Menlo Park City Council Email Log

[ Home ] [ City Council ] [ Search ] [ 05/06 Archive ] [ 07/08 Archive ] [ 09/10 Archive ] [ 2011 Archive ] [ 12/13 Archive ] [ Watch City Council Meetings ]

My address to you tonight on the TRA

From: domainremoved <curtis>
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2019 17:26:34 -0500 (EST)

Mayor Mueller & City Council Members,

The following are the brief comments (under 3 minutes) that I hope to give at tonight's Council meeting. I thought I would share them with you now in case for some reason I am unable to do so at the meeting.

Mayor Mueller, City Council Members, thank you for your service to the community and the opportunity to address you tonight. As I mentioned in my address to the Council back in October, I am a Menlo Park resident and home owner for thirty years. I am also a small rental housing provider in Menlo Park. I am here to express my opposition to the proposed Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance.

The regulation before you today is so because of a housing shortage that has resulted from local cities (including Menlo Park) accommodating office growth from large tech companies without adequately encouraging the building of the needed additional housing.


These tech companies have come under great scrutiny for displacing local residents in the communities in which they have located. They have turned to a group of local radical lawyers that push rent control as a way of deflecting criticism of community displacement. The legislation that has resulted is putting the burden of providing affordable housing squarely on the shoulders of the mom and pop home providers like myself who own most such local housing.

I have closely watched the roll out of rent control in neighboring Mountain View and seen the harm it has done to that community. It has poisoned the relationships both between the City and the small property owners and between these owners and their tenants. The burgeoning bureaucracy and the antagonism these laws have created have only benefited the lawyers who have promulgated them and the city officials employed in their enforcement.

 Most importantly, such regulation, of which Tenant Relocation Assistance is part and parcel, encourages owners to remove units from the market and discourages the construction of the additional units needed to house our growing work force. It is why San Francisco’s total rental housing stock fell 5% between 1994 and 2010 – despite Costa Hawkins.


Please do not take us down this path. The City has the resources to provide affordable housing to those in need without turning to misguided approaches that hurt small investors and have the opposite long term impacts from those intended. A better solution is to create a Landlord/Tenant Mediation Board as the City of Fremont has successfully done.

I would like to add that in January of 2017 when the Council chose Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto as one of their four housing “experts” for advice on the issue of residential displacement they made a very grave error. For these lawyers primary agenda is rent control. Given such policy has unequivocally been demonstrated to reduce the quantity and quality of rental housing, it would be more accurate to describe these attorneys as anti-housing experts.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Curt Conroy

Received on Tue Feb 12 2019 - 14:22:47 PST

[ Search ] [ By Date ] [ By Message ] [ By Subject ] [ By Author ]

Email communications sent to the City Council are public records. This site is an archive of emails received by the City Council at its city.council_at_(domainremoved)