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Proposed boarding house on Willow Road: feedback from a Berkeley native

From: domainremoved <Valerie>
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2016 20:18:51 -0700

Esteemed City Council members, Mayor Cline, and Mr. Perata:

Some feedback on this boarding house proposal:

I'm from Berkeley, and have attended school and owned property near the
"developer" slumlord who is asking for exceptions to build a
16-unit boarding house on Willow. He has a multi-decade, documented history
of owning only the worst properties, covering all exposed earth with
non-permitted concrete (not a penny spent on any landscaping), leaving
falling down fences, broken stucco, gaping holes in second story hallway
floors, replacing broken window panes with Saran wrap, leaving junked cars
where lawns were, being cited dozens and dozens of times for building and
code violations, having huge towers of garbage on his properties, cutting
down heritage trees against code and protocal, and bringing down and
keeping down entire neighborhoods by having his properties be the
worst-maintained, non-code compliant, dangerous properties that the City
then spends decades futiley attempting to get him to bring them to code. He
is considered one of the most notorious landlords ever (just Google him to
see how terribly he has treated Berkeley) and has no regard for city zoning
or regulations or human decency. He does not in any way better
neighborhoods nor cities nor help tenants.

Menlo Park allowing him to build a non-compliant boarding house on what is
already an ugly, sub-standard lot with junky, ugly buildings would be a
travesty we as a city would regret for decades to come and waste vast
amounts of money futiley attempting him to follow codes. He is the
antithesis of someone like Roxy Rapp.

Based on having watched him ruin entire neighborhoods with his terrible
neglect, I am afraid that your approving him would be a travesty from which
Menlo Park would never recover. I am not exagerating. You should go drive
by a bunch of his trashed,'grafitt-covered properties to see for yourself.
He doesn't build cute or funky: he "fixes up" ugly, non-compliant garbage
properties that ruin neighborhoods. I have been in his properties and have
seen holes in walls, literal mountains of garbage, broken down chain link
fences, chest-high weeds, flooring consisting of broken plywood covered
with sticky contact paper passing as code compliant flooring. And if you
think he'll have one nice tech programmer living in Utopia in each
cute bedroom, think again: I have seen him have 12 people crammed in
a dark, filthy one-bedroom apartment--to scared to go outside because the
hallway is so dangerous, and too scared to ask him to make repairs because
they fear he'll report them to the INS and evict them.

Please don't allow him any favors. Do your due diligence on him and stand
tough. This is not someone you want to compromise with.

Respectfully,

Valerie




-- 
*Valerie Frederickson*
(650) 614-0221
Received on Fri Sep 02 2016 - 14:38:11 PDT

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