Friday, January 22, 2010

Pacifica Sales Tax Revenue 3rd quarter losses 2009

"Brother can you spare a dime?" Jose Angel GL (song)

City, County, State Totals

Pacifica -$80,613, -17.01% (cities in San Mateo County)

San Mateo County - $38,930,208, - 12.76% (Counties in the Bay Area Region)
State of CA Total -$202,688,038, - 14.66% (compare to prior year)

Pacifica top 25 business producers (no specific details available)

Gas Stations/Auto Parts - Beacon Oil, Eddies Union 76, Fairmont Chevron Service Center, Kragen Auto Parts, Pacifica 76, Pacifica Chevron, Shell/Texico, Valero

Grocery - 7 Eleven West Sharp Park, 7 Eleven Manor, Quick Stop Market, Safeway

Hardware/Lumber - Linda Mar Ace Home Center, Pacifica Lumber

Other - City Arms (gun store), Kiewit Pacifica (tunnel construction ), Nor Cal Surf Shop

Restaurants - Dennys, McDonalds, Nicks Restaurant, Taco Bell

Variety/Lite Department Stores - Dollar Tree, Ross

Pharmacy - Rite Aid

Pacifica most affected businesses by category, compare to San Mateo county

Gas Stations - Pacifica -26.5%, San Mateo County -24.5%

Restaurants Beer and Wine - Pacifica -15%, San Mateo County -8.5%

Hardware Stores - Pacifica -61.1%, San Mateo County 439.2% (yes that's a profit)

Contractors - Pacifica -57.1%, San Mateo County - 28.9%

Note: The 3rd quarter Sales Tax Update to the City of Pacifica includes July 1 though September 30, 2009. The Winter 2010 Report is produced for the City of Pacifica by .

Mayor Sue Digre was kind enough to bring a stack of these to the "State of the City" Address, sponsored by the Pacifica Democrats. There doesn't seem to be a link to this report on either the city or the HdL websites. Smaller, wealthy San Mateo Cities which have less tax revenue than Pacifica at $393,298 include: Atherton $26,397, Hillsborough $17, 597, Portola Valley $36, 354, Woodside $110,088.

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Jeffrey W Simons said...

no worries, Kathy.
Just take the money from the Sewer Plant
Or just wait for a government grant
We need trails to pay our dues
And pray to God that nobody sues
We need to walk a mile in City Council's shoes.
How many police or firemen will we lose?

(Sounds like a broken record, don't it? SQUAWK!! 355 HOUSES! 355 HOUSES! SQUAWK!!

Anonymous said...

You lost. Get over it.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

Seriously, that's the best you can do?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong, smart ass. Pacifica lost.

Kathleen Rogan said...

Who is singing in that video? Is that you Sinai?

Kathleen Rogan said...

Ewww...just looked at the stats. I wish I didn't have such huge taxes to pay, otherwise, I'd be out shopping. Mama needs a new pair of shoes and the babies have no milk.

Steve Sinai said...

That's not me, Kathleen. I've been told my singing voice is more like Tiny Tim's.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

as much as I like Sue personally, she seems to suffer the same affliction of denial that the rest of City Council and their supporters do. That is, they see no causal relationship between their management of Pacifica for the last 8 years and Pacifica's dire straits. Somehow these endemic budget shortfalls and lack of revenue "just happen."

Talk is cheap, and leadership is hard. Its easy to connect the dots if your eyes and ears are open.

Kathy Meeh said...

Right,"PACIFICA LOST" big time. Dots connect to city council and their cronies. I want to agree with Kathleen about Steve's singing.

Anonymous said...

To follow the above reasoning, clearly Half Moon Bay's city council is in denial about their own mismanagement?


And Daly City.
And Brisbane.
Not to mention Belmont, Burlingame, Portola Valley, Atherton, Woodside, Menlo Park, and Unincorporated San Mateo County (substitute County Supervisors for City Council on that one).

Steve Sinai said...

I noticed that Half Moon Bay, while less than 1/3 the size of Pacifica, generates about 20% more sales tax revenue than Pacifica. Another indication of our city's hostility to business.

Kathy Meeh said...

I think you're confusing the issue Anonymous, but since you brought-up the "mismanagement" issue, Pacifica might be generally better off with quarry redevelopment sales tax revenue, rather than scrapping to find non-existent monies, and reducing service further each year for most of the past 8 years.

The above article follows the 3rd City of Pacifica Sales Tax Update Report, and is not intended to be a comparison or an analysis of other cities or unincorporated county areas. Additional references are provided. You're welcome to provide that information as an article should you wish to do so.

This year we are fortunate to have Kiewit Pacific Montara Mountain tunnel development adding to our city sales tax revenue.

Kathy Meeh said...

Good point Steve. From a general fund income/expenditure study per capita made two years, my findings were that Pacifica was the least viable city in San Mateo County, 12% below the second lowest: East Palo Alto.

Anonymous said...

Another indication of how close to major shopping centers Pacifica is and Half Moon Bay isn't. People in Manor think nothing of running up to Serramonte or Stonestown. What are you going to build in Pacifica that rates compared to either one? (or two Home Depots, two Targets, a bunch of auto dealers, book stores, clothing outlets, etc...)?

People in Half Moon Bay complain how it's all for the tourists, and besides groceries and hardware, it's hard to find what they need for day to day living. For example,

Half Moon Bay also has the Ritz, likely the last large luxury hotel to be built right on the bluffs (it got its right to build in 1972). And Half Moon Bay is hurting because they built their budget on the vain hope that tax revenue would stay as high in bad years as in good.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

Kind of reminds me of the report that detailed the amount of money the state raided from each city's redevelopment district, and Pacifica was dead last because there ain't no money to take. All cities are suffering, Pacifica may be suffering less because the city is already scraping the bottom of the barrel of per capita sales tax revenue (as Kathy stated).

HMB is hardly the model of good management, as they saddled their constituents with a giant settlement brought on by rabid no-growthers obstructing a major development. Fortunately, there were some good decisions made before the no-growthers assumed power (such as the Ritz Carlton) that will allow HMB to weather the storm and survive.

Pacifica is probably not that lucky.

Lance F said...

Lance sez:

We have hope! We're not the worst! Sue and Don could have a Mayors debate on which city is actually the worst. Now that would be a moment.

Here's a clip from a Rip post on Peebles run for DC Mayor.

"He pointed to a recent small business survey that ranked D.C. the worst place in the country to do business, saying, “This should be a great location for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Instead it’s 51ist out of 51 in the country".

Steve Sinai said...

People don't drive to shopping centers over the hill because it's easy. They do it because they don't have a choice. There's almost nothing to buy in town.

Lionel Emde said...

Steve's got it right--the time when one could get all the basic necessities here was 30 years ago, and it ain't never coming back.
Demographics, corporate consolidation, and geography have closd the book on that avenue of civic fiscal income.
Get used to it and think of a new solution.

Kathleen Rogan said...

I get everything at safeway and the gun store. What more does a mother need?

Oh and Mazzetti's bakery. Love that place.

Anonymous said...

Location, location, location. There's a reason all the shopping is over the hill.

Steve Sinai said...

Other than a Fry's, I can't imagine anyone opening a big box-type store or everyday shopping mall in town. I've always thought Barbara Carr's outlet mall in the quarry idea was a good one, since it's a destination that will attract people from SF and the Peninsula.

Of course, then people will complain about resulting traffic and global warming. It's always something.

Kathleen Rogan said...

I want an ice rink, so kids can ice skate and play hockey. Next to that would be a nice big theater, where we can have once a month Rob Schnieder Night and a William van Noland night. How fun would that be. Once that tunnel is done, people south of the slide will be sliding all the way into our town to ice skate and catch a movie, bowl, surf, skate, hike, bike ride.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

Pacifica has a rich history for a film festival, and Marty Anaya (at PCT26) is the guy to put it together. The city just needs the venue.

Before I left town, I had been kicking around the idea of a Lebowski Fest at Sea Bowl, and management seemed receptive to the idea . . .

Kathleen Rogan said...

Oh, Jeffrey, that would of been fun. We lost our way in P-Town. In the old days we were much more of a community. Now, there's nothing to keep the young people here.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

There is plenty for the young people to do, according to the city elders. It's just not what the young people WANT to do.

Kathleen Rogan said...

I'm always having to drive over the hill to take them to the movies, ice rinks. When they were younger it was easier to keep them here in town. A little walk here a bike ride there, now , they want movies and hockey. Hockey is really big right now. Two things, I have noticed, that did well in the Great Depression, was sports and movie theaters. Bring those two venues in town and it would be a great start for a recovery.

Kathy Meeh said...

Cash is needed in this city. With regard to the quarry the outlet store would bring-in cash, and provide services. And, there is additional space at the quarry for other commercial/mixed-use development as well. The Peebles development would have integrated with existing business, and been a lot of fun for residents, as well as visitors.

We periodically seem to have this discussion, but until a developer buys the 88 acre quarry land and actually proses a project again, we are just speculating, and not factoring-in opposition. As Mayor Sue Digre said at the "State of the City" address (1/16, also reflecting the views of 8 year city council), "more (unproductive) open space is desirable... because of the view".

Kathleen Rogan said...

I will google developers. Wish me luck, I'm going in!

Anonymous said...

First off, I've been thinking for a long time about how Pacifica might get more revenue, ok? I'm not opposed to new things, but I don't support kidding myself about visions of retail sales tax dollars if the ideas aren't solidly grounded in reality. I really don't want to harsh the buzz, but some of these are unlikely to "fix" Pacifica.

Outlet stores. Think of where outlet stores are typically located. Does Pacifica have enough of that to get people to make the drive? Which stores do you have in mind? I can think of several outlet stores nearby, and don't know why someone would drive into Pacifica when they'd pass other stores on the way.

Ice rinks. The ones I know on the Peninsula and in Cupertino are barely getting by. I'm glad they're there. We've used them, and they're great to have. But looking at their business model, I'm not seeing the viability in a community of 40,000. When I talk to people from SF and the Peninsula, they think of Pacifica as "way over there". That really gets in the way of taking a marginal business proposition and driving customers through the doors.

Commercial. The Bay Area is drowning in vacant and under-utilized commercial space. Sorry, but this one's a real non-starter. Even when/if the economy bounces back, having run a business over here, for the businesses that locate here, if it's not focused largely on a workforce being truly nearby, it's hard to get people to take jobs here. I've had the conversations with prospective employees who have told me, "No offense, but if this job doesn't work out, I don't want to have moved my family here only to have to move again to be where the jobs are."

I'll add to Kathy's post above. Until additional revenue actually happens, the city has to make the best of the tax revenue it has. The only thing it can truly count on is property tax and a baselines of sales tax on necessities (groceries, gadgets, gas, and, apparently, guns). And plan for Kiewit to wrap it up before too long, to add to the burden.

So what can we do? For one, I'd like to see a drive to have higher hotel occupancy. TOT is a winner, the hotels are already here, it's a matter of driving additional business. I've recommended hotels at Rockaway for people coming to conferences in SF. Best of both worlds, great downtown SF, and sleep/wake up at an awesome ocean. Stay on through Saturday or Sunday, have great brunches, walk/hike/Segway along beautiful trails. There are things that could make it more attractive, such as fast, free transportation to/from the airport and BART. If it's not reliably convenient, though, they'll just pay more and stay in some cramped little place downtown.

The golf courses in Half Moon Bay are pushing extra hard to bring in business. Team up with them to bring conference goers to stay in Pacifica hotels and play the Sharp Park course. Would it be reasonable to offer a package to stay in Pacifica, and play at the Half Moon Bay links?

Photography tours. Guided birding/nature outings. The recent attention to the SP golf course has raised the awareness of the habitat and species there. Play off of that to bring in the nature lovers, get them on the trails, let them enjoy what's here, and then guide them to the coffee shops, hotels and restaurants.

I guess I'm suggesting improving and marketing what's here to get more of the dollars that already have businesses in place. It's another form of economic development.

Scotty said...

It's hard to tell which Anonymous this is, but it sounds like the one who keeps apologizing for our council's ineptitude. Perhaps if they would encourage development of a downtown instead of actively derailing it (a la the Houmans fiasco), some of these "businesses in place" could enjoy a little more traffic, and we could enjoy a little more tax revenues.

Steve Sinai said...

The outlet malls I'm thinking of are the Premium Outlet Mall-type located in Petaluma, Vacaville and Gilroy. While there may be a few individual outlet stores nearby, we don't have any outlet malls nearby.

I'm on the site a lot, and visitors (especially overseas visitors) to San Francisco often ask about outlet malls. They're very disappointed when they find out all the outlet malls are at least an hour away by car. I think we'd attract lots of people from SF and the northern part of the Peninsula if we had an outlet mall in Pacifica.

Likewise, Southern California visitors are always asking about the outlet malls in Camarillo and Cabazon. And even in this economy, the company that owns the Premium Outlet Malls is expanding them.

Love your "can't do" attitude, Anonymous. That's why Pacifica has the closest thing to a third-world economy in the Bay Area. The "I'm not against development, but..." line that comes at the start of every argument put forth by the anti-economic development crowd in town is getting old, and is doing this city a lot of harm.

Anonymous said...

Do you disagree with my assessment of ice rinks and commercial?

Outlet malls tend to sprout along major highways in areas where land is cheap. Does that describe the opportunity Pacifica has?

It's not a can't do attitude. Attitude doesn't change location, location, location.

What can we do with the opportunities we have?

I like the notion of a vibrant downtown, 7 towns combined in a string of pearls history notwithstanding. Pacifica's got some challenges to pull that off.

Suppose for the moment that you can't put it in the quarry, where would you put the development effort into making a vibrant downtown to anchor lots of retails?

Unknown said...

Anonie, why not the Quarry?

Anonymous said...

I said suppose for the moment. It's a question about making the best of what we've got, and not sitting around waiting on some miracle development to come save us.

We all know business owners in Pacifica. If they made more money, we'd all reap the benefit through increased sales tax, right?

If hotels increased occupancy by 5%, how much TOT would that net the city?

If restaurants increased sales by 5%, how much sales tax revenue would that net the city?

These are things that can be accomplished sooner rather than later, and don't need the magical multimillion dollar investor with a vision, permits, and business acumen. Sure, that person might exist, but why on earth should we wait to help the businesses that are already here?

When I think of a downtown that anchors businesses well, I think of Burlingame and Mountain View. Redwood City is trying to get there. What's your favorite model of a good downtown?

Kathy Meeh said...

Anonymous, are you saying up front Pacifica is not a "location", what does that mean? Peebles corporation did research and found the quarry would support the project they presented as a destination, and keeping access to SP Golf Course was also important (no shipping the golfer visitors out-of-town to Half Moon Bay).

You may have worked against that village downtown concept, may also have "saved 100% of Mori Point", the geographical heart of Pacifica where 2/3 might have made a down-town.

Would the same quarry area support an outlet mall? Steve has pointed-out the geographical logic of such a location pending developer research, but here's some additional observations. I think about 20-25% of Safeway Linda Mar business is from south coast (mostly Montara), whereas Safeway Manor seems to be more mixed bay area (some Daily City). Both stores have out-of-area visitors.

Okay this is only two grocery store examples, but as Steve mentioned there are no other premium outlet stores in this area. So, where would most customer likely come from: 1) north San Mateo county, 2) west San Francisco, 3) south coast, 4) San Mateo, 5) other visitors, 6) the airport, 7) Pacifica. Make it a destination as well, bingo. As mentioned prior, even Princeton is busy, but so are nearby city mall shopping areas.

Cabazon, the little least likely to succeed Southern California town between Palm Springs and Banning, where the wind blows sand over highway 10. There used to be an AT&T switching station off the highway, and a few Indian villages somewhere. Not much in the area, but they seem to be figuring-out how to build an economy from destination tourists and those traveling through the area to and from Palm Springs. Here's a link to their premium outlet mall

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the kinds of outlet stores in the Bay Area. Outlet stores

I'm not sure why the nearby Nordstrom Rack in Colma doesn't show up.

Location, location, location is the real estate truism that where you are determines a lot about what you can do with a piece of property. I own a nice little side lot next to my house. But it's never going to be a Starbucks, no matter how much I know that a well-placed Starbucks can make.

I like your comment about catching those traveling through. There are a lot of people who drive Hwy 1 for the scenic beauty and maybe some shopping in Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Monterey, even the general store in San Gregorio or some artichoke soup in Pescadero. Will they stop at a premium outlet mall? Beats me. Again, that's betting on the come, with a really high ante.

I marvel sometimes watching long lines of tourists heading home and not stopping at some really good local restaurants. What would it take to get them to pull over and enjoy some eats?

Just one example, all the food that's in Linda Mar center essentially has its back to the homebound tourist traffic. Across the highway in Pedro Point, what's it going to take to get people to pull in for crepes at High Tide Cafe, or a salmon scramble at Nona's?

Those are wallets driving by, people, with your tax money in them.

Make the long term plans for development, but don't let the big plans keep us from doing what we can today to help grow local businesses. It's good for our neighbors who run them, our neighbors who work at them, and every city resident who enjoys the funding those businesses provide to the city.

Kathy Meeh said...

Anonymous, you just keep string this along. 8 year city council has proved beyond a-shadow-of-a-doubt your way doesn't work. A major developer corporation with expertise is needed to build conditions for a better city economy, and to stimulate other business activity. This city is in the economic dumpster thanks to poor planning and opportunity avoidance.

Favorite models of a downtown? Think we gave that land to the GGNRA.

Anonymous said...

Kathy, do you have a response to any of the points above?

You know in your heart that a major developer is needed. You saying so doesn't really persuade. I've been listening and asking questions, and now you just blow off some thoughts with an angry accusation. Is that how you want the city run? Get angry and blow past people who are discussing what you wanted to discuss? How is that helpful?

You want a financial savior for the city. Fine. Until you get one, what are you going to do to help the city along? Fire the city council, and then go on bended knee to Mr. Peebles or someone like him? That's one way to go, and power to you.

In the meantime, the city continues. Are you will to cut more services and/or pay more taxes?

What are you going to do now, this year?

You don't want to drive more business to our local businesses? Seriously? That's not even worth trying?

Anonymous said...

So let's talk outlet stores. Which ones do you have in mind? How many square feet will they need? How much will they pay per square foot? How many visitors will they need per day? What kind of sales per square foot would they need? How many stores would be needed to create a critical mass? How much acreage would that require? Are those within the realm of what Pacifica could do?

Hoover's on clothing retail

Outlet Centers Rise to the Top During Recession

Kathy Meeh said...

Anonymous, you are a total waste of time, as are your links to nowhere about nothing. Your stated city economic objective is do nothing, and rid this city of access to SP Golf Course by turning it into a dirt pile.

Okay that's your plan, congratulations! Your plan is probably in agreement with the vision of most city council members.

Your circular questions, however, have no sincerity, are hypothetical outside the range of this consideration, are completely meaningless, intended to bate the responder and confuse the issue.

Kathleen Rogan said...

I disagree with anon about the ice rink. Peninsula is so old. Cupertino? who goes there? I think anon is soo completely wrong on the ice rink. Whenever a rink opens up in the city at Christmas time it is so busy, you wait for ever. Very popular activity when it comes around. Many, many kids in Pacifica play hockey and they drive very far to do it.

Outlet stores? I have a kid who works in one and they do good business. Serramonte has many clothing retailers that could be considered outlet type prices. Forever 21, sells shirts for $3.99.

The economy is predicted to get worse. Families will soon have to choose, cable will shut off - no tv. Families and young, old, single can go to the movies cheaper. And, most people in Pacifica won't have a way to get over the hill and out of here. So, shopping for essentials in town will be very important.

Ice skating and playing a little hockey will also be a better price tag than a monthly cable bill or cell phone bill. People will be looking for ways to entertain themselves and to get out of the house. It is cold here most of the year, people like to be inside.

We could surround the ice rink with some retail outlets, shoes, clothes, underwear, accessories, and a good theater, a nice walking/bike trail all the way to our newly remodeled golf course.

It's worth a try.

Kathleen Rogan said...

I am a mother of a large family. We have driven very far to the outlet stores in the past. Vacaville is booming right now.

California lost thirty eight thousand jobs last month.

Mayor Newsom was able to nab millions from Pelosi to clean up the old navy shipyard in hunters point. That whole area is going to create jobs. People will need to move in the area and in Pacifica. After they are done cleaning up, they are re-developing the ship yard. Low-income housing, retail stores, african food, park, swimming pools, and a new football stadium, with a African American theme. This is pretty much a done deal. They have their developer. This will create soo many jobs. We need to get on this bandwagon. I signed up for some employment opportunities. San Francisco is going to be a booming town again. We can profit from this. I am telling you an Ice Skating Rink will be a huge attraction. I know this for a fact.

Some people in this town are anti-sports and in the city. Get over it, our sports are not going away. Trails and bird watching are not a booming business that creates jobs. It's a free activity. I bird watch myself. But, I wish I could ice skate and go to a movie more often.

Anonymous said...

For the record, I support the continued operation of the Sharp Park golf course.

Anonymous said...

Cupertino, Foster City, Peninsula, Moscone, there's hockey at all of them. I was at the ice rink at Union Square recently. Yes, it was crowded. But it was also clearly a seasonal attraction. There might be enough demand for a local hockey rink. I just don't see a business model that makes it work. Doesn't mean I'm right, just that I don't see it.

Movie theater, if there was real business opportunity in Pacifica, wouldn't the chains on the Peninsula have done something about it? Has anyone called the Syufy folks, or any of the other theater owners? The Syufy owners owned a whole lot of land, 4200 acres, and sold it. Again, I'm just guessing based on seeing where they've built theaters. Prove me wrong. Seriously. If I'm wrong, and they're interested, I'll admit I'm wrong. That'd be great. I think a whole lot of people would love to have a theater in Pacifica. So who's going to call them?

Steve Sinai said...

Anonymous, going on the record as "Anonymous" when it comes to supporting the golf course doesn't really mean much.

As I've said before regarding the outlet mall, I'm thinking of the Premium Outlet Mall-type of place that they have in Gilroy, Petaluma and Vacaville, which tend to contain brand-name outlet stores. I'm not talking about individual stores. Questions about sales per square foot and how much critical mass is needed are irrelevant at this point. As others have observed, by endlessly asking them, you look to be trying to drag the conversation on forever with no other purpose than to demonstrate the all-to-prevalent "can't do" attitude that infects Pacifica.

For me, the issues are "How much would it cost to buy or lease the Quarry?" and "how easy is the access?" I'm not in the real estate or shopping mall-development business, but Peebles always said he got the land for a steal so he doesn't need to sell the land for a high price to make a profit. Also, the expected fight any developer is going to have when it comes to building in the Quarry would also keep the price low.

As for access, Pacifica is a hell of a lot closer than Gilroy, Petaluma or Vacaville to the residents of San Francisco and San Mateo County. A new access into and out of the north end of the Quarry would be required, but I don't see that as a big impediment.

There's no way a theater would work in Pacifica. As for a skating rink, whoever tries to operate it better be a master marketer. I don't see much of a demand for ice rinks around here.

Anonymous said...

Going on record about the golf course was in response to Kathy's incorrect assumption about my stance on it. It's a good thing Pacifica has (even though it's owned by SF, hopefully its ownership will come closer to home through all this) that benefits a lot of local people as well as golfers of all ages who come and spend their money in Pacifica.

As to the questions, apparently we approach business a little differently. That's fine. For me, I'm analytical about these things. When I consider a business opportunity, I think through fundamental elements, and sketch out a business plan to test viability. Asking all these questions is part of testing it to see whether it's viable. Being well informed is a good thing, especially if someone's going to get out there and encourage developers to come and make it a reality. For example, similar efforts to bring a Trader Joe's to Half Moon Bay eventually resulted in New Leaf coming in. Half Moon Bay residents learned what grocers were interested in, gathered up loads of support, and went and talked some ears off. They wanted Trader Joe's and got a New Leaf. Not exactly what they were after, but a huge step up from a vacant Albertsons, and really good for shoppers and tax payers.

We're all thinking out loud, right? If an outlet mall will work here, at least some of those questions above are going to have good answers.

Kathleen Rogan said...

I think you are both wrong, sinai & anon, on the ice rink & movie house. I will argue my case.

In the great (r)ecession of the 70's theater's did booming business. Even when Tanforan built their new theater Seavue still did well.

I lived in both SF and Pacifica during the 70's. Seavue had midnight shows, young people waited in lines for a good hour before showtime. Lots of fun. I also worked at Gaston's ice cream store as a teenager on sac st&presidio across the street from the vouge theater. Every night there was a very long line to get in, and they showed old movies. When the movie was over, majority would come in for ice cream. We were packed every night serving ice cream in the rain or sleet. The Gaston's lived in HMB. Wonderful family to work for , they made their ice cream on the premises. They can vouch for me the kind of business the small neighborhood theater would get.

An ice rink would bring in young from south of the slide. None of those younger people and families come to pacifica, they go to san jose direction for entertainment, nothing here in p-town for them. When I was a teenager they came to p-town for the theater and football games. When oceana and terranova played against each other it was a huge event. HMB has grown in population since then, and a rink/theater attraction would bring in lots of young families from the south. We are losing population in pacifica , while south of us has gained over the decades. They have nothing like a movie house or ice rink. Nothing. And, they are higher earners over there.

I don't like the idea of outlets , but am willing to compromise to show a commitment to progress. I would not "out" any idea, especially if a survey has not been done.

Bark Nuggets said...

We only have one chance at developing some of these properties (like the quarry) and I don't trust Pacifica not to screw it up.

Take a long, hard look at our business centers and you'll see -- quite clearly -- that Pacifica doesn't make proper use of EXISTING business space.

MANOR ought to be a nice and vibrant place to hang out, but with that mess of a freeway overpace, it's dangerous and intimidating to pedestrians. Great shops like Mazetti's, Camelot, Green Enchilada are lost among the Kragen's, 7-Eleven's, smoke shops, liquor stores and thugs that hang out at Pyramid. There's no character or charm.

PALMETO, which ought to be a prime main street ala Half Moon Bay's is populated with transmission shops, self-storage, wrecking yards and an idle water treatment plant -- all on a bluff overlooking the ocean! Prime real estate and it's being used for stuff like self-storage. What a travesty! Florey's, the Rusty Hook, and the antique stores are a start, but the rest drag the area down. Don't get me started on the thugs that hang out at the tattoo parlor. Ugh. Again, no charm or character.

LINDA MAR is busy, but at what cost? I love the smoke shop and check cashing store -- they're really classy. Round Table, McDonalds, TWO Starbucks (!), Payless Shoes, Hallmark, GameStop,Denny's, Safeway, Rite-Aid, L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Quiznos... it's a soul-less collection of bland, lame, franchises. I guess they bring in a comforting level of tax revenue, but do you think a collection of chain stores will bring people in from outside the area?

Don't get me started on Park Pacifica or Eureka.

So... I ask you. Given the state of our current business districts, why do you think Pacifica could do a project like quarry development "right?" Additionally, why doesn't Pacifica address the state of business as it exists currently?

Anonymous said...

I've got nothing against trying a movie theater, but whatever did happen to the one we had? If I were going to put one in, or even an ice rink, I'd be interested in going in at the Sea Bowl location. An entertainment complex, if you will. Expand concessions currently there to serve the ice rink.

But I wonder about the future of movie theaters now that so many homes have NetFlix and 52" flat screens with full surround sound THX ultrawonderdolby.

To Bark Nuggets, hey, the Hawaiian BBQ has some of the friendliest staff I've been served by in Pacifica. Sure, it's a chain, but it's inexpensive, filling, and friendly.

There's a lot to be said for the small local-serving businesses. There's no reason they can't serve beachgoers, too.

I agree, though, in general, that much of Pacifica's retail space is woefully underutilized.

What would you do to breathe some life into Manor, Palmetto, Linda Mar, Park Pacifica, and Eureka?

Anonymous said...

"What would you do to breathe some life into Manor, Palmetto, Linda Mar, Park Pacifica, and Eureka?"

For Park Pacifica,Palmetto and Manor, flatten them and start over.

Kathleen Rogan said...

Do you have young people living in your home? I do. They love going to the movies. Anyway, isn't cali banning big screens, already did? Once those smart boxes get installed everyone's energy bill is going to skyrocket. I am predicting; cable co's are going to lose big in the future. There was a article, recently, called, "going back to the simpler way of living", which took a survey on how people are cutting back. This is just the beginning I am predicting. On my fb, I have people from all around the world. A few, cops, firemen, have already been laid off and have cut their cables and internet access. They are taking their family out of their home more often, dropping kids off at a mall, while they sit in a cafe internet. Open your eyes. Look into the future. Nothing stays the same forever. Industry's collapse and it's the simple things that return. The simpler things; sports, movies, tailors , shoe cobblers will return. Without them too many children who are graduating will get into trouble, which means, more crime and fighting in the streets. We have a problem with that now, it's on the rise. Nothing to do? Let's fight and steal. Might as well put them on a hockey team where they have a ref.

Anonymous said...

I do, and they don't. They watch movies at home or over at friends'. They also play video games. Neither of those take them to theaters. They also get together with friends at sponsored group events. Nothing wrong with hockey, but there's more than one way to give them fun things to do.

California did not ban big screens. In the recent legislation, there was an exception carved out for power consumption for the large plasma displays. So all is well. No pitchforks or torches necessary. (There sure was a lot of hysteria around that one until some people actually read what was passed). Once the large LED TVs catch up, there might be more power legislation, but that remains to be seen.

Streaming movies are happening now, and more is coming (rumors of Apple going into this big time).

Industries do collapse. Movie theaters in high population density areas are doing ok. Movie theaters in less densely populated areas are becoming things of the past.

Bark Nuggets said...

I've said that you can encapsulate Pacifica -- the good, the bad, and the ugly -- by pointing to the Taco Bell on Linda Mar Beach.

Here is nicely built structure situated on a beautiful location. First class spot. And we put a Taco Bell on it. C'mon, is this the best we can do in Pacifica?

Other times I waffle and point to the Self-Storage on Palmeto as "Pacifica." Those storage units have awesom ocean views.

I'm seeing the City with new eyes. I've rented for many years, moved to Milbrae, and have returned to Pacifica, purchasing a home in the Linda Mar area. As a homeowner with a stake in the City's health, you bet I'm becoming a bit more aware and concerned with what's going on in my municipality.

I see a startling lack of any cohesive city development plan. Auto shops rub shoulders with bakeries which sit next to cute boutiques which share sidewalks with metal shops and laundromats. Is there any over-arching business plan? It appears to me that business licenses were granted willy-nilly with no sense of how it all fits together to create shopping magnets.

I think of the attractive locales to shop on the peninsula: Noe Valley, Hayes Valley, downtown Burlingame, downtown Menlo Park. They have unique shops and are geared toward the pedestrian shopper. You need to get people to come, park, and get out of their cars. I'm sure the staff at Hawaiin BBQ are very nice, but another chain restaurant that's the same in every other town in California isn't getting people to come, stop, and shop.

As for how to breathe life into our existing business districts? Anonymous isn't too far off. I went exploring at Park Pacifica a few weeks ago, not exactly knowing what was there. I was surprised to find there was an inner courtyard -- I wasn't aware there was an entrance. I was further surprised to discover the condition of said courtyard. It looks like it ought to be condemned!

1) existing business districts need a serious top-to-bottom revitalization campaign. Redesign streets for traffic-calming, to encourage parking, and increased pedestrian safety.

2) enact a chain-store ban

3) encourage business start-ups

4) realign zones to that industrial business don't sit side-by-side with retail.

Just some off-the-cuff thoughts.

Kathy Meeh said...

Anonymous, thanks for your clarification that you support SF golf course, I found that exchange confusing, and later considered the hypothetical restaurant and one-at-a-time store detailed outlet considerations completely derailing.

This 8 year city council has supported the pie-in-the-sky "city strategic plan" of trails to "everywhere". Later we learned their city economic plan is "Recreation" without supporting broad infrastructure for that to succeed, and without much visible support for even SP Golf Course.

So much land has now been transferred to the GGNRA that the GGNRA representative referred to Pacifica as "park city". For "marketing", possibly the city emblem should be changed-out to be "smoky the bear", and our rangers should look more like the old version of Canadian Mounties.

Marketing may help, but the city needs to support bigger plans to bring in tax revenue and services. Doing almost nothing and eliminating land doesn't solve the city economic structural problem, or provide services and jobs to our citizens.

Peebles Corporation offered a quality, balanced urban city village plan/concept, including residential units. Given the opportunity, Peebles also might have also developed the Beach Blvd/Palmetto Av old old WWTP property. Apparently Don Peebles walked the area and had that conversation with a city council representative. Improving the golf course facility was intended.

Since that didn't happen, what's next? The Premium Outlet Mall concept originally suggested by Barbara Carr, presented by Steve early in these comment postings, would be a workable alternative, pending professional developer demographic research. None of this is "rocket science", nor can it happen without large developer expertise and ability to cut through "nothing for Pacifica" nonsense.

Kathleen, thanks for the Hunter's Point redevelopment update. I'm more in agreement with you on the movie theater, and consider the "ice rink" to be an interesting idea pending developer professional area research. Oh, you're such a economic cynic Steve!

Kathy Meeh said...

Now we have "Bark Nuggets". Chain store ban, there goes most of city commerce.

Bark Nuggets said...

To clarify, a ban on new chain stores, not existing ones.

Pacifica had a movie theater and it was replaced with? You got it -- another chain store.

Lucy's Sweet Delights went under. What a shame. I loved that place. I'm calling it now -- get ready for a cell-phone provider. Maybe T-Mobile. That'll bring in all the out-of-towners to Pacifica.

Do we really want Pacifica to resemble every other town in America with a StarbucksMcDonaldsSubwaySafewayRite-Aid7-ElevenDominoes on every block?

Kathy Meeh said...

Right, Pacifica already has less than any other city in San Mateo county, we must be doing something right.

Bark Nuggets said...

I think we agree that it's a very disturbing statistic to see!

I worry that in pursuit of a solution, we'll seek an immediate one with a quick payoff and ignore any courses of action that might help us thrive over the long run.

The trouble is that our problems exist now and may not be fixable with a long-term plan. Of course, there's no reason why a short-term fix and a long-term solution might not coexist. It's a complicated problem of city mangement, to be sure.

Thank you for your initial post and enlightening us all as to Pacifica's financial state. I truly appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

To some extent, we do need to look like every other town in America. There are basics we need and want close by.

I'm with Bark Nuggets, we want our existing businesses to be as healthy and vibrant as possible, and looking sharper and maybe located smarter, too. And we want to stand out with something exceptional, something that makes people really want to come visit (and bring their wallets). If you bring someone out from other parts of the country, what will they comment on on the ride back from SFO, coming down Sharp Park? What will they mention as they top the hill and see Linda Mar beach? Based on the reactions I've seen ("I can't believe you get to live here!"), there's definitely potential for building up Pacifica as a destination. Much of what people would come for was here long before we were. Now, how to add in the right amenities and marketing to help people find it, come, and enjoy it?

Jeffrey W Simons said...

The issue about building Pacifica as a destination city has 2 drawbacks from the powers that be: it would require a change in the infrastructure they're not willing to make, and it would mean people coming to Pacifica from out of town, who they don't really want in Pacifica.

If you want the marketing, amenities, and infrastructure to make Pacifica somewhat economically viable, the city needs to vote out any incumbents and their stooges and get some fresh and intelligent bodies on the city council.

Crunching some of the numbers in preparation for the 2008 election, I found that even with existing business doing rather well, the city has accumulated so much debt and deferred maintenance that it could not become a "functioning" city for over 2 decades.

This is the legacy the last 8 years has left the children of Pacifica: pretty hills, and not a dime for their future.

Richard Saunders said...

From Half Moon Bay's Talkabout blog:

Major Budget Crisis in HMB.. Layoffs around the corner
City Council, posted by SueInMontara, a resident of Montara, 1 hour ago

Just heard from a City Hall insider the following Budget issues impacting the City of HMB.

- There is currently a $2.1 million total revenue shortfall; this shortfall represents 20% of the total amount of funds the City expected to spend this year (2010).

- City is planning proactive action:

* Staff is working with Council to identify both short-term

and long-term solutions

* City Council Strategic Planning Session on Sat., Feb, 20th

* No EASY short-term faixes - there are liekely to be changes in

in service levels and/or delivery models (i.e. Massive layoffs)

Revenue Losses include:


Transiet Occupancy Tax 35% $4,011,000 $3,164,873 -21%

Property Tax 21% $2,333,527 $2,105,453 -10%

Sales Tax 16% $1,771,087 $1,558,974 -12%

Development Fees 11% $1,109,765 $559,681 -50%

Sandy Richards said...

Richard, the numbers you have cited are incorrect. Anything that is designated as a minus is in error and is actually a plus (source: Wikipedia; Section: "Best Accounting Practices"). The mistake can be attributed to "a simple clerical error".