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CEQA Determination for 1162-1170 El Camino Real

From: domainremoved <Rod>
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2020 17:27:24 -0800

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Dear Menlo Park Planning Commission,
    I write to urge you to preserve the buildings at 1162-1170 El Camino Real.
    The Staff Report (Number 20-003-PC) points out that Menlo Park lacks a local register, and accordingly has no predetermined criteria for evaluating the historic or cultural significance of a structure. The Staff Report also explains that MP's General Plan Policy LU-7.8 notes that Menlo Park will "[p]romote preservation of buildings, objects, and sites with historic or cultural significance." (Emphasis added). The buildings at 1162-1170 have both.
    Historic significance--It's beyond dispute that El Camino Real is itself of historic interest. Many of the buildings in that stretch of El Camino Real have already been torn down (e.g., the buildings housing the Park and Guild cinemas). That heightens the need to preserve, in that stretch of El Camino Real in downtown Menlo Park, any remaining buildings that are symbolic of architecture favored at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. I understand the building at 1170 was built c. 1904, an important era in the growth of Menlo Park. I'm unaware of any other downtown MP buildings of that generation that are in as fine a state. The building should be preserved for this reason.
    Cultural significance--The large outpouring of public sentiment attests to the cultural importance of Feldman's bookstore. I echo that sentiment, but I augment it. I visit downtown Menlo Park frequently to visit Feldman's and to do other activities (e.g., dine, shop ... sadly, not to see films any more). Part of the allure of Feldman's is what it sells, but part of it comes from where it's located. The building at 1170 has an historic charm that adds to the experience. This combination is increasingly difficult to find; it supports the cultural significance of building and the business it houses.
   I urge you to exercise your authority wisely to preserve these buildings for future generations. Thank you for considering this.

Rod Donnelly
Received on Mon Jan 13 2020 - 17:31:32 PST

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