Chinese restaurant continues to annoy Millbrae neighbors

The Tai Wu Chinese restaurant in Millbrae under scrutiny for parking complaints and possible building violations.
May 6, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
A peninsula restaurant with a growing reputation for tasty food is already in trouble with the city for parking problems. Neighbors are outraged and now there are new concerns about possible building violations.

The city of Millbrae has never had a 267 seat, three-story restaurant like Tai Wu. The zoning commission approved parking at three different lots as far as two blocks away, but patrons and employees are finding it easier to park in the nearby neighborhood.

"I came home from lunch from work and no parking. And weekends are even worse," said neighbor Camille Lopez.

The restaurant owners are now proposing to increase the number of parking spots to from 111 to 148.

"As everyone knows with any business, any type of infrastructure there's always going to be maybe a few glitches here and there and we're trying to smooth that out as of right now," said restaurant owner Jessica Fong.

But the city planner says Tai Wu also built loud kitchen fans in violation of the zoning plan. They were supposed to be on the third-story roof.

"It's driving me crazy," said neighbor Samar Noureddine. Says she gets the constant smell of Chinese food blown into her home. "Which, I have nothing against it, if I'm eating Chinese food."

"We are not cutting corners. We have been working with the city," said Fong.

The property Tai Wu is on sat vacant for a decade, which is why a city commission wants to make it work. They're giving the restaurant two weeks to come up with a satisfactory plan.

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