Monday, February 22, 2016

Proposed density limit changes have some Pacifica residents concerned

By"Pacifica's Own" on February 21, 2016 12:30 pm

Pacifica officials are discussing changes to one of the city’s housing density limits, prompting concerns among some residents who fear new construction could alter their neighborhood’s character and exceed infrastructure capacity.

Fifty-two residents attended a Planning Commission meeting Tuesday, most opposing any potential changes.

At issue are 93 undeveloped land parcels, subdivided in or around 1908 and purchased by private individuals. Seventy-nine of the parcels are in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood’s Rockaway Valley.

The parcels are subject to conflicting density requirements. Because they are in the city’s Single Family Residential Hillside District, city code allows one home to be built for every 5,000 square feet of land in the parcel.

However, Pacifica’s General Plan places much stricter limits on the parcels, subjecting them to Very Low Density Residential requirements. Under those restrictions, only one home can be built for each half-acre (21,780 square feet) of land. All of the parcels in question are less than one half-acre.

Planning Director Tina Wehrmeister said the need for study sessions became apparent last year, when a developer applied for permits to build two homes on one of the Rockaway Valley parcels. Such a project would necessitate subdividing the parcel, and therefore run afoul of the VLDR requirement.

Some residents who spoke at the recent meeting would like to see no new development, but Wehrmeister said the city is legally obligated to allow parcel owners to develop their properties.


Posted by Steve Sinai


Anonymous said...

Yes, for more development!

Anonymous said...

Now that we've neutered California coastal commission we can get some long term plans done.

Replace beach blvd retaining wall. Build library at beach blvd, Build quarry.

We don't make enough from property tax to pay our bills. Twelve or fifteen hundred new homes would increase our property taxes enough we could pay our bills forever.

Anonymous said...

We're short by tens of thousands of homes on the Peninsula, yet still some want to advocate for very low density housing? We want more jobs - but not the housing for the workers to live in? Like so much else around here, it makes no sense!

Anonymous said...

We need to change all those very low density parcels to low density parcels asap.

If Keener's Commies get a majority in November we will have lost our opportunity to create a lot of new homes in Pacifica for the next decade.

Lori Tinfow is sympathetic to our cause. Planning is sympathetic. We have the votes.

Let's build these lots now before we lose the opportunity.

The Local Libertarian said...

Rockaway is an exclusive and also a very neat area. In my opinion, it is the best of residential areas in Pacifica (Some will say Pedro Point, but whatever :)). So, I am of the opinion that we should encourage "quality" build out in the area (in line with One Harmony) so we attract premium buyers.

Why premium buyers? This will help the local school district owing to higher tax base. And a strong school district will help elevate the housing prices for every one in the neighborhood.

This then provides a way "out" for current existing owners to cash out (if they so desire) and/or set off an effect of sustainable rising tide which will help everyone.

Good school district, higher home prices is a good positive feedback system to have.

Anonymous said...

Yes 10:03. If we lose Karen or Mary Ann in this next election we may never get this opportunity again. Coastal is in flux. City manager and planning are on our side. Its now or never and we need to push this council just a little harder to take care of the problem in rockaway and build that housing.

Anonymous said...

93 homes and the pittance of property tax Pacifica would get from them won't do a thing for Pacifica's empty treasury. Market rate homes don't provide affordable housing. However, realtors and builders will make a tidy sum from each sale and Pacifica will have some new housing stock and it's infill, right? Infill. Knowing that, what's the problem?

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with realtors making a commission on new home sales?
How did you find your house, on ebay?

Realtors are often put down as puppets in cheap blazers, when we are the most frequent path to home ownership.

The second we're not worth our commissions we stop getting them.

The Local Libertarian said...

@11:16 -- So what do you want to do? You don't want new housing and yet complain about lack of affordable housing. Do you not agree that increased housing availability (expensive or otherwise) will alleviate the overall pressure in the area?

So what do you propose we do? And so what if realtors and/or builder make a tidy sum? Wouldn't that be good for the economy (because they'd have to spend/reinvest any such tidy sums).

Its not infill. If you read the report put out by the planning dept., its a zoning mismatch. VLDR specifies a home for every .5 acre. However, the existing plot map specifies lots that are less than .5 acres. They planning dept is trying to resolve this (as they should) or be prepared to be sued into bankruptcy and dis-incorporation.

Anonymous said...

"Yes 1003". Yes, oh yes 1003, yes. LMAO. It's time for an epic earth-moving battle between Nihart and Ervin's mousy library/school crowd and the cunning hippies. Armageddon! PACS, SAMCAR, builders you know who your friends are. Pay for it!

Anonymous said...

1147 the sued into bankruptcy and dis-incorporated line was scarier a month ago when we weren't actually bankrupt. Now it's another option we have, and not even the least pleasant one.

What month and year you think the last change on that VLDR designation was, 1980, right? Was there some legal precedent in the last month that would make us more likely to be sued than the last 36 years straight or is it the same rare possibility we've faced for 36 years?

1003 is on the right track, push this through now before we lose the votes.
Incumbents almost never survive brushes with bankruptcy. Best thing Ervin and Mary Anne can do is try to hide this whole thing from more publicity until December.

Anonymous said...

Lib, I'm not opposed to any kind of new housing in Pacifica, but I'm always amused by the way those who would profit personally from new housing claim to be motivated by more noble motives. Motives so often topical and opportunistic. Human nature I guess to say almost anything to get what you want. BTW, I've profited from real estate and plan to continue. In it for the money and honest about it.

Steve Sinai said...

I'm always amused by the way those who block new housing later complain about housing costs and insist on rent control.

Anonymous said...

Wow is all I can say to last nights city council meeting.
Our cpa Lorenzo Hines is long on charm, short on answers.

Anonymous said...

Every time I see Lorenzo Hines I think of the Carlton Dance!

Kathy Meeh said...

355. The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report analysis was prepared by Maze and Associates, 12/30/15, with contribution from multiple City departments. See computer page 13 of 172 pdf pages of the Report.
This was not a Report that Lorenzo Hines Jr., CPA, Assistant City Manager put together himself.

Anonymous said...

Kathy you could be right but that is inconsistent with what Lorenzo Hines stated last night.

It was obvious that Mike O'Neill and John Keener understand finance a lot better than Sue Digre or Karen Ervin.

I was kind of embarrassed for Hines when he couldn't answer the questions. City Manager seemed to know the whole CAFR inside and out though.

Kathy Meeh said...

445, Lorenzo Hines, Jr. said if you have questions about the Report call him.
Hard to know what project he is currently working on, or what might have formed your opinion. And what you're referring to in my comment as "inconsistent with what Lorenzo Hines stated last night" is unknown to me.

Assistant Manager Hines is a professional Finance Director, MBA, and CPA, see LinkedIn. Council members viewed and commented on their points of interest from the Report.

Anonymous said...

The PIA church ladies and all the complaining renters should demand affordable housing in rockaway. Gloria Stofan lives there--time to walk the big talk PIA!

The Local Libertarian said...

@8:43 -- Woah! You can ask a favor of someone if you are willing to exchange a favor likewise. You simply expect favors from a private property owner who is adhering to code.

Just so we are clear here. The platted lots in Rockaway beach have been "grandfathered" in. They were platted out before the area was designated VLDR.

And VLDR specifies a minimum lot size of 5000 sq ft. with 50 ft road frontage (and other appropriate setbacks). Most of the lots in Rockaway beach do not confirm to this specification. And they have been that way since at least 1970 -- before the area was designated VLDR.

The city "merged" some parcels back in the '80s based on arbitrary decisions to make them consistent with zoning. But most of the lots still do not confirm. And they are in the "right". The city simply cannot make decisions that would constitute "taking". It would expose the city to significant litigation as highlighted by the planning department.

Since a lot of these properties are on "paper streets" and they've been bought a long time ago (back in 60s) the owners didn't bother developing them. Now that the market is different, there is a desire to develop these lots. And the city cannot prevent the land owners from doing so in the name of "non conformance".

The city screwed up when they zoned Rockaway VLDR. The current planning department is smart enough to realize this screw up and I believe are trying to address it in earnest. The city is doing a favor for themselves here.

The land owners do not owe any favors to the city. And therefore there isn't a case for affordable housing or freebies to be handed out.

The Local Libertarian said...

The best we can expect is increased population, higher tax base and hopeful improvements to the neighborhood school district.

Look, I feel for people who cannot afford the rents in Bay Area. Its a terrible situation. But land/home owners did not create this situation.

The growth of technology, influx of immigrants, bad civic and economic planning resulted in the current situation.

Anonymous said...

Exposing the city to significant litigation is an understatement....
need I remind you that Peter Loeb and Todd Bray both reside in Rockaway. Their true colors will certainly shine brightly if there is even a hint of asking them to share with others. "I Got Mines" Rule Baby!!!!!

The Local Libertarian said...

@12:17 -- What I've observed about these so called hippies is that they use the "moral high ground" rhetoric to push their agenda. But at the end of the day, they are just like any other group trying to further whatever it is they desire.

I am perfectly ok with groups competing for resources. That is the way it has always been and will always be. But to disguise their stance in some kind of "better than thou" morality while subjecting the other group/groups to disadvantage is just as bad erstwhile colonialism.

The "natives" don't know what is good for them. So lets them teach culture while we take their land for a "higher purpose".

I am also ok with allocating lands for public usage. Its a good social sharing model. But that should come from goodwill, not forced down with myriad of laws and regulations behind which the so called hippies hide.