Glenwood hotel wins Menlo Park Planning Commission recommendation Menlo Park, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Mar 6, 2013 at 11:21 am
"What is it that's of value here?" asked Menlo Park Planning Commissioner John Kadvany during a review of a proposed hotel on Glenwood Avenue on March 4. The commission agreed 6-1 that the anticipated revenue stream from guests justified granting 39 public parking spaces to the hotel -- for five years.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 10:35 AM
Posted by Here's the secret, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm
If you're a property owner/developer, big or small, all you need to do is murmur "well, I guess I won't be able to afford the project" and the council and commission will apologize profusely and give you whatever you want.
Note that this largesse does not extend to homeowners, who will be instructed to redo their plans until they conform to city code.
It's all about serving the moneyed interests. Residents are just part of the collateral damage.
Posted by John Kadvany, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm
The revenue is entirely from the hotel 'TOT', 12% transit occupancy tax charged on top of any room stay of 30 days or less, so there's no way you could get that from, say, a restaurant or carpet store. Sales tax revenue for a business doesn't approach anything like the estimated $600,000 per year. So there's not much of a precedent as the conditions are so unique. MP gets that revenue in trade for exclusive use of mostly unused parking spaces, and in five years, the proposal was that the extra parking spaces be obtained from, e.g., what may be built at 1300 ECR next door, or some kind of 'market rate' charged. This was Vince Bressler's and Ben Eiref's idea and it was approved 6-1 also as a separate recommendation.
Posted by Downtowner, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm
The Planning Commission will apparently OK anything based on potential revenue. Can't they work for the best interests of the existing community? Besides allowing the parking use, did they consider the traffic impact for the already badly congested access streets to Hillview, St. Joseph's, SHP & Menlo Schools?
Few Glenwood Inn residents could drive but the Marriott guests will be out on the streets.
Posted by whatever, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 3:29 pm
Whenever the city feels like giving city land and or rights away to a developer it should be put to a city wide vote since in a sense we the public are the owners of the land and rights. And require that the developer pay the full cost of the special vote.
In any case each space in this case should be leased on an annual basis at the rate of the current overtime parking penalty $45 multiplied by 365 days a year. So let's see that comes to about $640,00 annually. That doubles the city's projected annual revenue from the project. Seems fair to me.
Oh, and remember SHP, owned by the Pau family, recently made a major faux pas by demolishing one of two historical buildings it agreed to keep at their development of the old Edgewood Plaza in Palo Alto.
Posted by um, what is the problem?, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 5:03 pm
if you drive by that parking area, there are signs all over the place saying it's CURRENTLY for the exclusive use of the senior community. so the city or public is not even getting any use out of it today, much less making money on it. so the planning commission structures a deal where the city gets $600,000+ of hotel tax a year AND market rent for the stalls that are already being used by the property, and you are complaining?
you should be thanking the city when they get things right.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 5:14 pm
if we followed your suggestion and put every land use question to a vote you can expect development to drop to zero. Do you like the way El Camino looks now? Implement your suggestion and you can expect it to remain that way forever.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Mar 7, 2013 at 12:36 am Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
"here's no way you could get that from, say, a restaurant or carpet store. Sales tax revenue for a business doesn't approach anything like the estimated $600,000 per yea"
Think Draegers and Trader Joe's - both of which could easily lay claim to the exiting public parking adjacent to their buildings using this new standard.
This decision saved the San Hill developers millions in not having to actually build the required parking on land that it owned - which is the rule for everyone else in the city when it comes to required parking.
A horrible decision and a horrible precedent. It is giving away public land for revenues that the city would get anyway!!
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Mar 7, 2013 at 1:32 am Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
"so the planning commission structures a deal where the city gets $600,000+ of hotel tax a year AND market rent for the stalls that are already being used by the property, and you are complaining?"
Yes because the commission voted 6-1 to recommend that the hotel should be charged market rate for using the parking spaces on Garwood Way AFTER five years if it hasn't found space elsewhere. So they get the land for free for at least five years and probably longer if they ask nicely at the end of four years and/or threaten to leave.