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Re: Planning Commission June 20 Review of the Facebook and ConnectMenlo Projects

From: domainremoved <Patti>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2016 17:08:57 -0700

Arlinda, thanks for your thorough response. To my knowledge, the DEIR for
the General Plan update is the first time the magnitude of potential growth
for Menlo Park has been made public. And the first time the potential
impacts have been made public. If I am incorrect, please point me to
documents with that information.

Since the General plan is a comprehensive roadmap for our community, it
seems to me that the kind of extensive outreach about the vision for the
zoning changes that affect only part of the city should extend to
discussions about the impacts of the entire picture of growth on the entire
community. While only 1/4 of the projected growth is attributed to the area
where zoning changes are being made, most of the rest of the growth relates
to discretionary decisions that have not yet been made (e.g., about
Facebook expansion, reaffirmation of the current M-2 zoning rules, the
Greenheart and Stanford projects). Because the General Plan has not been
updated comprehensively since 1994, and major projects are being viewed
"standalone", this is a great opportunity for our community to evaluate
comprehensively how the city may grow and the impacts of that growth. Such
discussions could stimulate needed conversations about creative ways to
address the impacts of major growth.


On Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 4:09 PM, Heineck, Arlinda A <AAHeineck_at_(domainremoved)
> wrote:

> We appreciate the comments we have received regarding the Planning
> Commission’s June 20 meeting on the Facebook Campus Expansion and
> ConnectMenlo projects. With projects as complex as these, it can seem
> onerous for members of the public to know when and how to provide input.
> In an effort to ensure that you and your neighbors have every opportunity
> to do so, the City’s development review process provides ample time for
> robust community examination. The Planning Commission meeting on June 20
> th is part of a long-planned schedule that will allow commissioners and
> the public to focus on these two important projects. Given the overlapping
> review periods, proximity of the two projects, and potential similarity in
> questions/comments by the public, it was appropriate to conduct a meeting
> with the two draft environmental impact reports (DEIR) on the same agenda.
> With all the competing activities in Menlo Park, many residents have shared
> concerns about meeting overload. Separating the two projects risks
> diluting the attention that members of the public might be able to pay to
> them. However, this meeting is simply one of many opportunities for the
> public to provide feedback. The DEIR for Facebook was posted on May 26th
> and the DEIR for ConnectMenlo was posted on June 1st. Both projects have
> been undergoing a thorough review process, and the June 20th meeting is
> only one additional opportunity to provide input.
> In the case of ConnectMenlo, this meeting will be the most recent in 50+
> public meetings on the project. The Facebook Campus Expansion has been considered
> at many of the ConnectMenlo meetings and has benefited from separate meetings
> of the City’s many Commissions as well as Belle Haven community meetings
> hosted by the applicant. The previous public meetings have yielded
> valuable discussion, input and guidance on the projects. Both the
> ConnectMenlo and Facebook project timelines have been discussed publicly,
> posted publicly and reported on by the media. There is understandably a
> great deal of information to review in advance of the June 20th meeting
> and that is why the review process includes multiple additional
> opportunities to provide input on both projects at upcoming meetings in
> August (Planning Commission) and September (City Council).
> With regard to the specific items on the June 20th PC agenda, please feel
> free view the agenda at the following link.
> http://www.menlopark.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/06202016-2772
> The meeting includes two public hearings to receive comments on the DEIRs
> for both the Facebook Campus Expansion Project and ConnectMenlo, as well as
> a study session for the Facebook Campus Expansion. The public hearings on
> the DEIRs are required to be held during the 45-day circulation period, and
> are for the purpose of receiving comments on the documents. The public
> hearing to receive comments on a DEIR typically occurs during the middle of
> the review period to allow the public time to review the document before
> the meeting and to also allow time for follow up comments after the
> Planning Commission meeting. *No actions on the Draft EIRs or projects
> will be taken at the June 20th Planning Commission meeting.* *The City
> will be accepting written comments on the* *Facebook DEIR through July 11
> at 5:30 p.m. and through July 15 at 5:00 p.m. for the ConnectMenlo DEIR.*
> All environmental comments at the public hearing and all written
> environmental comments received during the 45-day circulation period will
> be responded to as part of the Final EIRs, which will be made available to
> the public before the Planning Commission and City Council take action on
> the projects.
> Thank you again for sharing your comments and please feel free to direct
> any further questions about the process for the Facebook project to Kyle
> Perata ktperata_at_(domainremoved)
> project connectmenlo_at_(domainremoved)
> Sincerely,
> Arlinda Heineck
> Community Development Director
Received on Thu Jun 16 2016 - 17:15:15 PDT

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