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Opposed to BevMo Use Permit

From: Jeff Hewitt <jhewitt68_at_(domain_name_was_removed)>
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 2010 15:53:06 -0700


Members of the City Council-

I am a Menlo Park resident writing to express my opposition to the Bevmo use permit application. I attended the Planning Commission hearing on this topic and was disappointed that the voting rationale of some of the Commission members wasn't actually attached to the fundamental question of whether BevMo! should qualify for a use permit based upon the municipal code. It was exasperating to listen to some of the Commision members put forward their view that BevMo! would not harm local businesses without actually having any data that would support this point. One Commission member seemed to put his own survey of 10 people ahead of the 30 or so people who spoke that night and the 1500 individuals who mailed in their opposition. Honestly, I expected a more rational discussion. I'm glad that the decision is now moving to the City Council and that you will have the opportunity to correct what I saw as a flawed decision.

My view is that the permit should be denied based on "whether the sale of alcohol at this location serves a public convenience or necessity."  A BevMo in the old Chili's spot would unquestionably not serve a convenience or necessity. There is a Safeway right across the road, and many, many other liquor and wine vendors all over town, including others on El Camino.

The permit can also be denied on the grounds of "detriment to the health safety, morals, comfort and general welfare of the persons residing or working in the neighborhood of such proposed use, or whether it will be injurious or detrimental to property and improvements in the neighborhood or the general welfare of the city."  In my view 1500 individuals (and likely many more now) who have raised their voice in opposion is evidence that this is a detriment to the general welfare.

I heard loud and clear on the evening of the Planning Commision vote that Bevmo is a detriment for many reasons: 1. Bevmo is a threat to valued, local merchants which attract shoppers, are beloved by many, and give back generously in charitable contributions.
2. Bevmo detracts from the charm of Menlo Park. We don't want to be Redwood City.
3. Bevmo does not measurably benefit the city with new sales tax revenue since what it gains, others lose, and thus it prevents a new category retailer from entering that space and providing new dollars to the town.

I request that you rectify the misjustice of the Planning Commission decision and deny Bevmo the Use Permit.

Thank you for your attention to this important issue. I realize that it is quite a significant amount of work to read and internalize all of these letters in protest of BevMo and I thank you for your effort. I also believe it's very important for this City Council to exert your leadership on this important topic for our town.

Thank you,

Jeff Hewitt
Cascade Drive
Menlo Park Received on Sat Oct 30 2010 - 15:53:25 PDT


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