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Wednesday: Should Atherton become a charter city?

 

Atherton's City Council is scheduled to hold a study session on Wednesday, Feb. 4, to discuss two items that could affect most of the town's residents: whether the town should adopt its own

charter; and changes to the law governing residents' use of the public right-of-way.

The meeting is set to start at 4 p.m. in the town's council chambers at 94 Ashfield Road.

Also on the agenda is a vote on spending $175,000 on bike route improvements that would allow the town to apply for a matching county grant.

Charter city?

The council appointed an ad hoc committee to explore adopting its own charter in May 2012. The town now operates under general law, with pre-set state conditions. Adopting a charter, which must be approved by voters, would give the town more flexibility.

One major difference, according to an analysis by City Attorney William Conners, is that Atherton, as a charter city, could charge a real estate transfer tax. It can't do that now.

Right-of-way

The town is considering changes in its encroachment permit regulations to control some of the ways Atherton residents have been using the town-owned right-of-way.

In a report, City Manager George Rodericks says a number of private improvements have been installed on the town's property, including "wireless facilities, fencing, walls, landscaping, mailboxes, security panels, pathways, pavement, stepping stones, large drainage facilities, rocks, and/or lumber barriers."

"Because they are essentially unregulated, the private improvements place the town at considerable risk," he says.

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Comments

Like this comment
Posted by MEMBERONE
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 5, 2015 at 8:21 am

By all means, regulate those illegally placed mailboxes and nasty landscaping.

How about focusing on the huge number of trees and utility poles which are the larger risk.

Pre-set conditions under state law are intended to protect citizens.
I don't like the ability of the town council to practice "flexibility."


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