Silicon Valley Harley-Davidson won San Carlos Planning Commission approval Tuesday for a dealership after added conditions the city said will deal with noise concerns of neighbors.
Sales and service of the motorcycles located in South San Francisco will move to the San Carlos site at 835 E. San Carlos Ave. next to the Residence Inn Hotel and the Bayshore Highway.
“Thursday Night Live,” a monthly event with food and live entertainment at the dealership, was among plans that spurred residents’ concerns.
Dimitri Vandellos, president of the Greater East San Carlos Neighborhood Association, told planning commissioners that 50 motorcycles leaving the Thursday event at 9 p.m. would disrupt the neighborhood with chain saw-level noise.
“I don’t want children or adults having their ears blown off,” Vandellos said.
Ben Fuller, in an email to planning commissioners, said “I don’t think I ever saw anything so completely out of place for the neighborhood.”
“We’d love to figure out how this could even get this far to have a Harley dealership literally in the middle of a neighborhood,” said Fuller, a past president of the East San Carlos neighborhood group.
Rich Gargano, owner of the Harley-Davidson dealership, said motorcycle riders don’t match the movie images of decades ago.
“It’s not the biker gangs rolling in,” Gargano said.
He told commissioners: “We’re not here to change the dynamics of the whole community.”
The dealership locating along East San Carlos Avenue won support from T.J. Pechetti, a resident of the east side of the city for more than 10 years.
Pechetti said in an email to planners that arguments against Harley-Davidson were based partly on “stereotyping a part of the American culture.”
Conditions added by commissioners to cover Thursday Night Live include the end of amplified music at 8:30 p.m. and no alcohol sales allowed after that time.
Dealership owners had said in correspondence to the city that the average Harley-Davidson owner today is married and in his 50s with an average income of over $90,000.
“Harley-Davidson as a company has recently been shifting focus to generate more riders by promoting rider education classes and launching new products such as electric motorcycles and bicycles into the market,” owners said.