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Menlo Park City Council wants more concessions from Meta on Willow Village

Original post made on Nov 18, 2022

The Menlo Park City Council met on Nov. 15 and asked Meta to make concessions on its massive mixed-use Willow Village development in the Belle Haven neighborhood, with a final council decision expected before the end of the year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 18, 2022, 11:48 AM

Comments (6)

Posted by Happy Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Nov 18, 2022 at 12:30 pm

Happy Resident is a registered user.

This project will be spectacular for the health and vitality of Menlo Park.
Any other city would say it is almost too good to be true.
Let's get it done!

Posted by Another Parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 21, 2022 at 7:44 am

Another Parent is a registered user.

It is interesting that this is the first we are hearing about the removal of the gas station. We need the gas station! The closest one is on the other side of Willow Rd (aka you have to go through traffic in the morning). I hope council listens to the people and re-negotiates this point.

Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 21, 2022 at 10:38 am

Alan is a registered user.

I listened to the conversation a little bit late in the evening ... they seemed to say that, if the hotel doesn't get built, and the supermarket isn't successful, the city would spend more money on this than they would get in revenues. The idea that the city would try to make up revenue shortfall in another way if (and only if) these promised features don't come through is reasonable. A company as big as Meta should not be subsidized by the city. I am for being pro-development; I'm not for long-term subsidization of very wealthy companies.

Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 22, 2022 at 11:06 am

Iris is a registered user.

The elephant in the room is that this project worsens the housing deficit, and it appears the Council isn't even trying to remedy this problem. Instead they are playing with a list of amenities.

It will be their legacy to worsen the quality of life in all of Menlo Park.

And for what? A project that is entirely dependent on a successful hotel? A project that creates a housing shortage that will come back to haunt Menlo Park, causing future projects to be crammed into every nook and cranny -- yes, even east of the freeway. Or is it all for a grocery store? Really?

Meta should both add more housing to the project and reduce the amount of office space. The Council must require this. Stand firm.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 22, 2022 at 2:21 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

I agree with Iris. They need to cut the amount of office space at a minimum. The over building of office space in this city is part of what has caused a housing shortage. There needs to be a moratorium on new office space. Especially office space that doesn't produce any sales tax.

Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Dec 3, 2022 at 9:29 am

Iris is a registered user.

I looked at the massive environmental report for this massive project. Given how much new housing Menlo Park is supposed to provide, why doesn't the town council require inclusion of the additional 200 units studied in the EIR as a "Variant"? Apparently it would not cause significantly more impacts than what is proposed.
The project is across Willow from Belle Haven so including more units shouldn't cause the sort of disruption other housing projects have done. More residents should help the grocery store succeed. Possibly more Meta workers could live nearby, too, rather than commute from afar. Wouldn't that help that traffic problems, too?
And boom -- the city has found a site for 200 units out of what the housing authorities say Menlo Park has to accommodate.

I really do not understand why the council would approve the 6 big new office buildings when companies are shedding workers right and left and when there is a housing shortage, not an office shortage. This seems backwards.

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