California Senate passes Martin’s Beach legislation, bill goes to Governor Brown

A bill seeking to force Martin’s Beach’s secretive owner, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, to negotiate to open a public right of way through his property to the ocean has passed both the California Assembly and the Senate and is headed to Governor Brown. Brown has twelve days to approve the bill.

The bill, SB968, was sponsored by Senator Jerry Hill.

Khosla secretly purchased the property in 2008 and blocked public access to the beach, despite California law which makes beaches public property. When Khosla’s identity was finally revealed many people were confused since Khosla had built a international reputation as an environmentally friendly investor. (Khosla has recently been criticized for his lack of success, and perhaps outright arrogance, in the energy sector. See a January 60 Minutes for one example as well as the written rebuttal from Khosla.)

In addition to the legislation, a lawsuit brought by the Surfrider Foundation is moving forward, supported by San Mateo County and the Coastal Commission.

Read more at the San Jose Mercury NewsSan Mateo Daily Journal and at SFGate.

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High school teacher adds YouTube, social media duties

Press Release-New Communication Tool

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Document: County planning department’s presentation slides on Big Wave development

These are the PowerPoint slides used by San Mateo County planner Camille Leung in her presentation to the San Mateo Planning Commission Wednesday morning and to the Midcoast Community Council later that same day. I contacted Leung, asking for a copy of her slides but she declined to send them to me directly, saying only that she would try to make them available on the web “hopefully early next week.” I questioned why she couldn’t just send them to me me electronically right away since they were already on her computer in electronic form, pointing out that the short comment period was underway, but I received no response. Instead, I obtained this document from another source.

Comments on this document are due September 2nd. The County is giving the citizens of the Coastside only a 30-day “courtesy” comment period.

(Correction: Leung’s presentation Wednesday morning was to the San Mateo Planning Commission, not the Board of Supervisors. Thanks to a reader for the correction.)

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County quietly fast-tracks Big Wave for approval, construction to begin in 2015

Despite overwhelming, perhaps record-setting, public opposition to its previous incarnation the Big Wave development project in Moss Beach has been quietly fast-tracked by the county planning department for approval. A planning commission vote has been scheduled for October 22 and the comment period for the final project draft is already two weeks into its 30-day “courtesy” review period.

Construction on the new version of the project, with only about ten percent less square footage than before but reconfigured into fewer buildings and a smaller overall footprint, is scheduled to begin in 2015.

There appears to be little chance of stopping the project or making significant changes.

The San Mateo County Planning and Building Department has in the past demonstrated such strong support for the project that it was often difficult to tell the difference between county staffers and project applicants. The Board of Supervisors will be unable to vote against a project they unanimously voted for in its last go-round, when the project was bigger and presented even greater environmental concerns. And it is unlikely that the Coastal Commission will once again sink the project since, according to Scott Holmes, Big Wave’s architect and planner, the new configuration of the project essentially conforms to the changes requested by the Committee for Green Foothills, a powerful opponent of the project when it was last before the Commission.

County planner Camille Leung, in a presentation to the MidCoast Community Council this evening, described the project in largely the same terms as in 2011, with some reductions in size and changes in configuration. Some of the project’s least believable claims have been rectified. For example, water will now be supplied by MWSD rather than wells or a desalination plant.

But blatant make-believe remains in the form of the traffic study, which finds that the five hundred plus sparking spaces won’t do anything much to traffic congestion coming out of the harbor area that a roundabout (at Cypress) won’t fix. According to Leung, the traffic consultants won’t be available to answer questions from the public directly prior the day of the planning commission vote because of their expensive hourly rates. Neither she nor Scott Holmes were able to explain the traffic study methodology or to offer detailed responses to criticisms of that report.

Readers who are interested in seeing the project proposal can find the documentation at the County’s web site: https://planning.smcgov.org/big-wave-north-parcel-alternative-project

You can send your comments on the proposal to project planner Camille Leung at cleung@smcgov.org

The comment deadline is September 2nd. Comments will be taken after the September 2nd deadline but they will not receive a response from the county. Comments received before the deadline will not receive an individual response but will instead be grouped with similar comments to which the county will offer a general response.

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Patridge will not seek reelection to Half Moon Bay City Council

Naomi Patridge, the long serving member of the Half Moon Bay City Council and widely considered the key “old guard” politician in the city will not be running again for office this November. Though no announcement has been made the deadline for incumbents to file to take part in the upcoming election has passed without Patridge filing papers.

Patridge has been a force in city government for a generation. Her upcoming absence from the city council marks an opportunity for other incumbents or newcomers to play a larger role.

The City has been rocked for years by devastating lawsuits and a chronic pattern of bad decision-making which has eroded confidence in the city’s leadership even among Patridge’s political base. The recent Main Street Bridge controversy is seen by opponents and supporters of the “old guard” alike to be a possible turning point in the political future of Half Moon Bay.

Two incumbents, Rick Kowalczyk and Allan Alifano, both relative newcomers to the local political scene who elected in 2009, did file the necessary paperwork to run for reelection in November.

There are three seats open out of a total of five seats.

Although the deadline for incumbents to file has passed the deadline for non-incumbents has been extended to the close of business this coming Wednesday, August 13th.

Don Prestosz has filed papers with a number of others “pulling papers,” which indicates an interest in running. As of this writing those pulling papers are Deborah Ruddock, Luciano Arruda, David Eblovi, Kimberly Levin, Rick Hernandez, Doreen Gerrity, and Harvey Rarback.

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Student photo show at Darin Boville Gallery in HMB, Saturday 12-4

A student show curated by a student!

Join us this Saturday for a new show at the Darin Boville Gallery—photographs by three local graduating high school students curated by Nicole Collins, also a Half Moon Bay High School student. Nicole, and the photographers she selected, are on their way to college but before they go we’re holding a show of their work.

The informal opening will run 12:00 to 4:00, Saturday, August 9, and we’ll have light refreshments.

The student works will be for sale at very reasonable prices—the gallery will donate mat board and matting and framing services and all of the proceeds will go to the students.

It’s our way of encouraging young people to think more seriously about art. Stop by for a few minutes and show your support!

The Darin Boville Gallery is located in Half Moon Bay on Route 92, just inside the city limits. Look for the red dinosaurs and pull in.

arch_fire_by_snipedev-d7ka4h2_small

Photo by 19-year-old Devin Atsatt of Half Moon Bay.

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El Granada teacher selected to be new principal

Press Release-Ladd

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Comparison of old Big Wave vs new Big Wave

The County has provided a table which highlights some of the differences between the old Big Wave proposal (defeated in 2012) and the new, revised proposal. The bumper sticker version is that the project has been shrunk by about 10% and largely shifted over to the north part of the project property. The number of buildings and footprint has been reduced but even with the reductions this is a very large project–its overall square footage remains well over a quarter million square feet.

BW Addendum_3

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Big Wave, again

Big Wave, the large development in Moss Beach that caused so much controversy over the past few years, is back.

You can get back up to speed by reading Montara Fog’s “Big Wave Chronology” and having a look at a 2009 video Montara Fog produced with Moss Beach resident Neil Merrilees.

Since the project’s defeat at the Coastal Commission in 2012 it has been redesigned–that new version is now making its way through the approval process. Here is a link to the updated project documents as provided by the County:

http://planning.smcgov.org/big-wave-north-parcel-alternative-project

An “information only” meeting is scheduled for August 13, 2014. Although downplayed by the County, this meeting will be important because, if the past experience with Big Wave is any guide, it will later be used to claim that the public was given sufficient notice about various aspects of the project.

Below is the e-mail I received from the County project planner Camille Leung (also the project planner for the project in the earlier attempt to gain approval). I will post an update when the location for the “information only” meeting is made public.

[Update: The location for the "information only" presentation on Big Wave will be in the Board of Supervisors chambers in Redwood City. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 am.  According to County Project Planner Camille Leung the "same" presentation will be made to the MCC the same day in El Granada at 7 pm.]

—————————————

PRESS RELEASE

NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF
ADDENDUM TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT

Notice is hereby given that the San Mateo County Planning and Building
Department has prepared an Addendum to the Certified 2010 Big Wave
Wellness Center and Office Park Project Draft EIR and Final EIR (2010
EIR). This item is now available for public review and comment at the
locations listed below.

PROJECT FILE NO.: PLN 2013-00451

PROJECT LOCATION: The 19.4-acre project site is located on Airport
Street, northwest of the Princeton/Pillar Point Harbor area, in
unincorporated San Mateo County and consists of two Assessor’s Parcel
Numbers (APN) 047-311-060 and APN 047-312-040.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The property owners, Big Wave LLC and Big Wave
Group, have revised the Big Wave Wellness Center and Office Park Project
(approved by the County in 2011 and denied by the California Coastal
Commission (CCC) on appeal in 2012) to reduce project scale, concentrate
development on the north parcel, include a boat storage use on the south
parcel, include public water and sewer connections, increase wetland
buffers, reduce project grading, and reduce project construction phasing
timeframe from 20 years to 15 years.

The revised project, referred to as the Big Wave North Parcel
Alternative Project (Big Wave NPA), includes development of the north
parcel (APN 047-311-060) with an Office Park, including five (5)
buildings containing a total 189,000 sq. ft. of
industrial/office/storage uses; a Wellness Center, including four (4)
buildings containing a total 70,500 sq. ft. and a maximum of 57 bedrooms
to provide affordable housing for a maximum of 50 develop-mentally
disabled adults and 20 staff; and 554 parking spaces, including 63
spaces for coastal access public parking. The project includes
development of the south parcel (APN 047-312-040) with a boat storage
lot and 29 spaces for coastal access public parking. The project
requires consideration of the following:

1. Use Permit for proposed parking uses to be located within the
Airport Overlay (AO) Zoning District; the modern sanitarium component of
the Wellness Center and its accessory uses; and Outdoor Boat Storage
Use.
2. Major Subdivision: The north parcel (APN 047-311-060) would be
subdivided into seven lots (Lots 1-7). Lot 1 includes the common areas
(wetlands, wetland buffers, fire trail). Lots 2 through 6 would contain
one industrial/office/storage building on each lot. Lot 7 includes the
four-building Wellness Center.
3. Minor Subdivision: The south parcel (APN 047-312-040) would be
subdivided into two lots (Lots 1-2). Lot 1 would contain outdoor boat
storage area. Lot 2 would remain undeveloped.
4. Coastal Development Permit, appealable to the CCC, for proposed
uses, structures and associated grading, related water and sewer
service, wetland habitat and other landscaping, and fencing.
5. Design Review Permit for proposed structures and associated
grading.
6. Grading Permit to perform 735 cubic yards (cy) of cut for
utility trenching and 21,400 cy of imported gravel.
7. Adoption of an ordinance approving the execution of a
Development Agreement with the County of San Mateo to allow for phasing
of project construction over 15 years.

Although the project description has substantially changed, the changes
have been designed with the expressed purpose of reducing environmental
effects. The County has determined that the Big Wave NPA has similar or
reduced environmental impacts from those described in the 2010 EIR.
Significant environmental effects identified in the 2010 EIR include:
Aesthetics, Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources,
Geology and Soils, Hazards and Hazardous Materials, Hydrology and Water
Quality, Noise, Public Services, Transportation and Traffic, and
Utilities and Service Systems.

There are no new significant environmental impacts or previously
identified significant impacts made more severe by project changes, new
circumstances, or new information. Therefore, the County has determined
that an EIR addendum should be prepared as the appropriate CEQA document
to address project revisions in accordance with CEQA Guideline §15164.
CEQA Guideline §15164(c) provides that an addendum need not be
circulated for public review.

COURTESY PUBLIC REVIEW PERIOD: July 31, 2014 – September 2, 2014.
Copies of this document are available at the following locations: (1)
the Planning Department’s website at
http://planning.smcgov.org/projects/big-wave; (2) the County Planning
Department, 455 County Center, 2nd Floor, Redwood City, CA 94063; and
(3) the Half Moon Bay Library, 620 Correas Street, Half Moon Bay, CA
94019. The 2010 EIR is available on the Planning Department’s website
at http://planning.smcgov.org/projects/big-wave

SCHEDULE OF HEARINGS:
Planning Commission Public Hearing (Information Only Session) –
August 13, 2014
Planning Commission Public Hearing – October 22, 2014

CONTACT PERSON:
Camille Leung, Project Planner
650/363-1826
cleung@smcgov.org

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Mysterious poison sickening and killing dogs at Mavericks [Updated]

[Update: The Half Moon Bay Review posted on their discussion board that they contacted the vet and there has only been a single poisoning case. The Facebook post which announced the problem has been deleted.]

From Bill Bechtell of Montaradogs.com:

I just received this message from Jackie West’s Facebook page. Jackie is a vet tech at Linda Mar Veterinary Clinic. I will try to find out more details, but in the meantime you might want to avoid taking your dog to Mavericks.

Just a heads up to all HMB people — we have had multiple clients that have come in to my veterinary clinic that have dogs that got into some kind of poison whose common connection is Mavericks. There is something out there that is poisonous to dogs. These dog present with foaming at the mouth, bleeding gums and some are dying from this. One of our doctors is currently trying to contact the Harbor Patrol. Please pass the word and keep an eye out.

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