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Heritage Tree Appeal - 240 University Drive

From: Richard Dwiggins <rhdwiggins_at_(domain_name_was_removed)>
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2010 12:06:32 -0700

Hon. Mayor and Members of the City Council:
 

I reside at 263 University Drive and am writing to support the denial of Ms. Kimberly LiMieux's appeal.
 

The EQC found the tree in question to be "the most exemplar tree in the neighborhood" and further concluded that it "provides a valuable ecological resource to the neighborhood" and "significantly impacts the scenic beauty of the neighborhood".  If the Heritage Tree Act doesn't protect just such a tree, then why have the Act at all?
 

Realtor LiMieux buys the property at 240 University Drive in 2007.  According to her San Francisco lawyers it has floor plan problems, code problems and a tree that is a "limiting factor for property improvements."  Presumably she pays a price that reflects the condition and limitations of the property.  I think we can accept as general knowledge that residential real estate values in Menlo Park have gone down since 2007.  Now her attorneys are bemoaning the fact that the property is currently "unmarketable at a reasonable price".  It's marketable at its 2010 fair market value, if that is less than she paid, that does not make it unreasonable.  There is no right to a profit.
 

The appellant can realize reasonable economic enjoyment just by selling the property (or living there), but this is not what she wants.  She wants the profit from developing the property, hence her request that she be allowed to scrape the house and put a new residence in its place, but not just any new residence, one where the heritage tree has been removed and then the residence is built to the maximize size permitted by law.  And if she cannot build just such a residence, we are again told it denies her the right to "reasonable economic enjoyment".  I submit that realizing the maximum profit possible is not required for one's economic enjoyment to be reasonable.
 

Honor the intent of the Heritage Tree Act and save the redwood.
 

Richard H. Dwiggins
263 University Drive
Menlo Park Received on Mon Oct 25 2010 - 12:06:28 PDT


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