Almanac

News - March 10, 2010

Menlo Watch: Bank forecloses on property

A bank has foreclosed on the vacant El Camino Real property that formerly housed Gaylord India Restaurant, a Menlo Park official has confirmed. The owner of the property had recently obtained permission from the city to redevelop the site.

Menlo Park's City Council approved a plan in October 2009 for a new, two-story office building at the site, replacing a vacant one-story building. The project developer had spent years in drafting the proposal, including an extensive redesign based on input from residents in late 2007.

The future of the development project is up in the air as long as the property doesn't have an owner. The use permit the council approved expires Oct. 20, 2010.

No one answered the phone at a number listed for Infiniti Partners, the real estate company that owned the property.

City news and notes

Capital improvement projects, fees for city services, and the budgeting process are the regular business items on the City Council's agenda for its meeting Tuesday, March 9.

• City staff is recommending the city spend $200,000 in the fiscal year beginning July 1 to "provide resources and/or consultants for High Speed Rail." Palo Alto has already hired a lobbyist to represent the city's interests in Sacramento when it comes to the high-speed rail project.

• The city's Environmental Quality Commission has recommended that the city study the possibility of capturing methane gas at the Marsh Road landfill, which accounts for 8.5 percent of the city's greenhouse gas emissions.

• The council at its March 2 meeting unanimously agreed to provide $625,000 from the city's below-market-rate fund to help Habitat for Humanity purchase and renovate five additional foreclosed homes in the Belle Haven neighborhood.

• When it comes to setting fees, city staff has prepared a comprehensive spreadsheet lumping city services into one of three categories, based on how much of its cost the city aims to recover.

Go to is.gd/9YOtm to see where the services fall.

Tuesday's council meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, located in the Civic Center complex.

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