A street sign for 'Hacker Way' is stands at the Facebook headquarters on February 1, 2012 in Menlo Park, California. (Photo by: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A street sign for 'Hacker Way' is stands at the Facebook headquarters on February 1, 2012 in Menlo Park, California. (Photo by: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Menlo Park officials are making up a list of improvements and public benefits Facebook could provide in exchange for the city lifting the employment cap of 3,600 people at the social networking company’s new campus near the Dumbarton Bridge.

Facebook finished moving 2,000 employees into the former Sun Microsystems site in December. But talks are still under way over what the company will do to mitigate traffic congestion and other impacts that having 10,000 workers at the site might bring.

The company is already touting its aggressive traffic reduction program, which includes incentives for employees to use shuttles, public transit, ride sharing and bicycles to get to work. But at a special City Council session Tuesday, Menlo Park council members and the public suggested additional goodies the company might be induced to provide.

According to Menlo Park Associate Planner Rachel Grossman, these are some of the top items under discussion:

  • An “in lieu” fee to offset lost sales tax. Unlike Sun, which generated revenue by selling equipment, which carries a sales tax, Facebook makes most of its money from selling advertising, a service that carries no sales tax.
  • Support for bicycle and pedestrian improvements, such as striping of overpasses and completing gaps in the Bay Trail.
  • Providing funding for the maintenance and operation of Flood Park, which was previously maintained by San Mateo County.

Council members said they also want Facebook to help keep low-income residents in Menlo Park and neighboring East Palo Alto from being displaced by its employees.

The Menlo Park City Council will take up the issue again on Feb. 14.

Menlo Park’s Facebook Wish List 2 February,2012Peter Jon Shuler

  • Rrrd

    East Palo Alto low-income residents are so displaced by Facebook employees  that the crime rate
    drops dramatically. Now you can say Palo Alto is a good city. Good idea!!!


Peter Jon Shuler

Peter is a general assignment reporter covering Northern California news for KQED’s daily radio newscasts. He reports on a wide range of stories from current court cases to San Jose city hall.

Since joining KQED in 1990, Peter has covered everything from the beginnings of the World Wide Web to the dot-com bust, from preserving Silicon Valley’s open space to the preservation of historic Valley landmarks.

Peter caught the radio bug at WAUS-FM while still a student at Andrews University in his home town of Berrien Springs, MI. He did local news and hosted a classical music program. Since then, he has pursued a variety of assignments, including production work at WBAI in New York and broadcasting to the English language community of Geneva, Switzerland via Radio 74.  Email:  pshuler@kqed.org

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