Menlo Park: Shell gas station may expand repair shop

The Shell gas station at 1400 El Camino Real and Glenwood Avenue in Menlo Park may be undergoing some changes. According to city staff, the owner inquired about a month ago about discontinuing the gas sales, but expanding the repair shop.

Senior Planner Thomas Rogers said that change would require a use permit approved by the Planning Commission, and that the city would need to evaluate whether a stand-alone repair shop would fit within the specific plan regulations. Current uses allowed for the site require that vehicles aren't typically stored overnight, he said.

An update from the city on Nov. 7 stated that fencing has gone up around the site to allow the removal of gas tanks, and an independent auto repair business has moved to 1279 El Camino Real. Staff had no further information about what the gas station's owner plans to do next.

— Sandy Brundage


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Posted by supporter
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 9, 2013 at 9:29 am

It is so helpful to be able to get car repair support like this locally. I can drop off the car and walk to the train or home. It is so inconvenient to have to arrange for a ride to and from car repair, and it's great to avoid adding to traffic for much long trips to other towns.
Menlo Park needs to support places for us residents and local workers to accomplish basic tasks in town in highly convenient locations.

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Posted by Norman
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm

No way putting up a car repair shop on one of the ideal corners in Menlo Park. It'll turn into an eyesore as if most of Menlo Park's El Camino stretch isn't that way already. Whatever goes up there has to be beautiful.

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Posted by supporter
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm

So where should vital services like this be? They must be offered in Menlo Park and they must be convenient. We have a few excellent repair shops along El Camino. Otherwise we have to go to other cities. This isn't right.

I doubt a car repair place can be beautiful, but it doesn't need to be an eyesore, either. A lot of the eyesores on El Camino could be cleaned up but the city isn't requiring property owners to do so. The Park Theater defacement was far worse than a gas station. The weedy lots on Stanford property and Cadillac site have been far worse. It isn't the use that makes a property an eyesore.

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Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Almanac's reporting leaves so much to be desired. Did you even bother checking with the family which operated the gas station or even stopping by their new repair shop location?

Shell Oil decided to shut down the gas operations at the site. Shell also ownsthe station and land. The operators of the station took over the Auto Dynamics site next to the now gone Park Theater. With the new repair site they can handle a lot more business, having at least doubled the number of lifts they had at the old station.

Likely scenario for the gas station site. Multi-story office building and or housing with underground parking. The site will have to be cleaned and digging out needed parking would help with the cleanup. Of course our beloved planning commission will approve ehatever goes in without requiring any setback from the streets, thus enforcing the concrete corridor.

BTW the intersection used to have three gas stations.

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Posted by Old MP
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 11, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Our family has patronized "Fred's Shell" since the early 60's. They are the nicest and most thorough professionals in the area. Wherever they go, we'll follow.

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