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Objections to Proposed Boarding House - 555 Willow Road

From: domainremoved <Firoozeh>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2016 11:57:20 -0700

Dear Menlo Park Planning Commission and City Council Members,



As a resident of 600 Willow Road
(​
​Unit #21)​
, I have
strong ​

objections to the Boarding House currently proposed for the property at 555
Willow Road:



   -
*A Boarding House​​ ​​ ​is not a fit​​ ​with ​t​he ​​surrounding​ area:*
      - As you know, this is an area of established neighborhoods with many
      families
      ​ and kids​
      .
      ​A​
      rentals (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly) is being proposed
      by ​
      the property owner, Mr. Valiyee, is
      ​very ambiguous​
       - Stanford students, young tech workers, travelers?
      ​How can he prove that he will limit his business to
      selective respectable crowd.​ Young hi-tech workers need long term
      permanent place, Stanford students like to live among their own
peers and a
      safe place. I can grantee you his clients will keep changing and
no one can
      track bad from goods. The boarding home can potentially end up catering
      criminals, all sort of suspicious activities.


   -
*Property Owner's Background​ ​ *
*is not impressive​ ​:​*
      - It's my understanding that the City of Menlo Park is aware of Mr.
      ​ ​
      Valiyee's background with the City of Berkeley. Here's just one
      example of concerning information available on the internet:
      - Reza Valiyee is one of Berkeley’s largest landlords. Presently, he
      owns 23 properties in the City of Berkeley- the majority of these are
      large, multi-unit apartment buildings and boarding houses rented to
      students. Valiyee, who has been cited numerous times for failing to meet
      housing code, has been a significant drain on the city’s
resources for many
      years. According to City Attorney Zachary Cowan, Valiyee has a “long
      history of stalling on city-mandated repair work.” In 2002, the city
      placed two of Valiyee’s properties, including a student boarding house,
      into receivership after they were declared a public nuisance
because he had
      installed illegal bedrooms. Valiyee has even spent time in jail for
      failing to meet court cleanup orders.
      - http://www.tenantstogether.org/campaigns/berkeley-and-
      fresno-landlords-nominated-landlord-hall-shame
      <http://www.tenantstogether.org/campaigns/berkeley-and-fresno-landlords-nominated-landlord-hall-shame>
      - ​Even he kept the current property on Willow Road in such a ugly
      shape. His taste of investment is not sustainable in a long term.​


   -
*Parking​:​ *
   - The plan outlines 16 SRO units and 14 parking spaces, to be shared
      with the restaurant on the same property. There is also no allowance for
      guest parking. Given the current volume of cars parking at the restaurant
      on a daily basis, it seems that adding 16 residential units would almost
      inevitably result in overflow parking. This overflow problem would be
      borne by neighbors in the surrounding area - which is not acceptable.
      - ​Building 16 SRO units is way dense proposal for the property size.
      ​


   - *Traffic*
   - Each unit in the proposed boarding house will probably create multiple
      vehicle trips per day. I know the Planning Commission and City
Council are
      aware that traffic on Willow Road is already problematic. Getting in and
      out of our development can be dangerous at any time of day - and almost
      impossible during rush hour. We're looking to you to help alleviate the
      traffic problem on Willow Road - not exacerbate it with high density
      housing on Willow Road.


   - *​Overall Neighborhood Look​ and Harmony:*

   - All of the homes in the neighborhood are one or two stories high.
      Erecting a commercial-looking, three-story building (which does
not confirm
      to landscaping requirements) does not fit with or enhance the residential
      character of the neighborhood.


   - ​
   ​*Students safety:*
   - We have a school on the same block on Willow. I am really concern
      about the safety of students who will walk after school to go home.


​Best
Regards,
​Firoozeh Rouhanizadeh​

600 Willow Road

Unit ​21​

Menlo Park, CA 94025

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Received on Tue Aug 30 2016 - 12:03:25 PDT

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