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Request for DENIAL of Use Permit for BootUp Ventures at 68 Willow Road in Menlo Park

From: domainremoved <Michael>
Date: Sun, 19 May 2019 21:01:31 -0700

Dear Mr. Passmann,
I live across the creek from BootUp Ventures and have suffered needlessly
for over three years from noise and chaos made from loud parties and events
thrown by BootUp. The office complex is not zoned for events as the
buildings are surrounded by single family residences in Menlo Park and Palo
Alto. The area along the San Francisquito Creek is a designated park, and
has always been very peaceful until BootUp arrived. The events are raucous
fraternity-like parties (think Animal House!) with over 100 people along
with amplified sound, music, outdoor flame patio heaters, multi-colored
lights, disco balls, etc. They serve food and alcohol until late in the
evening. I've personally witnessed their games with Vodka shots and
yelling. The attendees also hang out on the benches along the creek
speaking drunkenly while smoking cigarettes and marijuana. I've even heard
someone vomiting along the bank of the creek from being over served
alcohol. Cars can be heard coming and going along with hundreds of car
doors opening and closing including honking throughout the evening. The
parking spills over into neighboring areas. Catering trucks and rental
equipment companies then come to break down tables and chairs and clean up
the mess. This routinely lasts past midnight. Every home within earshot
of BootUp can hear the events as if they were in the own backyard due to
the echo that the creek produces. During the summer when we like to sleep
with our windows open, it is impossible to sleep due to the noise. Despite
hundreds of calls to the police over the years, Menlo Park has not enforced
their own zoning rules. On one occasion in the late evening, I even called
one of the owners of BootUp, Marco ten Vaanholt, to tell him of the ongoing
disturbance and asked him to do something about it. He cussed me out for
waking him up and then hung up the phone. The neighbors have suffered so
much over the years and the BootUp owners don't care because they don't
have to put up with it. BootUp has ignored the cease and desist letter
that was sent by the City of Menlo Park in October 2018. The fact that
they are now asking for a use permit is ironic and way too late to be taken
seriously. The permit should be denied as they have already shown that
they are poor neighbors and can't be trusted. The onsite startup companies
should be allowed to conduct their business at BootUp during the daytime,
but the millennials working at their offices need to find another, more
appropriate, venue to let off their steam after work. If a permanent use
permit is awarded, it will devalue the property values of nearby homes. No
one wants to live next to such a club-like environment. In December 2017,
I came to the Menlo Park City Council and presented my case with my
attorney, Robin Kennedy. The City of Menlo Park did not do anything to
rectify the issue at the time. I will have no option but to pursue
litigation against the City of Menlo Park for the devaluation of my home if
this permit is awarded. I beg you for all involved parties to please deny
this permit.
Thank you for your consideration.

Michael Harbour, MD, MPH
Palo Alto Avenue
Received on Sun May 19 2019 - 20:56:16 PDT

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