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Menlo Park works on 'granny unit' regs

Original post made on Feb 20, 2014

The Menlo Park Planning Commission continued its quest to figure out how to encourage construction of secondary units, also known as "granny units," while simultaneously preventing the proliferation of miniature real estate empires built in one's backyard.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 5:57 PM

Comments (8)

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Posted by Amy Sung
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2014 at 12:50 am

Menlo Park really is trying its best to encourage the granny units with a possibility to reduce permit fees, reduce the lot size requirement, redefine what constitutes a kitchen, and on and on.

This might be cool ways for those grown and flown adult children to move back!


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Posted by Martin
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm

How on earth could it "cost $20,000 just for permits and similar fees"? To say that may be a disincentive is an understatement. Once again, it's only the affluent or still working residents who could even afford to pay those fees on top of building costs. As a retired person, I would welcome the opportunity to have some extra income, but, because of the of those fees, I doubt that there would be any profit for me after paying property taxes and maintenance expenses.

Incidentally, would there be a separate meter for utilities or would that have to be calculated from one utility bill?

Further, I do think it is a legitimate concern that the home owner would not be required to live on the property. Many condo developments limit the number of units that can be rented and for good reason. Absentee landlords don't have the same incentive to choose the best of tenants and to address any problems that arise.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm

How on earth could it "cost $20,000 just for permits and similar fees"? To say that may be a disincentive is an understatement. Once again, it's only the affluent or still working residents who could even afford to pay those fees on top of building costs. As a retired person, I would welcome the opportunity to have some extra income, but, because of the of those fees, I doubt that there would be any profit for me after paying property taxes and maintenance expenses.
***************************************************************************

I don't know how it could possibly cost that much but the fees will effectively shut out all but the affluent and working residents, as you stated. Retirees need not apply.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 19, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Has there been any update on the fees required for second units? The fees stated are beyond the reach of most people, certainly beyond the reach of seniors who need these units the most.

I would like to see a breakdown of the fees and the city's justification for those fees, particularly for buildings already standing.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 19, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Don't be surprised that the City of Menlo Park sees this as an opportunity for generating fees rather than as an opportunity to improve the city. After all this is the city which treats a proposal to rebuild the downtown fire station as a commercial building rather than as a public service - go figure.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 20, 2014 at 6:47 am

I think you are right, Peter. Trying to work with the city is very discouraging. I understand that owners of illegal units may be offered substantially reduced fees yet people who want to build legal units will pay the full tab in fees.


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Posted by Anonymous,
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Why would the city give reduced fees to people that constructed illegal units while charging people trying to build legally much higher fees? It seems to me that they have it backwards.

Is there any news on this?


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm

I was not able to attend the council meeting last night but I understood the council would discuss fees for granny units. Did this in fact happen and was there any resolution?


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