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Seeking benefits from Facebook development

Original post made on Jan 13, 2012

Facebook's relationship with Menlo Park is moving from the "friends" to "friends with benefits."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 13, 2012, 11:29 AM

Comments (11)

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Note that there was ZERO concern my this commission for the impact of the proposed project on other jurisdictions - Menlo Park at its selfish worst.

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Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jan 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm

As a member of a neighboring, yet downtrodden, community, why did you not attend, Peter? It was a public hearing.

There was discussion of issues concerning EPA that did not make it into this report (although this is a pretty accurate representation).

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I am in Washingtin DC - a bit far to attend this meeting.
And I have already made my views on Menlo Park's selfishness well known.

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Posted by been there
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Before the money grab from Facebook begins, stop and ask the planning department what fees they will already be paying. The city will be alrady collection millions
Here are some of them.

Property taxes
Jurisdiction (a)
Distribution of Base
1.0% Property Tax,
West Campus, TRA
08-021, 08-081 (b)
City of Menlo Park 8.39%
San Mateo County 11.99%
Ravenswood Elementary School District (c) 32.70%
Sequoia High School District (c) 13.13%
San Mateo Community College District (d) 5.70%
Menlo Park Fire District 11.77%
Ravenswood Slough Flood Zone 0.03%
Mid Peninsula Regional Open Space District 1.54%
Bay Area Air Quality Management District 0.18%
County Harbor District 0.23%
Mosquito Abatement 0.14%
County Office of Education 2.97%
ERAF Share of Base 1.0% Tax 11.23%
Supplemental Taxes Tax Rate
Menlo Park & Recreation Bond Assessment 0.0169%
Redwood City Elementary Bonds Assessments 0.0364%
Sequoia High School Bonds Assessments 0.0311%
San Mateo Community College Bonds Assessments 0.0193%
Total Property Tax Rate: Base 1% Rate + Supplemental Taxes 1.1037%

Property Tax In-Lieu Vehicle License Fee Revenues
Beginning in FY2005-2006, the State ceased to provide “backfill” funds to counties and cities in
the form of Motor Vehicle In-Lieu Fees (VLF) as it had through FY2004-2005. As a result of the
complicated financial restructuring enacted as part of the State’s budget balancing process, counties
and cities now receive revenues from the State in the form of what is known as property tax in-lieu
of vehicle license fees, or ILVLF. This State-funded revenue source is tied to a city’s total
assessed valuation. In FY2005-2006, former VLF revenues were swapped for ILVLF revenues,
which set the local jurisdiction’s ILVLF “base.” The base increases each year thereafter in
proportion to the increase in total assessed valuation within the jurisdiction. For example, if total
assessed valuation increases by five percent from one year to the next, the ILVLF base and
resulting revenues would increase by five percent.
In order to calculate the incremental increase in ILVLF revenues that would result from the Project,
the analysis first determines the total assessed value within the City, and the City’s current ILVLF
revenues. The analysis then determines the percentage by which the Project would increase the
City’s assessed valuation, and applies the percentage increase to the current ILVLF revenues in
order to determine the incremental amount of ILVLF attributable to the Project.

Increase in Property assessed valuation increases City’s tax income by .024%

Utility User Tax
The City currently collects a Utility User Tax (UUT) assessed on gas, electric, water, wireless,
cable, and telephone bills. The UUT sets a maximum 3.5 percent tax on gas, electrical and water
usage, and a maximum 2.5 percent tax on cable, telephone and wireless services. However, since
its inception in 2007, the UUT has been set at a single 1.0 percent rate, which for the purposes of
this analysis is assumed to continue.
Licenses and Permits
The City receives approximately $3.3 million from the issuance of licenses and permits. Business
license fees are charged to businesses operating in the City at a rate of $250 per $1 million of gross
receipts, subject to a cap of $8,000 per business site per year.

Franchise Fees and Fines
The City generates approximately 4.7 percent of General Fund revenues from franchise fees13 and
2.6 percent of General Fund revenues from fines. Both types of revenues tend to increase as the
City’s service population grows. In the case of franchise fees, these are generally set as a
percentage of gross receipts and increase as expenditures on items, such as gas and electric,
increase. In the case of fine revenues, these are primarily collected by the Police Department for
parking and traffic citations, and can be assumed to increase as the residential and employment
base of the City grows.
According to the FY2011-2012 budget, the City will receive approximately $48.72 per person in
the service population in fines and franchise fee revenues, excluding cable TV franchise fees.

Table 15: Impact Fees and Facilities Charges
General Fund Expenditures
Administrative Services
Administrative Services include a number of City Departments that provide services to support the
overall operation of the City. These include the City Clerk, City Manager’s Office, Finance
Department, and Personnel Department. As the City’s service population expands, costs for
administrative services are also expected to expand. For example, increases in personnel to serve
Impact Fees and Facilities Charges Rates, 2008
Impact Fees and Facility Charges Rate Unit Project Quantity (a) Total Impact Fees
Water Capital Facilities Charge (a) Unit
Office $90,124 6" Meter 1 $90,100
Parking/Site $40,595 4" Meter 1 $40,600
Fire Services (b) $1,000 Per Site 1 $1,000
Administration Fees 25% of Connection Fees $32,925
Sewer Connection Fee
Office $19.50 Gallons/Day+$585 52,782 (c) $1,029,800
Ravenswood Elementary School District
Commercial $0.282 Net New sf 312,604 $88,200
Sequoia High School District
Commercial $0.188 Net New sf 312,604 $58,800
Total Water, Sewer, and School District Impact Fees and Facilities Charges $1,341,425
Storm Drainage Connection Fee
Commercial $0.24 Impervious Surface sf 99,918 (d) $24,000
Office $4.10 Net New sf 312,604 $1,281,700
BMR Housing In-Lieu Fee
Commercial (e) $14.50/$7.87 per sf 312,604 $4,491,700
Building Street Repair Fee 0.58% Construction Value (f) $244,405,000 $1,417,500
City of Menlo Park Impact Fees $7,214,900
Total Impact Fees and Facilities Charges, All Agencies $8,556,325

Isn't that enough?

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 14, 2012 at 6:18 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

All of the benefits cited by Been There are the benefits form the ongoing operation of a greatly expanded Facebook presence and do not address the start up costs of the local jurisdictions required to support that greatly expanded presence.

The only startup costs recognized by the City of Menlo Park are those that the City narrowly defines as being in its interests or that of CalTrans - all other local entity startup costs are blithely ignored.

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Posted by w patterson
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jan 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm

You get the park, you maintain the park. Where is the budget for the constant maintenance? Please be sure not to increase the number of park maintenance employees. They spend much of their time in the trucks doing nothing or picking up a few pieces of paper for over 2 hours. Someone in the main offic should actually review the daily operation. Maybe Rubin.

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Posted by Observer
a resident of Woodside High School
on Jan 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm

To be fair, neither Sequoia school district nor West Bay sewer are Menlo Park taxes ... Although they also serve Menlo Park

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Posted by Stan
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Jan 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm

If the city of Menlo Park is going to engage in bald faced extortion of Facebook how about extorting them to widen El Camino Real? Like all of the other suggestions that have been proposed, widening ECR has little to do with the impact of Facebook bringing increased commerce and vitality to to the city but it would help the neighbors of MP in being able to get through the MP bottleneck more quickly.

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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 16, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Related to additional traffic, assuming more employees means more traffic from the highways on to some of our busy arteries, it would be great to see some more road improvements on Valparaiso to ease traffic flow. Adding left turn lanes would be a huge improvement.

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Posted by faceplant
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jan 16, 2012 at 10:27 pm

FB is going to have a major (and not all positive) impact on this area. The 1% and wannabe-1% are going to benefit. Those at the bottom of the food chain may not fare so well.

Anyone who denigrates the planning commission for demanding benefits for the city: time to educate yourself. FB thinks they can blithely blow off the rules -- the ones that the rest of us abide by -- and pack triple the number of people allowed into their facilities. If you think that's okay, then why even have zoning? Why not let people do whatever they want with their property? (You don't have to follow that line of reasoning very far to realize that MP would quickly become a crowded, ugly city, and your home's value would drop.)

Before you start defending the facebrats, remember that most of us already pay many of the fees enumerated by been there. And we're just quiet homeowners minding our own business and not clogging the roadways. The FB burden on our community is going to be immense; the consequences of this development need to be scrutinized and managed.

Thank you, planning commission.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Thank you, Faceplant, for eloquenting stating your concerns, which are shared by others.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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