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Millbrae Restaurant’s Success Comes At Cost To Neighbors

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(CBS) Betty Yu
Betty Yu joined KPIX 5 in November 2013 as a general assign...
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MILLBRAE (KPIX 5) — Is there such a thing as being too popular? People who live near a new restaurant on the Peninsula are complaining the eatery has led to a lack of parking and an increase in odors.

Tai Wu restaurant in Millbrae is known for authentic dim sum and seafood, many neighbors and business owners in the area have a different view.

“This is public nuisance 100 percent,” Samar Noureddine told KPIX 5. Her backyard is one of two homes directly behind the new restaurant.

“This restaurant came in stomping on us. Basically no parking, the noise as you can hear from the units are 24/7. Their smells, their vents are all going towards us,” Noureddine said.

The city said it gave the restaurant a cease and desist order for putting two fans where they shouldn’t be.

But there’s still a big parking problem. Neighbors said they have resorted to put their trash cans outside their homes to reserve spots.

“You know when it’s lunch time, you known when it’s dinner time and you know when it’s on the weekends, because it will be packed with cars like a freeway, making U-turns on a small street,” said neighbor Fouad Bou-Salman.

On Monday night, frustrated neighbors took those complaints to the planning commission meeting, which was also attended by the owners.

KPIX 5 asked Jessica Fong of the restaurant if they thought there was adequate space.

“We have been working with the city ever since we’ve opened to have this under control, so it’s always an ongoing process,” Fong said.

“It’s just that people aren’t used to this so it’s a growing pain thing,” said Mayor Wayne Lee. “They’re not used to having successful businesses here. And if we don’t solve this as a city, then we’re not welcoming any other businesses.”

Tai Wu said it would install a temporary wall to separate the vents from the neighbors behind the restaurant. As for parking, the restaurant will urge customers to park in other leased lots nearby.

The restaurant has to comply before the next planning commission meeting in two weeks.

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