Sunday, July 13, 2014

General Plan comment - Quarry, housing, growth


To:  Lee Diaz, Associate Planner, City of Pacifica, 1800 Francisco Blvd, Pacifica, CA, (650) 738-7341, diazl@ci.pacifica.ca.us.
Re:  DEIR General Plan public comments

The City land use map (draft) indicates that 50% of the privately owned quarry is left for open space conservation, next to the already existing 110 acre Mori Point GGNRA regional park open space.  And these two properties are right in the heart of what might otherwise have been a Pacifica downtown.  Unless there is a  Coastal Commission requirement to stunt the potential of the private quarry property--  this time for all the economic, services, employment, and city financial reasons, allow the property to be developed to its highest and best use.   (Current city land use:  business, industry and population growth, 4%, 1% and 21% respectively). 

What about housing, are we doing our part to participate in regional Bay Area Growth (which also improves our city revenue stream)?  Why is there only a 1,000 housing unit limit over the future 20 years. (According to  City-data.com: "Population in 2012: 38,189, 100% urban, 0% rural.  Population change since 2000: -0.5%.")  That data indicates this city is not growing.  Why not increase housing, greater density and height limits, and at the same time build in the realistic need for low income/affordable residential units?

Thank you for your consideration.
Kathy Meeh, Pacifica resident, 7/10/14

Posted by Kathy Meeh

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pacifica has voted to keep the frogs and snakes alive. Respect democracy!

Anonymous said...

Respect dissent! Democracy thrives on it.

Kathy Meeh said...

1013, oh brother, what vote was that? We did vote to develop Mori Point. Was there a vote to bankrupt that developer through delay, and delay, and delay, etc., etc., etc.? Sure don't remember that vote.

Funny how such tactics work so well when there is a city/regional eco-coup d'etat. Peebles Corporation also hung-around for more than one year attempting build the commercial component of the quarry, blocked by that NIMBY city council. Don't vote for any more NIMBIES in city council leadership ever!

PS: There's a nice frog pond in Montara. If the frogs get in the way of development before the snakes eat them, move their little butts to the the frog pond.

ian butler said...

The only vote regarding Mori point that I am aware of was in 1995. Voters rejected a plan for a card club there by a ratio of 5 to 1.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Pacifica-Voters-Follow-Peninsula-Trend-Reject-3017259.php

Hutch said...

Great letter Kathy. Good catch on the quarry.

Anonymous said...

Pacifica could have been sittin pretty if that card club would have gone through. The gang of no used their normal tactics and told people gambling would bring in a lot more crime. Thank God people are wising up to the nimby bs. The Quarry almost passed in 2006. Now it would definitely pass.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, the "gang of no" is a majority of the voters.

Kathy Meeh said...

Ian 728, not the card club at Mori Point, but the hotel conference center complex at Mori Point that the then Planning Commission would not approve no matter what. My recall is that we voted as a city to build the conference center complex, because "housing" was involved, and the vote was approved.

Electronically, it appears that Mori Point history has since been sanitized by Pacifica eco-NIMBIES. Example, Wikipedia/Mori Point. Nice going as usual, guys.

Meantime, this city needs revenue and not enough people want to pay additional taxes and fees for the questionable city privilege of living in the "out back". So what's the plan? What smart economic development for this city do you support????? (Love asking this question, which usually falls into dead silence.)

From the San Francisco Chronicle, 12/13/95, article you linked: "The vote was a dismal and not unexpected defeat for National Investors Financial, a Newport Beach lender that ended up with the 106-acre Mori Point property when the developer it bankrolled went bust in 1991." The developer that "went bust in 1991" must be the one I recall. (I was old enough to vote at that time, you may not have been).

Anonymous said...

That card club idea was bandied about town back in the 70's also. The thought at that time was that bringing in card clubs would relegate Pacifica to permanent status as a "low class" town along the lines of Gardena, Richmond and Vallejo, all down-at-the-heel places back in the 70's.

I mention Gardena, because as I think that was the nail-in-the-coffin. Apparently, some card club patron got sore and shot up one of the clubs there.Might have killed a few people; I don't recall all the details.

A card club might have been a good fit for us back in the 70's. You could get drunk at The Rose Room or at The Vallemar Station and join the post-2A.M. crowd at the Rockaway Truck Stop for coffee and pancakes before heading blurry-eyed to work someplace at 6:00 A.M.

Lots of town characters back then, Anyone remember the story of the guy who rode his horse into the Rose Room one Friday night? Don't know if that was true, but certainly could have been plausible. Then there was the guy who had a backhoe business and lived at the old Rockaway Motel at Vallemar (where the present police station now stands). Anytime he got a job, he'd hop on his tractor and drive north or south on Highway 1 holding up traffic coming and going. Don't think the PPD even batted an eye when he was on the road.

Kathy Meeh said...

1008, with either rejection of the card club, or approval of the conference development at Mori Point, people did not vote to "shoot themselves in the foot". Only your "gang of no" which has manipulated this city into empty space poverty has done that. And 1013, 1037 that operative deception is more likely considered a cabal, rather than a democracy.

All we can do now is reject any city council NIMBIES, and try to clean-up the mess. Support those who will bring-in revenue to this city. That includes city council members, and national or regional developers who can get the job done. Also support Highway 1 widening, so traffic flow will be better through our city.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a card club in Pacifica might have been our meal ticket after all. According to Wikipedia, the two Gardena clubs, HUSTLER Casino and NORMANDIE Casino employ more than 1150 workers. Could have been some solid jobs for our local kids and maybe their kids. To be fair, you also have to factor in the various shootings and robberies that have been connected to those two businesses over the years.

Why waste the time and gas money to travel to Lucky Chances when you can get mugged right here in Pacifica? I say let's get a card club proposal on a future ballot.
After all, crime does pay.

Anonymous said...

Yeah we sure dodged a bullet with that card club.

Colma is sure sorry they passed it. They are a veritable war zone with shootings, stabbings, rape and mayhem. Most of the citizens are now dead.

Anonymous said...

1031 Interesting post. I'm not sure what "class" Pacifica has or will have as it continues to decline. The town has always been sort of gritty--and not from the sand at the beach. Don't know Gardena other than there used to be a lot of Japanese strawberry farmers there, but Richmond and Vallejo went from proud blue-collar to what you called "low class" when they lost their economic base. The loss of industry, good jobs, military facilities made the social and economic dominoes fall. Here, we just elect people who knock over the dominoes, over and over. If you look for pivotal events, and I do, this chapter of our long-running disaster may have begun with the lawsuit to derail city council approval of a project on Mori Point in 1988. The voters had approved development on Mori Point in 1984. It wasn't a casino or a card club. It was a 275 room hotel and conference center, 60 single family homes and a horse arena. A Friends of Poverty group sprung up and sued on the basis of an incomplete EIR. Stalled the thing, bankrupted the owner and the property went to auction where it was snapped up by The Land Trust for 3.3 million in 2001. About a million of that came from the Pacifica Land Trust. The Land Trust gave it to the National Park Service in 2002. If these same groups thought there was any real danger of the quarry being developed they'd probably try to buy it, too. Price might be going up!

Card clubs didn't bring down Richmond or Vallejo. Catastrophic damage to their economies did that. In Pacifica, the economic damage is also catastrophic, but it's entirely pre-emptive. We've been saving ourselves from economic development for more than 30 years. Our fall won't be as dramatic as Richmond or Vallejo, but Pacifica is definitely in a long, slow, death spiral.

Anonymous said...

1050 It's Southern California, blue-collar at that. The crime you cite is perfectly normal for the demographic. Gardena had card clubs from the 1930s. Lost their berry farms to the LA urban sprawl and gained card clubs. Dozens of them. Twindled down to two big ones after voters in nearby communities approved card clubs for their towns. Wanted some of that money and those jobs. The competition thinned the herd in Gardena. Gardena is doing just fine, allowing for geography.

Anonymous said...

When we were new to the Bay Area in the 80s and looking for an affordable first home, our realtor
suggested looking at Pacifica. We had done the drive up Highway One from LA and remembered from the highway Pacifica looked pretty. When I asked how it could be affordable with those ocean views, the realtor laughed and said as long as you looked out to sea, Pacifica is pretty. Still true today, but the price, our view of the ocean and our quiet little street sealed the deal. We got more than our money's worth, but the town is a mess in every conceivable way. I have no illusions about a turn around, magic highway, feckless politicians, nada. I'll do my part as a longtime resident and sell in a couple years. The money will go much farther elsewhere and I will have made way for someone to pay higher property taxes in eternally destitute Pacifica. I am absolutely certain their tax dollars will be squandered here, just as mine were, but not my problem. Circle of life.

Kathy Meeh said...

158, great! Thanks for the important clarification and date timeline with regard to the Mori Point voting, planning, approval history, and ultimate transfer to the GGNRA. My comment recall with regard to the planning commission came from a planning commissioner of that time period, who said he was out numbered there. Nothing like endless delays to bankrupt a local/regional developer and kill a project. "Friends of Poverty" (your description) know that tactic well.

Also 1124, thanks for occasionally keeping us amused with your very bright, exquisitely funny, and relevant insight!

Anonymous said...

Hey, big spenders. For the umpteenth time, the public auction of the Rockaway Clocktower building has been postponed. Read it on Riptide. New date 8/15/14 at the Courthouse in RWC. It's not too late to buy a Pacifica Landmark.

Anonymous said...

So, we lost Mori Point and all it might have meant to this town's vitality not because of the PC or council or the voters--all of whom wanted development there and voted for it, but because of a small special interest group, the Friends of Mori Point. Is this town cursed?

Hutch said...

And who were the members of this Friends of Mori Point group?


I found this lawsuit filed against the city by National Investors Financial, Inc. in 1993 http://archive.today/E4BXr

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI, In archived news articles about Mori Point the names of two groups are mentioned. Sometimes incorrectly. It was actually Pacificans for Mori Point that filed suit to stop the approved development. The Friends of Pacifica were a like-minded but separate group. Think of them all as Friends of Poverty. The approved project stopped dead by the suit, which cited an incomplete EIR, was a hotel and convention center, 60 homes and a horse arena. You'd be amazed how many people confuse it with the uproar about allowing gambling in Pacifica which came along a few years later while the property languished for more than 10 years. Pacifica lost big time on Mori Point and it had nothing to do with gambling.

Anonymous said...

Thanks 1122

This would be a good topic for a thread if we could track down more information on it and who was involved. It illustrates the gang of no's long history of stopping any big projects.

Anonymous said...

From the court case and the developer's appeal on the Mori Point Hotel and Conference Center, it's pretty clear that involvement of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Dept of Fish and Game was inevitable and ultimately killed the project despite voter and city approval. Once those two agencies were involved, the city had to listen to their concerns. First, the 60 homes were cut from the project to protect habitat and it went downhill from there. The developer tried to appeal on the basis of futility, ie, further dealing with the city was pointless and that inverse condemnation of their property had occurred. The court denied the appeal and found that the city was merely cooperating with the regulatory agencies as legally required as issues arose in the normal course of a project in that location. No doubt certain groups were elated by these events and we can rant about the merits of the whole enviro bureaucracy, but the involvement of the regulatory agencies would have been inevitable in the normal coastal development process with or without the activists. Just my opinion, but annoying as they are, they could have probably sat that one out with the same dismal outcome for Pacifica. The frogs and snakes didn't need 'em. They have the feds!

Anonymous said...

Here's a picture of the Public Land Trust board members http://www.artistsforchange.com/plt/mori-event.html

This is the group that raised the money to purchase the property at auction in 2000.

Anonymous said...

On 8/24/88 it looks like 5 cases were filed by Pacificans for Mori Point Inc. Can't se who the members were http://www.sanmateocourt.org/midx/strip.php?aname=pacificans+for+mori+point&casenum=333148&casetype=CIV&detail=detail&stype=NAME

Anonymous said...

1238 Sure hope that isn't a campaign strategy. You could give a candidate a coronary. It's a small town and people wear a lot of hats and sit at a lot of tables over the years. You know?

Anonymous said...

here are some names http://www.sanmateocourt.org/midx/strip.php?kase=1kbxp

Anonymous said...

http://www.nps.gov/goga/historyculture/upload/San-Mateo-HRS-Part-IV-Mori-Point.pdf

"The controversy consumed the community’s interest in April and May of 1988, as citizens
took sides in the debate. It was agreed to put the plan up for a vote on November 6, as Measure C. This process stopped the plan but the developers began promoting new ideas. However, after six years, the environmentalists led by Hal Bohner, Michael Rothenberg and Julie Loncelle wore down their opposition."

See also:
http://openjurist.org/15/f3d/1087/mori-point-development-inc-v-city-of-pacifica

Anonymous said...

Anon detective, OCD is a heavy burden, but if you really want to out the people who screwed Pacifica, you need to dig up the opponents of the 380 extension. Bring a shovel because I mean literally dig them up. The other big event? Sweeney Ridge. Still a few of that crew around. How many 1970-era houses could have been built on 1200 acres? The rest of it? Fighting over scraps, highly regulated scraps that no one seems interested in.

Anonymous said...

Fish and Game and US Fish and Wildlife killed it. Read the court cases for content. Their involvement was inevitable, yes, inevitable, and as we all know too well--they call the shots. That's why no one else would touch it. They couldn't use enough of it to make any money. The paper trail and the court documents are all available. Guess it's more fun to rant than reason.

Anonymous said...

So Hal Bohner was key in stopping Mori Point, The Quarry and now he's working on the highway widening. Thanks Hal!

Froggy from Our Gang said...

Don't forget Jaba the Curtis.
Right there in the middle of this one, too.

Anonymous said...

It's like a dog with a bone. Head.

Anonymous said...

Hal Bohner wants to be on city council so he can further bankrupt the city.

The gang of no's motto..why go a little bankrupt, go big!

Anonymous said...

Could be the gray and gloomy day, but does it matter who is on Pacifica's City Council? This death spin will continue no matter who spins the news.

sarcasm 101 said...

6:41...It looks like Bohner, Keener and Digre want to have a "Green" / "Nimby Ticket", "anti-development majority" whereas they can stop highway improvement in it's tracks if elected. Will they succeed? Your guess is as good as mine.

Anonymous said...

Election Day November 4. When is a decision expected on the lawsuit? How fast could council vote on the highway if they got the green light? Would they vote or would they wait for the new council members to be seated before voting on such an important issue? Oh my goodness!

Hutch said...

The gang of no couldn't even come close to electing one green Candidate 2 years ago. Go ahead, let them put up 3 or 4. If Hal Bohner runs I will make sure voters know what he's done for Pacifica.

Anonymous said...

Hutch, you just have no idea of the influence you have.

Anonymous said...

Hutch, is Pacifica spiritual leader.

Like Ghandi!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I've no doubt that any politician worthy of the name would love to let the voters settle the highway issue by their choice of candidates in November, but is there a deadline by which we must ask for the $50 million in funds? Is it 12/31/14? Of course, even if Council voted and had the funds in hand, the project could still be derailed by the opposition or the CCC or US Fish and Wildlife. We know they don't care what Pacifica wants. Any one know with certainty if there's a deadline?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Campbell's been driven right into the wilderness by this council.
Ehh, maybe a good thing they didn't boot him off the PC. Look what Langille did. Stomped off and took the wheels right off the hoopty-cart. When does that building boom start? What decade?

Anonymous said...

@July 15 at 2:05p.m.:

I'm not sure where or if Sweeny Ridge would have tied in with the long defunct 380 extension, but the only (drivable) access that I know of is west through Sneath Lane in San Bruno.

That leads me to think that IF a housing development had been built, the residents would have identified more with San Bruno than with Pacifica. Perhaps even made a proposal to annex themselves to San Bruno (better services, etc.).
Some might remember the details concerning the acreage ( 8?, 20?) that the Water District(?)owned and then discovered it was within the boundaries of Pacifica. Think that property was either sold and incorporated into Sweeny Ridge or sold, developed, and annexed by San Bruno. Short on the details, but it was likely in the 1980's or early 90's.

Anonymous said...

Annexing doesn't happen. Name one city that has annexed another in California. Quit dreaming. And the 380 extention didn't kill Pacifica economy.

Those are just distractions.

Stopping the quarry and Mori point and scaring away developers ruined us. Thanks Peter, Hal and the gang of no.

Anonymous said...

1110 Alright, but I wasn't actually tying 380 to Sweeney Ridge. The loss of both was a one-two knockout punch for Pacifica, but they were two separate punches. Any potential access or identity issues were pre-empted when Pacifica, not San Bruno, gave Sweeney Ridge to the GGNRA. That act guaranteed those issues would never have to be faced and perhaps resolved by Pacifica, a developer, or anyone else.
BTW I wish San Bruno would attempt a take over. Put us out of our unrelenting civic misery. Instant population growth for San Bruno. Our property tax would end up where so much of our sales tax already goes. It's time to put those in the same pot. Go for economy of scale on staff and services. Start enjoying life. Mini-mega-city.

Anonymous said...

Annexation and mergers happen all the time all over the country for all kinds of reasons. Stuff like we want your property tax, we're out of land, for better and possibly cheaper services, flat ass broke but strategic, you're in the way of something or other, urban sprawl, economy of scale. Sometimes it's cities taking in unincorporated land, sometimes it's cities joining together. It happens in cycles and the country seems to be in one now. it makes sense for Pacifica.

Anonymous said...

Being part of San Bruno means we get a Bart Station and Caltrain. Can't you just see Pacifica flashing on the Bart signs and maps? New Samtrans express routes for commuters. Housing boom (Pacifica style). And we get a casino! Hey, what's your problem? It's not in your neighborhood. Where do I sign?

Anonymous said...

What makes you sure San Bruno wants all Pacifica's dysfunction and debt?

sarcasm 101 said...

12:58 a lot of people are sick and tired of the lack of municipal services in their neighborhoods, such as street surfaces and park maintenance. The millions missing from the city budget is on the minds of those elderly republicans hanging out at Linda Mar McDonalds. Maybe the spectre of parts of the city detaching, and vigorous discussion about it in the blogs, is enough to lift some eyebrows down at City Hall.

About 15 years ago, the Pacific Heights area of San Bruno (west of Skyline) severed itself from Laguna Salada School District and joined the San Bruno school district. There was a referendum of those in those San Bruno precincts affected. At the time, it was seen as a bad thing by some Pacificans, and those in Pacifica, not in the affected area of San Bruno could not vote on the matter.

What I suggest is that if you are serious, talk to LAFCO and understand their process. Then get ready to collect signatures for a referendum. I am only guessing this is how you might do it. LAFCO determines if boundary changes make sense. San Bruno is not going to provide you services if your territory is not contiguous to San Bruno, but who knows maybe they might.

In absence of a "Pacifica", I could see parts attaching to all three neighboring cities. Or maybe Pedro Point could join a mid-coast new city with Montara, El Grenada or even be part of an greater half moon bay. Fun to think about such stuff, but would other cities even want US with our super stellar reputation?! They annex our Pacifica politicians too! What do they get out annexing the soon to be late city of Pacifica other than an ecology economy?

Anonymous said...

1244 Name ONE city that annexed part/whole of any other city in California. Or even anywhere in the US.

It doesn't happen. Are you voting for Ca to be split into 6 separate states too? Guess what? That won't happen either. And those chemtrails are harmless too.

Worry about real life issues and stop with the stoner pipe dreams. We can do nothing about 380 now but we can make sure the next quarry project goes through.

Anonymous said...

1131 The voters stopped development in the quarry, several times. Would they do it today? Who knows? Doesn't matter because no one is interested in developing the quarry. The Loeb-era poison pill requiring a public vote for any quarry housing put things in motion, but let's not be naive. Opposition would have been tremendous with or without a vote. And no project has ever been gone before the multiple regulatory agencies. Uncharted waters. The real enviro coup was putting that WWTP in the quarry. Not only does it stink but it multiplied the number of regulatory agencies with over-sight. Mori Point? Even casual reading of the court docs shows the death blow came from Fish and Game and US Fish and Wildlife. They would have stopped it in the normal course of their work. Didn't need an invitation from anyone in Pacifica. I'm sure the enviros love to claim credit for these victories. Makes them so big and bad. You're quite the press agent! I don't think they mind a bit because they know you're harmless.

sarcasm 101 said...

How bout two, 1:50:

Bayshore, annexed by Daly City in 1963
Russell, annexed by Hayward in 1964.

I don't know about Russell, but Bayshore, which was adjacent to the cow palace had its own fire and police department.

Anonymous said...

San Bruno would go from pop 40000 to almost 80000. Pacifica would bring a handsome dowry of property tax. We already give them most of our sales tax. Dysfunction? Ditch our politicians and senior staff and we're cured. The rest of city employees will either get absorbed or lose their jobs in the economy of scale. The rest of us already went thru the recession. Now it's their turn.
Of course, I'm just funnin', but not entirely. Stranger things have happened and will happen outside the envelope. We're not the only dying town with neighbors. And, no, I'm not a nimby. It's not a plot to save the quarry or stop the highway. Develop everything. Towards that end, San Bruno has expertise and experience we're not even smart enough to buy--if we even sincerely wanted growth--which I doubt. And unlike the poseurs we elect, San Bruno has no soft spot for nimbys. It's got that pragmatic, blue-collar vibe. I just know that we're fooling ourselves about our future. It's dismal under any regime and no matter how fast we can get ourselves from Fassler to Vallemar. But Bart, Caltrain and a casino? Oh Yes!

Anonymous said...

Ya know, Pacifica would also go from pop 40000 to 80000 in a merger or annexation of the two cities. It's not just San Bruno that would grow. LMAO. We'd have to add 20,000 homes to get to that size. That would take us 2000 years at our current rate of 10 per. The original pop projection for Pacifica at the time of incorporation was 100K. I think San Bruno would get us there. They like growth. We'd have one city council-- which any resident could certainly run for or from, one PD, one fire, one city staff, one budget. And one Bart station, one Caltrain and one casino.

Anonymous said...

1963? Come on 230, get off the stupid annexation train. Jezzus, by those standards Pacifica annexed Sharp Park, Linda Mar etc in 1957. Get real.
What are you smokin? Are you a surfer?

Anonymous said...

Don't be so sure about nobody interested in developing the quarry. And when it goes for a vote this time I believe it will pass. It almost did in 2006. People are older and wiser.

Hutch said...

Bayshore City disincorporated in 1939. In 1963 that unincorporated land between Brisbane and San Francisco was annexed by Daly City. It was not a City annexed by another city.

www.dalycityhistory.org/Gateway/Ch24.pdf

Anonymous said...

5/506 You asked, you got. And there are plenty of examples out there. All over the country. Sociologists predict a trend, perhaps with some unique 21st century wrinkles, but merging, annexation, combining forces-- particularly for economy of scale, is happening. For all kinds of reasons. Where do you think JPAs came from? We're already in one of those.

As far as the quarry, the reality is, there it sits, as empty as ever. The results of that last election with Peebles seem to encourage only you because years have passed with no takers. That's the reality.

Anonymous said...

506 People are older. No kidding. And 8 years later the quarry is still a giant litter box/dog run. Exactly what its been since the late 70s. Any day now. Any day.

Anonymous said...

Veddy interesting. Suggest disincorporation or mein gott! annexation, and you draw the same responses from the same people. Same format. For some of us, it may be the only time we've ever been called a surfer. Giddy.

Anonymous said...

Annexation and merger of cities or cities and unincorporated areas, and other mind-boggling variants, occurs globally.

Anonymous said...

500 There ya go. Think of it as different time, same idea.

Neither Stoner, nor Surfer said...

Well said 5:41...The meeting of the Pacifica Disincorporation / Annexation Committee is now adjourned for this week.

Anonymous said...

530 I asked for one city that was annexed by another. I got nothing from you.

Brilliant let's disincorporate then get annexed. Sure you're not a nimby? Or a stoner?

Anonymous said...

619 Yeah, pretty much another session of over the head and through the quarry we go.

Happy Dancer said...

Elkhorn Nebraska was annexed by City of Omaha Nebraska during 2005.
City of Elkhorn lost in a court battle to try to prevent.

I looked in google, I spent a good 10 minutes. I could not find any examples of incorporated cities being annexed by other cities.

Anonymous said...

Elkhorn Nebraska? That's a stretch. Shows that annexation is a pretty rare event. And in this case it was only possible because Elkhorn was under 10,000 population and was annexed by a vastly larger city, Omaha. Not really equatable to San Bruno and Pacifica.