The tab for Menlo Park's downtown/El Camino Real specific plan keeps rising, even though the $1.7 million plan was approved in 2012 after five years of study and community engagement.
Tonight the City Council will discuss whether to spend $150,000 to hire a consultant to analyze a potential ballot measure that seeks to revise the specific plan.
Save Menlo, a grassroots coalition opposed to two large mixed-use complexes proposed under the specific plan regulations, is trying to collect 1,780 signatures to qualify its initiative for the November ballot.
The initiative would cap office space in any individual development at 100,000 square feet; limit total new office space in the specific plan area to 240,820 square feet; and restrict overall new, nonresidential development to 474,000 square feet within the plan's boundaries.
The initiative would also redefine open space to mean only areas no higher than 4 feet tall. Save Menlo has stated that one of its goals is to prevent balconies from counting as open space.
In addition, voter approval would be needed to revise the ordinance or to exceed the square footage limits for office and nonresidential development.
Other items on tonight's agenda include appointing three people to the city's finance and audit committee and evaluating the capital improvement plan.
The March 18 meeting will be held in council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. It starts with a closed session for labor negotiations tonight at 5:45 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m. Watch the meeting live online via the city's website.