News

Menlo Park: 'Off the Grid' food truck event may move to the Civic Center

The Menlo Park Planning Commission may decide tonight (Sept. 12) whether to move the Wednesday night "Off the Grid" food truck gathering from the Caltrain parking lot to the Menlo Park Civic Center.

City staff is recommending that the event be moved to the Alma Street parking lot in the Civic Center between the library and the Arrillaga Family Gymnasium.

The event would occur Wednesdays between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., with setup starting at 3 p.m. and cleanup concluding at 10:30 p.m.

The event would have amplified live music and generator use, which may exceed the city's noise ordinance limits, the staff said.

The staff asks for flexibility to move the event to other locations in the Civic Center.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Almanac Online for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

According to Senior Planner Thomas Rogers, Caltrain has told the city that Off the Grid can no longer take place in the Caltrain parking lot.

Here is the staff report.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

Follow AlmanacNews.com and The Almanac on Twitter @almanacnews, Facebook and on Instagram @almanacnews for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Menlo Park: 'Off the Grid' food truck event may move to the Civic Center

Uploaded: Mon, Sep 12, 2016, 11:37 am

The Menlo Park Planning Commission may decide tonight (Sept. 12) whether to move the Wednesday night "Off the Grid" food truck gathering from the Caltrain parking lot to the Menlo Park Civic Center.

City staff is recommending that the event be moved to the Alma Street parking lot in the Civic Center between the library and the Arrillaga Family Gymnasium.

The event would occur Wednesdays between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., with setup starting at 3 p.m. and cleanup concluding at 10:30 p.m.

The event would have amplified live music and generator use, which may exceed the city's noise ordinance limits, the staff said.

The staff asks for flexibility to move the event to other locations in the Civic Center.

According to Senior Planner Thomas Rogers, Caltrain has told the city that Off the Grid can no longer take place in the Caltrain parking lot.

Here is the staff report.

Comments

Barbara
Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 12, 2016 at 12:17 pm
Barbara, Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 12, 2016 at 12:17 pm
4 people like this

You are discussing tonight a proposal of moving the "Off the grid" to the Parking lot on Alma near the library & the Gym. I take my Grand Children to Kuk Sool there on Wednesday night. Many times there is no parking available. This as at 4:30pm
I do not feel that this is the place to consider.


Sarah Shenk
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 12, 2016 at 12:28 pm
Sarah Shenk, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 12, 2016 at 12:28 pm
6 people like this

You should consider moving it to the M A Highschool parking lot in front of the theater. That could be huge.


MP Resident
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 12, 2016 at 12:44 pm
MP Resident, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 12, 2016 at 12:44 pm
5 people like this

What's Caltrain's issue, and can the council work with Caltrain to resolve it?

The current location is successful, convenient, and a great dinner option for people coming home on the train.


Mp mom
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 12, 2016 at 1:07 pm
Mp mom, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 12, 2016 at 1:07 pm
6 people like this

When the youth volleyball and basketball leagues are in session at the gym it can be hard to find parking in that lot in the late afternoon and early evening.


care for a walkabout?
Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Sep 12, 2016 at 1:21 pm
care for a walkabout?, Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Sep 12, 2016 at 1:21 pm
4 people like this

I think the new location is GREAT!! Awesome choice!

One notes that all the complaints are about getting parking really, really close to the place where they go for PHYSICAL EXERCISE! Consider walking the extra 100 feet part of your/their warm-up routine.

Like that meme of those that circle the parking lot to get a spot close to the door of the gym where they go to get on a treadmill.


MP Neighbor & Mother
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 12, 2016 at 2:20 pm
MP Neighbor & Mother, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 12, 2016 at 2:20 pm
4 people like this

Love this idea--having the food trucks next to the train station was loud and scary for people with very small children. Burgess would make a lovely setting, with its fields and picnic benches.


MP Res
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 12, 2016 at 2:51 pm
MP Res, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 12, 2016 at 2:51 pm
2 people like this

I agree that Civic Center parking is packed with year round kid and adult activities: gymnastics, soccer, baseball, basketball, volleyball, swimming lessons and team practices, library, etc. and not a good option. I like M-A high school idea or existing Cal Train Option or A Farmer's Market serup in one of downtown lots


BBC
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 12, 2016 at 2:58 pm
BBC, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 12, 2016 at 2:58 pm
2 people like this

This, of course, has nothing to do with the new British Banker's Club reopening.


Burgess is busy enough
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 12, 2016 at 4:42 pm
Burgess is busy enough, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 12, 2016 at 4:42 pm
6 people like this

Off the Grid has been a fun addition to the limited Wednesday night options in Menlo Park, but this is not a good site for them. Three different soccer leagues are paying quite a bit of money to use the Burgess space for practices, not to overlook people taking their kids to the gymnastics and basketball programs. care for a walkabout? may not have had the experience of herding young children to a game and may never have had to carry two bags filled with balls to a practice, but since s/he is eager for exercise, I'm sure there are many parents and volunteer coaches who would appreciate the assistance.


Off the Grid Fan
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 12, 2016 at 5:03 pm
Off the Grid Fan, Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 12, 2016 at 5:03 pm
Like this comment

Terrible idea -- traffic is already difficult at this proposed location. Please consider other sites before making a final decision.


Multi-sport parent and coach
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 12, 2016 at 5:06 pm
Multi-sport parent and coach, Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 12, 2016 at 5:06 pm
2 people like this

"may not have had the experience of herding young children to a game and may never have had to carry two bags filled with balls to a practice, but since s/he is eager for exercise"

Dunno about walkabout but c'mon.... a couple bags of balls is nothing compared to other sports!

Try looking up once in a while. This is a wonderful choice for the trucks.

We whole bags of balls! Wow!


Longtime downtown MP resident
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 12, 2016 at 6:30 pm
Longtime downtown MP resident, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 12, 2016 at 6:30 pm
5 people like this

OTG was perfectly fine in the Caltrain Lot and very convenient. Leave well alone and work out whatever grievance Caltrain has.


Burgess is busy enough
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 12, 2016 at 6:36 pm
Burgess is busy enough, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 12, 2016 at 6:36 pm
4 people like this

Really coach? I'm glad you enjoy hauling lots of gear, but it's a hardship for those of us who are small and not that strong. I have carried all my coaching gear a block or more and herded small children at the same time, making me wonder why I volunteered to coach. I'd rather not have to give up my parking space to a food truck customer who doesn't care whether or not the food trucks are by a park or in a parking lot, plus we're paying the city to use that practice space. Why should a for-profit organization take priority? Not a knock on OTG, but keep them where they are, a better location and safer all around.


Bob McGrew
Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Sep 12, 2016 at 7:15 pm
Bob McGrew, Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Sep 12, 2016 at 7:15 pm
4 people like this

The Caltrain lot was fine. Can we appeal?


Bill Wohler
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 12, 2016 at 9:30 pm
Bill Wohler, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 12, 2016 at 9:30 pm
4 people like this

Given the reaction to the library parking lot location, I'd suggest working with Caltrain to resolve the issues. Are they going to kick out the Mountain View Farmer's Market next?

The parking lot where we have the Menlo Park Farmer's Market might be a better alternative than an MA location, which would be too far removed.


Neighbor
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 12, 2016 at 9:33 pm
Neighbor, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 12, 2016 at 9:33 pm
Like this comment

Sounds like a great idea! I hope the NIMBY folks don't kill this off. Noise complaints from the music? Please, the trains will drown any of that out and it's over by 9. Besides, how convenient to feed the kids after their soccer games! If parking is an issue, then just drop your kid off and pick them up - once a week, I know you deal with it.


HelloHanalei
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 13, 2016 at 12:41 am
HelloHanalei, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 13, 2016 at 12:41 am
4 people like this

The people who are being so dismissive of concerns about parking in the Library/Arrillaga lot when the gym is being used for youth sports need a bit of a reality check. I don't mind walking, and on crowded days I do drop off my carload of kids at the gym, then go find parking and walk in. But if the City is seriously proposing to give over most or all of the lot to Off the Grid on a day when youth basketball uses the gym, concurrent with soccer practices happening on the fields, then they're not thinking clearly. Why can't Off the Grid just stay in its current, highly successful location?


MPer
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 14, 2016 at 3:17 pm
MPer, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 14, 2016 at 3:17 pm
Like this comment

I'd like to see it at Fremont Park.

Lots of downtown parking and seating available. Trucks could park along SC and University.

The current location is a concern for those of us with small children. The close proximity to El Camino, Ravenswood and the train is no fun for the kids nor the parents.


Reality Check
another community
on Sep 14, 2016 at 4:07 pm
Reality Check, another community
on Sep 14, 2016 at 4:07 pm
Like this comment

The SJ Mercury article on this story states: "Caltrain’s board of directors notified Off the Grid in May that the market must vacate the Merrill Street parking lot, which is part of “a designated historical station,” Off the Grid said in a statement. The historical designation prohibits the site from hosting a commercial enterprise."

Web Link

This makes little sense when OTG seems to be working so very well at the station; and a quick search of the Caltrain JPB board meeting agendas and minutes for April, May and June for anything regarding this comes up empty.


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Sep 14, 2016 at 6:26 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Sep 14, 2016 at 6:26 pm
Like this comment

Reality Check:

since when has Caltrain ever done anything that makes sense?


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.