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Original post made
on Sep 4, 2013
The hubris of these "developers" is unbelievable. They cause increased traffic, more students in our schools, and generally a large impact on the rest of the community. But they don't think it's fair to offset this impact with some fees. Considering the current "boom" in Palo Alto real estate, they stand to get huge profits from those houses they're building.
If he proceeds with his claim, put the brakes on his development.
Tell the building inspectors: "All Deliberate Speed."
That should take care of it.
This from a another developer that was given permission to build out to the sidewalk. What arrogance.
On second thought, this claim may point out an underlying problem.
Why should it matter whether two homes share a common wall or are stand alone? In each case the impact on our community would appear to be the same. If, in fact, the ordnance(s) treat a duplex any differently than a stand alone single family home, it seems wrong. Each houses a family, each sends kids to school, each probably has two or more cars to want to park and each probably visits our parks and public areas equally. In fact, I could argue that the duplex dwellers may even visit our parks and recreation areas more because of their smaller yards.
If this developer wins his outrageous claim, we better fix the laws and definitions in the law ASAP!
Greed is the name of the game
I think it is interesting how Palo Alto residents as so quick to claim "hubris", arrogance, etc. when any developer, landlord, or any one other than themselves does something in town. It's always "they are wrong, I am correct".
Get over it. Palo Alto is going to get denser, more people are going to live here and you should just learn to live with it. Stop complaining.
It's not 1950.
Just another arrogant jerk! With a sense of entitlement to boot!
I'm pretty sure the issue here is fairness, not "hubris" or "arrogance." My guess is that if the City were to charge any of the commenters more for a permit than the City is entitled to under the City code, each of them would complain. To me, that's not hubris, it's the law.
Now, granted, if the commenters think that the City should amend its code to increase the fees, then I'm not going argue. The downside of higher fees, however, is that the cost of new housing goes up and most young families are priced out of the market. If you already live in Palo Alot and are willing to slam the proverbial door closed behind you to keep out the have-nots, then the higher fees and housing prices won't bother you, but if not...
There's nothing wrong with asking for a refund of excess fees paid.
> There's nothing wrong with asking for a refund of excess fees paid.
But if the developer describes the homes as "single family & duplex homes" in his marketing material, how can he claim they are not "single family" for impact fee purposes. These are rather large units with 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, so they will be bring in a lot of families with kids, and thus WILL be impacting "parks, libraries etc ..."
I think the SHOULD be paying the fee. If they don't want to, then perhaps the planning commission should look into "clawing back" some the exceptions this developer was granted (as we know they all are. ...)
Here is the developers marketing material. These are 4 bedroom 3.5 bath units with 2100 sq. feet. About the same size as you would expect in a "single family" home.
Why not pay the workers more money, I heard that on that job the framers did not get paid on time.It seems that no one is making money, except the developer.Shame on you!
Where is this money? My understanding is the pot isn't that big. How much could he be contributing anyway?
Since the traffic on this stretch of El Camino affects Arastradero, why can't some of that money go to buying the Maybell site for parkland/community orchard, and help subsidize the purchase of property for senior affordable housing in a more accessible and appropriate location for seniors? Oh, that's right, because what they pay is miniscule compared to what's necessary to mitigate the impacts.
If the City Council wasn't just wholesale undercutting all of our zoning rules...
What about the positive impacts of development? Short-term and long-term jobs, more housing and retail, payments to the city in the form of property taxes, utility bills, etc.
To developers, impact fees are just another term for "extortion". If the project is being built as-of-right, why should the developer pay to build it? Total nonsense, in my opinion.
Furthermore, state and federal have clearly stated that impact fees have to have a clear nexus between the fees and the impact to the community. So, if the fees are excessive, then by all mean, PA should refund the developer.
before criticizing whether the developer is greed, do we know how the city of palo alto wrote up the fee charge? is it really for single family or 'apply' to any housing structure? secondly, although the developer marketing the site as 'single family house', there should be law to define such at the city or county level. bottomline, we should know the facts beforehand. thanks.
Who really cares! Leave it to the lawyers to occupy their time with such nonsense. If any money is gained from the developer, it rightly should be returned to the buyers of these incredibly ugly structures. The fact that the Building Official and Planning Official don't know what the definition of a single family residence is, as defined by their city ordinance, and issued permits to the contrary is the real sign of government incompetence. What a pity!
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