The proposed Silicon Valley Harley-Davidson dealership — a relocation of the business from South San Francisco — goes before the San Carlos Planning Commission Tuesday with word that married men, rather than rebels, are riding the motorcycles.
Correspondence to the city from the proposed dealership owners notes that to many the thought of the motorcycles still comes with a preconceived notion of loud noise and rebellious behavior.
“However, today’s average rider is married and in his 50s with an average income of over $90,000,” the correspondence said. “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.”
The dealership can’t guarantee customers with loud exhaust won’t come to the dealership, but “we do know that our day-to-day operations ‘in house’ are much less likely to create any sort of a noise nuisance,” the statement added.
Harley-Davidson Motorcycles sales and repair are proposed for 835 E. San Carlos Ave. next to the Residence Inn Hotel and the Bayshore Highway.
The dealership seeks a more centralized location between San Jose and San Francisco.
A city staff report to planning commissioners said that “the new motorcycles produced by Harley Davidson are much quieter than the loud engines they were known for.”
Mayor Ron Collins said Thursday he doesn’t know the demographics of Harley-Davidson riders but spoke about often seeing motorcycles parked Sundays in front of Noelani’s Island Grill on Laurel Avenue.
Collins said if a dealership comes to San Carlos that the proposed site is probably ideal.
Councilman Mark Olbert said he had heard Harley was looking into locating here.
“It’s good that San Carlos continues to be an attractive place for retail business,” Olbert said.
The city planning staff recommends approving an amendment to the property’s conditional use permit to allow the dealership.
Test rides will not take place in the neighborhood, the staff report adds. Service work on the motorcycles will take place entirely within the building and will not be visible from surrounding streets and properties, according to the report.
Pioneer Millwork and Peninsula Fencing were the most recent business at the site.
The Planning Commission meets 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, in the City Council chambers at 600 Elm St., in San Carlos.