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Support BevMo! in Menlo Park

From: Morris Pulgas <mpulgas_at_(domain_name_was_removed)>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2010 14:39:57 -0800

Menlo Park City Council Members,

On Nov. 9, you are hearing an appeal of the Planning Commission approval of a BevMo! store on El Camino Real. I urge you to deny the appeal and uphold the decision of the Planning Commission, and the recommendations of City staff.

It is very clear that the opposition to the opening of this business is being orchestrated by a few local liquor retailers, one in particular, in order to use the powers of City government to squash competition. It is not the role of the Council to intervene to favor one particular business, but rather to decide matters like this for the benefit of the community as a whole. If BevMo! is allowed to open their store, the community will demonstrate soon enough whether or not it desires such a business, buy voting with purchasing dollars.

I think that Beltramo's, specifically, has little to worry about with respect to competition. The BevMo! in Redwood City doesn't seem to have put them or K&L Liquors out of business. In fact, if all of those folks who have sent comments to the Council at Beltramo's instigation are also Beltramo's customers, then they seem to have a large, loyal customer base that is unlikely to jump ship for a new store in town.

If you review the discussion that occurred at the Planning Commission, you will find that the proposed location is a strip mall already occupied by chain stores, and due to its peculiar design facing away from El Camino Real, it is likely that only well-known chains will attract enough business to be viable at this location. The location proposed for BevMo! has been vacant for a year, so where are the "locally owned" businesses that are dying occupy this space? To deny BevMo!'s application is to tell the property owner that Menlo Park would rather have another empty property languishing in one of our prime retail areas.

I do not think that it is difficult for the Council to support a finding that BevMo! in Menlo Park provides a convenience to the residents of the City. I'm sure that the 1600 Menlo Park participants in BevMo!'s frequent shopper program would find it VERY convenient to walk or bike to a local branch, rather than having to drive to Redwood City or Mountain View. And as a City resident, I would much rather have those sales tax dollars remain in Menlo Park.

In short, please do not cave in to the strong arm tactics of one local business. We don't need to further amplify Menlo Park's business-unfriendly reputation, and BevMo! is an appropriate addition to the existing chain tenants at the property in question.

Thanks for considering my opinion,

Morris Pulgas Received on Mon Nov 08 2010 - 14:41:41 PST

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