Letter: City should turn down housing settlement | May 30, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |



Viewpoint - May 30, 2012

Letter: City should turn down housing settlement

To the Menlo Park City Council members: Please do not bow to the extortion of $1 million to $2 million from the city's general fund.

You do not have to mount an active defense. You can simply proceed to update the housing element so that there is no further remedy necessary. At that point, you can settle the attorney's fees through the judge assigned to the case. It is outrageous to think that $114,000 has been spent so far filing the suit and there is no reason to think that much more would be spent between now and the presentation of the case to the judge.

Further, I urge you to spend as little time as possible on the housing element. There is no reasonable way that 3,000 units of housing can be added to the city, so why try to be reasonable?

I have a plan that I will donate to the city for $1, the cost of duplicating 20 copies for tonight's meeting:

1. Zone three acres of land near the railroad tracks, either downtown or the Bay, for three 100-story buildings.

2. With a footprint of 12,000 to 15,000 square feet for each building, 10 units can be constructed on each floor. That will accommodate 3,000 units of housing.

3. Require that the buildings meet the most stringent LEEDS requirement in effect at the time of construction.

4. Require that the units be sold to ensure compliance with all relevant laws regarding income levels.

5. Provide no parking, but lots of bike trails and full access to public transportation to ensure minimal impact on the environment.

The end. The city saves $1 million to $2 million, less $1, not to mention lots of staff and resident time and acrimony. I promise to support the plan and to urge fellow residents in Menlo Park who care about our quality of life to support it.

Charles D. Bernstein, Menlo Park


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