Our city needs a realistic and equitable plan for housing over the next decade

Every eight years, the state requires each city to update its plan for new housing at all income levels (this is called a “Housing Element”). Your personal story and input is a powerful way to influence the process to ensure Menlo Park’s housing plan is robust and fair.

It’s time to act together to shape a future for Menlo Park with homes for all. Please consider sending a personal email to Planning and Housing Commissioners by early afternoon, January 12th.

Need help? Have questions? Reach out to info@menlotogether.org.

You may want to highlight:

  • How the lack of housing at all income levels affects you and the people you care about. Be specific!
  • How more housing aligns with your values. At Menlo Together, we envision a city that is integrated and diverse, multi-generational, and environmentally sustainable. We envision an accessible and inviting downtown Menlo Park, with housing at all affordability levels, much less solo driving and with pedestrian and bike-friendly spaces, developed to produce zero net greenhouse gasses.
  • The importance of increasing the accessibility, vibrancy and climate-friendliness of downtown Menlo Park by building higher and denser housing near services and transit. (Note: removing some of the less realistic sites from the draft Housing Element would require the City to increase the amount of housing it plans for viable sites downtown, including city-owned parking lots and other locations in the downtown/El Camino area)
  • The benefits of building housing on city-owned land such as downtown parking lots include the potential for nonprofit housing developers to build homes for some of our most housing-insecure residents.
  • Why Menlo Park should plan for a variety of affordable housing options, including for seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, large families, and others with special needs.
  • The need for policies that prevent the displacement of our neighbors (42% of Menlo Park residents rent their homes), such as prohibiting unfair evictions and excessive rent increases, preventing discrimination and harassment, and preserving “naturally affordable housing” (such as homes in older buildings located in more affordable neighborhoods).
  • The opportunity to increase the viability of at least one potential housing site near highway 280 (such as the Sharon Heights Shopping Center). The city can incentivize housing at these sites by increasing the allowable height and density of buildings it allows on these properties.

More information: