Thursday, October 2, 2014

10 homes too many on 60 pristine acres

"Last undeveloped coastal town"?
Then, there must be an award for this city.
Pacifica Tribune Letters to the Editor 9/30/14.  "Nihart wrong about Harmony" by Grady Leaver

"Editor:  Mayor Nihart, in her support for the Harmony development above Roberts Road, is quoted in the last issue of the Tribune as saying, "This is great from an economic standpoint for our community."  I'm not sure I understand how bulldozing more than 60 pristine acres on a beautiful bluff overlooking the ocean to build homes for 10 families will provide any great economic benefit to our community.

Pacifica is the last remaining undeveloped coastal town next to a major city in the United States, and there is a lot of money to be made here by developers that can motivate our elected officials to go along with their plans. We need to vote for a mayor and City Council that will protect our beautiful town from the moneyed interests eyeing our open spaces, hilltops, and ocean views."

Related -  from the above Pacifica Tribune Letters to the Editor, also see "Todd Bray, "Two out of seven",  posted here yesterday. The city council candidates who will save Pacifica from economic and highway progress are:  Sue Digre and John Keener.  We sure wouldn't want "evil" development to help fix this city:  jobs, services, balanced city budget, road improvement, less city strife.
Collins dictionary definition: pristine.  "Pristine" in nimby speak may refer to original dirt or not, plants, weeds, tracking from animals, humans, trucks, aliens who may have passed over the land, what they may have left behind, etc.  

Note graphic and photograph:  Reptile from Philosopraptor.  Rock trophy from Pinterest. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

While I don't particularly care to see 10 luxury homes built on the Roberts Road property, I have to keep things in perspective. It's a fact that I don't own that property nor do you. The owners of that property evidently followed the rules, applied for,and have been granted development rights. Did anyone ever approach them or any previous owner about buying the land for "pristine" open space ? Most likely not even a thought crossed anyone's mind until that dreaded word "development" began to be bandied about. All of a sudden it's, "oh no, we just can't have housing there, the land is too pristine."

It's the same mindset that cried about Ron Kalson wanting to develop his 5 acre parcel at Pedro Point. The PPCA membership wanted that property left as open space or marine oriented development with plenty of play area for their kids. At least 15 years have gone by and those kids are now grown, some with kids of their own. Yet it's the same old song, "we want open space." Open space certainly, but at the expense of the property owner's rights. If anyone was paying more than lip service about preserving pristine open space, they have had a lifetime to work with POST or mid-Peninsula Open Space to buy up the land or raise the money themselves and donate the land for dedicated open space. It's the same old story all the many years that I've lived here: everyone wants something done as long as they're not the one's who have to dig in their pockets to pay for it. I used to cringe when I heard our town derided as Pathetica. Nowadays, I'm beginning to think there is some truth to that name.

Anonymous said...

People who want open space in Pacifica would do well to lead by example.

They could leave Pacifica and contribute to the great wide openspaces. And the rest of us then can enjoy their selfless spirit of sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

Harmony's sort of a win/win. Only 10 homes on I think 16 acres leaves a lot of open space. When it's finally built out, the city will collect about $75,000/yearly in property tax. It's not much but may be more than what's paid for an empty field and there will still be a lot of open space up there. It ought to at least cover city services. It's also a one-off and probably can't be done any other place in Pacifica. Hope it sells.

420 Surfer said...

I know tait, he's a cool dude. right on.

Anonymous said...

Tait doesn't own it any more he sold it to a group who flipped it to this group.

Tait, thanks to Nancy Hall was forced into bankruptcy!

Hutch said...

This just reaffirms why we call them the-gang-of-no.
They are against everything. Even a green project that had the blessing of almighty Nancy Hall.

This project will be good for Pacifica. It will bring in wealthy people and their friends who may also move her and maybe even start a business. They will be spending money, hiring locals and these homes will raise the value of surrounding homes which will have a ripple affect on our economy. No it's not the answer to our problems, but it sure ins not a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

If Fix Pacifica is 99% liberal Democrats, we just located the 1% hard line right-wingers.

Trickle-down, voodoo economics like you're RAH-RAHing are as Republican as it gets.

Romney would be proud.

Anonymous said...

931 It's when politics meet economics that shit happens.

Hutch said...

Let me ask you 9:31, Population has grown dramatically in the past 10 years. Every other City in the Bay Area has added from 5-20% more people except Pacifica.

Where do you expect people to live? Somewhere else?

Do you think that is solving any environmental issue?

Do you care about people having a place to live?

There are many more reasons than paying for city services to add population like thriving businesses, Jobs, sales tax, stable home prices, other taxes & fees, new businesses.

Every other city knows you can't keep your population the same for 30 years and not be in big trouble. We are not an island.

BTW, been a registered Democrat for 40 years baby. Moderate. But I probably look right wing to a wing nut radical liberal.

Anonymous said...

Population and revenue are not the same thing. Never have been. Population without a real commercial tax base is a recipe for disaster aka Pacifica and so many other cities in the Bay Area. We can't even support modest retail (and it's equally modest sales tax revenue) because of the way people shop today. And what does it really mean to add population? Want to add 10,000 people? You'd need 5000 new housing units. Not going to happen. 25 a year? Maybe. Not a solution to our money problems.

Anonymous said...

I don't care what you're registered as, your views and opinions speak for themselves.

Coddling the rich because "they're the job creators" or "a rising tide raises all boats" is toeing the Republican line.

I don't really care what your views are, but you can't call yourself a moderate Democrat while you carry water for the Republicans.

Name on "moderate Democrat" position you hold with regards to Pacifica.

Thus may take some time. I'll wait.

Hutch said...

1250 I don't have to explain myself to someone too afraid to put their name on an accusation, but ok.

I have stated here I'm in favor of charging shopping centers a penalty for empty storefronts.

I am strongly in favor of adding affordable housing here. I am disappointed there is none included in Harmony, but it's too late now to change that.

I would also be in favor of some kind of rent control here.

I'm against taxing the poor as they tried to do with measure v.

I've said many times I'm pro environment and have argued for protection of San Pedro Creek.

There 5 want more little chicken?

Do you also see people like Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer and Jackie Spier as right wingers? Maybe it's you that have the problem?

Kathy Meeh said...

931, fixing Pacifica is about local civilized, rational people who can count and think about unified city survival and improvement concerns that function outside national politics. Your comment is further evidence that NIMBIES can neither count nor reason.

30 years of living with the NIMBY cabal in this city has defied logic. "Our environment is our economy, "we can do nothing", eliminating city land, obstructing reasonable mixed use and other developments has crippled our city economy. (For the past 10 years this city has had the "dead last" economy of 20 San Mateo cities).

1242, 1250 what economic development or taxes do you support to boost our city economy? I think there is no economic reconciliation with our city NIMBIES, only a series of deflections and excuses. Go ahead prove me wrong.

Dan Murray said...


I'm not 1242
or 1250, but my suggestion (also mentioned previously by others) is to rezone Gypsy Hill as a light commercial area. Rather than build multiple housing as the current owners have proposed, Gypsy Hill would better serve the community if it was developed as a small scale office park which would bring an increased revenue stream to city coffers. The visual impact could be designed so as to be unobtrusive and any traffic would not impact Highway 1 as many of the workers would likely hail from outside Pacifica. It would be expected that increased traffic on Sharp park Road would occur weekdays likely at 8:00-9:00 a.m and again in the late afternoon. A stop light at the entrance to Gypsy Hill Road would probably be necessary, but a small price to pay for much needed revenue. As it stands now, Gypsy Hill is enjoyed by only two or three homeowners and does nothing to benefit the remaining 40,000 residents of our town.

Record Keeper said...

I seem to recall that Harmony was going to build some work force housing on part of the property over by the post office. I think the gang of no objected to the location. A fourplex or duplex.
Not entirely sure. There has always been an option to pay cash in lieu, why would you want to battle to lose money on building. Just pay up. Quicker, easier, but not as good for the community. Those units could have been great housing for a few families.
Thanks gang of no. AGAIN

Anonymous said...

Dan, with all respect, who are we to tell the owners who bought that property for a specific reason that we're changing the rules on them?

I live near there and I have no complaint about the proposed project.

Anonymous said...

Bring money, Dan. And how about an economic development director?

Anonymous said...

Kathy 1242 favors hotels and the marketing thereof. We are in the right spot to get SF's overflow or the price conscious.

Anonymous said...

Actually Nancy Hall and John Curtis told city council and the owners how many houses they would allow at harnony at 1. They kept slashing the numbers.

An apartment complex or condo on that site would have made more sense up there.

Dan Murray said...


Not necessarily a changing of the rules. It's fairly common to do an overlay of zoning, allowing for several types of development. In this case an R-1( housing) and a C-1(?) commercial. This would allow the owners to consider other offers and possibly increase the marketability and
subsequent sales price
I'm not suggesting that Gypsy Hill be rezoned as only commercial, just pointing out the possible benefits if the property was developed as commercial. I think that it has already been determined that increased housing often results in more operating service costs than the additional revenue the City brings in from the property taxes.

Anonymous said...

Ok I see your point Dan. We do need to add housing too though. People need to live somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Record keeper they paid an in lieu fee to the city, instead of building lower income housing on the site.

Anonymous said...


Quit blaming shit on annon people's and their posts.

That is even more chicken shit method than posting annon.

Some people do not want their names all over these blogs.

Anonymous said...

It was not "low income housing" it was affordable housing. Big difference. Low income is for poor people. Affordable is for working class.

Anonymous said...

1025 Correctimundo! And council allowed them to pay a paltry $350K in-lieu on a $50 million dollar project. Done as a consent agenda item naturally. Kinda like a fart in church. I do believe Tom Clifford remembers this. That consent agenda crap out to be outlawed. Several of our current council lunkheads participated. Wonder what they did with that money? Poured it into the bottomless pit on Beach Blvd? Palmetto? Palmetto gets a lot of laughs in RWC. Pacifica's always good for a giggle with the county.

Kathy Meeh said...

Yeah Hutch, we should hold a "pitty party" for twisted Anonymous 1027 am, 10/3, 12:50 pm who hides under anonymous cover to express his "chicken s*#t" attacks on people with names. You know, "pitty party", because some abusers "do not want their names all over these blogs".

Of course to find names of those who comment on the internet from "these blogs", you'd have to pull up the specific article, and view all the comments. And in this community, you probably are not invisible (people probably already know your sentiments).

Now if you write an article, or are named in an article, the internet search result may be slightly different. There is a tiny possibility you may be named. I just found my name linked to the generic Pacifica Riptide blog Tuesday, 9/30, when Ian Butler blasted Fix, especially me. Gee, that was tedious, and scary (not). The google internet search also pulled-up lots of Fix images, which included the petroleum oil drenched surfer picture Steve posted Thursday (10/2).

1027, bottom line, there is zero virtue or logic in your whiny hit on people with names while you hide. Further, your fair practice, ethic claim that named people should not counter lame anonymous comments doesn't pass the "chicken s*#t" smell test.

Dan Murray said...

Anon@835am: Agreed that additional housing is needed; that's true all over the Bay Area. But what's the point of adding housing if there is not enough money coming in to support/improve the existing infrastructure. A municipality cannot keep adding residents while continually providing less and less services to its residents. My view on the current proposed Gypsy Hill project is that while it does offer some so-called "affordable" housing, it is primarily planned as residences for those few truly wealthy people who can afford to pay the going market rate. This excludes most current Pacificans as well as their children. Little doubt in my mind that these homes will be bought by cash rich techies or their ilk.

Pacifica needs to get its priorities straight by first developing a sound tax base which will most likely be commercial development.Once some kind of financial stability is achieved then start looking at where and how additional housing can be added that will be available to Pacificans of modest means. Gypsy Hill and Harmony are not going to be the answer for our future housing needs.

Kathy Meeh said...

Dan 906 PM, as you point out all kinds of development is needed in this city, (and you are exactly in agreement with City Council candidate Therese Dyer on that one). But why would any particular type of development necessarily need to be built first? City tax revenue is generated from development activity period.

Commercial/retail, mixed-use? Beach Blvd and the quarry should be developed. Since "traffic" was the #1 reason against the proposed 2006 concept, highway widening at Rockaway and Vallemar should advance as soon as Caltrans is allowed to move forward.

Yesterday (10/3, 222 PM) you were urging rezoning of Gypsy Hill (but I think the property owners rejected that memo prior). Now you're concerned that wealthy people will buy these properties. Today at 737 AM, I think you're saying that residential housing results in higher city operating cost than revenue received (we would all like to see that memo). Also consider that all taxes and related sources of revenue are all part of the city residential revenue equation. Yet, at 906 PM you're advocating for affordable or low income housing (which this city also needs plenty of).

Gypsy Hill, Harmony, formerly The Prospects, (if it ever gets built) are all part of the economic solution in this city-- along with other residential, commercial/retail/mixed-use projects. And we're overdue.

Anonymous said...

Significant commercial development should be the top priority in this city. Horse before the cart. Suitable land is scarce. It's painfully obvious we can't pay for the services required by the residents we already have. We are overly reliant on property tax and it is a pittance. A completed 10 home Harmony @ One will yield about $75,000/yearly. And they'll be shopping elsewhere. Adding housing without developing other sources of revenue is a disaster. Pacifica is loaded with housing stock built 1950-1975, but has lost the retail, auto dealerships, and service industry we had when those homes were built. That's not coming back and more housing isn't a replacement. It's an unpopular truth for the residential real estate lobby in this town, but Dan Murray is right, commercial development has to come first if we want to fix what's wrong with Pacifica.

Kathy Meeh said...

137 okay, so why didn't you support quarry development in 2006 and 2002?

Anonymous said...

Most of you people just don't have a clue. Go watch Vanna White and buy a vowel.

When developers and people invest in an area others follow. Look at the area around ATT park it was a shit hole. No reason to go down there. Go down there now. The same thing is happening in West Sacramento, Raley's Field was built now you have Condo's, apartments and stores and shops and restaurants. Right across the river from the State capitol. West Sacramento was a dump on the side of Highway 80. Crime and the Broderick boys ran the city. The city leaders got together and did a gang injunction and chased the trouble makers out. Southport area was built, now the Bridge District (Raley's Field) Is being built.

Aspen Drive was a crappy street in Park Pacifica, a couple of the slobs moved and young families moved in and now the street looks nice. Drive back in Park Pacifica Estates, very nice houses with pride of ownership. You will always have a few pigs who live in shitty houses, but eventually the pigs will die and or sell and new people come in.

Considering the only new houses added to Pacifica was a couple of the surplus school sites and the houses on the bluff above Oceana, they have done a pretty anemic job of adding the housing.

Apartments the only newer apartments I can think about in town are the ones right by Eureka Square and the small complex by the golf course. If a few people start fixing their properties on Palmetto the street can turn around.

If the quarry was built, and I think building the mega mansions was way over done. That was the only part of the quarry project I didn't like. If the quarry project is ever built more developers will come down and take a look at other sites. Peebles came down to take a look at the hotel across from Nicks, looked at Nicks saw the quarry and said hmmmm.

The narrow minded self centered gang of no so screwed this town of every being anything. That is the way these pigs live so everyone has to live in squalor.

Anonymous said...

Because those quarry proposals were primarily large residential projects ? Just guessing.

Hutch said...

137 The reason we lost the retail is wes we haven't increased our population in 30 years. Ask any business here if adding a little population is a positive. There's much more to the housing equation than only property tax vs cost of services.

Bottom line, we can't afford to be choosy. If a developer comes here and wants to build housing, that's their call. We can't be telling them no, we want you to build a shopping center or industrial park, not 355 houses.

Anonymous said...

I disagree 137. I think as the wealthy people that purchase at Harmony get acquainted with the town they invested in they will dine out and shop in our many one of a kind businesses like Oceana Market, Nicks, The Surf Spot ect. Did you see the butlers quarters? well, if they run out of milk I don't see him driving over the hill. Have faith. If they're spending 4 mil in Pacifica, they are going to explore their investment.

Anonymous said...

Towns like Pacifica "lost" their retail because in the last 35 years people changed how they shopped. Malls came along, big box and then add on-line. We aren't some time capsule immune to that. Jobs and shopping are over the hill. Building more housing here won't change that. We're already in the hole trying to pay for the housing and residents we have. It will take commercial development to get us out. Not what local realtors and developers want to hear, but it's a fact. Or, we can tax ourselves a lot more. Think we said no to that and defeated it rahrahrah? Council already found a way with the sewer fund as their cookie jar and your vote was not needed. Get low on cash, raise the rate. Commercial development on the few scraps of land left for it is the only way out. Build housing without commercial and you just deepen the hole.

Anonymous said...

Actually have you ever visited the Roberts Road condos? Lots of highway noise and dirt and soot from the highway.

The houses might be high enough up on the hill to screen the noise and soot.

I would have much rather 20 houses that cost half the price up there but we have to do what Nancy Hall and John Curtis say!

Anonymous said...

828 Of course. And no guarantee in either measure that anything other than housing would be built or that Pacifica wouldn't have to fund amenities. None. Build that housing in the quarry and you've added less than a 1000 people who will live here and spend elsewhere just like the rest of us. 350 units of typical construction would add about $450K in property tax. Nice chunk of change that will be sorely needed but not enough to save this town from collapsing.

Kathy Meeh said...

1115, no, what caused the loss of commerce and housing in Pacifica was unmistakably the NIMBY plot to develop nothing, and at the same time to eliminate city land.

And more NIMBY double speak. You have resurfaced what appears to be another false claim: "We're already in the hole trying to pay for the housing and residents we have." Really? Prove it! Since commerce in this city may only produce $1.5 million in sales tax revenue, housing related taxes and subsidies must be a major component in funding this city.

Meantime, we'll just consider your comment to be another twisted, not credible version of NIMBIES can't or won't count. We must move on without you.

Anonymous said...

849 Your're funny. A butler? If and when Harmony is built out, the residents will not spend any more in Pacifica than anyone else does. 10 houses, maybe 25 or 30 people on all that land in total kicking in $75K/yearly in taxes and maybe another $75K in gas and milk. Maybe. Visitor serving commercial up there, a hotel and restaurant would have brought in over a million/yearly, permanent jobs, visitors. Ten houses is a waste of prime developable land, but wow look at all the permanent open space protected with a development of just 10 homes on that land. Got to love those collaborations between the hippies and the builders. Somebody will make money off it, but not the City of Pacifica.

Anonymous said...

Hutch, we cannot afford not to be choosey.

Anonymous said...

1119 Friends in the grey condos have to wash their windows a lot. And keep them closed. Trade off for the view, but they'd love to be further up the hill. Just got to win the lottery.

Anonymous said...

Kathy, Pacifica's revenue pie is so anemic and inadequate that of course property tax is the biggest slice of a tiny, whithered pie. Pacifica is starving. In terms of revenue creation we've developed almost nothing but housing since Pacifica's incorporation in 1957. Lost most of our businesses long ago. Developed no industry. Sold off some prime real estate on Mori Point for a park. Slept through major consumer shifts. It's our over-reliance on property tax that is the problem. It's come down to make commercial development the priority or perish.

Anonymous said...

459 By golly, you've got it! We need a ballpark. And a MBL team to play in it.
Nihart, get on that, would ya?

Anonymous said...

Put that ballpark in the quarry and people could get there by trail. Oh, that'll sell tickets.

Anonymous said...


It's 2am and we all know the girls are prettier at closing time. Last call for alcohol has been called. Put your beer goggles back on and look around. Pacifica is a dump.