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201 El Camino Real Project - Correcting The Record

From: Tosta, Timothy A. <"Tosta,>
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2019 23:44:03 +0000

Dear Menlo Park City Council, Planning Commission and Community:

On or about March 21 - 24, one or more individuals organized an email campaign opposing the proposed project at 201 El Camino Real. While we appreciate the rights of the community to express their viewpoints, the organizers of this effort misrepresented key aspects of the Project to advance their position. We represent the Project Sponsors and would like to correct the critical inaccuracies in the emails.

First, many of the emails misrepresented the 201 El Camino Project as a "3 level medical office building." This simply is not true. The proposal is for a 3 story building, but the second and third levels have always been proposed for residential use. (The Project overall includes 12 units in the 201 ECR building, and 2 townhouses at 612 Cambridge.) The version of the Project submitted in February 2019 has 3,000 s.f. of medical office on the first floor, and about 4,300 s.f. of retail, representing only a small increase in commercial square footage over what currently exists on the site. (The initial version of the Project in June 2018 proposed over 7,000 sf of medical office, but this was changed in response to earlier public comment.).

Second, many of the emails state that the Project will result in traffic problems because, among other things, it would "require 91 parking spaces." In fact, the Project is proposing only 59 spaces (an earlier version included 63 spaces). If the Project ultimately includes a restaurant use, the City Code might require a few more spaces. Overall, the Project will comply with the El Camino Real and Downtown Specific Plan and any net new vehicle trips generated would be a relatively minor contribution to the area's traffic.

Many of the emails addressed the Project's impact on Koma Sushi. Koma Sushi has about 3 years remaining on its lease, and the owner has told the 201 El Camino Real owners that he wants to retire soon and sell the business. The owners of 201 El Camino Real have been working with Koma Sushi's owner to address the restaurant's future. Regardless of the outcome, the 201 El Camino Real owners consider the inclusion of a restaurant or similar food service use a high priority.

Finally, the Project is in the early stages of its review by the City. We have received and considered a number of constructive comments, and anticipate receiving more. The owners of 201 El Camino Real, as I have come to know them, are good, honest people trying to comply with the City's policies and "do the right thing" for the neighborhood. It is unfortunate that the organizers of the recent email campaign chose to stir up the neighbors' fears by incorporating such misstatements of fact.


Timothy A. Tosta
Counsel

Arent Fox LLP | Attorneys at Law
55 2nd Street, 21st Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
415.805.7969 DIRECT | 415.757.5501 FAX
415.264.2010 CELL
tim.tosta_at_(domainremoved)


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Received on Thu Apr 04 2019 - 16:39:35 PDT

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