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support for downtown parking structure/movie theater complex (4-16 City Council meeting agendaowntown parking options for visitor

From: domainremoved <Judy>
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2018 11:47:06 -0700

Dear City Council:

I am writing in support of the downtown parking structure/first-run
"mainstream" movie theater combination about which I heard for the first
time at the special Feb. 13 City Council meeting on "goals-setting" for
2018. I represented the over 4000 signers of our Save the Guild Theater
petition for indie film at that meeting, and I pragmatically supported the
Peninsula Arts Guild proposal for the Guild property, because it was the
only viable option, and was had the support of several City Council
members. Fundamentally it was because the PAG expressed a priority for
indie film programming at the new Guild and petition signers could
contribute to that priority as we have continued to do.

*Why not housing at the proposed location? *While I definitely support
low-income/"affordable" housing in Menlo Park, I believe there are better
locations, including on currently city-owned land, that are supported by
housing advocates whom I've heard speak at various Council meetings. The
downtown core is probably not a good location for dense housing, and we
should focus on other locations to build, and give developers good
incentives to build. Adding residential housing to our core business
district would reduce business development there and would also increase
downtown traffic and possibly contribute to short term parking congestion.

*Why a downtown parking structure? *
If the 2010 Downtown MP Parking Study found 80% of parking spaces (nearly
2000 at that time) then in use during peak hours in the downtown area, the
percentage must be higher 8 years later, and in the near future even
higher, including evening parking, especially considering the new residents
at the Station 1300 development and Stanford's at the other end of El
Camino who can't be counted on to walk downtown, especially at night. Local
merchants and nearby restaurants will have increased revenues when more
residents and visitors will have this parking option, and if there is a
parking fee, as we now have in city lots with 2-3 hour limits, it would
free up short-term parking spaces for quick trips downtown, and the city
will have additional revenue to defray building and upkeep costs.

*Why is an advocate who organized the Save the Guild Theater petition, a**nd
who supports the priority of the "new Guild" to include indie film
screenings there supporting a competing "mainstream" movie theater? * I am
also a moviegoer for first-run, mainstream films and I profoundly dislike
gigantic multiplex theaters, and big parking structures where I easily
"lose" my car, and would rather contribute my entertainment budget to a
local, Menlo Park movie venues and local restaurants. I welcome another
theater option that will not compete with the new Guild's focus on indie
and art films. The city can attract moviegoers with both tastes in film.
I see the venues as complementary, not essentially competitive. I want to
enhance MP's "image" as a thriving, friendly town where there are new
entertainment options, like the new Guild's live entertainment and
occasional indie films and occasional small film festivals in its theater
configuration seating option with approx. 120 padded theater seats. Our
Save the Guild campaign is also identifying other indie film venues,
including the main Library, the Menlo Park Senior Center in Belle Haven,
and Little House, potentially with films from UNAFF (see their current
"special screenings" for UNAFF CAFE and UNAFF for Seniors programming).

I believe I am not alone among MP and other peninsula city residents in my
preference for a smaller, 2-3 screen theater nearby with good parking
options as well as mainstream films. I treasure that we would still have a
"small town" atmosphere with modest changes that will increase our movie
options, especially if the proposed parking structure will have a low
profile consistent with our existing 2 story buildings downtown, with most
of the parking underground and the theater at ground level or at most on a
second story above-ground.

Judy Adams
Live Oak Ave. resident
Received on Mon Apr 16 2018 - 11:49:28 PDT

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