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Food trucks

From: domainremoved <Bruce>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2014 16:39:33 -0800

Dear Menlo Park City Council,

 

We are requesting that the City Council reverse the Planning Commission’s
decision to allow food trucks to use one end of the Caltrain parking lot on
Wednesdays. This is a bad idea because it has the city supporting a single
commercial enterprise that will contribute little to the city and pulling
support from established businesses that benefit the city. It will impact
the vitality of downtown as these food trucks take business from brick and
mortar merchants.

 

These brick and mortar restaurants support our community through their
rents, their employment, property taxes, sales taxes, and voluntary support
for local schools and nonprofits. Their local ownership contributes to the
friendly small town atmosphere of Menlo Park. The food trucks and their
sponsor will have few ties to Menlo Park because they will be from out of
town and will be in Redwood City, Palo Alto, San Carlos, etc. on other
nights. They will contribute little to local taxes, businesses, or
non-profits. The food truck sponsor will pay a below market fee for a prime
location in Menlo Park . The local restaurants will be hurt by the
competition from the food trucks. Our downtown store fronts are just now
becoming fully occupied; this competition from the food trucks is likely to
result in restaurants operating on the margin going out of business and
downtown continuing to look like a ghost town.

 

One article said that these trucks will be used by train riders for last
minute dinner pickup. I rode the train for years and found that quick
dinners were readily available at Su Hong To Go, Applewood To Go, Safeway,
Draegers, Amici’s, Round Table, Café Barrone (and their yet-to-open market
deli), the crepe place, and many other locations near the station. There is
no need for additional fast food in Menlo Park. Food trucks have a purpose
in locations where local businesses do not serve the need. For example, a
food truck stops on our street daily at lunch time for the remodelers,
gardeners, and others who work on the street. This type of food truck is
fine since it does not compete with local businesses and is not city
sponsored.

 

The new food trucks and their customers will require lots of parking space.
Will the revenue from the $3 parking spaces in the Caltrain lot be
recovered? What will happen when the other end of the Caltrain lot is
unusable due to flooding or on Giants game days when ridership is extra
high? Will food truck customers park on Alma and under Kepler’s so that
businesses in these areas suffer even more?

 

The City Council needs to re-examine and reverse the Planning Commission’s
decision.

 

We have a number of other questions for the Council: Why was this a Planning
Commission decision and not a Council decision? Whose idea was this? What
is their connection to the food truck sponsor? We feel that city staff must
not have enough to do. They keep coming up with hair-brained (and expensive)
ideas like these food trucks, new city logos, and a city mascot. Perhaps
the City Council should determine which staffers are spending time on such
projects and lay these surplus employees off. Menlo Park has enough other
needs without wasting funds on these ideas and on employees with nothing
better to do than come up with such bad ideas.

 

Best regards,

Bruce and Anita Ochieano

1795 Stanford Avenue

650 325-9698
Received on Thu Jan 16 2014 - 16:37:43 PST

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