More Facebook coverage

The Menlo Park Planning Commission has given Facebook permission to build a campus on the west side of Bayfront Expressway across from the company's headquarters.

On a 22-acre site at 312 and 313 Constitution Drive, Facebook intends to construct a long, 433,555-square-foot building designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry that will feature a rooftop park.

To be built above a surface-level parking lot, the development would reach heights of 73 feet in some places, Rachel Grossman, an associate city planner, told commissioners at a meeting Monday night.

The commission rezoned the site so the West Campus buildings could exceed 35 feet and cover 55 percent of the property instead of a maximum of 50 percent.

It also approved an environmental impact report and an official statement that the development's benefits outweigh negative consequences such as increased traffic at some intersections and construction noise.

In addition, the commission merged two lots into one so Facebook could name a private road that connects the property to Bayfront Expressway "Facebook Way."

To make way for the project, the commission allowed Facebook to remove 175 heritage trees but included a statement requesting the company to "retain as many of those as possible."

Facebook has agreed to either give $4.5 million in fees to the city for affordable housing or put up 15 affordable housing units elsewhere, or a combination of both.


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In a development agreement approved by the city council last month for the West Campus, Facebook promised to pay Menlo Park $1.5 million over 10 years as well as $100,000 for local improvements. It also agreed to restrict the number of vehicles entering and leaving the new campus and agreed to pay the city $194,000 a year in property taxes.

Email Bonnie Eslinger at beslinger@dailynewsgroup.com; follow her at twitter.com/bonnieeslinger.