In support of the residents of The President Hotel

Dear Mayor Kniss and Council Members,

Palo Alto Forward writes in support of the President Hotel tenants.

We encourage the council to extend the stay of the current tenants as requested in the letter dated December 20, 2018 from Iqbal Serang and Dennis Backlund.


There is a strong case in support of their request for at least four reasons:

1) It will follow through on the city's policy of having one year leases.

2) The city has yet to decide on the legal merits of the property owner's request for a use change and even following a decision there may be appeals and legal actions delaying any change in use.

3) Even if a change is use is allowed, extra time will be needed to get the required permits and go through the project review process.

There seems little if any cost or inconvenience to the property owner from allowing the tenants to remain through at least June and preferably until the property owner is ready to make any changes on the property.

4) As council members know, the housing market in this area is very tight and the extra time will be a compassionate gesture to a fine group of residents while the city and property owner sort out how things will proceed.

On a different but related issue, Palo Alto Forward encourages the council and PTC to hold a study session on the recently approved CASA compact. It includes a wealth of information that can inform our housing work plan going forward and also includes many ideas for renter protections.

Stephen Levy


Palo Alto Forward


(letter dated December 20, 2018 from Iqbal Serang and Dennis Backlund copied below)


Hello Mayor Kniss and Council members; I am forwarding this urgent request letter to you all as written by Dennis Backlund and myself, to try and get an extension beyond the January 31st deadline to vacate "The Hotel President," to at least the end of June 30th, from AJ Capital as it stands today. 

So that we remaining renters, and some seniors and single parents who are left, can find adequate substitute lodging in Palo Alto, while AJ's prospects for a new and redesigned project goes through the city permit approvals process. The June date was discussed and agreed to at one point, but has been withdrawn now due to unexplained circumstances. 
We believe the June date was crucial because of the existing PAMC Ordinance requiring a one year lease needed to be offered to all tenants as an optional approach to the current monthly rental arrangments, as we were mistakenly given to follow.
Therefore, we immensely appreciate your reading of the attached letter, and all your attempts at helping us, desperately needy citizens of Palo Alto, and long standing tenants of the Historic Hotel President Apartments.


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