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RE: Stanford Development on El Camino

From: domainremoved <Sarah>
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2017 20:25:39 +0000 (UTC)

Dear City Council Members,
I am a life-long resident of the Menlo Oaks District or Menlo Park (I owned a house on Willow at Laurel for many years) and hope that you will read and consider my input, even though my address is not technically in the City of Menlo Park. In my childhood our school district was Ravenswood City School District and I attended James Flood School until they closed it (after my 4th grade year).
While not being a resident of Menlo Park proper at this time, my entire life has made use of City facilities and programs, and now I have two children in the MPCSD - at Laurel Upper Campus and Hillview Middle School. My children are part of Menlo Swim team and learned to swim at Burgess Pool. And I am a Stanford alum with strong ties to The University today - I volunteer to raise funds for the Buck Cardinal Club in the Athletics Department. My father was a professor in the Medical School his entire career.
The Stanford Development on El Camino has a detrimental fiscal impact to the future of the Menlo Park revenues and MPCSD due to The University being a non-profit. Stanford's endowment is one of the largest in the world (I have contributed to it) despite their non-profit status. In my opinion, the residents of Menlo Park and those in areas included in the MPCSD should not be asked to make up the shortfall through more taxes. Measure X was just passed and with that the MPCSD still has to reduce services to our students! It is not appropriate for Stanford students and staff to benefit at the expense of MPCSD. A $1M payment over 10 years or even $1.5M over 15 years to the MPAEF is a terrible concession, which will create an even greater structural deficit going forward for MPCSD. Prioritizing a $5M bike bridge/tunnel over our schools squanders public resources and benefits a handful of people. We need an ongoing financial benefit, to make up for the lack of City and MPCSD revenue on an ongoing basis or more creative interpretation of zoning regulations to ensure Menlo Park gets the revenue that is lost on an ongoing basis due to Stanford's non-profit status. It appears taxing rent is a viable option and that vehicle should be thoroughly evaluated. Although it is good that if Stanford rents to non-students taxes will be paid, the devil is in the details. Stanford's current policies (I am not sure of the legal assessment of this approach) allows an employee or student to rent an apartment and have a non-University-affiliated roommate and maintain the subsidized status of the unit. Such arrangements and rent should be taxed and throw that unit into non-tax exempt status. In addition, if there is a subsidy provided by Stanford, that amount should be included in determining the market rate that is the total amount to be taxed. Please find a deal that doesn't punish the City of Menlo Park and MPCSD.

Sarah Gaeta280 Arlington WayMenlo Park, CA 94025
Received on Wed Sep 13 2017 - 13:31:42 PDT

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