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Planning For Facebook

Menlo Park Planning Commission to hear public comment about Facebook’s environmental impact tonight.

The Menlo Park Planning Commission will discuss revising the permit for developing the new Facebook campus, as well as the project’s environmental review, in a public meeting tonight.

The permit limits the amount of employees that the company can have to 3,600.  But Facebook Inc. has asked that the city swap that employee limit for a vehicle trip cap.

“Generally, sites don’t have employee caps,” said Megan Fisher, associate planner on   “We don’t have a lot of information about why it’s on there," she said about the unusual restriction.

The Commission will also hear comments from the public about what should be considered in the environmental review of the project, so the consulting firm DKS Associates can compile an Environmental Impact Report.  One of the 14 items that will be analyzed is transportation, an area that the company is already investigating.

Last Thursday, Facebook employees and Menlo Park city officials cycled routes to the 57-acre campus, located at 1601 Willow Road, to identify areas that could be made safer for those who choose to bike to work.

“On Willow Road, there’s a portion that has a bike lane and then it terminates…so we’ll probably need to look at re-striping that bike lane on Willow Road up and over 101,” said Vice Mayor Kirsten Keith, who participated .

Planning commissioners will discuss the project, along with its environmental impacts at 7 p.m. in , which is located at 701 Laurel Street.  All comments, whether given in writing or in person, need to be in city staffers' hands by May 23, according to the city's website.  The tentative date that the City Council will decide on the scope of the EIR, is June 14, 2011.

To read the agenda for the scoping session tonight, click on the .pdf underneath the picture in this article.  To like us on Facebook, click here.

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