111 Independence Drive

111 Independence Drive SP Menlo LLC rendering

SP Menlo, LLC has submitted a request for a use permit, architectural control, Below Market Rate (BMR) Housing Agreement, environmental review and density bonus to redevelop the site with approximately 105 multi-family dwelling units and an approximately 746 square foot café space in one building with an above grade multi-story parking garage integrated into the proposed eight-story building, located in the R-MU-B (Residential Mixed Use, Bonus) zoning district in the Bayfront area.

The proposed project would include a BMR housing agreement that requires a minimum of 15 percent (or 14 units) be affordable. The applicant is proposing to incorporate 13 additional market-rate units (which are included in the total 105 units), per the density bonus provisions in the BMR Housing Program (Chapter 16.96.040).

The proposed project includes a request for a use permit to modify R-MU design standards for building modulations and steps. The proposal includes a request for an increase in height, density, and floor area ratio (FAR) in exchange for the provision of community amenities. The project site currently contains an approximately 15,000 square foot single-story office building that would be demolished.

The overall proposal would be comprised of:

  • Total building: 96,055 square feet
  • Residential: 95,309 square feet (105 dwelling units)
  • Retail: 746 square feet
  • Average Height: 63.2 feet
  • Total parking: 109 spaces
  • Open space:
    • Public: 4,542 square feet
    • Private: 14,143 square feet

Current status

On December 4, 2020, the City published the notice of availability (NOA) and released the draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the project. The City accepted comments on the draft EIR through an extended 60-day comment period that ended on February 2, 2021.

The Planning Commission held a Draft EIR public hearing and a general study session on the proposed project at its January 11, 2021, meeting. The NOA and draft EIR are available on the City’ development project environmental documents webpage. In accordance with CEQA, staff has created a response to comments document which includes any text changes to the Draft EIR, commonly known as the Final EIR. The Final EIR is available on the City’s development project environmental documents webpage. The City is accepting comments on the Final EIR until 5:30 p.m., April 26, 2021. The proposed project is scheduled for Planning Commission review and action on the April 26, 2021, Planning Commission meeting. The Planning Commission is the final decision making body on the project, unless the Commission’s actions are appealed to the City Council. A meeting agenda and staff report will be made available for review the Thursday prior to the meeting date on the Planning Commission webpage.

The project requires a fiscal impact analysis, a community amenity appraisal, and a community amenity proposal from the applicant. A community amenities appraisal(PDF, 2MB), compliant with the approved appraisal instructions, has been prepared and approved by the Assistant Community Development Director.

A fiscal impact analysis and community amenity proposal (applicant submittal) were released on December 23, 2020, and the City’s evaluation of the applicant’s proposed community amenity was released in January 2021. Please check back on this page for updates for these documents and other project updates.

Environmental review

An Initial Study for the project was prepared and evaluated the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project and determine what level of additional environmental review would be appropriate, and was released on June 14, 2019, with a public review period from June 14, 2019, through July 15, 2019. In accordance with the requirements outlined in Section 15168 of the CEQA Guidelines, the project‐level Initial Study was prepared to disclose the relevant impacts and mitigation measures addressed in the certified program‐level ConnectMenlo EIR and discuss whether the project is within the parameters of the ConnectMenlo EIR or additional analysis would be necessary.

In addition, as a result of the settlement agreement between the City of Menlo Park and the City of East Palo Alto, housing and transportation are required to be analyzed. Based on the findings of the Initial Study, a Draft EIR has been prepared and was included with the Notice of Availability (NOA) for the proposed project. The focused Draft EIR, technical appendices, and NOA were released on December 4, 2020 and are available on the development project environmental documents webpage. The City received two comment letters on the Draft EIR, which are available in the Related Documents sidebar on the right side of this page.

The Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was released on April 16, 2021. The Final EIR for the proposed project does not identify any significant and unavoidable environmental impacts that would result from the implementation of the proposed project. The Final EIR identifies potentially significant environmental impacts that can be mitigated to a less than significant level (LTS/M) in the following categories: Air Quality and Noise. The Final EIR identifies less than significant (LTS) environmental impacts in the following categories: Population and Housing, Transportation, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The Final EIR will be available on the City’s development projects environmental documents website. A hard copy is also available for a curbside pickup at the Menlo Park Main Library. Please visit menlopark.org/library for more information on how to reserve this document. If you would like to submit written comments on the Final EIR, you are encouraged to do so prior to 5:30 p.m., Monday, April 26, 2021.