Facebook Headquarters Will Force Approval of Bayside Development

Menlo Park's planning decisions are going to force us to develop Saltworks.

I would imagine that the opponents of bayside development on the midpeninsula were passing bricks through their lower intestinal track when the news came out that the Facebook facility in Menlo Park is going to dump close to 10,000 commuters onto 101 in a couple of years.

Facebook is planning on moving their headquarters into those buildings and several others across the street in a former Tyco complex that will be three times the number of workers that Sun had there.  There is virtually no public transit available which means those workers will be driving in and out every day.  

Facebook is pushing Menlo Park to lift the current cap of 3600 workers and 7,000 trips to 15,000 trips.  All of this traffic will be spewed out to University Avenue, Willow Road and good old Marsh Road.  

Anyone remember all the screaming about how many cars will be put on the road 30 years from when the Saltworks development is finished?  Well we are gonna get all of that before the Saltworks plan gets out of the planning commission.

So what's the answer?  Well, we need to expand public transit to the bay side area to get people out of their cars.  We need to have housing developments to hold about 30,000 more people between Menlo Park and Redwood City.  We need to build levees to protect those homes and industries that will be flooded by sea level rise.  We need to restore the wetlands in those areas so our levees don't need to be 6 feet tall.  And we need a whole lot of property tax revenue to pay for it all.

And you have the Menlo Park City Council, those wonderful anti-development politicians, to thank for it all.

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Reality Check December 13, 2011 at 09:50 PM
I suspect Facebook's move to Sun's old campus at Bayfront & Willow has a lot to do with why the old plan for Dumbarton Rail has recently been dusted off. Menlo council recently OK'd a station site right across from the Facebook campus where the tracks cross Willow Road: http://www.almanacnews.com/news/show_story.php?id=10050 Dumbarton rail plan revived; environmental study launched: http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_19260109 Potential Dumbarton Rail Revival Generates Buzz http://goo.gl/mFGLP
Lou Covey, The Local Motive December 13, 2011 at 11:50 PM
From your one of your links: "Each rail alternative would cost “in the order of” $700 million to $800 million, based on previous estimates from a March 2011 study, said Christine Dunn, public information officer for the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. The bus option is estimated at $82 million, with an additional $129 million (2009 dollars) for removing the existing bridge. Currently, $304 million has been earmarked from various sources — including bridge tolls and transportation agencies in Alameda and San Mateo — to pay for the project, Dunn said. It’s not clear yet how the shortfall will be made up. One possibility lies with Senate Bill 653 (Steinberg), which would enable counties to raise taxes to pay for certain projects like transportation. But the bill was actually sent to the state legislature’s inactive file in late August."
Chris Manton December 18, 2011 at 04:27 AM
As usual look into following the money. Menlo Park stands to make alot of money from corporate property taxes and other guarantees and improvements Facebook makes with the city. Just look at the relationship between Google and the city of Mountain View. Then look at the class of people that work at Facebook that are likely to move closer to work, they are well educated and middle to upper class. They will drive up property values and further increase the residential property taxes received as houses previously locked into prop 13 rates get reset to current market rates. Look into the rental property owners, who should be expecting an influx of younger high-paid engineers, to lobby their city council members. Further, the caché of hosting a tech giant has got to be a psychological win for the city. Surely extra traffic on 101 offsets the beneficial effects. Contrast this to extra traffic from the saltworks project in Redwood City where MP receives no benefits.
Paul Stewart December 20, 2011 at 04:41 PM
I can just see all the lifestyle degradation commentS coming from the NIMBYS over this one. What is it about Facebook + Saltworks = local jobs, housing, recreation, commerce don't they understand? Let's see the NIMBYs explain why they are opposing employment opportunities (from executive to blue collar) in this decimated economy all for the sake of what? Seagulls over humanity. These folks have a serious screw loose.
Reality Check December 20, 2011 at 09:11 PM
Spoken like the Government Affairs Director for the San Mateo County Association of Realtors ... oops, oh, wait! ... it turns out Mr. Stewart's Patch profile says he *is* the Government Affairs Director for the San Mateo County Association of Realtors! I don't know whatever NIMBYs Mr. Stewart had in mind, but most non-real estate pros opposing filling more of the Bay I know of are enthusiastically for more employment and more housing when and where it makes sense. Almost nothing is always bad or always good. And almost everything you can think of (air, water, fire, crops, food, sex, housing, jobs, roads, people, apple pie, babies, motherhood, patriotism, drugs, etc.) can be either really bad, or really good, or anywhere in between depending on many factors such as time, place, quantity, location, quality, type, size ... and so forth. As everyone should know already, the world is way more complex than a bumper sticker or a slogan.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive December 21, 2011 at 01:12 AM
RC, a person's chosen employment should not preclude them from stating an opinion. Just as your paid position with Save the Bay should not keep you from stating your position. As far as the "non-real estate pros" you mention, not a single one of them have come up with a plan to resolve where the 30,000 new workers of Redwood City are going to live when they finally arrive over the next 20 years... except for bedroom communities in the Central Valley.
Reality Check December 21, 2011 at 02:26 AM
1. Right, and why would you think I (or anyone) thought otherwise? 2. Wrong; I don't -- and never have -- worked for STB. 3. Where in RWC will 30K new workers work? And why won't housing continue to gradually grow along with jobs without your favorite local Bay-paving huge multinational-company-enriching project? Whatever the number, over time, with infill growth such as occurs, and will continue to occur over time, and with turnover (RWC residents that work elsewhere leaving), more workers that actually *want* to live RWC will be able to. As always, with any city, some workers for a variety of reasons will never even want to live in the city they work in (all household members rarely all work in the same city, for example, and people necessarily change jobs and work locations all the time without moving, etc., etc.). Look, I could go on at length, but wonder what the point is of explaining things your writings suggest you either don't understand or are just pretending not to understand. You seem too smart for it to be the former, and the latter makes me a fool for wasting my time.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive December 21, 2011 at 03:20 AM
RC, 1. Your identification of Mr. Stewart as a representative of SAMCAR and your tone of that identification, denigrates his position. That's not cool not is it conducive to a civil discussion. 2. I get my information about your fiscal associations from the same place you have, in the past, indicated about mine. I'll continue to state your associations as long as you continue to state what you believe are mine. 3. Those workers are coming now. Facebook wants to locate 9,000 people at their location alone. We either have those 9,000 commute to the location every day or we find housing for them locally. Right now, DMB is offering a real solution to wetland restoration, levees, jobs, housing, tax revenue increases, mass transit, etc. including how it will all be paid for (them not us). I'm ready to discuss any other plan. ANY other plan. Not pie in the sky but reality. DMB's plan, when we actually see it (since it has not been formally submitted) may not be the plan you want to see and it may not be the plan I would like to see. But they are spending a lot of money to come up with a real solution. We still have time for plans to be formulated and presented, but that time is short. We need to really engage, with open minds, in a real discussion of our options, rather than waste time as you put it with aspersions and suspicions.
Reality Check December 21, 2011 at 05:51 AM
1. No relationship to your straw man. It's always good for everyone to know when someone -- such as a real estate pro -- has professional/financial conflicts of interest when it comes to land use issues. 2. And where would that be? 3. Redwood City? 30K *new* employees? Where? When? References?
Lou Covey, The Local Motive December 21, 2011 at 03:50 PM
Now you're wasting my time.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive December 21, 2011 at 04:41 PM
1. I'm sure Mr. Stewart appreciates you repeating exactly what he states he is. 2. Very funny. 3. Let's just concentrate on the numbers for the next five years. Facebook wants to bring in 9000 employees to this area in the next two years (I'm sure you'll want to split hairs and say it's only Menlo Park but the impact on the bayside infrastructure while have a significant impact on Redwood City. Stanford University hospital is building a facility for another 3,000 people. Oracle and EA will continue to grow incrementally but it isn't hard to see that within 5 years we will see an increase of 15,000 new employees commuting into and through Redwood City. Should half of those people be married (statistically possible) and have 1 child each (also possible) you will have a market for homes in the mid peninsula for close to 30,000 people, which exceeds the Redwood City Housing projections. according AB 1233, the State housing element, if a jurisdiction fails to identify adequate sites for residential development to meet the jurisdiction’s regional housing needs, then the jurisdiction shall, zone or rezone adequate sites to accommodate the regional housing need.
Reality Check December 21, 2011 at 06:37 PM
And why do you think RWC must OK paving its Bay in order house employees that FB is shifting to MP (almost EPA) -- most of which already happily live where they want to live, and of those that don't -- how many want to be your neighbor, in area you said is threatened by 3 inch sea level rise? Even in Stanford's (or the general case) -- to build a new RWC housing unit for each *new* job is silly when what counts is what fraction of those new jobs are going to be filled by folks that need & want & can afford a new place to live in RWC? Best plan is to continue with the natural and incremental infill so-called "smart growth" housing creation that's already underway ... there just is no crisis here that justifies rezoning and filling restorable bay lands in order to enrich a privately-held filthy-rich multi-national corporation based in Minnesota by allowing it to build a huge and isolated subdivision threatened by sea level rise and which our roads and water supply cannot support. We've got much bigger and more real problems to worry about without having to create more for ourselves and future generations. Surely this overblown housing urgency/emergency you and your fellow Carfillville hucksters and real estate pros are seizing on and whipping up can't be the best and only arrow in your quiver, can it? It's not working.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive December 22, 2011 at 03:03 AM
Your hyperbole is really tiresome. How is restoring 400 acres of wetlands within then next 5 years equated with "paving" the bay. How is creating 50 acres of parkland "paving" the bay? How is creating flood control for the Friendly Acres neighborhood "paving" the bay. We need housing for 15,000 people in Redwood City in the next decade. At present there is not only no plan for how to create those units in that amount, there is no space for in inland. How can you be so absolutely ignorant of the reality of our situation... unless, of course, you have no concern for this community.
Reality Check December 22, 2011 at 06:29 AM
Will there or will there not be filling, grading and paving? Tiresome? No, refreshingly simple.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive December 22, 2011 at 07:15 AM
So, you have no answers to my questions. Thanks for showing that you really don't care.
Reality Check January 04, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Study says Facebook probably won't displace East Palo Alto residents Consultant expects "minimal impact" on housing http://goo.gl/bMPQw
Lou Covey, The Local Motive January 04, 2012 at 02:25 AM
That's correct. They will be commuting in. The number of trips on 101 Facebook will create now is more than double what Saltworks is projected to create 20 years from now. That's why we need additional housing in attractive areas to get workers to live/work locally.
Reality Check January 13, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Great program on sea level rise aired tonight on KQED Radio FM 88.5. It will air again at 2 a.m. tonight (technically Friday morning). The good news is that the entire series of 3 1-hour programs (along with transcripts, etc.) is available for streaming / podcasting here: http://www.searise.org/on-the-radio I just happened to catch the tail end of part 2 http://www.searise.org/on-the-radio/part-ii/ tonight, and it was really interesting listening to the gazillion Foster (as in Foster City) family members (they evidently reproduce like rabbits) weigh in on sea level rise. Good program.


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