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Item I1--445 Oak Court

From: domainremoved <Chuck>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2017 15:53:37 -0700

Dear Council Members:

Please reverse the Planning Commission's approval of the Conditional Use
Permit for 445 Oak Court.

Because of another public meeting I must attend, I cannot be at tonight's
meeting to speak against this project. Please accept this letter, attached
and appended below unformatted, as my public input.

    --Chuck Bernstein
===================================================================

Charles D. Bernstein
444 Oak Court
Menlo Park, CA 94025
650-325-3365
July 17, 2017
 
 
City Council
City of Menlo Park
701 Laurel Street
Menlo Park, CA 94025-2483
 
Re.: Item I1, 445 Oak Court
 
Dear Council Members:
 
Because of a conflicting public meeting, I cannot personally attend the
hearing tomorrow night, July 18, on Item I1 pertaining to the appeal of the
Planning Commission approval of a Conditional Use Permit for 445 Oak Court.
Nevertheless, as a 49-year resident and as the owner of the property
immediately across the street from the subject property, I urge you to
overturn the Planning Commissionıs faulty approval of this project.
 
The issue here is simple:
 
1. The applicant proposes to build a FIVE-bedroom-FIVE-bath, 5,312 sq. ft.
residence for his family (consisting of his fiance and his dog) plus a
one-bedroom-one-bathroom, 699 sq. ft. granny unit on a substandard (by
width) lot. This would replace a two-bedroom-one-bath, 1,180 sq. ft.
residence. Every constraint on a regular R-1-U lot is built to the maximum,
despite the fact that the lot is substandard.
 
2. The development has all the potential to be an Airbnb guest unit or,
with every bedroom having its own bathroom, a five-tenant rental for
Stanford student. There could easily be 10 residents in the main home and
another two or more in the granny unit. However, there are only three
parking spaces, a single-width driveway, and room for only three cars in
front of the house due to its narrow width. As a result, the development
represents a likely blight for the entire neighborhood.
 
3. As demonstrated separately by its neighbors to the east at 465 Oak
Court, the second story represents an almost total loss of solar access, and
the basement represents a clear threat to the roots of many of the heritage
trees on both the subject property and adjacent propert. The impacts of
this maxed-out plan are exacerbated by the narrowness of the lot, which is
the reason it is classified as substandard.


4. The Menlo Park code is clear on the necessary findings that must be
made. A Conditional Use Permit can only be granted if the proposed use is
not:
 
€ Šdetrimental to the health, safety, morals, comfort and general welfare of
the persons residing or working in the neighborhood of such proposed use, or
Š
 
€ Šinjurious or detrimental to property and improvements in the neighborhood
or the general welfare of the city.
 
   [Menlo Park Zoning Ordinance, 992-1000, 7/11/13, p. 61 § 16.82.030]
 
Information and documentation provided by the appellant and adjacent
neighbors is overwhelming in terms of the detrimental and injurious impacts
of the development.
 
5. Neither the city planning staff nor the applicant have denied the
existence of significant impacts on both adjacent neighbors and the
neighborhood. Neither the cityıs planning staff nor the Planning Commission
itself made the findings that are required to approve the project. When a
Planning Commissioner inquired about the criteria for the findings, he was
provided no guidance whatsoever. In sum, the project cannot be approved per
city code.
 
In my opinion, any development on this property should not be approved for
either a second story or a basement. Nevertheless, the adjacent neighbors
at 465 Oak Court, David Jones and Edurne Jorda-Sierra have suggested a
generous compromise that would reduce the impact on them without reducing
the number of bedrooms or bathrooms. In exchange, the couple and all the
adjacent neighbors agreed not to appeal the projectıs approval and to
support the project if there were an appeal. The applicant never responded
to the offer.
 
In sum, this project should never have been approved in the first place and
the Council should rectify the Planning Commissionıs faulty approval by
denying the project now. Long-time residents should be protected from the
extreme and totally unnecessary adverse impacts of this project.
 
Thank you for your understanding and support.
 
Yours truly,
 
 
 
Charles D. Bernstein
650-424-1155 (w)
cbernstein_at_(domainremoved)
 
CDB/ms


Received on Tue Jul 18 2017 - 15:57:04 PDT

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