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I support BevMo! in Menlo Park

From: Greg Alden <gregalden_at_(domain_name_was_removed)>
Date: Sun, 7 Nov 2010 05:11:43 -0800

Dear City Council,

You did the right thing in approving the BevMo application. I think the silent majority agrees with you based on principles of basic fairness and logic:

  1. Menlo Park is a Town Full of Vacancies. Just look around at all the empty store fronts on Santa Cruz and El Camino- we are in no position to turn away successful and interested retailers from Menlo Park. And if we do, what message does this send to other potential retailers who may want to come into town?
  2. What About the Rights of the Building Owner? Doesn't the owner of the building have a right to lease this space to a qualified tenant? What does preventing BevMo say to other real estate owners and potential investors in the town about their ability to rent their space in the future?
  3. Protectionism Sets a Bad Precedent. Once you go down the road of choosing to protect one business (or one group of businesses) over another, then it becomes a slippery slope. Why didn't the City protect the existing hotels against the new Bohannon Marriott? Should the CIty protect existing restaurants from any new ones? Aren't zoning laws and codes designed to protect free enterprise from those in power to play favorites?
  4. It's a Free Market, and Residents are Free to Choose Where to Shop. For those speaking out who don't think we need another beverage store in Menlo Park, they don't need to shop there. They can vote with their feet, and if they are right then BevMo won't stay in business. It should be the customers who decide this, and not the City Council or the voice of a few.

I believe that if the City Council caves into the well organized pressure created by a couple local businesses, that it will do long-term harm to Menlo Park's chances to compete against Palo Alto and Redwood City for new retailers and investors. It's actions like this which is why Menlo Park remains a sleepy, under-improved town, while neighboring communities have more vibrant and successful downtowns.

G. Alden
A Menlo Park Resident Received on Sun Nov 07 2010 - 05:35:04 PST

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