http://almanacnews.com/print/story/print/2013/02/13/menlo-park-bevmo-gets-thumbs-up-in-citys-reviewplanning-commission-gives-bevmo-a-thumbs-up


Almanac

News - February 13, 2013

Menlo Park: BevMo gets thumbs up in city's review Planning Commission gives BevMo a thumbs up

• BevMo gets favorable review two years after controversial store opens in Menlo Park.

by Sandy Brundage

It seems like only yesterday that a faction of Menlo Park residents and alcohol merchants rose up against allowing a Beverages & More to open at 700 El Camino Real. A divided Planning Commission, followed by a split City Council, finally approved the use permit in 2010, and the new BevMo opened in February 2011.

The permit approval called for planning commissioners to review operations two years after the El Camino Real location opened, but not reconsider the use permit. According to the staff report for the Feb. 4 meeting, fears of rampant crime have failed to materialize.

The police department reported three incidents at the BevMo — one armed robbery in May 2011; one public intoxication and trespassing in April 2012; and one bicycle theft from an outdoor rack near the store in September 2012. Spot checks of the store found that employees kept the parking lot clear of shopping carts, and the miniature bottles of alcohol locked in display cases, as requested by city officials as a condition of approving the permit, according to the staff report.

Planning Commission Chair Katie Ferrick said that while there were quite a few concerns prior to the store's opening, she'd heard no anecdotal stories during the past two years that would lead her to reconsider the use permit.

The staff report did not discuss whether the BevMo has taken business away from local proprietors, such as the Beltramos, who had contributed their share of opposition against allowing a new competitor to open in town.

Commissioner Vince Bressler asked how much sales tax the store contributes to Menlo Park. BevMo representatives, noting that the exact amount is confidential, said they were "very pleased" with the store's performance.

In contrast to the hearings held in 2010, no one spoke against the store during the commission's review. Residents and merchants who protested the opening did not respond to requests for comment as to whether they'd changed their outlook on BevMo, or still had concerns.

Comments

Posted by chris, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 14, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Since when are commercial sales tax revenues "confidential"? Is this to coincide with the confidentality of criminal offenses by members of the Menlo Park police?


Posted by registered user, Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm

"7056. Divulging of information forbidden. (a) (1) Excepting the information set forth on permits issued under Article 2 (commencing with Section 6066) of Chapter 2, the information set forth on certificates of registration issued pursuant to Section 6226, and the terms of any settlement made pursuant to Section 19442 (as amended by Chapter 138 of the Statutes of 1994), it is unlawful for the board, any person having an administrative duty under this part or any person who obtains access to information contained in, or derived from, sales or transactions and use tax records of the board pursuant to subdivision (b), to make known in any manner whatever the business affairs, operations, or any other information pertaining to any retailer or any other person required to report to the board or pay a tax pursuant to this part, or the amount or source of income, profits, losses, expenditures, or any particular thereof, set forth or disclosed in any return, or to permit any return or copy thereof or any book containing any abstract or particulars thereof to be seen or examined by any person."