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Palo Alto to add fees for new developments

Original post made on May 7, 2014

No one doubts that the City of Palo Alto spends more on public safety and City Hall services due to its ballooning daytime population of workers.
Yet the effort to recover costs for employees' use of city services is tricky, a City Council committee discovered Tuesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 4:19 PM

Comments (5)

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Posted by Silly
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 7, 2014 at 7:22 pm

How about giving those new fees to the Palo Alto residents who have to drive to Menlo Park or elsewhere to escape the idiotic Palo Alto gridlock as our ridiculous city officials keep approving more and more growth?

It's faster to get to the Trader Joe's in Menlo Park than to the one 2 miles away in Town & Country since the city is STILL working on traffic light timing a mere 8 years after they created the gridlock.

But hey, no problem. They'll just raise utility rates AGAIN to offset the declining tax revenues.

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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 8, 2014 at 9:24 am

> No one doubts that the City of Palo Alto spends more on
> public safety and City Hall services due to its ballooning
> daytime population of workers.

This sentence makes no sense. Let’s start with the words “No one doubts .. spends more ..”. What in the world does this mean? If the premise is that the City is spending money dealing with, or providing services, to daytime workers—where is the evidence? What kind of services is the Weekly (or their City source) talking about? Are workers keeling over by the thousands because of unsafe conditions in the buildings where they work? Are daytime workers coming to City Hall in droves asking for services from food handouts, to overnight accommodations? Where are the records that prove the City is “spending more” ..

Historically, the Police have claimed that about 66% of the traffic tickets they write are to non-residents. But the Police/Courts get their pound of flesh for these tickets (although Palo Alto doesn’t get that much). So—it’s possible that some traffic related expenditures can be identified. Certainly the City’s practice of calling out as many police cruisers, EMS vans and big-rigs for a fender-bender could be used to offset their claims about “spending more” .. but so far—there hasn’t been much in terms of hard evidence as to the costs of each traffic incident (ticket/crash/etc.).

It’s possible to claim that the City is spending more in the Planning Department overseeing new companies get started. The muttering from numerous small business owners about the foot-dragging in getting their occupancy permits so that they can open their doors. But we are led to believe that the Planning Department recovers its costs via Developer Fees—of course, unless they aren’t because the management has not been doing its job over the years.

So .. before making claims about “spending more” .. why not put some real numbers on the table, so people can see what is being talked about?

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Posted by Garden Gnome
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 8, 2014 at 10:10 am

"No one doubts that the City of Palo Alto spends more on public safety and City Hall services due to its ballooning daytime population of workers."

I do.

"Already, the city charges impact fees on new developments to pay for future wear-and-tear on parks, roads, libraries, community centers and for other city services."

Oh, now I get it. How many workers use our parks, libraries, community centers and (unspecified) other city services? No doubt some use the roads, though.

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Posted by AllenE
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 8, 2014 at 12:11 pm

AllenE is a registered user.

You doubt that the large increase in the number of people causes the city to spend more? What does the city spend money on? Fighting Crime. Fires. Garbage. Roads. Water. Sewer. Electricity. Which one of these is not increased because of of a population tripling during the day. You point to libraries and parks. I doubt those are the major expenditures our city makes.

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Posted by JerryL
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 8, 2014 at 1:16 pm

"....The proposal endorsed by the committee would tack on a fee -- for each 1,000 square feet of a new nonresidential building -- of $2,556 in the "commercial" category, $2,130 for "office/institutional" developments and $852 for industrial developments. "

If these proposed fees are ANNUAL fees, I would say they sound about right.
But, of course, they are probably not.
How can anyone doubt that these recent developments impact our city and we residents of our city negatively? By lying about parking impacts the developers of these projects impact our parking options, cause congestion by cars circling endlessly around looking for non existent parking spaces, place more and more employee cars on our now clogged up streets and roads, impede ambulances from speedily responding to our emergencies. The list could go on and on.
What portion of the profits generated from the sale of these developments or the operation of the businesses occupying them actually trickle down into city coffers? Certainly not enough to compensate me for the reduction in my quality of life. Let them go to Vermont with their development projects. Or somewhere away from here.

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