Almanac

Viewpoint - January 19, 2011

Letter: City's fees on town homes out of line

Is it any wonder that developers and store owners are fleeing Menlo Park?

The Beltramos, who have been stellar citizens and great contributors to our city, want to redevelop their property. They should be able to do so without interference. But, once again, they are being blackmailed by the city, as though we are living in the former Soviet Union.

To wit: "Beltramos (must give the city) 10 to 20 percent of sales revenue on each remaining unit if the unit's sales price exceeds $1 million. The commissioners also agreed to accept-in-lieu fees on five market-rate town homes and up to $382,704 in commercial linkage fees for a two-story office building."

What does it take for this city to see that all these demands and roadblocks — which are unethical and unfair — have led to a decimation of our commercial core?

Because of this bureaucratic intransigence, our sales taxes are a fraction of what they could be, and our city — looking like a tornado destroyed half of the downtown — suffers in silence.

Sloane Citron, Arden Road, Menlo Park

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