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El Camino Lot Merger

From: domainremoved <roger>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2018 13:39:22 +0000 (UTC)

Dear Council Members,

Inoticed the planned merger of 1162 and 1170 El Camino in the DailyPost. Lot mergers are subject to the California Subdivision Map Act. The Map Act has very limited conditions under which lots can bemerged, none of which these two lots seem to conform to. Violationof the Map Act can carry criminal penalties.
Additional merger powers can be gained by the city through a validlocal merger ordinance. The Menlo Park merger ordinance (15.30.020Voluntary lot mergers) states:
Pursuant to the authority provided by Section 66499.20.3/4 of theSubdivision Map Act, upon request of the legal owner(s) of contiguousparcels, the city engineer, with the concurrence of the director ofcommunity development, may approve the merger of the parcels withoutreverting to acreage.
Thiscondition for merger is arbitrary and subjective, depending solely onthe perspectives of the then incumbent city engineer and director ofcommunity development applied to each unique application, and islikely unconstitutional. A valid ordinance would clearly define thespecific criteria and conditions needed for merger, like specifyingthe areas of the city in which mergers are allowed and the conditionsunder which mergers are to be approved, to give guidance andunderstanding to affected parties, and provide a level playing fieldfor property owners, buyers, residents and developers. The ordinancewould also have to take into account, and be consistent with, theMenlo Park General Plan.
Itwould seem to be appropriate for Menlo Park to obtain a finding fromthe San Mateo District Attorney, or the California Attorney General,before proceeding with any additional lot mergers under the existinglocal merger ordinance.

regards -- Roger Heyder
Received on Fri May 18 2018 - 06:43:13 PDT

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