Thursday, May 19, 2011

Build on the coast-- if you live long enough

Or with next generation in mind, and the cost, ouch!
1985 to 2011, Pacific Ridge project reduced from 220 to 63 homes, approved but not ready to build yet.  

Half Moon Bay Review 5/18/11, "Pacific Ridge section wins city approval".  Half Moon Bay leaders signed off on the first section of the long-delayed Pacific Ridge project on Tuesday night, an action that would create space for as many as 19 new houses at the end of Terrace Avenue.  The newly approved subdivision would be the first phase of a larger 63-home project that the company Ailanto Properites has been seeking to build for 25 years.  "It's been a long journey for us, and it's very gratifying to pass this milestone," said Ailanto spokesman John Ward. "This was the culmination of a public process that took many twists and turns in the road."

Purchased by Ailanto in 1985, the 115 acres at Pacific Ridge has a long history of setbacks in gaining development approval from local and state agencies. Ailanto owner Albert Fong originally sought to construct 220 homes on the property, but that goal was waylaid for about a decade when the city enforced a sewer moratorium, halting all new construction.
After the moratorium was lifted in 1999, Ailanto Properties argued that city officials were illegally blocking the housing development. The company filed a lawsuit against the city, and eventually agreed to settle for the rights to build a scaled-back development with only 63 homes. That 2004 deal won over many opponents, particularly because it preserved more than three-quarters of the Pacific Ridge property as open space.
The Pacific Ridge project received approvals from the California Coastal Commission in late 2008, but it faced a sudden change in the housing market. Speaking for Ailanto, Ward said his company could begin installing utilities later this year. For the actual home construction, Ward said his company would still need to submit plans to the city Planning Commission and modify its approvals with the Coastal Commission.But Ward said he wasn't sure when homes would actually be built."That's a business decision that has to take into account the market for homes. It's something we're not prepared to answer," he said. "But the (Fong) family is committed to seeing this through."

Additional reference:
  The Loma Prietan newsletter May/June, 2004.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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