Friday, February 27, 2015

Palmetto Avenue Business District

Image result for Palmetto Avenue business district, Pacifica, CA picture
There was a fund to develop Palmetto
Pacifica Tribune/Horace Hinshaw, Editor, 2/24/15. "This is the way I see it.."  From public comments at City Council Goal Setting, 2/20/15, Palmetto Avenue Business owner.

Image result for Palmetto Avenue, Pacifica, CA sign pictures
Palmetto on life support 20 years
"Rita Anderson of In the Attic questioned the councilmembers on the Palmetto Avenue project, saying, "I have owned two businesses on Palmetto Avenue for the last 10 years and have listened to the promise of redevelopment of Palmetto for close to 20 years now. Palmetto is the lost street of Pacifica; it was supposed to have been redeveloped as a historic district. We would like to know when, because we have suffered lost business since construction began. There are no signs on the highway to indicate a business district. I call it the lost street because it's the street vehicles exit onto when trying to find how to get somewhere else."

Rita Anderson, along with four other attendees questioned the sign ordinance, said that taking away sandwich-type sign boards, which are placed in front of their stores, is hurting business. Coourtney Conlon, representing the Chamber, added, "Several of our members, as well as other businesses throughout Pacifica are very upset over the recently enforced sign ordinance. I've checked with my colleagues throughout the county, and yes, all cities have sign ordinances. So, what the Chamber wants to do is to explore options by talking to some of those cities and see how they've handled the ordinance. We then would make a proposal to the City to open up dialogue on how to make our city more business friendly and at the same time make the city in compliance with the sign ordinance."  Read article.

Image result for Palmetto Avenue business district, Pacifica, CA picture
Worried about signs, wake up Pacifica
Related development article The Examiner/Brendan P. Bartholomew, 1/20/15, "Pacifica pushes forward in plan for mixed-use project at former wastewater treatment site."  .... "For the project to move forward, the city must rezone the property -- which sits in the coastal zone -- from public use to mixed use, and it must receive the approval of the California Coastal Commission. According to commission enforcement program supervisor Nancy Cave, the commission recently responded in writing to a city request for input regarding the Beach Boulevard project proposal.  ....  Councilman Mike O'Neil said he's in favor of the development, partly because it could provide the city with about $500,000 in annual revenues."   

Relate business organization view to visitors - Pacifica Chamber of Commerce/Visit Pacifica. "The natural beauty and unparalleled serenity of Pacifica has beckoned travelers to this coastal gem for more than 100 years. Located just 15 minutes south of San Francisco, Pacifica feels worlds away from the most vibrant, international communities on the West Coast, yet is easily accessible from Highway 1. Its rich cultural heritage and bohemian-esque personality make it an original destination worth uncovering.  The natural beauty and unparalled serenity of Pacifica has beckoned travelers to this coastal gem for more than 100 years.  Pacifica feels worlds away from the most vibrant, international communities on the on the West Coast, yet is easily accessible from Highway 1.  Its rich cultural heritage and bohemian-esque personality makes it an original destination worth uncovering."

The natural beauty and unparalleled serenity of Pacifica has beckoned travelers to this coastal gem for more than 100 years. Located just 15 minutes south of San Francisco, Pacifica feels worlds away from the most vibrant, international communities on the West Coast, yet is easily accessible from Highway 1. Its rich cultural heritage and bohemian-esque personality make it an original destination worth uncovering. - See more at:
Related City Council venue-  Fix Pacifica reprint article, City Council Goal Setting Study Session Agenda, 2/20/15 and 2/21/15.

Note photographs.  Ambulance from  ABC 7 News, 2/8/15.  Old waste water treatment plant from the related Examiner article. Sign by Todd Bray (artist) from Pacifica Riptide, 7/22/11. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

Council, here's a really ugly sign for you...that empty Denny's. Speaks volumes about this town and YOU! It says dead town. Quit messing with the signs of open businesses and do something productive about Pacifica's dying business community.

todd bray said...

God damn. Kathy, that Star Fish is my original art work. You DO NOT have permission to reproduce it for any reason. Jeese, enough!!!

Kathy Meeh said...

Todd 759, you're welcome. Who knows, maybe a job or sale will come out of my generosity in posting your graphic. Definitely credit is given to you, as noted in the postscript.

Your graphic is public, and your outrage is misplaced, but what else is new? Got any positive solutions for this city that continues to limp along without an adequate economic base? .....

I didn't think so. That's what NIMBIES have gifted this city: no progress; and in that regard, decades of absolutely nothing, except obstruction and decay.

Anonymous said...

ahhh Mr Bray: pix of a starfish is fair use. Back to your basement!

Anonymous said...

Someone please help me out.

Can you ever mention a time and place where Mr Bray isn't having a pissy fit.

Sharon said...

Know some out-of town folks who recently spent a day at the pier fishing and wanted to know why the area had but one place to grab a bite and why there were no souvenir shops. They could not comprehend the sight of the old WWTP spoiling the view in what should be a treasured & money making area. Shame on this city for allowing that area to sit fallow for all these years. It's a blight.

Anonymous said...


Money making and Pacifica in the same subject is pretty funny.

You get run out of town for speaking such nonsense around these parts.

Anonymous said...

Shame? Blight? Add in denial and you have described Pacifica. It isn't that we can't create revenue to sustain this city, we just elect people who don't want to--either for reasons of ideology or because of political ambition. Then we rant about nimbys. And waste ocean front real estate on a library and council shrine. Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Palmetto revitalization was Karen's pet project. Too bad her base didn't tell her the city was broke.

Anonymous said...

Oh for Christ's sake. Karen Ervin is not the problem. She's not the solution either, but IMHO she is the only one not crippled by ideology or ambition and monumental ego. So she'll probably be a one-termer.

Anonymous said...

Christ won't help you if you use his name in vane!

Anonymous said...

In vain? Mea maxima culpa. 16 plus years of Catholic schools failed me. That's the Pacifica Effect!

Common Sense said...

Yesterday I had an appointment on 4th Avenue in Berkeley. Here is a street that really reminds me of Palmetto. It's off the beaten track, hard to find, yet BOOMING. And they have sidewalk signs all over.

But it was not always that way. Up until the mid-90s, It was once a sleepy warehouse district with used car parts, contractors offices, and dilipidated manufacturing operations. What happened did not happen overnight, but on a piecemeal basis. Property owners worked together to make it a destination for Home Improvement and Gourmet Food...creating a synergy and winning combination that attracted more retail stores.

Indeed Karen Ervin wants to follow the footsteps of many before her who had the same cliche and who wanted to improve Palmetto. But sadly when she runs for re-election in 2016, she will not have much to show, and get re-elected anyway!. These same people have wanted the city to hire an Economic Manager to shake things up, but they are very naive: There is really nothing to shake here. Karen, Mary Ann are beholden to the slow/no growthers and thus will not sponsor any bold statements. The word on the street one wants the economic manager job, or at least no one the council or city manager wants to work with. And even if they hired someone, what would this person do? Politically, there is no appetite for new development anywhere in town. The library is a big question mark, as Linda Mar / Back of the Valley talks of "Saving Sanchez Library" instead of putting a new library on Palmetto. Maybe Pacifica can up the cash another 25 or 50 thousand like they did for the Assistant City Manager job...but, the political environment is stifling, and whoever they get may suffocate from boredom and the structural problems which inhibit anyone economically developing anything.

Meanwhile more shops are closing in Kimco centers. The people want to know why the city is not doing anything about this The excuses of a "remote corporation' don't work with me.

The following link points to an excellent article about Fourth Street, Berkeley, if you have nothing to do in town here, or are curious, I strongly suggest you go visit, and see what Common Sense thinks Palmetto COULD be like, if we were only clever enough!:

Val E. Mar said...

I that a new library could or should go in or next to Vallemar School. City of San Jose built a new library with the school at San Jose State. Vallemar is the center of Pacifica, not Palmetto.... and nodding to Common Sense, we have the most clever people here!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Council, here's a really ugly sign for you...that empty Denny's. Speaks volumes about this town and YOU! It says dead town. Quit messing with the signs of open businesses and do something productive about Pacifica's dying business community.

February 27, 2015 at 2:14 AM

I nominate this post for post of the year!

Anonymous said...

Pacifica exists at mercy of overflow residents/dependents on the economy of San Francsico and Silicon Valley.

Berkeley has Univ. of Berkeley which has a significant endowment and also has Federally funded Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

Therefore, I do not think its reasonable to compare Pacifica to Berkeley or for that matter any other town between San Francisco & San Jose.

However, it is reasonably close to SFO has vista views of Pacific Ocean.

Some ideas then:

1) Permit development of Luxury hotels in Palmetto district.

2) Permit development of trade-show infrastructure - convention halls, etc. Create a downtown where people can come visit, host, spend, take pictures of great views and leave.

3) Permit late night business -- bars, micro-breweries, restaurants

4) If there is unused city property that is lying idle, permit big Silicon valley firms to use it.

All of the above development could be limited to just northern Pacifica/Palmetto area which is already developed and therefore would not pose any additional risk to environment.

I also don't think it the lack of ideas and or capability to execute that holds Pacifica back.

Anonymous said...

There's something so poignant about all these dreams. Sure, we could do more with Palmetto, but we won't. We're not Berkeley with all its assets and attractions. We're a sleepy little coastal town with our only asset (the coast) heavily protected from commercial use, a town not well cared for over the decades, horrible zoning, hillbilly planning, and we have no land to develop even if someone were interested. The quarry? Just guessing, but isn't this the era of very low-density, high-priced housing development on the coast? Mini-estates. The kind of exclusive project which makes the developer richer and doesn't offend the regulators too much? Marketed to some of those techie and big-pharma one-percenters. The quarry is perfect for that. Our local enviros might even see it as the lesser of inevitable evils. That kind of development won't put a nickel in the town treasury but this is Pacifica and who's counting? And, then we have some dreamy soul who thinks the new library should go in Vallemar instead of Beach Blvd. when the right question is why is a new library even being considered? And, officially considered, no less. 444 skirts an uncomfortable truth about the hiring of an Economic Dev person and the rest of the charade. I'm admittedly a cynic after 30 years here, but that hiring and the rest of council's posturing is just good old politics. Nihart and to a lesser extent O'Neill strategically being a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. Keeping every one happy and not losing any voter bloc for next time. Those two are politicians, not dreamers. The other 3 council members are the equivalent of your earnest high school student council, going through their idealistic phase--although I do see some old-time fire and brimstone in enviro-warrior Keener. My dream is that Kimco empties out LM Center fast and sells the empty to someone who will steam roll a new eye-popping development in there, really max out the space, lots of mid-range condos/townhouses, a full-service grocery, restaurants, and make the development contingent on no poop pit at Linda Mar. Save that space for future development which could follow a new Linda Mar. Revitalize an area that is already commercial, highly visible and ready for it. That would change this town in one-step and in a very high-profile way. Hey, this is Pacifica where even cynics dream.

Anonymous said...

Hey 911 (the universe was messing with ya) let me guess...I heart Pacifica, right?

Anonymous said...

729 Nominated for a PLOVER? Me? Aw, shucks. This being February and Pacifica...I predict other nominations. Kanye showing up?

Anonymous said...

Let's not get all googley-eyed over the hiring of an Economic Develop person because council's idea of development is trails and a new library. And self-adoring surveys, don't forget the surveys.

I like donuts said...

9:46...that is some of the best and most thoughtful prose I ever read here on Fix Pacifica!

Anonymous said...

Actually quite a few people applied for the economic development job and the city wound it down to a short list but no one would take the job.

Rumor on the street the same thing happened with the assistant city manager job, the city raised the pay and found their guy.

People come in and see dirty dusty and a broke down city and figure it can not be any better than the gig I have now, no thanks.

Anonymous said...

What! No fire-eaters inspired by the enormity of the task? No one eager for the chance to be hailed as Warren Buffet for as little as a (seasonal) hot dog cart at the beach? No one wants to join our little theater ensemble in the role of political token? Shocking. I smell a double or triple dipping geezer or someone with a few warts.

Anonymous said...

They look at the cost of living in the bay area and say no way unless the salary is much higher. People don't give a damn what the town is like as long as they can make significantly more money than their current position. Try to buy or rent a place to live here and suddenly a bigger salary ain't worth dirt. Unless you're willing to do a 3-hour commute each way.

Anonymous said...


I notice the city manager Tinfoil hasn't moved here yet. Walnut Creek to Pacifica is at least a one hour commute without any traffic.

This tells me she won't be on the job for long.

Anonymous said...

All depends on the job-seeker. Single or family? Breadwinner? Career-wise, on the way up, on the way down. 2nd career, 2nd pension? Having Pacifica on your Economic Development resume might be an eye-rolling drawback if you want to move ahead. Duh. Green enough? You know they gotta be green! Good at games? Gotta be good at games. And good chemistry with the alphas. Couldn't pay me enough.

Anonymous said...

1211 She's just slumming long enough to
show career progress as a CM. 3 to 5. Then it's buhbye. Are we still paying that monthly "relo" money? Charge it to the cost of the new library.

Anonymous said...


I can just see the person at the next interview:

Interviewer: What did you do as Economic Development Officer in Pacifica.

Interviewer: Swatted flies.

Anonymous said...

206 Ok to swat flies as long as you kiss ass. The ass that hired you. Hired you because they spotted you as a smart ass-kissing type from the get go.
That's what gets you the great recommendations and the next job.

Anonymous said...


Pacifica doesn't offer too much for a single person. The City is more a hub for single young people with disposable income. Plus you can walk or taxi to the hot spots drink and have a safe drive home.

I was reading the Sunday Paper and they had a section about all the microbrew pubs in Livermore and Pleasanton.

Promotion is the Number 1 way for cities to bring people in. Pacifica does nothing but the Fog Fest.

Anonymous said...

Enduring a wild west blogosphere where city employees, such as the dearly departed Ms. Ritzma...are nitpicked, mocked, tarred and feathered anonymously and with impunity on this blog is a fringe benefit of working for Pacifica, that many shrewd job applicants might take a pass on. To the doughty sole who accepts this assignment, let's extend them some kindness and be gentle.

Anonymous said...


Its more about being a yes man or a yes person. You have to bow down to Mary Ann and kiss the ring. You have to use the important buzz words:

Snowy Plover
Red Legged Frogs
SF Gardner Snake

Anonymous said...

6:53...try Devil Slide Taproom in Pedro Point. It's off the hook!

Anonymous said...


Ritzma should have been tarred and feathered. She knew nothing about municipal finance and screwed up the books so bad no one can figure them out.

Btw did they find the "unaccounted for" 4 million dollars?

Anonymous said...

9:31: I doubt that anyone trying to do anything about the $4 mil other than sweep the whole mess under the rug and move on.

Anonymous said...


Devil Slide Taproom is awesome! But it's only one place.

Anonymous said...

The buck stops with city council. True for so many of our problems. We could say 4 million of our problems. Ritzma didn't put herself in that job or keep herself in it for 7 or 8 years. No need to rehash the how, why and who, or talk about who had the biggest grin afterward, but the buck stops with the city council. 4 million bucks. They know the passage of time is the politicians best friend. 4 million bucks? In this town that money is already gone AND forgotten. And council is responsible.

Anonymous said...

Hey, at least council didn't promote her to CM. They hired from outside for that. Makes you wonder who knew what and when? Or maybe it was just a shared love of libraries.