Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Pretty ballsy/Ocean Discovery Center Proposal 2018

DATE: March 14, 2018

TO: Pacifica City Council Members

RE: RFP/RFQ process for development of 3.1 acres of City owned oceanfront property at 2212 Beach Blvd.: The City Council Chambers building and the Old Wastewater Treatment Plant and the proposed Pacifica Ocean Discovery Center.

Response to City Council decision at City Council Meeting March 12th, 2018.

On behalf of the Pacifica Ocean Discovery Center (PODC) we would like to thank the City Council, City Manager, and staff for the decision to delay the RFP/RFQ process in order to give the PODC a chance to acquire necessary funding to purchase 20% or roughly 15,000 square feet of the northern section of the 2212 Beach Blvd. property on Montecito St..

We greatly appreciate this decision, however there are three problems:

[1] Six months does not provide reasonable time to acquire funding. We had previously requested a year due to the fact that most philanthropy organizations and foundations meet every three months, and it usually takes six to nine months to reach a decision regarding funding organizations/projects. 

[2] There is nothing in writing that states that this property would potentially be available to the PODC if we are able to raise funding for such a venture. Without this it would be impossible to apply for funding.

[3] There is no current or updated appraisal of the property. We would need an updated price to approach donors with. Also there is the matter of existing buildings, and the fact that the Pump House Building must remain on the site.

We would like to offer possible solutions to these three problems:

[1] Amend the decision to increase the time frame of six months to one year.
With a first six months review status report with the option to renew or revoke the second six months.

[2] Provide a letter from the Mayor that would roughly state that PODC does not have an option on the property however, the City is delaying the RFP/RFQ process one year in order and support for the PODC to raise necessary funding to purchase the 20% section of the property.

[3] Request that City get an updated appraisal of the property, and clarify if the price
is set with only the Pump House Building remaining on the site. 

Also, we believe we could find someone to provide the necessary architectural services
To detail the 20% / 15,000 square feet section of the property.

If the above mentioned is out of the realm of possibility, we would suggest revisiting the RFQ/RFP process and consider the motion that the Mayor offered: that the Developer could submit a proposal for a Hotel and Retail, or could submit a proposal for a Hotel and Retail and the PODC as an option, but it would not be required.

Thank you for consideration of these matters.

-Mitch Reid
Pacifica Ocean Discovery Center
PO Box 269, Pacifica, CA 94044

Submitted by Jim Wagner

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Planning Commission, Monday March 19, 2018

Attend in person, 2212 Beach Boulevard, 2nd floor.  Or, view on local television or live feed Pacificcoast.TV, (formerly  If you miss civic meetings, view on PCT 26 You Tube!  The planning commission meeting begins at 7 p.m., or shortly there following.  Planning Commission updates, archives are available on the City website: City Council Agendas, and City Planning Commission.  Channel 26 television schedule, see Monday, 3/19/18.  

Image result for The Prospects, 801 Fassler Avenue, Pacifica, CA picture
Item 1.  801 Fassler Avenue, is a 24-unit
condominium development for people,
located on City empty space if it gets built.
Interactive Planning Commission agenda, 3/19/18.      Planning Commission agenda, 3/19/18, pdf pages 974.

Open Session, 7:00 p.m.  Administrative: Approval of Draft Minutes:  a) 03/05/18.  Designation of liaison to City Council meeting, 674 Corona Drive Appeal: Commissioner Nibbelin. Consent items, none.  Communications:  Public oral.  

Continued Public Hearing

1.     DP-75-14, RZ-192-14, SP-149-14, TDR-03-14, SUB 224-14, and removal of heritage tree: 24-unit residential condominium, 801 Fassler Avenue (APN 022-083-029, and APN 022-083-030), report.  Attachments:  a) Staff reports: 11/6/17, and 2/5/18.  b) Draft resolution and exhibits.  c) Project plans.  d) Supplemental Environmental Impact Report.  e) Deed restriction plan.  f) Trail network.  g) BMR Units.  h) Striping plan.  i) Flat roof alternative.  j) Land survey.

Communications:  Planning Commission, Staff, Adjourn.   


Note projects (above): City of Pacifica Planning Department, The Prospects residential project, 801 Fassler Avenue. The Fassler Avenue project and the Corona Drive project were Continued Public Hearing items at the Planning Commission meeting, 2/5/18.

Reference, development/planning acronyms.  APN, Assessor's parcel number.  CDP, Coastal Development permit. CZ, (Coastal Zone Combining) zoning districts. DP, development permit. GPA, General Plan Amendment.  LDR, low density residential.  PE, Parking Exception. PSD, Site Development permit. PV,  Permit Variance. S, Sign permit. SE, Sign Exception. SP, Specific Plan. RIA, Rent Increase Application.  SUB Subdivision. TA, text amendment (ordinance). UP, Use permit.  Zoning. California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  CA CEQA Guidelines, Article 19, Categorical Exemptions: Class 1 categorical exemption, section 15301. Freestanding single-family residences set-back and parking, C-1, neighborhood commercial. C-3, Service Commercial.  R1, single-family residential, S, City of Pacifica Sign ordinance.  CA code, accessory (second residential) dwelling units, 65852.2.  Zoning/Planning Handouts, City of Pacifica.  RZ, rezoning.  TDR, transfer of development rights (urban planning).      Note photograph by Bob Pilgrim from Pacifica Riptide, 11/1/15, "Nightmare Prospects: Fight Fassler FUBAR."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Friday, March 16, 2018

Candidate list for June 5 primary


County Supervisor, 2nd District (Belmont, San Mateo and Foster City)
Carole Groom*
Supervisor, 3rd District (San Carlos-Menlo Park and the coastside)
Don Horsley*
Dan Stegink
County Controller
Juan Raigoza*
Robert Foucrault*
District Attorney
Steve Wagstaffe*
Carlos Bolanos* (appointed incumbent)
Mark D. Melville
Tax Collector-Treasurer
Sandie Arnott*
Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
Mark Church*
John Mooney

Superintendent of Schools
Gary Waddell
Nancy Magee
Superior Court Judge
Judicial Office 1
Donald Ayoob*
Judicial Office 2
Gerald Buchwald *
Richard Wilson
Judicial Office 3
Clifford V. Cretan*
Judicial Office 4
Leland Davis III*
Judicial Office 5
Susan Etezadi*
Judicial Office 6
Robert Foiles*
Judicial Office 7
John L. “Jack” Grandsaert*
Judicial Office 8
Elizabeth Lee*
Judicial Office 9
Lisa Novak*
Judicial Office 10
V. Raymond Swope*


Assembly District 22 (central and northern San Mateo County)
Kevin Mullin, D*
Christina Laskowski
Bridget Duffy
Assembly District 24 (southern San Mateo County, northern Santa Clara County)
Marc Berman, D*
Bob Goodwyn, Libertarian
Alex Glew, R


U.S. Rep., 18th District (southern San Mateo County, northern Santa Clara County)
Anna Eshoo, D*
Michael Melillo
John Carl Fredrich
Christine Russell
Dennis R.T. Slominski
U.S. Rep., 14th District (central, northern San Mateo County, southern San Francisco)
Jackie Speier, D*
Bridget Duffy
Cristina Osmena

Posted by Steve Sinai

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The East Coast developer has arrived in L.A., and he’s doing so in a big way

— building what will be one of the tallest residential towers in the western U.S.

Well, good thinking Pacifica, to vote down Mr. Peeble's project and then feel so smug about your accomplishment. Seems he's doing just fine without us and we aren't doing so fine economically without him. What foresight you all had. 

Submitted by Jim Wagner

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

County Candidates Forum in Pacifica, Saturday March 17, 2018

Image result for Candidates forum picture
County Sheriff, and
County Superintendent of Schools
The Pacifica-Daly City Democrats Club is presenting a Candidates Forum at its monthly meeting on Saturday, March 17th. In anticipation of the Statewide Direct Primary Election this June 5, 2018, the following candidates are on the ballot and will be appearing to discuss their candidacies: Incumbent Sheriff Carlos Bolanos and challenger Deputy Sheriff Mark Melville (running for the office of San Mateo County Sheriff) and Dr. Gary Waddell and Nancy Magee, candidates for the San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools.

The Club’s March 17th meeting will begin at 9:30am in the rear banquet room at the Sharp Park Golf Course Restaurant.  A full breakfast is available at $12, a continental breakfast at $6 or just coffee for $3, although no purchase is necessary. This meeting is open to the general public. You need not be a member of the Club to attend, although we welcome your membership. Please join us, learn about these candidates and become an informed voter!
Submitted Connie Menefee, President
on behalf of the Executive Board of the Pacifica-Daly City Democrats

Reference, Statewide direct primary election, June 5, 2018.  Candidate campaign websites. San Mateo County Sheriff:  1) Sheriff Carlos Bolanos (Incumbent), 2) Deputy Sheriff Mark D. Melville (challenger).  San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools. 1) Dr. Gary Waddell, 2) Associate Superintendent Nancy Magee.

Related article.  San Mateo Daily Journal, Anna Schuessler, Staff, 3/10/18, "Candidates, measures set for June, San Mateo County races, ballot measures take shape. .... "Among the races to watch is the first contested race for San Mateo County sheriff in years as Deputy Mark Melville formalized his candidacy alongside Sheriff Carlos Bolanos this week. Bolanos was appointed to the position two years ago when his predecessor Greg Munks stepped down before the end of his third term. ...  Though Redwood City resident Nancy Magee has officially thrown her hat in the ring to fill the void of County Superintendent Anne Campbell, Gary Waddell, Magee’s counterpart at the San Mateo County Office of Education, has yet to qualify for the race. But Waddell will have until Wednesday to finalize his paperwork since the incumbent Campbell’s decision not to run extends the filing deadline for her seat past Friday. Both Waddell and Magee launched campaigns to seek the top education official’s spot after Campbell announced last year she would not seek re-election."         Note forum graphic from Clark County Association of Realtors, CCAR, Vancouver, WA.
Posted by Kathy Meeh

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Pacifica Ocean Discovery Center Conceptual Design

- Click on the image for a larger version

I am posting this here because Council Member O'Neil had an opinion write up in the Pacifica Tribune this week regarding the development of 3.1 acres of City owned oceanfront property at 2212 Beach Blvd.: The City Council Chambers building and the Old Wastewater Treatment Plant.

He was not in full knowledge of what the Pacifica Ocean Discovery Center (PODC) group was requesting. It was not Hotel vs PODC on the site as he presented it. We were not asking for the entire site, only a set aside of 20%.

In fact we are in favor of a Hotel. We are requesting that the City section off the same amount of space that was previously set aside for the Library on this site (30,000 sq ft), and give us a year to raise the money to purchase the site. (roughly 2.5 - 3 million)

In order for this last developer to make space on the site for the Library he had to eliminate 20 hotel rooms, reducing the number of 140 rooms down to 120.  The trade-off of the 20 hotel rooms in order build an oceanfront aquarium seems like a "no brainer".

Plus having the Pacifica Ocean Discovery Center as a tourist attraction will bring visitors into the city, stay in the hotels, shop, and eat at local restaurants. This oceanfront Aquarium will help fill the rooms in the large hotel on this site, as well as rooms in the other hotels in town. 

20 years ago the PODC raised 13k in grant money to prepare our proposal. We hired professionals to do architecture, engineering, sea water intake engineering, financial analysis; we had support letters from numerous environmental groups, schools and colleges. We even had a support letter from Dr. Sylvia Earle, the most renowned marine biologist on the planet. The proposal was thick as a phone book.

Back then it was large Hotel versus the PODC (with a 40 room hotel). Despite overwhelming support from the public, the City chose the Hotel. That Hotel developer backed out a year and a half later. The City has been trying to get a Hotel on the site for 20 years.

After the decision the PODC stayed together for a few years, but since we could not get an option on the property or support from the City, it became impossible to raise funding for this vision, the group and hope faded away.

When the vote last year for the Library to be built on this site failed, we realized that this section of the property could possibly become available. A couple of the founding members had a table at last year's Pacifica Earth Day event and discussed this possibility with the public, there was overwhelming support. Since then a new board of directors has been partially assembled, and in the process of having our non-profit status re-instated.

Do we have any funding at this point? No. About two years ago a member of a philanthropy team approached one of the founding members after hearing about the PODC proposal from years ago. There was this opportunity for 10 million dollars for this type of marine related project, but because the City had just entered into negotiations with this last Developer and set aside land for the Library, it was not possible to go for this opportunity.

Now that the Developer and Library has exited from the site, we believe if the City put wording in the RFP/RFQ supporting the PODC concept and showing the land space we would like to set aside, that there might be a possibility to go for this type of funding in the future.

Funding for such a venture is challenging, but we are in a different situation than 20 years ago, there was almost no internet. Today because of the internet there has been an explosion of wealth in Silicon Valley, San Mateo County and the Bay Area. YouTube is in San Bruno. We could care less if it was called the Zukerberg Aquarium, but that type of money is out there.  It would require funding from several sources, and would require contracting with a Capital Acquisition professional.

How much would it cost? We base our proposed PODC almost identical to the two aquariums in Santa Cruz: The Seymour Discovery Center, and the fairly new Sanctuary Exploration Center that was built six years ago.  The City of Santa Cruz donated the property and  NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation provided funds to build the 12,000 sq. ft. $15.9 million Sanctuary Exploration Center. The proposed PODC would be roughly 15,000 sq ft first floor.

Both of the Aquariums cited rent out their facilities to help cover operation costs. In our proposal we would do the same. Mr. O'Neil was seeking a 200 room conference center as a preferred part of the development in the RFP/RFQ.  In our proposal we include a 15,000 sq ft second floor as a 200+ room conference center multi-purpose room for the Hotel, additional use for City Council Chamber meetings, Library presentations, music performances, and other such as wedding receptions.

Lastly, it is all about the Pipe in the ocean, and the Pump House building that is required to stay on the property.  The only reason the Pier was built was to carry a pipe that came out of the Pump House, and out under the Pier and into the ocean, so that we could send our secondary waste water into the ocean, thankfully we no longer do this.  The Pier infrastructure and Pipe are a valuable asset that no other city has. We can use this pipe infrastructure for seawater intake/ outflow for the aquarium exhibits. It is why after all these years the PODC has wanted to utilize this aspect along with a section of the property. Also utilizing this asset would allow the City to apply for grant money to save the Pier.

This is our one and only chance at this!

If you support the concept of the Pacifica Ocean Discovery Center, please come to the upcoming City Council Meeting, Monday March 12th, 7pm, wear blue, and fill out a yellow card if you would like to speak in favor.


-Mitch Reid

Pacifica Ocean Discovery Center

Submitted by Mitch Reid