Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Another eco-group, same people lawsuit against highway 1 progress

The Daily Journal (San Mateo County), Bill Silverfarb, 9/11/13.  "Pacifica group challenges highway widening project."

Year of the shark in Pacifica
"A lawsuit has been filed in San Mateo County Superior Court challenging the adequacy of an environmental impact report for a Highway 1 widening project planned for Pacifica.  Pacificans for a Scenic Coast filed the complaint Friday and contend the project is out of scale with “Pacifica’s scenic nature” and that the EIR contains contradictory information on impacts to threatened species or any other adverse impacts of the project.

The plan is to widen Highway 1 between 2,300 feet north of Reina Del Mar Avenue to approximately 1,500 feet south of Fassler Avenue, a stretch of about 1.3 miles, according to Caltrans.   ....  The project will be funded from San Mateo County Transportation Measure A and State Transportation Improvement Program funds and is expected to take about two years to complete. 

The work will be done by the San Mateo County Transportation Authority as Caltrans will be the lead agency under CEQA. The SMCTA, the Pacifica City Council and city staff have worked with Caltrans for years to solve the area’s traffic congestion problems.   Read article.

Note:  photograph from Scientopia Organization.  Shark reference see Fix Pacifica 2013 Earth day reprint article.

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Hutch said...

This is another grasp at straw by people who no longer have any power. The only council member on their side is Sue Digre who believes rising sea levels will swamp the new highway. It's kind of sad. But not.

Anonymous said...

In this country the courts are meant to be the last resort for the people. Particularly, when it comes to public policy and due process. Many of our laws have come about in just this way. I know, what a pisser!

Anonymous said...

Our beloved City Council promised to give the public the chance for input after the EIR was finalized and failed to keep that promise.

Many of our city officials have ties to real estate and only appoint people who agree with them. The faulty EIR was thought to apply to the Quarry, not just the highway widening project. So our dear city leaders, who only seem to have their own selfish interests at heart, have forced us into a court room battle against Caltrans.

Our local democratic process has been derailed. Wake up Pacifica!

Anonymous said...

Well they didn't say how long after the EIR was released they would have public a meeting.

So you think the council is biased 10:33? You mean like the council we had for 20 years was biased towards the enviro side?

Most people want this project.

Wagner said...

"Our beloved City Council promised to give the public the chance for input after the EIR was finalized and failed to keep that promise".
Failed to keep that promise you write! Obviously your grip on reality is tenous. The first set of your peeps files a lawsuit BEFORE the EIR if final.The second set of obstructionists files a second one while the city is scheduling the public comment sessions. Your group that is behind this has screamed that the sky is falling every time this city tries to take a step forward.
Oh, and next time you need to conduct a real estate transaction go get yourself an EPA attorney or some other self-described savior of the world to handle it. Whatever you do, don't hire a licensed professional. I don't sell real estate but I have the upmost respect for their professionalism. For your types to consistently point at their profession like it is dirty is to showcase your ignorance. You have blocked this city from moving forward for over 30 years. Look around at what you have accomplished. Yep, right. Nothing! Pat yourselves on the back.

Anonymous said...

No Jim, they got some trails built. That really had an impact.

I heard there are donations being taken to fight the anti highway modernization peeps. Anyone know where I send a check?

todd bray said...

Will Wagner self implode? Will he finally stop rewriting history? Will he ever switch to decaf?

Jim, WTH are you going on about? You're having like 3 conversations with assumed individuals and acting like a Brownshirtanon with the finger pointing and blame throwing.

Back in 2002 when I first arrived it was your lot that was running the city, Jimbo. Hnton, Carr and Gonzalves had the majority so where on earth do you get off saying someone elses crowd is responsible for any damage to the city?

Do you need a cookie?

Hutch said...

Jim made perfect sense to me.

Now these bownshirtanons or whatever comments, that's puzzling.

And you both should stay away from cookies. Me too.

Anonymous said...


When Jimbo, Hilton, Carr and Gonzalez ran the city it was a less of a dumpy town with less debt today. Oh wait these bozo's put on all the debt for the sewer plant that never worked right.

Oh and the police station with all the cost overruns.

Todd, what comes next, I will tell you, you don't you just stand on the corner and preach like the guys at 1 Powell in SF. Nobody listens to them either.

Anonymous said...

This disaster didn't happen overnight and every groups fingerprints are on it. Some more recent than others.
How does politics resemble a game of hot potato?
Jimbo ran the city?

Anonymous said...

Let's see, Curtis makes a big stink and, voila, the police station costs a million dollars more. Now Bray has assumed that exalted position and has filed appeal to the coastal commission on the new hotel expansion in Rockaway. What a piece of work!

Anonymous said...

What is council's official position on this project? Have they taken an official position? We know what Digre thinks. What about the rest? Wouldn't a city council majority being in favor help Caltrans and undermine these lawsuits? I can understand wanting to lay low and avoid the uproar, but where are they on this?

Anonymous said...

No comments are possible after the Final EIR was released.

Anonymous said...

259 That's hardly a gag order. Council could and should make their position known. Their silence creates a vacuum which others will attempt to fill. I question whether they are in fact in favor of the widening.

Anonymous said...

City Council has taken no official position on this. Caltrans certified its own Final EIR and no further comments are allowed.

Anonymous said...

Council played that one just right. No fingerprints, no quotes, no loss of votes. When you get good advice, you listen to it!

Kathy Meeh said...

424 city councils (including NIMBIES) of the past have signed-on to highway 1 widening. That's the initial reason Caltrans moved this project forward. Council now has the highway median choice of 1) narrow, or 2) wide. But apparently 3) "none" is the outside Council NIMBY choice (lawsuits against government which may pay cash for any perceived eco penalties).

Not fixing the traffic bottleneck would be the usual backward and regressive outcome for this city. Over several years there have been public Caltrans meetings, public input, and the research is done. Now is the time to build. Worried about driving up more cost, stop suing.

Anonymous said...

The Mighty Caltrans speaks and mere mortals turn into those three monkeys. If they know what's good for them.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Kathy, of course, but I still would like to know where each of these councilmembers stand on this very important and divisive issue. Perhaps the most important issue to face us in 30 years is happening on their watch. I find it odd but not surprising that they have been rendered dumb on the subject. Seems like a natural question for any reporter to ask.

Hutch said...

Council (except Digre) have gone on the record in favor of the landscape median option. The four of them are just letting Caltrans do their thing. Why should they stick their neck out on something they get no vote on? I think they are playing this one right.

Pacifica Index said...

Yes, Kathy, of course, but I still would like to know where each of these councilmembers stand on this very important and divisive issue ... Seems like a natural question for any reporter to ask.

Mayor Stone is on record as supporting the project.

Councilmember Digre is on record as opposing the project in its current form.

As for the three other councilmembers, you can read their thoughts on the project
HERE (tab 1.16)
HERE (tab 1.18)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Index! You gotta love campaign statements. Particularly when that's all we seem to have. On a campaign questionnaire on issues of popular interest, Nihart passed on the entire thing--incumbent rules? O'Neill and Ervin were both perfectly non-committal in their response to "highway widening" urging full study of all alternatives.

We also know that in June 2012 Nihart, Stone, Jaquith and Dejarnatt voted to join the SMC TA funding queue. Digre voted no. At the same time Nihart, Stone and Jaquith voted to direct staff to participate on the Project Dev Team and encourage selection of a landscaping alternative. Dejarnatt voted no and Digre abstained. It's worth noting that during those two votes the CM gave repeated assurances that final decisions, including project approval, would await the FEIR.

Maybe they just haven't had the opportunity, but it seems like Council could be a little more openly and officially enthusiastic about this project. Soon would be good.