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Fwd: Concern re the 1704 ECR Hampton Inn Project

From: domainremoved <Fred>
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 21:15:43 -0700

To the Menlo Park City Council and the Menlo Park Planning Commission:

Please find attached a copy of an email written to Ms. Corinna Sandmeier expressing concern and opposition to a proposed Hampton Hotel project at 1704 El Camino Royale.


Frederick B. Rose; 130 Forest Lane, Menlo Park


Dear Ms. Sandmeier,

I'm writing today to express my concern and opposition to the proposed hotel project at 1704 El Camino Royale. As you know, the Park Forest communities had reached a satisfactory accord with regard to this project whose basis has suddenly been overturned. This late revision in itself calls for a separate study session, not the formal hearing planned for October 8. The March 12 Study Session reviewed entirely different plans than those now proposed. Frankly, this bait and switch.

As outlined in your description, the plan is to demolish an existing 28-room hotel and build a new 67-room Hampton Inn hotel. The FAR of the hotel exceeds allowable limits in return for a public benefit bonus deriving from the TOT revenues to the city. This "bonus" is tantamount to rewarding a developer for paying his taxes, an absurd concept that individuals might hope would happen for them.

Much of my concern relates to the size of the project in a city that now has had more two new hotels open in two years, with more on the way. Fundamentals here suggest that, at some point, we risk a supply of hotel rooms that exceeds demand. This is important: if the perceived need for additional hotel rooms prompting this Hampton Inn at 1704 El Camino Royale is taking place in the greatest regional boom in a century, what happens when economic activity returns to normal or recession levels? We saw the result in 2002 and 2009, with a strip of nearly-empty hospitality shells along El Camino Royale. The Hampton Inn proposed is simply one hotel too many and risks becoming tomorrow's SRO, an unwelcome neighbor to this community by any measure.

The bulk this new plan represents is overweening. As now set, the footprint would increase markedly. Its height would tower over neighboring houses, producing a wall some 50% higher than heights now in place, overshadowing Forest Lane and Park Forest II's community space.

The removal of underground parking is a grave disappointment, increasing the overall footprint of the project and raising the prospect that parking will overflow onto public streets

All of this will of course depress the market value of houses in this region, a negative "bonus" that the Planning Commission should consider in its factors.

I thank you for your consideration and look forward to the Planning Commission's wise conclusion that the many unfortunate factors in this project make it one hotel too many.

Frederick B. Rose; 130 Forest Lane; Menlo Park
Received on Tue Sep 18 2018 - 21:15:28 PDT

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