Judge to developer: No refund for you | October 15, 2021 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - October 15, 2021

Judge to developer: No refund for you

Chop Keenan sues Palo Alto over failure to build downtown garage

by Gennady Sheyner

After exploring and then rejecting the idea of constructing a new downtown garage, Palo Alto is now embroiled in litigation with a downtown property owner who believes the city has been misusing the fees that it collects from developers.

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Email Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner at [email protected]


Posted by Leland J.
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 12, 2021 at 6:51 pm

Leland J. is a registered user.

First the city is ordered to refund $12M in "utility gas taxes" that it used for other purposes. Now comes the "parking garage fees" (fancy word for tax) that weren't actually used to pay for parking garages.

Anyone else notice a pattern of deception here?

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2021 at 11:38 am

Bystander is a registered user.

It is about time someone made sure that collected taxes were used for the purpose they were collected.

Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2021 at 12:49 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

What an ugly architectural abomination! The city got this one right. Pay Keenan off and move on

Posted by mjh
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 13, 2021 at 2:26 pm

mjh is a registered user.

Will Mr Keenan be required to build the parking for the occupants of his development himself if the city refunds the money he paid to get out of doing so?

Posted by Citizen
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 13, 2021 at 3:32 pm

Citizen is a registered user.

City -

Stop ripping us off.

Posted by tmp
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 14, 2021 at 12:00 am

tmp is a registered user.

Chop Keenan builds ugly monstrosities down town and overcharges tenants and complains that he should be able to rent at higher rates to tech companies. He is a blight to the community, doesn't build his own parking, [portion removed.] He cares about making as much money as he can for himself, not about the community or how his buildings and tenants benefit the community. He didn't build the parking so he had to pay for not building it. End of story, stop being such a big cry-baby.

If he wants his money back make him buy some land and put in his own parking spots!

Posted by ccb in midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 19, 2021 at 10:06 am

ccb in midtown is a registered user.

Wake up.

So Cheap Shot Keenan wants his $$$ back from a generous city that "mistakenly" shafted their residents proximal to his building their quality of life for the past 8 years. First, Cheap Shot Keenan. How much profit has he realized from 135 Hamilton Ave since it's 2013 build? What % of that profit was realized PRECISELY b/c his $906,900 bought him out of having his building be fully parked? How about he give that $$$ back to the city? B/c if he's so determined to cut off the generous hand that feeds him, how about he at least refund to the city an amount commensurate with the benefit he's received AND IS STILL receiving? After all, he purchased a product. Used it. But now he's changed his mind and wants to return it even though the 365 day "return" period expired years ago.

Next, the city. How about council use this lawsuit to trigger a re-examination (and cancellation) of our city's ridiculously generous in-lieu parking program? And return to requiring buildings to be fully parked. That'd be an effective message to the developer community that Palo Alto no longer is interested in subsidizing their wealth streams and is willing to rebalance resident quality of life interests above city income. Knowing that Keenan's greed killed the program might also create some rich conversation within the developer community, especially for other developers considering suing similarly.

While we're at it, how about making the take-your-buildings-elsewhere message even more clear and come up with some way to charge developers who choose to sue the city some fee commensurate with the amount of time 7 council members plus city attorney staff have to spend considering their suit? After all, as of 2019, we city residents basically constitute a non-profit organization of 66,573 people managed by a council of 7 funded by (2022) budget of $209.2 M. I can think of plenty of things I'd prefer council to spend their attention on and none include Cheap Shot Keenan's greed grab

Posted by ccb in midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 19, 2021 at 10:17 am

ccb in midtown is a registered user.

Further, if anyone is curious, Cheap Shot Chop Keenan has history colored with controversy going back decades, much of it local and much of it even reported by Palo Alto Weekly. If anyone is curious to see his patterns, just spend 5 min. and read up on his proclivities.

Last, has anyone actually even looked up 135 Hamilton? Unsurprisingly, one street view glance makes clear it's a greedy building, built right out to the sidewalk; it appears to push or exceed almost every city guideline/regulation limit.

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