CSUS Concerns

Response to CSUS proposal

I am very concerned that the Belmont General Plan and
rezoning can be bought by any outside special interest group that comes up with
the right influencing number. My wife and I targeted Belmont as a city we
wanted to buy property and raise our family in 15 years ago because we thought
Belmont, of all small cities on the Peninsula would not go down a slippery
slope as other municipalities have, and start to change zoning and the General
Plan, influenced by outside special interests. If this CSUS proposal is
allowed, against the advisement of our city planners, it clearly sets a precedent
that any large developer can come into Belmont and flash dollars to certain
city council members and they will be "influenced". 

My family’s belief is that our General Plan should not be diverted,
at any cost, by outside influence peddlers. This is not Washington DC. This is
Belmont. I strongly believe that if the General Plan is allowed to be
influenced by this outside interest group, five years from now, our city
council and all citizens of Belmont will regret it. What will be next?

This same group tried and failed to get rezoning approved in
their own city of origin and Hillsborough would not allow them to expand in
their own backyard.  You have to ask
yourself why. CSUS knew flashing money in Hillsborough would not have an
effect, but in Belmont, that’s another matter. So CSUS comes to Belmont and gives it a go, thinking that certain members of the City Council can be influenced by the right number.  

This is presented as a win/win for everyone. It is not. That
is why CSUS has hired professional campaign agents, sent flyers, hired callers
and used Chicago–like, strong-arm politics, influence peddling tactics on our
city council and our community.

The negatives and impact to traffic, sewage infrastructure,
noise, natural habitat, long term vitality to Belmont and General Plan are too numerous and any positives will be mitigated in a very few years with zero long term guarantees, including fields usage. This $1M will be carved up into small
pieces among two-three school districts, and other public needs, and then the
citizens of Belmont will be left with all this negative impact. The $250k in
tax revenue per year is a wash at best and possibly a negative, based on the
potential of this incredible site to draw commercial entities in the future.

I say, thank you CSUS!.. for pointing out the weaknesses we
have within our Belmont City Council so we can let our votes be heard at the
next election, and thank you again for peeling back the onion within our
Belmont city government process, that they can be influenced so easily by
outside interests.

And thank you CSUS!... for exposing weaknesses in protecting
the Belmont General Plan even when a unanimous vote by our planners recommended not to rezone and potentially open the door to other, bigger outside influence peddlers.

A big thank you CSUS!... for demonstrating to Belmont residents
our lack of any plan by the Belmont City Council to attract new businesses into
the existing commercially zoned areas. Instead, these same city council members
sit back and wait for influencers to come to them waving wads of cash. Way to
do the job you were elected to do (certain) Belmont City Council members!

A bigger thank you CSUS!... for demonstrating in real terms
Belmont’s lack of funding and attention to our athletic fields, which keeps our
kids safe, healthy, involved ......and off the streets!

And again, thank you CSUS!.... for drawing attention to Belmont’s
lack of attention to the enormous traffic issue from Ralston Ave. and feeder
streets, and Belmont City Council’s lack of attention to the grossly
"severe" sewage infrastructure problem we have in Belmont, (EPA violations
and effluent flowing into the Bay).

And lastly, thank you CSUS!.... for showing Belmont
residents that certain members of our Belmont City Council can be so easily be influencedmand sidetracked by a measly few dollars as to ignore recommendations from professional city planners that our tax dollars pay for, and to even consider for a moment giving away the city’s general plan to an outside influence for a short-term, minor revenue contribution.

Ron Tussy
Small Business Owner

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bystander1 September 17, 2012 at 06:37 PM
wouldn't a top tier private school just by having a great site in Belmont help to raise property values? Wouldn't residents be proud to say "CSUS has chosen Belmont to locate in"? Is not all this a seperate postive i.e. helping maintain and possibly increase property values that nobody seems to mention? Isn't that a good thing for all, and for those property values any resident particularly with a family would want a great culture of education first? Don't families gravitate to locations where the schools, both public and private a high quality?
bystander1 September 17, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Belmont September 17, 2012 at 06:47 PM
bystander1, without a doubt if CSUS comes to Belmont it will drive up property values!!! I could not agree with you more. And I might add, according to several realtors in the past 2 years many people are choosing Belmont over San Carlos, since all of Belmont goes to Carlmont...please everyone write into the City Council....if this does not go through...we may live to regret it....
Buck Thomas September 17, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Annie, When private schools come before the City Council they come with a cadre of parents of students and can put an inordinate amount of pressure on the Council to get exactly what they want. I've seen this in San Mateo as well as Belmont in the past. It's very difficult to turn down anything a private school asks for. It's like picking on religion. As far as property values are concerned I think traffic is a bigger concern than having a private school. Are you planning on selling your house soon? I don't believe I ever stated one way or another on whether I own a home. I hope you are not one of those who believes that apartment dwellers are not worthy of entering into political discourse. I've gone over Charles Stones points: If it is the case that the City, for whatever reason, discouraged Comcast from renting then I yield to Charles on that point. I had no knowledge of this but will find out. On the changing of contracts I'm really surprised at Charles since he's a lawyer and contracts are renegotiated and revised all the time. To make it unmodifiable it would have to be an initiative voted on by the citizens of Belmont. The rest of the points still stand.
Annie September 17, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Buck, it doesn't matter if you live in an apartment, the point that I was trying to make is that Belmont has changed. The value of property in this area continues to rise, even if other regions are tanking. We live in a desireable location, and partents care about a quality education and a choice. Again, traffic will be on Ralston Ave. with or without the school. "If" some businesses were to relocate on to Davis Drive, you would have even more traffic. Once in the morning, the same time as other commuters and schools, and once again the afternoon, when commuters are on their way home. I see to much being put on the morning commute, the evening commute will be affected as well, "IF" you can sell the buildings on Davis Drive. Yes, people are wiling to trade off for a great location.


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