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Underground Parking Benefits All City Residents

From: domainremoved <Carol>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2018 17:31:18 -0700

To the City Planning Commissioners

I attended the Planning Commission’s study session on October 8 on the Red Cottage Inn expansion. I have lived in Menlo Park since 1995. My first home was in West Menlo Park. I have been a resident and homeowner in the Park Forest community since 2014.

With all of the building under way in Menlo Park, especially along the El Camino Real corridor, has there been any tally of the number of structures that are incorporating underground parking? Is that decision (and approval and support by the City) to use underground parking guided by policies of the City of Menlo Park?

In other words, has the City Planning Commission undertaken, or even considered, anything akin to a “policy” that would require new commercial building projects to put parking underground? The benefits of such a policy would be enormous and long-lasting.

As a long-time resident, this idea is akin to adopting a policy regarding placing utilities underground — a forward-thinking plan that I’m guessing a majority of residents would love to find a way to make happen for the safety of every neighborhood.

Just as there are so many good reasons to place utilities underground, there are equally strong, and forward-thinking reasons to plan for parking underground for commercial projects. As you heard from the cooperative and collaborative presentations made by Park Forest residents at the October 8 meeting, none of us wants to force the developer of the Red Cottage Inn expansion, Mr. Patel, to bear an inappropriate burden, or to become the test case for an onerous city building policy. But I’m asking why the City of Menlo Park commissioners won't take a forward-thinking position in this immediate opportunity to get creative about how to incentivize and reward a plan for the Red Cottage Inn developers that includes underground parking, which will support our city values and quality of life for the Park Forest residents and our entire community.

With respect to the Red Cottage Inn expansion, say, ten years down the road, all of us — the 30,000+ residents of Menlo Park — will be grateful to our City leadership if they have the foresight to protect the quality, values, and privacy of our residents with support for underground parking. It’s just smart.

Carol Broadbent
Received on Mon Oct 15 2018 - 17:29:48 PDT

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