Menlo Park names consultant for general plan, M2 zoning update

Menlo Park's facelift of its M2 industrial district, as well as the city's overall "constitution" for development, has taken the first step on the long road toward completion.

PlaceWorks was awarded the $1.65 million contract by a 3-0 vote of the City Council during its June 17 meeting, with Mayor Ray Mueller and Councilman Rich Cline absent. The consultant is not new to Menlo Park; the company also worked on the downtown/El Camino Real specific plan visioning process as well as the housing element update.

The M2 district roughly spans parcels wedged between the San Francisco Bay, University Avenue, Marsh Road and U.S. 101. The area has seen a jump in development activity during the past four years with the arrival of Facebook headquarters and the approval of the Bohannon Menlo Gateway project.

The contract includes a series of community workshops to be held in 2015, and the formation of an advisory committee composed of three at-large community members, two City Council members, and one member each from six commissions to guide the zoning update process.

The timeline presented to the council estimates that the final updates should be completed by June 2016.


Like this comment
Posted by Former Resident
a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2014 at 12:25 pm

I hope this consultant is better than the ones being used where I live. They just suck up money and don't care about the community.

It is better to use city staff whenever possible -- they are usually still here next year.

Like this comment
Posted by Jack Richards
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm

$1.65 million on down the drain. Between Bohanon and Facebook the direction of the area is already
determined by people far more qualified than a $1.65 million dollar consultant. If the consultant comes up with different ideas it will just mean delays while these developers (and others) go through the process of
getting changes made to the basic plan. Who's palms get greased during the consulting and changes to the adopted plans? Several I would suspect.

Like this comment
Posted by ghost town
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 26, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Anyone with strong opinions on the M2 should drive around there and count the "for lease" signs. If you're too lazy to check it out for yourself, I can fill you in... just about every building is empty.

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