Viewpoint - September 14, 2011

Letter: Shocked to hear that plan needs hotels

I have been following the discussion of Menlo Park's downtown specific plan pretty closely. What a shock to hear the Menlo Park city staff tell the Planning Commission that the massive build-out plan was likely to run a deficit unless the city builds two hotels.

Part of the reason for this is that it is much more expensive to build concrete garages than to provide on-street parking lots. Who profits? Clearly property owners will profit if their zoning is changed to allow more height and density. This makes the property worth more and rents will rise. Real estate agents, bankers and brokers will profit from selling any condos that are built.

But the city could run a deficit. This could be compensated for by raising taxes and fees, says staff. What? Lots of residents are in favor of building on and improving the El Camino corridor. But a massive build-out on the parking lots we all use is a different matter. It is time to rethink this ill-conceived plan.

Gail Sredanovic, Ashton Avenue, Menlo Park


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