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Were taxpayers subsidizing builders?

Original post made on Dec 16, 2008

Somewhat lost in the hubbub over the Menlo Park City Council's recent decision to increase fees at the Menlo Children's Center was its approval of a steep bump in fees for planning services, nearly doubling the city's cost recovery rate for those services.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008, 3:47 PM

Comments (5)

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Posted by taxpayer
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Dec 16, 2008 at 9:50 pm

It was clear several years ago during the Your City Your Decision budget process that the Planning department was not recovering very much of its costs. This should be no surprise to anyone. Although it's late in getting fixed, it's good to see that it is.

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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 17, 2008 at 1:05 pm

We have a flawed process with over regulation with personal staff preferences injected in the process. The real issue is that we have a dysfunctional planning department that takes too long to do the job. And developers are being blamed for staff inefficiencies? Why should developers pick up the tab for staff inefficincies. Menlo Park should disband the Planning Department and outsource the work to an A&E firm. We should also streamline the process. The problem with our city Government is that it is too big and spends too much time picking fly-poop out of pepper rather than concentrating on doing their jobs efficiently and effectively.

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Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Dec 17, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Hank, this is one of those times I REALLY wish I was in a position not to need to hide behind an alias. I could not disagree with you more. I do believe that developers get a bad wrap in MP. I do believe that this town needs to wake up and recognize that "new" and "change" and "growth" are not four-letter words. However, in my view, I am constantly amazed and impressed by what the outstanding staff of the MP Planning Dept. are able to accomplish given the political environment within which they have to function. They are not inefficient nor dysfunctional. Every one with whom I've interfaced is competent, professional and a true pleasure to work with. Over-regulation, yes, you bet, but don't shoot the messengers, please.

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Posted by Blech!
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 17, 2008 at 3:12 pm

So, you're advocating leaving fly poop in pepper? You don't throw many dinner parties, do you Hank?

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Posted by Grace
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 17, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Or maybe he does. Glad I'm not on his guest list.

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