A developer has proposed to demolish the 28-room Red Cottage Inn & Suites and build a 70-room "Hampton Inn by Hilton" hotel at 1704 El Camino Real, between Stone Pine Lane and Buckthorn Way in Menlo Park.
According to designs submitted to the Menlo Park Planning Division, the proposed hotel would be about 40,000 square feet and three stories tall, with an underground garage that would fit 58 cars.
Jim Rato, of RYS Architects, said that the architecture would be after the "farmhouse modern" style.
Of two large heritage trees on the site, one would be kept and the other removed. A city arborist report said the tree to be removed was in declining health.
According to planning documents, the hotel would serve alcohol at some events and breakfast in the mornings. It would have a boardroom, a fitness room and a pool. Courtyard spaces and the boardroom could be used by the public.
The Housing Commission voted Nov. 2 to recommend the Planning Commission approve the developer's plan to pay $256,248 to the city's below-market fund to meet the affordable housing requirement generated by the new square footage the hotel would add, according to Corinna Sandmeier, associate planner with Menlo Park.
The plans were submitted Aug. 11, but were incomplete, she said. The project cannot move forward to the Planning Commission until the developer submits the required information. There is no estimate yet on how much the hotel would generate in transient occupancy tax, a 12-percent-per-night tax hotel visitors pay that goes to the city, she said.
The planning department has received several letters from neighbors expressing concerns about the change in size of the hotel, according to Ms. Sandmeier.
In an email submitted to the City Council, Dave Forter asserted that the proposed hotel "is too tall and the design does not fit our neighborhood." He said that the location is bordered on three sides by residential properties, and that he believes the new hotel would block the view, increase noise and trash, and reduce privacy near Forest Lane.