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Some thoughts before the meeting on the 22nd...

From: domainremoved <Marc>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2018 20:49:20 +0000

Dear Council members and friends-

Thanks again for your diligent and tireless work on behalf of our Menlo Park community. It is absolutely inspirational and greatly appreciated. As a recovering New York actor whose wife is a jazz singer, father-in-law is a highly accomplished jazz pianist, and whose current personal and professional passion is in helping us create a strong and vibrant downtown, I am a ferocious advocate for the best possible PAG project at the Guild Theatre location and for our community.

As a community, we have spent more than a decade methodically developing a plan for foundational growth at our city center and downtown, which seems to be paying off with wonderful results, as our attention to detail remains strong! My name is Marc Bryman, and as a Linfield Oaks resident and staunch city center/downtown partisan, I am extremely proud of the intensive effort we have all made to manage the development, growth, vibrancy, traffic, parking, and circulation concerns of our burgeoning “urban” core. In so many ways, The Guild project is a well-deserved culmination of those efforts and the timing, to me, seems ideal.

I also think that it is critically important to take full advantage of this wonderful opportunity to provide a facility that best serves our greatest collective good, and is truly a winning formula for most, if not all, involved. As the Council studies this proposal and considers its myriad benefits, I hope too that you will not rush to judgement or be held hostage by some other proposed deadline. In my opinion, we have a tremendous opportunity to achieve near perfection on this proposal, and I might recommend some slight further attention to detail that I think can easily and relatively quickly be explored and executed.

Has, for example, the inclusion of any and all adjacent parcels to the proposed PAG site on El Camino, been considered or examined? By potentially including adjacent parcels, the quotient for public benefit bonus, critical project frontage and how it relates to loading and unloading, guest and artist pick-up and drop off, curb cuts and street indentation all along El Camino, become vastly more manageable. With more square footage, the added potential for on-site employee and artist parking, construction staging, and overall mitigation of traffic and circulation, make the possibility one that I think ought be exhausted and most certainly without great effort or “death” of opportunity, with respect to timing.

The current proposal, though nicely configured and well thought out, never-the-less attempts to “shoehorn” a nearly 11,000 SF project onto an approximately 4500 SF lot with limited frontage, while vastly overreaching on bonus FAR and having no on-site parking component. For one, footage for a full kitchen changes the entire liquor license component with regard to minor guests, and may for two, with greater cost and a slightly longer timeframe, be used to accommodate an excavated parking element that puts far less strain on city/community exemptions, while fully realizing a venue that is better suited for our municipality. Yes, that might also well include more comfortable showers for “the talent.”

I understand that the applicant’s proposed timeline for this approval be expedited and put on a very fast track, and I wonder if an additional few weeks or even months more for a fully explored due diligence process and investigation of absolute public benefits, shouldn’t trump some arbitrary option period. There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Crittenden has absolutely found the highest and best use for the Guild Theatre in this proposal, and will likely be more than willing to extend any option by some short period of time. I can only assume that PAG wants nothing more than to build the best possible venue within in the relative time discussed.

Mr. Dunlevie himself, when addressing the Planning Commission on April 23rd, made it abundantly clear that the project has very deep financial support from Mr. Briger and Mr. Layton, and that essentially, “money was not an issue.” Let’s please make sure that all options for this wonderful project have been explored and discussed, especially the easy ones.

Thanks for your consideration and all the best.

Your biggest fan,
Marc
Marc Bryman
(650) 646-1150 Mobile
Received on Tue May 15 2018 - 13:50:39 PDT

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