A new boutique hotel proposed for a site on El Camino Real in Menlo Park could be approved tonight.
The Menlo Park Planning Commission could decide on Monday, April 18, whether it should approve a four-story, 61-room boutique hotel, with a ground-floor restaurant and bar, located on a half-acre site at 1400 El Camino Real, roughly at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and El Camino.
The hotel, proposed by Pollock Financial Group, would also have a "special functions" room, an outdoor plaza with a large heritage oak tree, and an exercise area.
As part of the decision, the Planning Commission would have to decide on the amount of parking that should be required for the hotel and restaurant, and whether to allow live entertainment, alcohol sales and outdoor seating there.
The commission would also decide whether to accept a payment of $268,076 as the developer's contribution to the city's below-market-rate housing fund, the financial equivalent of the developer's requirement to provide roughly four-fifths of a below-market-rate housing unit.
Finally, if the commission votes to approve the project, it would decide whether the 12 percent tax that hotel guests would pay to the city is eligible to be considered a public benefit.
With the current proposal, the hotel would have 75 parking spots in an underground garage and bike parking. For big events, the developers said they've worked it out so guests could use the parking lot of Language Pacifica across Glenwood Avenue.
Live entertainment is proposed for both indoor and outdoor venues at the hotel, and performances could be weekly. Events would comply with the city's noise ordinance and outdoor events would conclude by 10 p.m.
Previous discussions last November with the city's Planning Commission included debate over the developer's claim that revenue generated by the city's transient occupancy tax would meet the company's public benefit requirement.
Jeff Pollock, vice president of Pollock Financial Group, said the hotel is expected to generate $8.5 million in transit occupancy tax revenue over 10 years, and approximately $600,000 in its first year.
The developer also proposes installing a dedicated right-turn lane from Glenwood Avenue onto El Camino Real, new curbs, gutters and landscaping.
In response to some planning commissioners' comments on the structure's proposed aesthetics, city staff say, the style of the building has not changed much, but some architectural changes in the hotel's designs have been made.