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RE: 1900 El Camino Real (BLD2013-01475) - tenant improvements

From: Rogers, Thomas H <"Rogers,>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2014 16:57:42 -0800

Don,

The revised plans came in Monday, February 24, 2014, and were routed to my desk that same day. Our permit tracking system has the following entry that confirms it:

"2/24/14 Received revised plan and routed to Thomas. JDS"

If one of our counter technicians didn't provide that information to you earlier today, you have our apologies, but nothing is amiss with regard to the overall process.

Thomas Rogers
Senior Planner, City of Menlo Park
tel: 650-330-6722 fax: 650-327-1653
throgers_at_(domainremoved)

-----Original Message-----
From: Don Barnby [mailto:dbarnby_at_(domainremoved)
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2014 4:50 PM
To: Rogers, Thomas H
Cc: _CCIN; McClure, William; Lafrance, Ron J; _Planning Commission
Subject: RE: 1900 El Camino Real (BLD2013-01475) - tenant improvements

Thomas,

Thanks for your email.
About an hour before you sent this email this afternoon, I visited the Planning Department desk to see if any further plans had been submitted.
Not only did they not have any recent (or revised plans) but no recent plan submission showed on the computer. (The woman at the desk showed me the screen for both 1900 El Camino and for Spruce Ave. so I could see for myself.). How is it that within about one hour the plans came in and you have reviewed them in detail? It seems to me that something is amiss here.

Don Barnby

-----Original Message-----
From: Rogers, Thomas H [mailto:THRogers_at_(domainremoved)
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2014 3:50 PM
To: Don Barnby
Cc: _CCIN; McClure, William; Lafrance, Ron J; _Planning Commission
Subject: 1900 El Camino Real (BLD2013-01475) - tenant improvements

Don,

I just wanted to follow up on our previous email dialogue, which included the City Council. I've also copied the Planning Commission for reference, since you made verbal comments to them as well.

The owners of 1900 El Camino Real (also addressed 111-119 Spruce Avenue) did submit an initial building permit application that would have constituted an expansion of the medical use (Eric S. Raines, Chiropractor at 119 Spruce
Avenue) that most recently occupied the parcel, into areas previously used as non-medical offices. As a result, we notified them that Planning Commission review of a use permit would be required, due to the parcel's nonconforming parking status (see more info in my original email to you below). In response, the owners have comprehensively revised the building permit application to keep the 119 Spruce Avenue space fully independent, and specified that no medical uses would occupy the remainder of the building. Therefore, no Planning Commission review is required, because there is no longer any change of use.

I have reviewed the revised plans in detail and signed off on them from the Zoning side. The application is also in the process of being reviewed for Building Code and related compliance. Assuming all standard requirements are met, the ministerial Building Permit will be issued. You're welcome to review the plans any time at our offices. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thomas Rogers
Senior Planner, City of Menlo Park
tel: 650-330-6722 fax: 650-327-1653
throgers_at_(domainremoved)


-----Original Message-----
From: Rogers, Thomas H
Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2013 2:47 PM
To: 'Don Barnby'
Cc: _CCIN; McClure, William; Bressler, Vincent
Subject: RE: Spruce Ave. Petition and Cover Letter

Hi Don,

Sorry if there's been any confusion. My statement about Mr. Mason and City records was an affirmative statement: "The City's business license system does have a record for Joseph G. Mason, Attorney at Law, occupying this space between 2002 and 2005." So I think we're in agreement that he was there, and he was permitted.

On business licenses more generally, their purpose is indeed somewhat different than use approval. However, prior to issuance of a business license, the Planning Division reviews whether the use is permitted or not.
If a particular business requires Planning Commission review, the applicant is notified, and the business license is not issued until the PC review/approval takes place.

The Zoning District that applied to the property in 2006 was the C-4(ECR) district. The primary district regulations at that time are excerpted below, if that's of interest.

Thomas Rogers
Senior Planner, City of Menlo Park
tel: 650-330-6722 fax: 650-327-1653
throgers_at_(domainremoved)

Chapter 16.43

C-4 GENERAL COMMERCIAL DISTRICT (APPLICABLE TO EL CAMINO REAL)

Sections:
   16.43.010 Permitted uses.
   16.43.020 Conditional uses.
   16.43.030 Development regulations.

16.43.010 Permitted uses. Permitted uses in the C-4 district, all within a building and not requiring new construction or structural alterations therefor, are as follows:
(1) Retail stores;
(2) Financial establishments;
(3) Professional and administrative offices;
(4) Personal services;
(5) Cafes and restaurants not serving beer, wine or liquor and not
providing live entertainment but not drive-in or fast food restaurants.

16.43.015 Administratively permitted uses. Uses allowed in the C-4 district, subject to obtaining an administrative permit, are as follows:

(1) Cafes and restaurants where alcohol is served, but not drive-in or
fast food restaurants;
(2) Cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating, but not drive-in or fast
food restaurants.

16.43.020 Conditional uses. Conditional uses allowed in the C-4 district, subject to obtaining a use permit, are as follows:
(1) All of the uses listed in Section 16.43.010, for which new
construction or structural alterations are required;
(2) New automobiles sales and incidental facilities;
(3) Cafes and restaurants where live entertainment is provided, but not
drive-in or fast food restaurants;
(4) Theatres, social and fraternal clubs;
(5) Motels;
(6) Mortuaries;
(7) Veterinary hospitals;
(8) Public utilities in accordance with Chapter 16.76;
(9) Special uses in accordance with Chapter 16.78;
(10) Residential dwelling units.

16.43.030. Development regulations. Development regulations in the C-4 district are as follows:
(1) Minimum lot area -- ten thousand square feet;
(2) Minimum lot dimensions -- seventy-five feet width, one hundred
twenty five feet depth;
(3) Required minimum yards, none;
(4) Maximum land coverage, none;
(5) For lots of nine thousand square feet or less, not less than five
percent and for lots larger than nine thousand square feet, not less than ten percent of building site shall be occupied by appropriate landscaping;
(6) Height of structures shall not exceed thirty feet;
(7) In the case of conditional uses, additional regulations may be
required by the planning commission;
(8) The floor area ratio shall not exceed 55% except that a floor area
ratio not exceeding 75% may be authorized by a use permit. In no event shall office uses exceed a floor area ratio of 40%.
        (A) For automobile storage in conjunction with an automobile
dealership, an additional 25% FAR for a total FAR of 100% may be permitted by use permit;
(9) The development of residential dwelling units shall be in accordance
with the regulations contained herein with the following exceptions:
        (A) The maximum number of dwelling units shall not exceed 18.5
dwelling units per acre; and
        (B) The off-street parking for the residential units shall be in
accordance with Section 16.72.020(1).


-----Original Message-----
From: Don Barnby [mailto:dbarnby_at_(domainremoved)
Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2013 10:28 AM
To: Rogers, Thomas H
Cc: _CCIN; McClure, William; Bressler, Vincent
Subject: RE: Spruce Ave. Petition and Cover Letter

Mr. Rogers,

After reviewing you email I have some comments and questions.

You note that the City's business license system does not have a record of for Joseph G. Mason, Attorney at Law, occupying this space between 2002 and 2005. My statement that he did, indeed, occupy that space is based on my understanding of who the occupant really was, rather than what City records show. It is my understanding that Mr. Mason did occupy that space as a personal office, although not as a business where he saw clients. Since he was not running a business from that location he was, indeed, not in the City's business license taxing system; hence the discrepancy. The name of the occupying attorney, however, is not relevant to our current matter; I point this out only that the record be accurate.

You note that, in 2006, the business license for the Chiropractor was approved at this location. It is my understanding that business license approval relates to business taxation, and has nothing to do with USE approval, which is under the jurisdiction of the Planning Commission. I believe you have confirmed that the Planning Commission never took any action regarding the Chiropractor's occupancy.

Would you please let me know the zoning code in place for this building in 2006?

Thank you,

Don Barnby







-----Original Message-----
From: Rogers, Thomas H [mailto:THRogers_at_(domainremoved)
Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 4:36 PM
To: Nancy & Donald Barnby (dbarnby_at_(domainremoved)
Cc: _CCIN; McClure, William; Bressler, Vincent
Subject: RE: Spruce Ave. Petition and Cover Letter

Mr. Barnby,

The parcel at 1900 El Camino Real (also addressed 111, 115, and 119 Spruce
Avenue) was developed under the jurisdiction of the County of San Mateo, prior to its being annexed into the City of Menlo Park in 1984. The City does not have complete, current plans for this parcel, given the age of the structure and jurisdictional history. However, it's generally understood to be nonconforming with regard to parking, with a limited number of available spaces, some or all of which may be partly/completely on the public right-of-way. With regard to use, the City likewise does not have detailed records, although it's understood to have always been an office/general commercial building.

The Menlo Park Zoning Ordinance states that changes of use in a structure which is nonconforming because it does not satisfy the parking requirements requires a use permit. Use permits require Planning Commission review in a public forum, and include neighbor notification (owners/occupants within 300 feet).

In your letter, you note that the former chiropractor occupant of 119 Spruce Avenue replaced an attorney, and you state that this was illegal. The City's business license system does have a record for Joseph G. Mason, Attorney at Law, occupying this space between 2002 and 2005. In 2006, a business license for Eric S. Raines, Chiropractor, was approved at this location. No Planning Commission review was required at this time, as both uses (attorney and
dentist/physician/surgeon) were at the time listed under the same Zoning Ordinance use category:

- "Professional office" means an office for the conduct of the following types of uses: Accountant, architect, attorney, chiropractor, optometrist, chiropodist, engineer, surveyor, drafting service, designer, dentist, physician and surgeon.

Just to be clear, this tenant change was fully legal, because the professional office use did not change.

In July 2012, the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan became effective.
The 1900 El Camino Real parcel is part of the "ECR NE-L" zoning district and the "El Camino Real Mixed Use" land use designation. The Zoning Ordinance provisions regarding changes of use on nonconforming parking parcels still apply, although the Specific Plan includes its own use definitions, including a new split between medical and non-medical offices:

- Offices, Business and Professional. Offices of firms or organizations providing professional, executive, management, or administrative services, such as accounting, advertising, architectural, computer software design, engineering, graphic design, insurance, interior design, investment, and legal offices. This classification excludes hospitals, banks, and savings and loan associations.
- Offices, Medical and Dental. Offices for a physician, dentist, or chiropractor, including medical/dental laboratories incidental to the medical office use. This classification excludes medical marijuana dispensing facilities, as defined in the California Health and Safety Code.

The City does not have any pending building permits or business license applications on file for 119 Spruce Avenue, but in general: a new medical tenant would be permitted to occupy that tenant space without any Planning Commission review, because there would not be a change of use. However, any expansion into the neighboring 115 Spruce Avenue suite (which appears to have been most recently occupied by a non-medical office use) would require an application for a use permit, subject to Planning Commission public review. This is because medical offices and non-medical offices are now different use categories. If such a medical office expansion is ultimately proposed and considered, Planning Division staff will request that the applicant explain in detail how the parking demand associated with this use would be addressed, and the Planning Commission will fully consider any neighborhood input prior to making any action.

In this particular instance, the Specific Plan provisions offer more protections than did the previous Zoning Ordinance, which would have permitted a medical use to occupy 115 Spruce Avenue without public review (since both the existing and proposed tenants would have fallen under the same professional office category). In addition, under the Specific Plan, the total square footage available for medical office uses on this site is
1,750 square feet (0.25 of the total 7,000 square foot parcel). This is also a change relative to the previous Zoning Ordinance, which could have allowed at least 2,800 square feet (0.40 of the total parcel size) to be used for medical uses.

I believe this answers your questions, but please let me know if you have additional inquiries. Please distribute this response to your neighbors who signed your petition, and be advised that we'll also distribute this information to the building's current property owner.

Thomas Rogers
Senior Planner, City of Menlo Park
tel: 650-330-6722 fax: 650-327-1653
throgers_at_(domainremoved)


From: Don Barnby [mailto:dbarnby_at_(domainremoved)
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 9:21 PM
To: _CCIN
Subject: Spruce Ave. Petition and Cover Letter

One week ago, August 20, I delivered over the counter, by hand, a petition
(44 signatures) and cover letter from residents of Spruce Ave. to the Planning Commission, and a copy of those petition pages and cover letter over the counter, upstairs, to City Council.

I have just learned from one member of City Council that he has not seen this package, and I am very concerned.

I'd like to ask each member of City Council to please confirm to me by email that he/she did, in fact, receive a copy of this package.

The cover letter is attached.

Best regards,
Don Barnby
Received on Fri Feb 28 2014 - 16:57:11 PST

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