/ ft. rebate)- Landscape Design Assistance Program - FREE high efficiency showerheads- FREE kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators - FREE hose nozzles - FREE toilet leak detection tablets
CalWater and O'Connor Tract Cooperative water customers should contact their respective water provider for more information about their water conservation programs.
California Water Service 844-726-8579 Toll Free www.calwater.comO'Connor Tract Coop Water 650-321-2723 www.oconnorwater.org
For more information, call 650-330-6750 or visit