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Original post made
on May 12, 2014
Great outcome - just too bad that it took so long and so much expense to reach this predictable endpoint.
I'm so pleased that a mutually agreeable solution was found. It gives hope to the rest of us that with enough patience and persistence, solutions can be found.
To Jim Lewis-
Not sure, but that was satire, right? The only thing that led to this mutually agreed upon solution (note, not agreeable solution) was bullying and intimidation. The developers are now eagerly looking forward to getting what they wanted from the beginning, having silenced their most vocal opposition by suing them and requiring everyone to keep mum! A victory for the neighborhood is just getting the lawsuit dropped.
Please, everyone, let's not sugarcoat or doublespeak this. See it for what it is: it's ugly, there's lots of money at stake, and in my opinion, for Menlo Park this has been one of the most distasteful and disgraceful chapters in recent years. A few people are going to make a very nice profit on this, and the rest will begin to heal their wounds and rebuild their lives after two miserable years.
Resident who cares - do you care about the law, because the law is what prevailed? The City realized that long ago and that is why they bowed out and left it up to the law to decide what are the underlying property rights.
The City abandoned the property subject to the placement of open space deed restrictions by the underlying property owners, while providing pedestrian easements for the historical usage of the land. It was not the City's intention to allow a driveway for vehicular access-they actually voted specifically against that in a prior meeting.
This press release is merely stating the position of the people most directly affected, namely the parties to the lawsuit. The Santa Cruz Avenue corridor will be also affected by this property being flipped around to Louise Street. Other nearby residents and neighbors will lose the open space at the end of the street without input into this settlement. The increased traffic to adjacent streets, namely Stanford Avenue and Lemon Street will be impacted by the redirecting of additional cars required to service a multi-million dollar home.
If the City Council members are going to reverse their position I hope that they do so intelligently, and require the research necessary to understand how their decision will impact the surrounding community, the flow of traffic, effect on nearby schools and pedestrian crossings, etc. I can't imagine that the City Council would permit the permanent destruction of the open space (putting in a 20' driveway easement and two 5' pedestrian easements in a 60' wide space) and changes to multiple neighborhoods without taking the time to properly analyze the consequences. Prior decisions on this matter were based on maintaining the historical character of the neighborhood. If they actually decide to re-open this issue then they need to consider the substantive impact to all of the residents and visitors to Menlo Park BEFORE they grant the effected property owners this financial windfall.
Money makes the world go around
The world go around
The world go around
Darn, can't keep that Cabaret song out of my head.
The reporter's snide opening paragraph inappropriately diminishes the Louise Street residents' legitimate concerns about the impact of the driveway and loss of green space. Mr. Carpenter's comment inaccurately suggests that there was some kind of legal ruling in this case about underlying property rights. That is not the case. There was simply a settlement.
Menlo Park has its own town bully!
isnt the investment partner with mr sinnott mircea voskerician also the same person now suing mark zuckerberg of facebook?
Yes, that is the same Mircea Voskerician.
oh boo hoo hoo, The law was followed!! Peter C was correct all along.
The reason there was a settlement was that those opposed to this access realized that they would lose if it went to court - why else settle?
As for the bullying charge remember that this is what Long Time Louise St Resident posted on July 23, 2013:
"The issue is 12 against 1, and I have a hard time understanding why you support the 1 vs. the 12 in this case."
So who is the bully?
My response then and now is:
"I just don't support the mob rule concept that the 12 have more legal rights than the 1. We have laws to ensure that everyone is treated the same. Would 11 of you have the right to eject the 12th from your little island? I don't think so."
I suppose Peter Carpenter must sympathize with Tom Perkins, who believes that the 1% of richest Americans are being bullied by the rest of us. He falsely equates settlement with some ruling on the law. The law in this instance remains in dispute. Parties to lawsuits settle for all sorts of reasons. The suggestion that "we have laws to ensure that everyone is treated the same" naively (or perhaps purposely) implies that everyone has the same resources to devote to prosecuting (or defending) lawsuits.
Clearly Mr. Voskercian does not hesitate to spend money on lawsuits, as witnessed not only by the events on Louise Street, but also by his willingness to sue Mark Zuckerberg for alleged fraud on another development deal (in which Zuckerberg paid Voskercian $1.7 million simply to withdraw an offer he had made to the owner of a property abutting Zuckerberg's).
"I suppose Peter Carpenter must sympathize with Tom Perkins, who believes that the 1% of richest Americans are being bullied by the rest of us."
No, I do not.
"He falsely equates settlement with some ruling on the law"
No, I do not. I stated that the reason there was a settlement was that those opposed to this access realized that they would lose if it went to court - why else settle?
Ever been involved in a lawsuit, Peter? People don't settle because they "realize they would lose." If situations were so cut/dried that outcomes were preordained, there would be no need for the court system at all!
The Louise Street neighbors have had to live with this talented team of bullies breathing down their collective necks and threatening them for over two years. Being involved in such a legal action is a costly, ulcer-generating experience that can force the participants to put their lives on hold while they deal with unrelenting attacks.
At some point, individuals may decide it simply isn't worth ruining their lives in pursuit of justice. When you pit ordinary decent people against money-hungry opponents without scruples, this kind of outcome is not surprising. But it does not reflect legal realities.
Given that this is the only driveway on Louise Street that has been designed with the input of and specific consent of the neighbors I suspect that it will also be the most attractive driveway and will, in time, be viewed as an asset.
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