Friday, July 27, 2012

The Eco-NIMBY experiment on our city has run its course

Pacifica Tribune, Letters to the Editor 7/25/12. "Environment and economy" by Gil Anda

"Editor.  Last week Sam Casillas wrote a compelling column stating the case for basing our economy on our environmental assets. It's good that we have this dialog because we need to take a good, hard and honest look at this. Although he makes a convincing, even visionary case, there are problems with his arguments.

Pacifica experiment done by hippie, not Einstein
The main argument is that over the past 20 to 30 years previous councils have made it their exclusive quest to make Pacifica an environmental destination. Pacifica has many miles of walking paths, a redesigned Linda Mar Beach, the inclusion of Sweeney Ridge, Mori Point and Montara Mountain into the GGNRA and even a skate park. And, to be honest, we do get our fair share of visitors. The problem is that it hasn't worked as many had hoped for and our city, fiscally, is in the worst shape it's ever been. I'm sure that some, maybe even most, visitors stop to shop or eat, but it isn't enough to create that big of an impact on our economy.

The biggest source of revenue for Pacifica continues to be property taxes. The biggest source of revenue for our local businesses is the people that already live here. Tourism does contribute to the city's commerce, but tourism is only one leg of the stool. Pacifica needs more than one leg of the stool to make a sustainable economy.

So the main problem isn't that we promote our visitor serving businesses, it's that we strangle all other development in an effort to create ever more open space. And when those other developments are strangled Pacifica's economy is throttled as well.

There went our economy
 Goodbye infrastructure, hello open space
Even more damaging to this city were the green schemes this city tried to enact such as the many attempts to make a civic center with the beach front library at the former WWTP site on Beach Boulevard 'recycling' the council chambers into a new city hall, installing a biodiesel plant at our 'state of the art' sewage treatment plant and there was even discussion of a proposal to create a biodiesel university at the quarry. Most of these projects took up time and money, money that this city is quickly running out of.

Sam Casillas' rousing speech could have been made decades ago, with the dawn of the Friends of Pacifica. The only difference between then and now is that this experiment has run its course and the gains, if any, are negligible. That's the reality. Now we have our history to look back on and we can either learn from it or doom ourselves to repeat it."

Reference Fix Pacifica reprint, Samuel Casillas Pacifica Tribune letter to the editor, 7/17/12, "Our environment should be our economy."

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Lionel Emde said...

Gil is right in citing some of the failed experiments/projects such as the biodiesel disaster and the city hall pipedream, but this city council has, with maybe one exception, approved every development project that's come before it.

I don't buy the argument that they have "strangled" development. They all but begged for it. Look what the vote was on the highway widening recently - they LOVE concrete!

Whta has really put the final nail in the coffin was the collapse of the housing bubble and the the drying up of credit from the criminal enterprises known as banks. If credit was available, how many new residences already approved years ago do you think would be in progress? I can think of about four different projects right off the top that are stopped dead for that reason.

Steve Sinai said...

The current council isn't so bad when it comes to approving the few development proposals it receives. It was the councils from 2002 until the current one that were business-hostile and made sure Pacifica has minimal commercial tax revenues. In turn, that contributed greatly to the putting the city in to such a deep financial hole.

The economy will eventually improve, and we need a city council that will be ready for, and welcoming to, new business opportunities. Otherwise, we won't have the economic resources to be viable as a functional town.

todd bray said...

Steve, you are misinformed, Connemara, Cypress walk, Rick and Tait's projects and several more were all approved by the previous council 2002-8. They were not only approved but were given every concession the applicants asked for like removing Conditions of Approval staff and the Planning Commission had put on the projects.

Brown shirt these issues all you want but your defaming conjectures are not supported by the facts and deeds of the council you want to banish to your NIMBY ghetto.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see there is finally some push back on the false mantra that Pacifica's City Council is hostile to development. Now we need to be equally truthful about the myopic theory as expressed by Gil Anda that if you attempt to highlight and develop your environmental assets to take advantage of what you do have then by definition you must be anti-development. The City Council's job isn't to formulate and create development - that's up to the private sector. If all the private sector can come up with is more housing in a failed housing market then don't go blaming it in "NIMBYs", blame it on natural selection. Anda is living in the past and can't seem to come to grips with it.

Kathy Meeh said...

"... misinformed.." Todd Bray, 11:43am.

Yes, these development projects were all approved with delays, project size chops, challenges, and at a huge unnecessary cost. And we also remember Swenson (Beach Blvd), North Pacifica LLC, Quarry (Trammell Crow, Peebles), Mori Point, and others that never would be considered or approved.

We are generally informed about the NIMBY interference in advancing a balanced city economy, and the role of 10+ year city council who have worked to advance the NIMBY agenda and cause.

We live here, we understand the neglected city infrastructure issues which are obvious. We continue to discuss these issues here. After 30 years, those of you who worked so hard to achieve NOTHING, 60% unproductive open space, have won.

Now what? The guidelines of sustainable development indicate 33% open space is about the right balance for a city. And we are a city, not a rural area as stated by Peter Loeb on Riptide. Now we must try to find solutions.

Steve Sinai said...

Todd, I'm surprised you didn't mention some little kid's lemonade stand as proof that the city loves commerce.

All the projects you mentioned were delayed for years, and what was finally approved in each case was much smaller than the initial proposal.

That sent the message that if anyone wants to develop in Pacifica, they're going to have to run a ridiculous gauntlet of bureaucratic blockades. That's why nobody wants to develop here.

From 2002-2012, the only commercial structure I can think of that was built in this town was the auto parts store in Pacific Manor. For a city the size of Pacifica, that's unreal.

...and your "brown shirt" fixation is becoming laughable.

Anonymous said...

Pacifica didn't have an economy in the biggest postwar expansions in history.

Council pissed away and mortgaged the future to build some trials and save a few snowy lover's!

todd bray said...

Steve, Kathy... SO WHAT? In the end these items were approved. Unfortunately you seem to think a property owner can just do as he/she pleases. You are hopelessly misguided in every opinion you have on land use. What you both described above is part of a normal every day process that happens everywhere in the world. You childish expectation of something other than clear cut reality is so very tiring. BooHoo you don't get your way.

Hutch said...

Lionel, Every other city on the Peninsula out-built us 10-1 in the past 6 years and all their housing and apartments are pretty full.

There is not a glut of empty houses and apartments on the Peninsula. There is a shortage. That's why rents have skyrocketed.

This all in spite of the housing bubble bursting.

But here in Pacifica we actually lost population. Guess where they moved to?

Every Peninsula city has had an over 8% increase in population except little nimby Pacifica.

Kathy Meeh said...

"SO WHAT? In the end these items were approved." Todd 1:34pm

Oh, I get it, that's like saying: "So what the patient survived for 30 years while functioning in the extreme unresponsive state of coma?"

Anonymous said...

No Todd, but we will no longer have YOUR council flunkies (Vreeland, DeJarnett and Degre) going along with you and your anti everything "friends" and allowing you to delay every project until the developer gives up. Byebye.

Steve Sinai said...

"What you both described above is part of a normal every day process that happens everywhere in the world."

Then please explain how other parts of the world, or at least the Bay Area, manages to build things and draw in business, while Pacifica can't.

Anonymous said...

Anon 204, we can always get more flunkies. We always do. Flunkies of every political persuasion. They say what they think they believe, they get elected, then caught in the smackdown between theory and practice, taste the bitter pill of unintended consequences of their carefully-reasoned decisions, learn empathy for all who went before them, and hope to hell that the local nutjobs don't pick up their scent. And they work cheap. Where would we be without them? God bless the flunkies each and every one.

Anonymous said...

love those blanket statements, waaa everybody else gets to build stuff, waaa

sad hippy said...

waaahh, those brown shirts want to pave over pacifica and turn it into daly city waahhh

Anonymous said...

the UPS guys..whoa..braking news, sad hippy

Kathy Meeh said...

" we can always get more flunkies." Anonymous 3:02pm

Elected officials are not flunkies as you may be suggesting. They are accountable leaders. City council members may have had hidden agendas, or they may have hidden behind the cloak of being flunkies on key decisions affecting this city in the past, but that is not the job.

The #1 problem in Pacifica is sustainable economic development. Credit to this city council who put economic development at the top of their goal list, 7/22/12. Kudos to them. Now they need to move forward with a plan, and lets begin to see long awaited city progress.

Anonymous said...

Ok now I'm pissed. Roundtable @LM has closed after 50+ years of pizza pies. Lease was up and the center owners wouldn't deal. We're definitely 3rd world now.

Anonymous said...

Sinai. The building were grape in the fog and coldwell banker is in was built around 2002.

Professor Peabody said...

Hey Toddy, how come Tait and Rick Lee were "advised" to discuss their plans with Nancy Hall and Dinah by our then Planning Director, Crabtree? A shadow Planning Commission? Another "step" in the process? Who the hell do these people think they are! Both of these guys took the advice of Crabtree and both got screwed by PSD. Bullshit for 30 years by these jokers. Delays cost them time and a tremendous amount of money. And what have we to show for it? As a favorite song of mine lamented, "Absolutely Nothing"!

Steve Sinai said...

"Sinai. The building were grape in the fog and coldwell banker is in was built around 2002."

It was already there. I vaguely remember them remodeling it.

Anonymous said...

Godwin's Law alert!!! Todd's bizarre "brown shirt" fetish is another perfect example of wack-job extremists who want to turn everyone else into a wack-job extremist.

Is there any place to go where people talk like adults about matters related to Pacifica?

Anonymous said...

It was a vacant lot!

You are thinking of the little house that was purchased and torn down to build the Clocktower.

Anonymous said...

Yes, these development projects were all approved with delays, project size chops, challenges, and at a huge unnecessary cost. And we also remember Swenson (Beach Blvd), North Pacifica LLC, Quarry (Trammell Crow, Peebles), Mori Point, and others that never would be considered or approved.

The city council also skipped and wouldn't talk to Barry Swenson cause they missed the deadline by a day or two.

So they picked Skyfield USA for the Waste Water Treatment plant and old Library site.

Tait's Project on Robberts Road was doomed to fail from the start he brought in Stewie Newton from Skyfield as his advisor.

Rick Lee's project on Fassler was doomed from the start due to not deep enough developer pockets. If the developer doesnt have 50% hard cash into a deal no one is going to fund him. NO ONE!!!

Rick Lee and Tait, were told to go talk to Nancy Hall first cause they knew Nancy, could derail this project faster then anyone.

50% hard cash. Which means cash infusion into a project before even a hard money lender will talk to you. Or an investor who puts up money.

Capital, Banks and Pension funds are not even opening the pockets to housing developers these days. My buddy is building 30 houses in a very well designed project in Folsom. He has a working relationship with his bank and they require 3 houses to be in contract before the bank lends and lets him start. That is why his bank and his developement business are still around.

A self funded developer from SoCal looked at the quarry. He has a major insurance company as a venture partner in some projects in the Central Valley came in and took a look at the quarry. They passed knowing it would take twice the normal or even maybe three times as long dealing with the city of Pacifica.

Kathy Meeh said...

"Is there any place to go where people talk like adults about matters related to Pacifica?" Anonymous 12:22am

You've found a place to do that.

Steve Sinai said...

"Yes, these development projects were all approved with delays, project size chops, challenges, and at a huge unnecessary cost. And we also remember Swenson (Beach Blvd), North Pacifica LLC, Quarry (Trammell Crow, Peebles), Mori Point, and others that never would be considered or approved."

Don't forget the guy who tried to reopen Horizons. He spent three years paying rent on the place while waiting for approval to open. He never got it, and ran out of money.

For NIMBYs to say that's fine shows why the city is in such financial trouble.

Steve Sinai said...

"It was a vacant lot!

You are thinking of the little house that was purchased and torn down to build the Clocktower."

I really can't remember exactly when it was built. Even if it was built in 2002, it would have been approved and built while the council had Carr, Gonsalvez and Hinton on it. The no-growthers took control of council at the start of 2003, and that's when approvals for new business development ended.

Anonymous said...

Do you mean the guy who wanted to knock down the Horizon's building and build the 3 story mixed use building?

He didn't have the money and knowledge to do this.

He was also running out cash when he started planning this and lost it to the bank via foreclosure.

Another dreamer. Big dreams small bank account.

Anonymous said...

We need to require that any candidates supported by CofC Business and Community Political Action Committee pledges to not allow this known group to delay and postpone any future economic development.

Kathy Meeh said...

"Big dreams small bank account." Anonymous 11:16am.

Blame the victims? Or, argument favoring a big developer with deep pockets and an "attitude". "Attitude" definitely worked for Walgreen, when they were in planning.

Steve Sinai said...

"Do you mean the guy who wanted to knock down the Horizon's building and build the 3 story mixed use building?"

What garbage. The guy wanted to turn the top floor into an outdoor dining area, which involved adding something to the roof. He wasn't going to knock down the building.

I believe he was paying over $10K per month on rent for the place while waiting for permits. There was no revenue to offset it. Those who think that's acceptable and a normal part of doing business are the same people who have driven the city to the brink of bankruptcy by making sure businesses and developers are run out of town.

It's amazing how all of the developers who try to build in Pacifica are accused of not having the "knowledge" to get things done. That reminds me of how things work in the third-world, where "knowledge" means ignoring the rules and instead knowing who to bribe.

Anonymous said...

Given our notoriety for being anti-business that guy took a huge gamble.

Anonymous said...

Sinai? Did you get into Sneaky Pete's dope today?

The guy who bought that was the mortgage guy Reyes. He didnt have the money and had like 5 loans on the place. Never payed for the plan drawings.

Ending up closing up his shop and filing bankruptcy

But Of course you may believe his line how the bank screwed him right?

Anonymous said...

"The guy who bought that was the mortgage guy Reyes. He didnt have the money and had like 5 loans on the place. Never payed for the plan drawings." Anonymous 4:42 PM.

If true, how are your distracting comments relevant? That applicant paid the monthly mortgage on the property for 3 years, while the project was delayed in planning based upon what appeared to be minor issues, and lack of consensus on the part of planning. Plus the economy was going south.

And if true, do you get some dark amusement out of an entrepreneur taking on such a risk, but ultimatly being forced into "closing up his shop and file bankruptcy"? Is there something wrong with you, or did you just smoke some bad weed?

Anonymous said...

It's the banks. They are not allowed to take risks. No more.

America's economy is slowing to a standstill. Prepare.

I still don't want stacked housing in Pacifica. Or any more Hotels.

Where is the Nick's project? I like that project. Too much of a risk for the bank? Cash is King.

Visitors and tourists come to Pacifica. I see tourists in all our stores, restaurants, playing on the beach. Party's on the beach by Nick's and Moonraker. Pacifica's beaches are beautiful, clean, fun. Surf Spot is a wonderful addition. Pacifica beaches are the biggest attraction. Even in the winter. Pacifica could use another in-door event stadium for sports or just shows. A indoor ice rink would be great. There is room for more development at the Seabowl and Surf Spot location. With Nick's and Moonraker across from the Seabowl, the potential for these areas to be bigger money makers is a risk city council should take. But that does not mean the banks will.

Anonymous said...

When the banks get nervous they sit on the fence. I don't expect any sort of economic gains until 2017.

This is assuming nothing crazy like Iran trying to close off the gulf oil supply.

I do notice some construction cranes on the San Francisco skyline. Haven't seen that since 2007.

Steve Sinai said...

"But Of course you may believe his line how the bank screwed him right?"

I never said anything about the bank screwing him. 'Twas the city and the NIMBYs that screwed him.

Three years without a decision on the permits was standard operating procedure for this city. Drag a development process out forever, until the developer runs out of money. Then the NIMBYs defend the process by saying, "well nobody actually said no. The developers should have had more money. They should know nothing gets accomplished in Pacifica."

Anonymous said...

I dont understand how these guys think they can do a project so out of the area of their expertise. I mean the bank wants a seasoned track record of successful projects before they loan you money.

The private lenders lenders wouldn't touch a guy like this.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 950, I think you are very confused.

The project was good plan that was approved by planning, but way too slow.

Now you're talking about no one would lend him money. Are you the same Anonymous @ 442 that said this applicant had 5 loans. Which is is?

Anonymous said...

The Mortgage guy Reyes, bought the Horizons building with the idea to move his mortgage business over there. Then he got the idea to build the new building. He had his purchase money loan on the building. He took additional loans out totallying 5 loans total to live off and hope he could get the project approved and get a construction loan to build the project.

Btw, If I am confused put up some hard cold cash and I will not only take your bet I will show you all the documents.

A good project without money to finish it, is "pie in the sky"

The Hippies think that a bankrupt City is good. Bray, says it is cause too many city employees make over 100k. Well if the city had a couple million dollars coming in from revenue producing projects, the city could pay these people.

Every city has payroll and pension issues..

Btw the hippies hid when Nancy Hall and Vreeland wanted to build the Bip Diesel project. They went down to the Coastal Commission Meeting to shill for it.

The City picked Skyfield USA, who were sued for ripping people off to build out the waste water treatment plant and the old library site. They wouldn't talk to Barry Swensen Builders who have a long track record.

They ran the largest Commercial developer in the country at the time Tramell Crow out of the quarry.

Peebles came in with a plan and they would not talk to him and have good faith talks.

The 3 stooges on council Vreeland (gone) Julie (gone) Sneaky Pete (says he is gone) lead to the complete bankrutpcy and failure of the city.

Thomas Clifford said...

As I remember this project sailed through the Planning Department and the Planning Commission with minor delays at the Coastal Commission.Where The problems begin was when the applicant submitted incomplete drawings for his building permit.The outside service that provides plan check and building inspection for the City of Pacifica,generates a list of comments for each plan it receives. This list of comments is a check list for the applicant as to what information is needed to complete the building permit process. The longer the applicants takes to submit their responses the more delayed they experience. Both Planning and Building work very hard to help the applicant through this process but it is up to the applicant to submit the needed information.

Anonymous said...

I love how the NIMBYs talk out of both sides of their mouths:

"I still don't want stacked housing in Pacifica."
Because that would ruin your narrative about housing not adding to the city coffers.

"Or any more Hotels."
Even though that would be the easiest way to implement your silly 'our environment is our economy' policy.

Steve Sinai said...

I was sitting in council chambers when the Horizons guy showed council his plans and drawings for a rooftop patio. I definitely remember him complaining that it had been three years, and he still hadn't gotten the permits to build. He also said it was costing him over $10K/month, and he didn't have much more money. He sure didn't think it was his fault, and he didn't want to build a new building.

It's amazing how nothing gets built in Pacifica because we only attract builders who don't know what they're doing. It's also bull. Things get done in other cities. The common factor that has prevented new commercial structures from being built in Pacifica has been the people involved with the approval process in Pacifica.

Anonymous said...

Sinai, Maybe his payments were $10k per month?

Hutch said...

Exactly Steve, Every other Peninsula city has increased their population and housing by 8% or more in the past 20 years except Pacifica. We actually decreased in population. DECREASED!

But the anti development folks here blame it on the economy or the developers, or frogs, or traffic, or sea level rising.

Well I think a majority of Pacificans are finally wise to their BS. We must make sure no more anti progress hippies get elected to council.

To help elect pro economy candidates donate to the Business and Community Political Action Committee, make checks out to BACPAC. Your contributions can be mailed to, or dropped off at:

225 Rockaway Beach Ave, Ste 1
Pacifica, Ca 94044

Anonymous said...

Who are the pro-economy candidates the Business and Community Political Action Committee will be supporting?

Anonymous said...

Another group that will fail like the others.

Another group that can not decide where to meet for coffee.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Anon 820, what are you worried about? People seem to be getting fed up with the no-growth policies from the last 30 years. It's good to see the Chamber becoming proactive and advocating for the business community. I'm sure that scares some. Tough!

Tom Clifford said...

Steve I went into planning today to check on my facts about the project to replace the Horizon building.It was a complete tear-down and rebuild,including an underground garage,one floor of retail,two floors of offices and a roof top patio with cafe. It received all
it's planning approvals:Planning commission,City Council,and Coastal Commission. The applicant never submitted for a building permit although he did apply for and received an extension of his planning approvals. The plans that you saw at the City Council meeting were probable conceptual drawings not building plans.
Why he did not follow through is anybody guess but it was not plannings fault.

Steve Sinai said...

If you say so Tom. The drawings I remember looked like the old Horizons building with a rooftop patio added on. The planning commission often seems to approve things that then get blocked at the council level.

I still find it amazing that so few developers who come into town are able to complete their projects. There's no way I believe that all the developers are incompetent. There's a problem with the approval process.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's a plot to approve only the applicants who don't have the money to complete a project while denying approval or at least being obstructive to those who are well-funded. By golly, that's it!

Anonymous said...

Who gets a BACPAC?

todd bray said...

Steve, the project that go approved was awesome. The exterior design was beautiful. I particularly like the mixed use project because it was retail and office, not retail and housing which meant the area would be populated during the day generating sales.

Anonymous said...

Why he did not follow through is anybody guess but it was not plannings fault.

His business was failing at the time. His business is now closed.

He was running out of money.

He was betting some big lender would come along and let him do this project. The market fell apart and BOFA foreclosured and took the building back.

The Hotel Next door bought it and is going to tear it down and build more rooms and a coffee shop.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting anon and Todd, I'm sure there's a NIMBY plot in there somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Sinai, read above.

It failed cause the economy fell off a cliff in 2007. No capital to construct. No reserves by the owner.

He was upside down financially and tried to do something outside his knowledge base.

Steve Sinai said...

I'm not sure the Horizons guy ever got the go ahead from city hall.

When I was in council watching his presentation, three years after he started the process, he was still trying to get permission to build. Even if he did ultimately get permission, by that time it sounded like he was broke. 3+ years trying to get permission to build is ridiculous.

Lionel Emde said...

The "Horizons guy" had full approval to go forward. I watched Mr. Vreeland try to jump over a procedural delay at a meeting, which the planning director gently corrected him on, but Mr. Reyes got approved. It was the housing/credit market collapse that helped do him, and all the other people trying to do building projects, in.

Kathy Meeh said...

"Mr. Reyes got approved." Lionel Emde 5:59 pm.

City council did move their agenda ahead for this project to be heard early. But, I seem to remember a lot of drag at the planning commission (sorry Tom, probably not you that caused that).

Example, I recall a lot of minor issue haggling over something like a poll extending from the 3rd floor to about 36 feet. And hearing the project at the planning commission meeting was delayed. Then the commission was too tired to hear the project. This was probably one of several follow-up meetings, adjusting the project and paying professionals. Ca-ching for the revisions, and ca-ching the professionals to attend the meeting. At that time, I remember the owner expressing his dismay at the picky, costly delays.

Steve Sinai said...

But how long did it take him to get full approval, Lionel?

I don't find three years of delays to be acceptable. If it was just one project I wouldn't make an issue of it. But nothing gets built in Pacifica, and endless delays while awaiting approval are one of the reasons.

Anonymous said...

The Clocktower building is over 35 feet.

Hutch said...

The housing collapse still doesn't explain why every other Peninsula city out built Pacifica 10-1 in the last 20 years. There's definitely something different going on here.

Every other local city had an increase in population while Pacifica decreased. Why? I think you can thank the anti development council and their hippie buddies.!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=population&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=place:0654806:0614736:0617918:0625338:0631708:0665028:0668252:0673262&ifdim=country&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

Anonymous said...

The hippie agenda was turn the city into the town that time forgot.

Need money beg for a grant.

One of our previous mayors blame Pacifica's problems on prop 13.

Anonymous said...

Loeb, vreeland digre and DeJarnett helped destroy this city by letting their environmental radical friends hold up most progress here. Thank God they are almost all gone. We have a few good candidates on the November ballot. Make sure you vote for the pro economy ones.


Anonymous said...

Sneaky Pete Dejarnatt, also said we have a surplus!

Anonymous said...

A permit-process that takes longer than it takes to actually build is unacceptable and burdensome, but is it unusual for coastal property? Can the process be simplified? Do we have any facts? No, everything here is anecdotal and local. Coastal California, north and south, has plenty of examples of drawn-out permits and development delays. IMHO, the award for worst delays and redtape however goes to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and the Hamptons on the east coast. Unbelievable. The fear of litigation seems to drive it all, east and west. Let's blame the lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1137 definitely time to say byebye to Pete, but the statement he made was in fact true at the time he made it. Check the public records. Details, details.

Hutch said...

That's a good theory Anon 222 but every other coastal city in the area had a big increase in population over the past 20 years while only Pacifica went down.

Anonymous said...

Hutch, it really isn't a theory, it's merely an observation that a litigious society tends to wrap itself in bureacracy. Land use isn't exempt from that. In fact it seems to be a magnet for it.
No doubt you have your reasons using a 20 year comparison but comparing the census of 2000 and 2010 for San Mateo County is far more relevant to today. Info available at among other places. Population growth in the county in that decade occurred at the slowest pace in 150 years. We went from 707,161 to 718,451 residents. Further, in the last decade 1/3rd of cities in this county lost population. Not just Pacifica but also Daly City (the loss leader BTW), Half Moon Bay, Atherton, East Palo Alto, Portola Valley, Woodside. A couple of others were just about even. Population growth, when it occurred, seemed to favor those traditional work-live-transit corridor cities like San Mateo, B'game and RWC.
Any good news for Pacifica? Could be. Senior housing, like the recently approved assisted-living facility, will be much needed in San Mateo County because there has been a dramatic shift in the county's median age over the last decade. At 39.3 we are well above the state median of 35.2. More pressure on local gov't to provide services but also a great opportunity to further develop a niche industry in Pacifica. Let's hope we don't turn up our noses at it because it isn't traditional housing.

Anonymous said...

Compares apples and oranges
conclusions are bananas

Milton Friedman said...

Who said that when Pete said we had a 7M surplus it was true? I want what you're smoking! If you have $500 in your checking acct and you have $500 worth of bills due at the end of the month, do you have a surplus? Ah, what's the definition of voodoo economics?

Hutch said...

Anon 553, I don't know what data you're looking at but 1/3 of the cities in San Mateo did not lose population from 2000 to 2010, Daly City, Portola Valley and East Palo Alto gained or stayed flat. 95% of the remaining cities gained population. Pacifica lost 2700 people in the same period. No other Peninsula city lost anything close to that.

Here's the link to the data which is from the US Census if you want to paste it into your browser

Anonymous said...

Hutch, let's keep it simple and just use the actual US Census Bureau Home Page. All the good info is there...including Daly City's decline in population from the census of 2000 to the census of 2010. Among cities in SMC, Pacifica is not alone in losing population from 2000 to 2010.
Daly City and EPA actually lost more head count. These numbers are solid and track through other sites including the county and are used extensively. Knock yourself out, please.

Anonymous said...

Are we all comparing the same things? Apples to apples, etc?

Compare the same cities on the official census for 2000 & 2010.
I'm not checking them all but DC did lose and already knew Pacifica did.

Anonymous said...

Compare the 2000 and 2010 fed census and of 20 san mateo county cities 7 declined incl us, 1 was flat (H'boro) and 12 increased with the range from abt 600 to 4800people. The 4 big winners seemed to also hit the trifecta of jobs, nice housing options and better/easier surprise for San Mateo, SSF, Foster City and Menlo Park.

Anonymous said...

Sneaky Pete not only believed in Voodoo economics but he was the Voodoo City Councilman also!

Hutch said...

Ok, those numbers Google was pulling from the US Census were wrong. But it looks like most cities in the county gained population and Pacifica is one of the biggest losers percentage wise. I think it still equates back to less development.

Anonymous said...

This is interesting. According to that US Census page, the biggest losers of population percentage-wise in order are:
East Palo Alto -4.6%
Half Moon Bay at -4.4%
Atherton -3.9%
Pacifica -3.0%
Daly City -2.4%
Woodside -1.2%

It doesn't look like these numbers support the less development argument.

Anonymous said...

People are fleeing California , period. I don't think it has anything to do with lack of development. It has to do with this State being in BIG FINANCIAL TROUBLE and too many communists. You know who you are. Commies like the Cloward and Piven scheme to topple governments by creating all citizens to be dependent on the governments. Some people are just plain tired of this communist take over and are leaving. That's the facts jacks. Say Goodbye to California. Get out while you still can.

Hutch said...

Sure it does Anon 915, the cities with the lowest new housing starts (Woodside, EPA, HMB, Atherton and Pacifica have the highest population drops.

There's many factors that play into population drop like crime, climate, location but it goes to figure if supply is low rents are high and people move away.

Anonymous said...

ooooohhhhh kay

Tea Party Patriot said...

I hate Commies.

Anonymous said...

Hodwin's Law
A corollary to Godwin's Law, the rule that says an argument is forfeited if a participant compares his opponent to Hitler, Hodwin's Law states that when discussing progressive policies such as increasing the tax rate on the wealthy, the first person to cry 'Communist!" and/or 'Stalinist!' also loses.'s%20corollary

Kathy Meeh said...

"..this State being in BIG FINANCIAL TROUBLE and too many communists." Always looking for communist Anonymous 9:58am

Good thing "the communists" are leaving California, Anon. Guess there will be no need for the Cloward-Piven strategy, you cite, except as viewed a possible variation from the national senior citizen "earned income" system called social security and medicare.

Hisorically, I'm glad (and you should be) that the Democrats were responsible for assuring these social programs, as well as the recent Affordable Healthcare Act (ObamaCare), passed through Congress. Such programs keep down crime to survive, disease spread to all, and the number of people dying on the streets.

California election registration by party affiliation is about 95% Democrat and Republican. See

Consider that some theories without substance are simply irrational.

Kathy Meeh said...

I think size of the city doesn't matter for this argument.

Bottom line, Pacifica seems to be the poorest city in San Mateo. The structural results of unproductive and PRODUCTIVE land removal, coupled with anti-development NIMBYISM, are clear enough.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line? I think earlier anon challenged Hutch's repetitive and incorrect announcement re Pacifica being alone or the leader in population loss in the county. The truth is that 1/3 of cities in SMC lost population from 2000 to 2010. Pacifica was one of them but not the loss leader. Furthermore, it was a flat curve. Those cities that did grow did so at the slowest pace in decades, perhaps ever. SMC added only about 11,000 people, less than 2%, between the 2000 and 2010 census. That is a stunning shift from the usual double-digit growth. Connect the dots in any way that works for you, but there are much larger socio-economic forces at play here that have nothing to do with Pacifica's endless squabbles. The census numbers tell the real story for anyone who's interested in it. Profound changes have taken place in CA and we're not immune. One of these days, not too far in the future, we're in for a very rude awakening.

mike bell said...

The results are in.
The NIMBY, faux enviro derailing of development in Pacifica is managed retreat.
They get theirs, we get to subsidize.
Vote for adults in November. Intelligent development will cure our environment and our economy.

Anonymous said...

By golly, I've got it! I know why those cities lost population. Daly City needs more open space. Too many house/apts drove people away. Woodside and Atherton? The rich always hit the lifeboats first. Think Titanic. EPA? Those folks finally fell between the wider cracks of the recession. HMB? Adios gringos! The ag workers went back home. Pacifica? Just lucky?

Anonymous said...

Don't be embarrassed, Kathy. The Democratic Party has been taken over by the Marxists/Socialists/Commies and the brainwashed.

Did you know that in the Thirty's, the Unions were battling within? The Commies were flushed out. Killed on the streets of San Francisco. Heads bashed in. Flushed those commies out of the unions. Do you know why? Because their lies caught up with them.

Don't worry, Kathy. There is a commie in the White House. He will be gone soon.

Anonymous said...

anon421 what would we do without you and your timely reminders to flush?

Kathy Meeh said...

Don't worry Anonymous 4:21pm, I have a message for you. You said, "Did you know that in the Thirty's, the Unions were battling within?"

Did you know the Nazi's and Fascist which rose in the 30's were defeated in the 40's. The Ku Klux Klan continued through that period, and during the late 40's McCarthyism rose, and was defeated in the mid 50's.

In the early 2000's another from of McCarthyism arose, and this New McCarthyism continues through a movement now known as the Tea Party. This movement (reflective of those movements in the 30's, 40's, and 50's) doesn't let fact or reason get in the way of telling a whopper of a story aka: lie. They even call our President a Communist (but then in that fictition all Democrats are Communists).

Funny thing these same Tea Party members (financially supported by their rich benefactors) work against their own human interest. At a national level, they work against moderate, reasonable forces within the Republican party. They work against legislation to improve the economy. They work against fair-minded American values.

Thanks to the Tea Party, Congress is stalemated, spinning its wheels on "fascist" social issues, including the war against women. Did you know Republican Congress protested the "commie" Affordable Healthcare Act (which benefits everyone) 33x. Congressional time cost for this estimated two weeks of "fascist fun" was about $50 million dollars. Rather than doing nothing and bad mouthing Democrat leaders, how about your Tea Party members influence Republican Congress to pass the "commie" jobs bill, and the "commie" middle-class tax extension? These are shared, "commie" benefits that are good for those of us in the 97%.

Anonymous said...

Oh, great... We get to watch Kathy and the wingnuts play "poke the monkey with a stick" for awhile (and never in less than 500 words). I guess I'll go watched synchronized badminton for a few hours and hope they run out of steam.

Anonymous said...


Kathy Meeh said...

"Oh, great... We get to watch Kathy and the wingnuts.." Anonymous 7:20pm

Oh great, the comment wasn't directed at you, but you made it about you, and you have nothing to add. "Synchronized badminton"? That's cute.

Anonymous said...

Kathy, no one believes your propaganda talking points. You are a brainwashed wash up.

There will be no building in the quarry.

There will be no highway widening.

You know why? Cause there ain't no fuckin money.

The radical enviro wackos think it is because they won.

There is no money. There is no money for Pacifica.

The disgustingly rich democrats who run the state will only finance their own projects. They don't give a shit about you. You need to find some new friends.

Anonymous said...

"you made it about you"

Says the person who monopolizes any conversation on this blog with endless holier-than-thou run-on sentences.

Anonymous said...

anon938 In vino veritas, but that first line was unnecessary roughness.

Kathy Meeh said...

Anonymous 9:38pm, that's rich of you hiding behind an anonymous name. How weird, what you call "propaganda talking points" is simply fact.

No money in Pacifica over 30 years is hardly a Democrat issue, it is a NIMBY issue, compounded by an unsophisticated public.

Connie Menefee's LTE today was spot on. The city really blew it when city council 4 did not support quarry development 5 years ago. That property needs to be developed. Example, Steve Sinai's custom retail outlet suggestion is good, we've discussed that here repeatedly. Steve Rhodes idea to partner with a developer for regulation discovery is another good idea. The current bank status is unknown to me.

There is money for development, because other San Mateo cities are developing projects. That may not be true in Pacifica, since Pacifica has proven to be a loser.

From my view, your right-wing politics stink, and the potential outcome could be worse. Personally I find the factless, rigid commentary coming from the right very scary. And communism in this country and in the world trend is for the most part a none issue.

Today Republican congressional leadership wasted time outraged because birth control was added as a guaranteed benefit on medical plans throughout the United States. That's another benefit of the Affordable Health Care Act, and this is the 21st century.

Otherwise, we probably agree on issues concerning the need to fix Pacifica.

Anonymous said...

"unsophisticated public"

We can't all be so sophisticated that we can copy and paste the same "city council 4" garbage hundreds of times weekly ad nauseum instead of suggesting real alternatives.

Anonymous said...

The new offical Pacifica Theme Song

My bills are all due and the baby needs shoes and I'm busted
Cotton is down to a quarter a pound, but I'm busted
I got a cow that went dry and a hen that won't lay
A big stack of bills that gets bigger each day
The county's gonna haul my belongings away cause I'm busted.
I went to my brother to ask for a loan cause I was busted
I hate to beg like a dog without his bone, but I'm busted
My brother said there ain't a thing I can do,
My wife and my kids are all down with the flu,
And I was just thinking about calling on you 'cause I'm busted.
Well, I am no thief, but a man can go wrong when he's busted
The food that we canned last summer is gone and I'm busted
The fields are all bare and the cotton won't grow,
Me and my family got to pack up and go,
But I'll make a living, just where I don't know cause I'm busted.
I'm broke, no bread, I mean like nothing