Tonight: Menlo Park commission evaluates housing plan

Homeless shelter, granny unit regulations part of new housing element

Menlo Park is nearing the finish line for the city's second housing plan update in two years. The update will create guidelines for homeless shelters and granny units, in addition to providing a road map for housing development for 2015 through 2023 in compliance with state law.

Tonight, the Planning Commission will review the final draft of the update, and have a chance to discuss whether the Veterans Affairs campus on Willow Road is the best location for a 16-bed homeless shelter.

Secondary, or granny, units will be another hot topic. During earlier meetings, the commissioners opted to reduce the required minimum lot size for a secondary unit to 5,750 square feet and allow granny units of up to 700 square feet to improve access for the disabled.

A more controversial clause in the proposed granny unit ordinance is whether the owner must live on the property. The commissioners may also brainstorm ways to lower the cost of building secondary units, which can easily exceed $20,000 for permits and other fees alone, according to the city.

The council is expected to vote on the housing element update on April 1.

To review the complete agenda and associated staff reports for the March 10 meeting, go to the city's website.

The Planning Commission meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. The live meeting will be broadcast online.


Like this comment
Posted by randy albin
a resident of another community
on Mar 10, 2014 at 11:15 am

as if it is an affordable place to live within Menlo park. whatever happened to the old middle-class days when people could actually handle the cost of living? bring all of this back down to earth. the rich are richer and the poor are..well, you know

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