The Pacifica Chamber of Commerce submitted 12 questions to each of the candidates for Pacifica City Council. Every week we will be posting two questions, and the answers from each of the candidates.
Question 6 : What are your thoughts on the development of the old sewer plant site, Palmetto Main Street, and the new library?
Great idea. We need an infusion of foot traffic for the Palmetto Business District. As a sole proprietor I would consider investing my capital in a thriving community district. Plans are moving forward to entitle the property which will appeal to future developers. This welcome change may quell the fears of progress with concerned citizens and keeping dialogue open is a must.
Karen Ervin – 4 Year Seat
I am fully supportive of the development of the old wastewater treatment plant and the Palmetto streetscaping project. This is an excellent idea and will provide a much-needed boost to our revenues as well as enhance our quality of life here in Pacifica. Currently the sewer plant site is an eyesore; I would love to see the creation of a state of the art library with a hotel, convention center, retail shops and restaurants linked to a revitalized Palmetto. This accomplishment will also demonstrate to other businesses outside of Pacifica that we have the wherewithal to see envisioned projects through to completion and we are welcoming to new establishments that make Pacifica a better place to live. I see this project as a definite indication that the city is moving in the right direction and would encourage this proactive stance in future endeavors.
Mary Ann Nihart – 4 Year Seat
While I cannot vote on these issues due to the location of my home, I have long been involved in organizing merchants and property owners on Palmetto, and supporting the process with the library. I served on the West Sharp Park Advisory committee, which helped design the streetscape. I love the economically-driven proposal we are moving forward for the Beach Blvd property itself, and look forward to supporting a bond measure to build the library. We have completed the new sewer mains; laid the pipes for the recycled watering of landscape; prepared the businesses; and will begin the actual undergrounding of the utilities shortly after the 2012 Fog Fest. I can visualize the vibrant street in 2018 and am excited by the possibilities!
Mike O'Neill - 2 Year Seat
I fully support a new library for Pacifica. We need to have a rallying point for our community to get behind and show the civic pride I know we have. Many people I talk to speak of the pride we in our schools and I want the same pride for the City of Pacifica as we have for the Pacifica School District. The return on investment of a new library is 4 to 1 meaning every dollar spent returns four in economic activity. The present design concept which has been discussed at several public meetings will be the economic anchor for the Palmetto Business District.
I think we also need to think of Palmetto Ave as the Main Street of a business district. We need to maximize the (The rest of the Dialogue of Mike has been lost.)
Rich Campbell - 2 Year Seat
- Develop the old sewer site as contemplated by City.
- New Library should be built as contemplated by Library Foundation. It is a economic engine.
Victor Spano - 2 Year Seat
Mr. Leland (the Beach Blvd. consultant), is an excellent planner, but he is not a commercial real estate broker. I worry the City could be disappointed with the results of the RFQ. It needs to be marketed by a professional broker. I feel the site lays out adjacent to the promenade like the Biltmore Four Seasons in Montecito / Santa Barbara. http://www.fourseasons.com/santabarbara/ I personally would like to see something like that. Let's "Shoot for the Stars" here. The proximity to the Golf Course and Ocean makes it a spectacular opportunity.
I support the new Library. Having a strong fiscal picture for our local government here will enable the City to more cost effectively sell bonds for its construction. The library will become a traffic and customer drawing magnet for Palmetto Avenue, or in other words an "anchor". I am hoping that there will be some "night life" that will develop as part of and outside the new library along Palmetto. I feel that Burlingame Avenue or Laurel Avenue in San Carlos are analogs for what Palmetto Avenue can become. We first need to fill the vacant shops and vacant lots....We need to create interest in strolling Palmetto as a "pedestrian friendly" place with early evening events like Downtown Redwood City: Movie Nights, Music, Dance. Perhaps Spindrift and Art Guild can bring events to Palmetto as well. The new Library can serve as a focal point for activity during both day and night. I want to directly contact the owners of the vacant lots and invite them to either develop them on their own, or as part of joint ventures as alternatives to letting them languish indefinitely at prices that have not been accepted by the market and might not be for a long time.
Gary Mondfrans - 2 Year Seat
Palmetto Avenue renown as central to the Fog Fest can and should become Pacifica's "Main Street" and attract even more of the antiques and collectable businesses and other similar businesses which proliferate and draw tourists and visitors to the area. Distinctive themed development into an historic lighting district utilizing turn of the (last) century (1880's) style lighting and lamp fixtures similar to the way that the old street cars and cable cars draw tourists and visitors to San Francisco should be considered. Core to such development will be use of the former sewage treatment plant consistent with other west Sharp Park business and proximity to the Pier. What will ultimately be decided with respect to the destiny of the adjacent Sharp Park Golf Course will also have an substantial impact on the area. Both sites are valuable commodities and all viable alternatives must be explored so that the residents and taxpayers of Pacifica are not short-changed nor overly impacted. Promotion for development of the former treatment plant can be utilized through creative “web”ertising and RFPs (Requests for Proposals). As the Sharp Park Pier is the only pier in the Bay Area where Dungeoness crabbing is permitted thus making the pier not only a popular draw throughout the area, but something which can be exploited like Fisherman Wharf did in San Francisco. Improvements to the library should be on their on merits and not made a requirement of any specific proposal.
Pacifica needs to attract more of the kinds of businesses that will in turn attract tourist and visitors to Pacifica. Just as Martinez is known as an antiques and collectables center for the East Bay so can Pacifica which is just a few minutes south of San Francisco. Already many tourists and visitors are finding us through our existing hotels and the RV Park on Palmetto. Further promotion and outreach through interaction and advertising is the key. I'll bet few have even seen or heard about the advertising supplement which the San Francisco Examiner distributed last week in their "Discover Pacifica" edition. Fortunately additional copies will be printed and promoted at the Fog Fest. Each and every one of us can also help our neighboring businesses and those who work there by "Shopping Pacifica First".