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Reject Micah Posner's Duplex

This petition had 148 supporters

Dear City Councilmembers,

I do not approve of Micah Posner building a duplex at his 732 Riverside Ave. property for the following reasons:

  • One of the "findings" is to provide 3 tandem parking spaces in the driveway. Posner/Minami have had 1-2 renters for the last 9 years, and they have not allowed their tenants to park in the driveway. We believe he will make the driveway *possible* for cars to park, but will still have his tenants park on the street. Once the unit is built, if he does not comply with this finding, there is no way to "unpermit" the unit. Even if he does comply, this now blocks the Wade'e easement which is their legal right in their contract, and will block ADA access to Fairytale Farm, which is a legal business which requires ADA access via their easement. The 3 cars will also cause significant noise and exhaust to blow into the Wade's living room and kitchen doors and windows, which face the driveway, causing respiratory harm to the Wades.
  • This property is a tenancy-in-common (TIC) co-owned by Debora and Karsten Wade. They do not approve of this unit.  Micah has not consulted with the lawyer who wrote the contract to clarify that he is NOT allowed to build this unit under the TIC clause called "discretionary work", which is minor work but still requires approval from all owners. I think since his co-owners are in dispute over this, and are set to arbitrate this very issue, the fact that Micah submitted this for planning and zoning approval without their knowledge is premature. He should first consult the lawyer who wrote his contract for clarity rather than ignoring the rights and wishes of his co-owners. He should then wait until arbitration rules whether he is allowed to build this unit, before submitting it to Planning without his co-owners knowledge or consent.
  • Posner/Minami built an attached patio cover 9 years ago without permits. It is still not permitted. He is trying to roll the permit in with this addition, but we feel it is not fair and is showing preferential treatment to not have the City force him to permit this first before getting approval for another addition. 
  • Micah Posner hid from the City his illegal ADU. He made over $60,000 on the 7 years he rented this before being caught. He lied on his Statement of Economic Interest Forms, which is perjury.  He even lied to the Planning inspectors AFTER BEING CAUGHT when they came to red-tag his ADU, since he knowingly had an unpermitted patio cover and hid it from the City so he would not have to pay the fees to permit it. He hid this from City Council while he was publicly apologizing. He defrauded the Wades to get them to invest in this property with their goal to keep it a single family house, knowing he wanted to build multiple units the whole time.  Micah has had very little consequence in his actions, and has gotten away with making a huge profit off of an illegal rental, all the while voting on rules that required property owners to pay their permit fees and fines. The City has shown preferential treatment by not having a consequence for Posner lying while being censured. Is there no consequence for an elected official when they so flagrantly violate City laws, and even when caught and censured, do it again? And submitting this without the co-owners knowledge or permission when they are set to arbitrate on this issue shows a continued lack of ethics.
  • Fairytale Farm is a rich contribution to the Santa Cruz community. The Wades share their 1/3 of this lot with the public by hosting free garden events, teaching urban homesteading to UCSC interns and the public, and have had numerous free events sharing seeds and inviting children and families to run around and learn from the garden. Debora has helped plant the Riverside Gardens Public Orchard as well as the expansion to Mike Fox Skate Park, and helped put a mosaic on the Barson Street Stairs and get Public Works to build an ADU ramp there with new landscaping. She is a huge community asset to Lower Ocean and has lived here for over 15 years. She has now taught urban farming and community involvement to 18 UCSC student interns, who are spreading these lessons far and wide. This unit will disturb the peace of the garden in moving living space into the 1/3rd buffer between the existing house and the urban farm, and by having windows and doors looking directly out into the Wades’ garden. This addition gives no money or other value to the Wades, but merely ruins their quality of life forever. They told Micah Posner when they bought the property together that they never intended to sell, so they get no value from this added unit, just their heirs.  Instead, this unit will harm their quality of life. Debora is disabled from severe Crohn's disease and depends on this farm for safe food, and is expected to become permanently disabled, unable to drive or walk in the future. This Farm was expressly bought and built to maintain a safe quality of life for her, which Micah Posner and Akiko Minami was aware of the entire time. Fairytale Farm is an important asset to the community and should be cherished, not impacted by this unit built by a corrupt City official who has had very little consequences for his actions.

In summary, I don't think you should approve of this unit.

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