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on Mar 26, 2013
What the article doesn't speak to is the fact that FBs plan includes the removal of 175 out of the 200 heritage trees that are presently on that site. To be replaced with trees in flower pots on the roof. Office in a forest my foot. In a town that prides itself as being so tree friendly that it will (and has) prevent a homeowner from expanding their house because it will take out ONE heritage tree, with enough money thrown their way, the town leaders consider 175 heritage trees to be insignificant(after receiving $$$). I am not an avid environmentalist(tree hugger), but I do really dislike the two things that MP has displayed during this whole FB love affair; hypocrisy and greed.
It would be a violation of the California Constitution (which explicitly prohibits gifts of public property) and a horrible precedent (why not do this for every other proposed development in the city) to give the Marriott Residence Inn Garwood Way (even for five years) the Inn to meet its parking requirements. The city should enter into a a long term, prepaid lease at market rates with Marriott for this property.
The transient occupancy tax was passed by the voters without any provision of offsetting that tax by providing city land at no cost to the hotels impacted by that tax.
I thought senior housing was needed in Menlo Park. Is any provision at all being made for the seniors who are displaced? Do we really need another hotel?
re:Hotel - Do not downgrade the parking requirements. The Downtown Plan requires 174 spaces.
Marriott wants to provide fewer than half that number (74) and get exclusive use of 39 spaces on Garwood? Still far fewer than required, with more than 1/3 of those from public space. Those public spaces will be needed when any El Camino project begins, for the construction workers & probably for employee parking later.
The Glenwood/El Camino/San Antonio/Mills road area is overly congested now during school transit & commute times. I see huge added traffic issues & ingress/egress problems (think left turns) with a hotel in that location.
This appears to be a greedy step from MP to get transit tax revenue at the expense of the rest of the community & local senior housing for the aging locals who can't afford Vee, The Sequoias, or The Forum.
If MP wants a hotel, make the hotel design a plan for its parking needs. Allow only a smaller, maybe fancier, hotel needing fewer spaces? A la Garden Court vs residence inn? Better yet, make the appropriate budget & excess staff cuts so MP doesn't sell out its own plan for parking requirements for transient tax revenue.
Cutting this deal with Marriott is unfair to any other downtown businesses who are expected to comply. Ever hear of the same rules for everyone? It's called "fair play."
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