Around Town | March 29, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - March 29, 2019

Around Town

WHEELING AND DEALING ... A proposal to tear down the building that once housed Ming's Restaurant and to construct a two-story automobile dealership along the Baylands edged closer to reality this week, when the city's Planning and Transportation Commission narrowly approved a zone change that would make the project possible. The proposal by Holman Automotive Group also entails the demolition of an existing Audi service building to construct the new dealership, which will be shared by Mercedes-Benz and Audi and which will include a detached car wash. The commission voted 4-3 to support the proposal, despite arguments from some members that the 48-foot-tall building will be incompatible with the Baylands. "The scale of this building is astonishing," said Commissioner Doria Summa, one of the dissenters. She recommended that the applicant consider applying for a different zoning designation: Research, Office and Limited Manufacturing (ROLM), which would have still enabled the dealership but would have imposed tighter height standards. Commissioners Ed Lauing and Carolyn Templeton also voted against the proposal, with Lauing saying he would be uncomfortable making a zone change to accommodate a specific application and Templeton suggesting that the proposed dealership would be "out of scale" with the surrounding area. Commissioner Asher Waldfogel agreed that the project probably isn't the best use of the site. But he gave the proposal his tepid support, noting that it is generally consistent with existing zoning and it will likely bring in significant sales-tax revenue for the city. Chair William Riggs, Vice Chair Michael Alcheck and Commissioner Giselle Roohparvar joined Waldfogel in voting to advance the proposal, which is set to be reviewed by the Architectural Review Board on April 4.

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