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BevMo appeal

From: John Kadvany <jkadvany_at_(domain_name_was_removed)>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2010 08:49:53 -0800

Dear Council Members-
 Briefly, ere are my reasons for supporting BevMo's use permit in Menlo Park, repeating much of what I stated at the PC hearing:

  1. As a Planning Commissioner, I've been involved in use permit decisions aiding Curves, Café Zoe, Ace Hardware and others. In all cases, the PC worked hard to help businesses enter or stay in MP, often working around parking or other requirements to balance business needs and sensible planning. Here, the paradigm is different: the request is to keep a business out of MP, rather than figuring out how they can fit in. I don't understand that perspective. The ECR location means zero impact on 'village character', and the success of K&L Wine Merchants on ECR in Redwood City, closer to RC's BevMo than Beltramo's, shows there is little or no danger of business failure.
  2. As far as the convenience finding goes, BevMo reports some 1500 BevMo card holders; some fraction of these will find a BevMo in MP a clear convenience. Speaking personally, I look for high-end beers; these are expensive at Safeway and Draeger's, and are not available at Trader Joe's because they cannot reserve enough shelf space (reported some years ago). 50% of ECR traffic is regional; some fraction of these drivers should also be expected to find the ECR BevMo a convenience. North Palo Alto consumers may also find the BevMo useful.

More importantly vis a vis "convenience": The convenience/necessity finding is intended as a means for communities to handle nuisance liquor stores; ones locating in impoverished neighborhoods; stores attracting riff-raff; and so on. Here these conditions are not relevant. The convenience finding should not be used to micromanage the town's economy off Santa Cruz Avenue.

3. BevMo reports 12-15 jobs with the new store. In the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, MP should embrace those jobs at a long-empty storefront in a shopping center which finds it hard to attract retailers. Staples and Big Five will benefit from more customers nearby.

John Kadvany / Menlo Park Planning Commissioner Received on Tue Nov 09 2010 - 08:54:12 PST

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