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Facebook project study session 2/26

From: domainremoved <Patti>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:51:27 -1000

Planning Commissioners,
As you conduct the study session on 2/26 regarding the potential master plan for Facebook in the area rezoned in November 2016 during the ConnectMenlo General Plan update, I hope you will address the project’s potential impacts on two crises affecting Menlo Park already: housing shortage and traffic congestion.
To do that, I suggest you delve into the following questions:

PROJECT DESCRIPTION - how can the project contain 22% Office in R-MU-B when the zoning limit at the Bonus level is 15% non-residential (table on page 3). Page 6 has odd wording about this, implying that the Office in R-MU-B complies with the its zoning 15% limit.

IMPACT ON HOUSING DEMAND - what is the impact of this project on housing demand? There is a regional shortage.

It would be helpful to identify how many employees are in the existing buildings. Then identify the additional employees by estimating the project total and subtracting the current worker total. Then estimate the impact on demand for housing.

For example: Assuming an employee density of 150 SF/employee (could be more dense, by the way), the Office portion of this project (1,750,000 SF) would contain 11,667 employees or demand for 9,115 households (assuming 1.28 employed residents per household, as assumed in prior city planning documents). The total Retail, Hotel . and other non-Office employees would be added to that to determine the total employees and the number of households needed to support that space.

 At a gross level, the project would appear to represent a demand for nearly 12,000 homes while providing 1,500 (the zoning allows 1,777, according to page 7). The net effect of the project, adding housing demand from non-Office development and subtracting current workers in current buildings, should be discussed. On the surface it appears the jobs:housing ratio of this project would be 7.78. The ConnectMenlo EIR assumed it would be 1.9 in Belle Haven. Where else in that area is substantial new housing expected?

If there is a disparity between homes provided and new demand, perhaps the Office space should be phased so that it is approved incrementally commensurate with availability of local housing to support the increments.

IMPACT ON TRAFFIC: the project contains 5,319 parking spaces. Why so many? What is the estimated number of related daily trips and how much of that was anticipated in the General Plan update?
What is the potential VMT for this project area? If the majority of employees need to commute, then VMT might head the wrong direction.

The EIR for ConnectMenlo assumed 7,380 new trips on O’Brien between Kavanaugh and Willow (page 4.13-58). Those trips included this project area and also much greater development of Life Sciences than Office in the general area south of Willow.

Perhaps a trip cap should be imposed in the Project area, and a second one that applies across all Facebook sites in Belle Haven in order to ensure that there is the best possible adherence to trip reduction.

As welcome as a grocery and pharmacy would be, they appear to come at a very high price, with greatly worsened unmet housing demand and gridlock. I hope that the study session can identify a better future than what appears ahead if the project proceeds as it seems.

Thank you for your consideration.
Patti Fry.

Sent from my iPad
Received on Sun Feb 25 2018 - 18:54:07 PST

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