Friday, November 4, 2011
Sharp Park improvement
From Pacifica Tribune/Jane Northrop 11/1/11. City Council took the lead on a conceptual plan for the redevelopment of the city owned Beach Blvd. property a week ago Monday. The council members also unanimously agreed to fund the necessary environmental studies to prepare a draft environmental impact report. The preliminary plan includes a boutique hotel, restaurant, retail shops, housing units and a library. Underground parking will be provided. The plan is expected to change as the project progresses.
The plan was developed after a study session City Council held on Sept. 14 where members of the public were asked to conceptualize what they wanted to see in the Beach Blvd. redevelopment area. City staff worked with Leland Consulting Group to draft preliminary site plans, options and a timeline. "This is an expression of what we can expect," said Pacifica City Manager Steve Rhodes. City Council authorized the expenditure of $200,000 to pay for environmental studies to see if the site can accommodate the plan and to determine what future work is needed. A soils stability study and a soils hazmat analysis will be managed by the Leland group. The plan requires zoning and general plan amendments, which will be accomplished by city planning staff. A draft environmental impact report will report the outcomes of the studies and the land use changes.
The environmental work is expected to take about a year to complete. Once that work in complete, the project will proceed through the regulatory revisions and reviews. A developer will be recruited in 2013 with ground breaking expected in 2014. The development will be built and infrastructure improved over an 18-month period for a completion date expected in 2015. By taking the lead on a conceptual plan and the environmental studies, the city will be in a stronger bargaining position to solicit potential developers. Interest should be piqued because the project will be ready to move forward after the environmental studies are completed.
The project is estimated to have a property value of $34.8 million and generate $498,800 in tax revenue. The 35 room hotel would generate $63,000 in property tax and $136,800 in temporary occupancy tax per year. The restaurant would generate $10,500 in property tax and $11,000 in sales tax. The 90 housing units would generate $270,000 in property tax. The shops would generate $5,000 in property tax and $2,500 in sales tax.
Under the preliminary plan, City Council would still meet on the site, but in a new building on the northeast corner of the property that will also house the new library-media center and community meeting rooms. Members of the two library foundations and library staff members attended the last City Council meeting. Several spoke about how excited they were to see plans included for a new state-of-the art library. A recent needs assessment had determined Pacificans to be woefully underserved by the current state of the libraries. Eric Ruchames, representing the Pacifica Library Foundation said, "It's very exciting to have this land come into better public use. We know this is the first step toward getting a bigger library. Thanks." Caroline Barba, a member of Friends of the Library, said, "I'm excited about having a site for the library to be able to have all the programs we could." Margaret Goodale said she wanted the council members to consider an educational attraction, such as the conceptual Ocean Discovery Center once hoped for by many on that site, to be included in the plans in order to bring in tourists."
Posted by Kathy Meeh