Opinion: Fear of Foothill

Opinion

Posted by
Sun, May 21, 2006

CCF
Click for a larger image of the route.

Much spleen has been vented over the Foothill/Bayview proposal outlined by Coastside Community First.  Mike Ferreira pronounced it “baloney,” “hare-brained,” “mythical” and “haywire.” John Lynch gave it a “snowball’s chance in hell.”  Barry Parr found it “cynical,” Leonard Woren “cavalier.”  But how much substance is there behind all that vitriol?

“The Phantom Proposal”   Many critics have inaccurately attacked the previous, grandiose Foothill plans – not the proposal CCF made.  Naturally, this ‘straw man’ is easy to lambaste: a divided four-lane highway stretching from 92 to Young Avenue at Nurserymen’s Exchange.  The closest road of that size is Highway 1 in Pacifica north of Rockaway.  CCF’s two-lane proposal is wholly different, with a map on the front and Google photo on the back showing its much smaller extent.  Critics demonstrate fear of the actual proposal by refusing to accurately address it.

Costs    This thread of inaccuracy extends to critics’ alleged chief concern – the costs –, which they falsely calculate, based on a phantom proposal obviously not under consideration.  In fact, the reduced costs are one of the actual proposal’s chief virtues.  The Coastal Commission in its 2001 approval required Ailanto to pay its “fare share” (sic) of the roadway and intersection, as they would have with Beachwood.  Since the entire County and State would benefit from the roadway, local officials could procure outside funding, leaving little or no costs to the City.  Under the circumstances, only an obstructionist can believe a two-lane, one-mile-long road is somehow cost-prohibitive.

Click the link for the rest of the article.

Traffic circulation  Even less supported is the assertion that Foothill/Bayview would not improve traffic circulation.  Single-lane underpasses at both Bayview/1 and Foothill/92 would mean commuters, visitors and local traffic could transition between highways without stopping, while avoiding all of the congestion in the 92/Main/1 chokepoint.  The Coastal Commission confirmed that Ailanto’s traffic studies showed, even without other planned 92/Main/1 improvements, that “significant traffic impacts could be avoided if access to the project site were provided via either Foothill Boulevard or a combination of both Foothill and Bayview.”  Opponents appear unwilling to acknowledge that the CCF proposal is based on the extensive analysis the Commission employed in requiring Foothill and/or Bayview for Ailanto.

Community park  Critics are conspicuously silent on the Community Park’s proposed access, a plan that would be laughable were it not so dangerous and traffic-inducing.  A Foothill underpass would provide safe, congestion-free access, which (as Mr. Ferreira admits) was the City engineer’s preferred plan for Foothill/92 because of the site’s elevated grade.  Should Foothill continue through to connect with Stone Pine? Perhaps that issue should be decided by those most impacted, the residents of Cypress Cove.  It was they who were most blindsided when the prior City Council ‘borrowed’ the taxpayers’ credit card and secretly spent $3,100,000 on the land, without even the foreknowledge of its Parks & Rec Commission.

Boys’ & Girls’ Club/high school  Other benefits of Foothill/Bayview remain unchallenged.  The Boys’ & Girls’ Club needs safe Highway 1 access, which an underpass at Bayview/1 would provide.  The high school, doubling as our community’s emergency crisis center, badly needs dual access, which can only occur if Lewis Foster Drive is extended east to Foothill.  Mr. Ferreira may criticize such dual access now, but he recommended it less than two years ago in the Review (8/12/04).

92/Main project   Mr. Ferreira is now touting the 92/Main improvements as a traffic cure-all, although he sidesteps claiming that they will help westbound afternoon commuter and weekend visitor traffic.  Without Foothill, the benefits of the 92/Main improvements will be stunted.  Jim Constantini, who was the 92/Main project manager for five years, stated in the Review (10/01/03): “I was directed to reduce the easterly limits of the [92/Main] project, not because it wasn’t needed or to reduce costs, but because it might help the construction of Foothill….I guess some council members have forgotten that they were elected to serve the citizens of Half Moon Bay and not to work on their own agenda of limiting growth on the coast by forcing everyone else to suffer through traffic jams.”

Coastal access  The biggest reason we need Foothill/Bayview is to improve visitor coastal access, and on this issue the critics’ silence is deafening.  The Coastal Act was created both to preserve the coastline and ensure access to it, especially for the visitor.  There’s a real tension between these two goals, because the easiest way to preserve the coast is actually to restrict access to it.  That tension is resolved by balancing preservation and access, so that the visiting public can enjoy the coastline in the context of its preservation.  As the Coastal Commission stated in the Ailanto approval requiring Foothill and/or Bayview, “Because there are no alternative access routes to and along the coastline in this area of the coast, the extreme traffic congestion on Highways 1 and 92 significantly interferes with the public’s ability to access the area’s substantial public beaches and other visitor-serving coastal resources.”


These arguments appear self-contradictory to me.

On the one hand, we’re being told that the Foothill/Bayview “bypass” will improve traffic for existing residents and also promote easier coastal access for visitors (as both groups cut through the newly-created neighborhoods that come with the deal).

On the other hand, the Foothill/Bayview “bypass” is actually a package deal that comes with two new subdivisions (Beachwood and the super-sized version of Pacific Ridge) which would add hundreds of new homes along the bypass route.

The additional traffic generated by the additional houses built along the bypass route would likely negate any net traffic benefits from the bypass, not to mention the extreme negative impacts to the hillside views, known wetlands, habitat, etc.

Please show me where I said “cavalier.”

Referring to Mr. Lansings concerns about Foothill being “a package deal that comes with two new subdivisions” that would generate additional traffic…

Mr Bacon said something about there having been a traffic study:

The Coastal Commission confirmed that Ailanto’s traffic studies showed, even without other planned 92/Main/1 improvements, that “significant traffic impacts could be avoided if access to the project site were provided via either Foothill Boulevard or a combination of both Foothill and Bayview.” Opponents appear unwilling to acknowledge that the CCF proposal is based on the extensive analysis the Commission employed in requiring Foothill and/or Bayview for Ailanto.

Does anyone know where one can access the Ailanto traffic study so that we can see for ourselves?

Coastsidecommunityfirst.org is scanning in the Ailanto settlement agreement, City and Coastal Commission reports and conditional approvals for Ailanto, and any other related documents its webmasters can find, for public perusal.  People need to read this stuff.

It was Mike Ferreira who said the CCF Foothill proposal was “cavalier.”  Leonard Woren found the proposal “amusing,” asserting that it “snookers” (sic) the public.  His comments go on to refer to “BS” and “baloney.”

Kevin Lansing is concerned that Foothill could only occur if “hundreds of new homes” are thrown into the deal.  That doesn’t have to happen, if the City firmly negotiates with the developers in the interests of its citizenry.

First, I urge Kevin and the public to contemplate what will happen if we do nothing.  The settlement agreement will be fulfilled, allowing Ailanto to build 63 supersize houses with a stoplight at Terrace that the City and Coastal Commission already know will snarl traffic.  The houses will be exempted from Measure D, and configured such that Foothill can never be built.  Try to imagine 20, 50, 100 years from now the Coastside having no way around the 92/Main/1 chokepoint.  We will ensure that eventuality if the public does nothing now.

Second, the City is playing russian roulette over Beachwood.  With Barry’s permission I would like to treat the history of this subject at some length in the near future.  For now, suffice it to say that the City’s blanket denial of a Beachwood CDP in 2000, rather than an approval conditional upon a reduction of the number of homes and construction of Bayview Drive (as the Coastal Commission attempted in 2001), has given the developer a plausible argument that he no longer has a viable economic use for a tract that is zoned residential.  The City and developer are now locked into an all-or-nothing federal lawsuit that should be escaped by offering the developer reduced approvals along the lines the Coastal Commission devised in 2001.

If both the Ailanto and Beachwood projects were jointly, and firmly, renegotiated by the City for a modest number of homes in return for real traffic mitigation in the form of a Foothill/Bayview bypass, the outcome can be win-win.  Future generations would thank us.

I guess it really *is* all about traffic & infrastructure, and not about development!

Wouldn’t it have been much easier to be honest about your intentions from the start?

Don,

I’m glad that you’re in favor of City of HMB negotiations and settlements with potential developers. You wrote: “...Foothill could only occur if “hundreds of new homes” are thrown into the deal.  That doesn’t have to happen, if the City firmly negotiates with the developers in the interests of its citizenry.”

This has already been accomplished with Ailanto Properties on the Cypress Ridge project. The developer agreed to a reduction in housing density in exchange for an approval of their project. The City received a committment to preserve additional Cypress Ridge site area as open space (something of value to the entire community). Sounds like a win-win to me, Terrace Ave. resident issues notwithstanding.

You and I both know that the Foothill/Bayview bypass will bring additional housing density and more traffic to the area. So why the sudden outcry to reopen the settelment agreement for Cypress Ridge?

Steve,

Barry has requested that blog comments be as factually correct as possible. Soooo….

Point 1

The settlement agreement is shown on the Half Moon Bay City Site as: Pacific Ridge Settlement Agreement (March 2004) not Cypress Ridge project…unless there is some other Alianto project you are referring to?

Point 2

Your reference to “Sounds like a win-win to me, Terrace Ave. resident issues notwithstanding. ” is misleading.  2000 plus folks have signed a petition to negate this “out of Court Pacific Ridge Settlement Agreement” by asking the city to NOT install a traffic light on Highway 1 and Terrace Avenue.

This settlement agreement affects THOUSANDS of coastsiders traveling/commuting on Highway 1 in order to allow the developer to build 23 additional homes. Does this sound/smell/look like a win-win solution?

NOTE: The developer has Approval in hand NOW to build 40 homes without a signal if this “Out of Court Settlement agreement” is negated by the City Council or Cal Trans denial of CDP for a traffic signal.

Don Bacon in his story on Coastsider.com “Terrace stoplight: Recipe for traffic disaster discussed some of what I would call “morally improper” restrictions on public employees and elected officials.  These restrictions, in my opinion are reprehensible.

I have sent an open letter to Adam Lindgren, Contracted City Attorney of Half Moon Bay asking for the precedents upon which such a restrictive agreements is based. Does this sound/smell/look like a win-win solution?

I believe we all are “in favor of City of HMB negotiations and settlements with potential developers”, but they should be fair/equitable/open to the public and make for a win-win solution.


Jerry Steinberg
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Steve Skinner said (of Don Bacon)...

You wrote: “...Foothill could only occur if “hundreds of new homes” are thrown into the deal.  That doesn’t have to happen, if the City firmly negotiates with the developers in the interests of its citizenry.”

I would just like to point out a problem with Mr. Skinners “quote”. If one will take the time to go back to Mr. Bacon’s actual words (and I’ll do it here, but urge readers to please scroll up to see for themselves…) one will see that he was quoting in part someone else’s concerns!

Don Bacon wrote:

Kevin Lansing is concerned that Foothill could only occur if “hundreds of new homes” are thrown into the deal.  That doesn’t have to happen, if the City firmly negotiates with the developers in the interests of its citizenry.

As well as being civil (as Mr. Parr has urged) let’s also be careful in our attributions of the words of others. Online communication needs to be as precise as possible, since it cannot be moderated by facial expression or tone of voice.

Thank you to Jerry for pointing out the typo in my original post:  I was (of course) referring to Pacific Ridge / Ailanto Properties project.

My inclusion of Kevin Lansing’s original comments was done in order to give some context to Don Bacon’s comments about negotiating with developers. 

Now that we’ve cleared that the facts: I stand by my original remarks and encourage all interested parties to do do their own research into this issue.

 

Mr. Ferreira is mistaken on several points. At the 5/02 City Council meeting he announced that costs of Foothill would be in the neighborhood of “$150 to $200 million,” slightly less than the Devil’s Slide double-bore tunnel. Over and over he described, both at the Council meeting and here in his 3-part series and various comments, the freeway version of Foothill from the City’s 1992 Circulation Element, complete with 4 lanes, bridges, and causeways. Why??? That isn’t being proposed. Coastsider.com has not only made CCF’s Foothill entire proposal available, it prominently displayed the map from the proposal’s cover, and Sofia Freer had a copy of the proposal in her hand at the 5/02 Council meeting, yet echoed Mr. Ferreira’s diatribe against “Foothill Freeway” that night and days later on this website. CCF’s proposal unmistakably describes a two-lane road between Highway 92 at the goat farm, and Highway 1 at Bayview (roughly halfway between Terrace and Grandview). That proposal was presented to the Council and public (copies for anyone interested were available all night) at the 5/02 meeting.  Would Mr. Ferreira have us believe that it was an incredible coincidence that he was criticizing a 14-year-old Foothill plan on the same night CCF announced its new proposal? Apparently so from his statement: “My 5/02 comments to the council about costs were directed at that very version, the official version, and not the latest resurrected Bayview/Foothill flim-flam because the flim-flam hadn’t even been announced by CCF as of 5/02.”
Now that’s flim-flam.

I took the liberty of requesting ballpark estimates on the CCF Foothill proposal from two well-respected local companies, one a venerable engineering firm, the other a large paving contractor. Both have done business with the City for decades. Both firms independently came in with estimates under $10 million for a two-lane road between Foothill/92 and Bayview/1, with curbs, gutters and sidewalks on both sides, a bike lane, lighting, and a traffic signal at both ends. It is possible that the residents of HMB won’t be obligated for any of the cost.

As for the lot retirement program proposed in the Agreement (pg3) as a legitimate mitigation for additional traffic resulting from the Ailanto development, well, who’s kidding whom? The lots Mr. Ferreira refers to in Wavecrest are unbuildable lots, ranging in size from 150 to 2,500 square feet. How does the purchase of unbuildable lots actually mitigate traffic? Again, the Agreement stated (pg3),“The in-lieu CTMC fee shall be used by the City for the purpose of acquiring and retiring development rights on existing legal parcels in the City.” How does one retire development rights on lots that can not be developed? How many of those lots would it take, if merged, to actually make one buildable lot, thereby reducing traffic potential in HMB through “retirement”? The Ailonto Agreement pretends that $45,000 will buy a “legal” buildable lot in HMB. As he wrote in the Review at the time (3/24/04): “For the first time, we will have a development that will have a lot retirement system associated with regional traffic concerns.”

What I find much more interesting is what Mr. Ferreira didn’t comment about, such as the movement of Ailanto’s buildable lots, to rest on top of Foothill itself, so that the Foothill bypass can never be built. Anyone interested in preserving the possibility of a future bypass of HMB’s downtown bottleneck would never have agreed to the altered site plan. In addition, pitting neighbor against neighbor helps no one (Terrace stoplight). He helped broker the Agreement, and his signature is on the Agreement. 

The moral of the story? Mr. Ferreira has repeatedly and consistently, over a period of years, made it his cause to obstruct any real infrastructure improvements in HMB. That is clearly evidenced by his past actions in the area under discussion (Beachwood/Bayview, Ailanto/Foothill, our $3.1M park, Boys’ & Girls’ Club, high school access), and the vehemence of his recent diatribes against the CCF Foothill proposal. Like some, he fears that a quality infrastructure will breed uncontrolled growth.  But with strict growth controls like Measure D in place (and no exceptions, as the Agreement allows Ailanto), we can move ahead to improve our infrastructure and quality of life. How we plan for growth, and maximize our life quality through that process and beyond is the issue. It just takes vision, willingness to dialog, and a positive attitude.

Mr. Muteff,

Thank you very much for this informative post. Please keep the information flowing in this forum - which political candidates and measures support this vision and vice versa.

Brian Dantes
El Granada

George Muteff continues to repeat the fundamentally flawed idea that more development should be allowed in order to fund/build infrastructure to serve those already here.  The problem with that idea is that when such infrastructure is built, all of its capacity will be used up by the latent demand of those already here, and then when the new development which funded it is online, there will be a call to allow more new development in order to fund more infrastructure needed to serve the last round of development.  And so on, forever.  Personally, I believe this is actually an intentional scheme.

George also repeats the other red herring, that Measure D limits growth.  *It does no such thing*.  It only limits how fast we get to the train wreck.  Rate controls and limit controls are two totally different things.  The major problem is the limit.  Rate controls exist only in an attempt to allow the community to absorb and provide for the growth.  If we don’t bring the targets down drastically both in the City and the unincorporated area, this place will be completely unliveable at “buildout”.

George writes “Both firms independently came in with estimates under $10 million for a two-lane road between Foothill/92 and Bayview/1, with [...] a traffic signal at both ends.”

Ah yes, more traffic signals.  Please explain how putting another signal on SR 92 will improve the flow of traffic on SR 92.  This will negatively affect everyone using SR 92 through 92/Main.  Maybe I shouldn’t care, since it’ll improve things for me at the expense of those south of Bayview.  The same people who are objecting to CalTrans eliminating the “free right turn” from NB SR 1 to EB SR 92 should really be screaming against a signal at Foothill / SR 92.

George claims that some contractors say it can be built for $10M.  Even if that’s true, where exactly would that $10M come from?  That’s the profit from 20 of those houses.

“It is possible that the residents of HMB won’t be obligated for any of the cost.”

Anything’s possible.  What’s likely?

Mr. Woren,

The horse has already left the barn regarding the people who already live here. The infrastructure is simply dangerous and inadequate for the existing population.

Now I respect your arguments about unending growth—and I’ll vote enthusiastically for measures that severely cap growth across the board no exceptions with strict enforcement. But I see that as orthogonal to rectifying the situation at hand for the existing citizens.

And at the MCC meeting tonight, I won’t certainly be looking for the Supervisors who say they understand and agree with both of these goals.

Brian Dantes
El Granada

  As to some of Mr. Muteff’s distortions

1.) To the bicker about my comments to the Council: I was one of the early speakers and I made it clear in my remarks that I was responding to public comment at earlier Council meetings and to letters-to-the-editor regarding “Foothill Big” and other pie-in-the-sky demands.  The CCF speakers came after me.  Had they spoken before I spoke I would certainly have addressed their proposal, and in much the same terms as I’ve written about it. If Mr. Muteff wants to credit me with the ability to predict the behavior of his political clique I’m afraid that I could only accept that compliment with regard to their broader behavioral characteristics and not to specific activities.

But let’s not take discussion of “Foothill Big” off the table. It does have applicability. If the legal and political rationale for a proposal is that it’s a portion of a larger thing then it is only logical to examine whether the larger thing is viable, or not. I hold that “Foothill Big” is not viable from either a financial or legal viewpoint.  Therfore, whatever legitimacy “Foothill Mini” may have derived from being a segment of the whole is no longer operative.  It has to stand on its own merit.
And it doesn’t stand well at all.

2.)  Mr. Muteff’s claim that Pacific Ridge was designed to preclude Foothill as part of some devious plot is an interesting insight into his analytical skills.  I looked at the design and there is a north-to-south street.  Is Mr. Muteff perhaps unaware that Foothill runs north-to-south?

3.)  Mr. Muteff needs to coordinate with Mr. Bacon as to what the project is or isn’t.  In the article above Mr. Bacon asserts that it’s two underpasses.  Mr. Muteff presents a (flawed) cost estimate of $10 million for two signalized intersections.  Who’s in charge at CCF?

Why flawed?  Because the only professional cost estimate available is $13 million just for “Foothill Mini” - two lanes from the southern edge of Pacific Ridge to a signalized intersection with #92.  Given the surge in road construction costs since that estimate we’d be looking at an easy $15 to $16 million cost today.  Add to that the cost of an intersection on Highway #1 and the construction of a two lane Bayview (that must physically withstand highway volumes of traffic) that would traverse through Beachwood and then through Pacific Ridge to join “Foothill Mini” and you’d be looking at something in the neighborhood of $25 million.

If two signalized intersections is actually CCF’s proposal.

If it’s two underpasses as Mr. Bacon posits then the cost needle really jumps.  And where it would stop would depend on Caltrans’ specifications for such things which I don’t think anyone has looked at yet.

And all of this presumes that the oversight agencies - the Coastal Commission, California Fish & Game, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Caltrans, etc - would approve these things.  I’d say they have a snowball’s chance…

4.  Mr. Muteff continues to misrepresent the distinctions between legal lots and buildable lots by saying that a lot must be buildable in order to have value.  This is an odd position for someone who postures as a property rights advocate.  The fact is that legal lots do have values that the courts have upheld, just one of which is the ability to engage in lot line adjustments.  For instance, the underlying housing entitlements for the Wavecrest Village project derives from the 200+ lots in the central portion of the project even though the actual homesites are planned for the northern portion.
Not all legal lots have the same value because there are also distinctions at law as to when those lots were formed and how.

5.) The public should be made aware that the Pacific Ridge project is not before the City from a jurisdictional standpoint.  It is before the Coastal Commission - as it has been for 6 years.  Only the stoplight permit is before the City.  The Coastal Commission is very much the senior partner in this agreement. 

6.) Mr. Muteff’s insinuations that Pacific Ridge’s exemption from Measures A & D was part of the negotiation only shows what a novice he is to Half Moon Bay’s recent political history.  Had he been paying attention for the past 14 years or so he would have known that the Development Maps granted by the City in the early 90’s prior to the passage of measures A & D are exempt from those measures.  This has been the opinion of every HMB City Attorney since the passages.  That does not mean, however, that the City cannot regulate other applications in order to smooth out the average to 1%.  In fact, the City has said it would, as it should.

7.)  I find Mr. Muteff’s closing to be as ill-informed as the rest of his writings.  But, mindful of Barry’s admonition, I will forego a response in kind. 

Mike Ferreira

MF,

“That does not mean, however, that the City cannot regulate other applications in order to smooth out the average to 1%.  In fact, the City has said it would, as it should.”

In other words, the individuals who own a single infill lot are going to get screwed. some of the infill lots have been vested for fifty years. Are you saying that it is proper to give a new development priority?

Tim

Steve Skinner’s suggestion that all interested parties do their own research into the Ailanto agreement is an excellent idea.  It will reinforce Don Bacon’s concerns about the terms of the Settlement Agreement and refute Steve’s idea that the settlement agreement was negotiated with the interests of the citizens in mind.

Steve’s statement, “Sounds like a win-win to me, Terrace Ave. residents issues notwithstanding” has the same tone as the settlement agreement.  This agreement was negotiated with the developer but was not in the best interests of the citizens.  There was no public input.  The conditions of the agreement obligate the City Staff to recommend the approval of the project and obligate the City Council to support it.  The City Staff and City Council are restricted from representing the views of the Community. The restrictions placed on the City Staff and the City Council are unconscionable.

Many questions have gone unanswered about the negotiations that took place with the Settlement Agreement.  For one, why were the interests of the citizens not considered when the installation of the signal light was made part of the agreement?  According to a CHP report, there have been only 6 incidents and one injury at this intersection in the last 10 years.  It is not for safety reasons.  It is a condition of the agreement.  What about the quality of life of the people who will have to deal with another signal light on an already congested Highway 1?  What about the quality of life of the residents of Terrace and Highland Park who will have to deal with the additional traffic congestion on their streets? 

Steve talks about the open space in Pacific Ridge as “something of value to the entire community. He talks about the reduction in housing density for an approval of the project. He does not mention anything about how this agreement will negatively impact citizens of this Community.   

The Ailanto Settlement is posted on the City website.  By all means people should   research for themselves and make up their own minds based on facts not on hearsay. Do we want these kinds of agreements negotiated in our behalf or do we want as Don Bacon suggests (Coastsider.com Terrace stoplight: Recipe for traffic disaster), “agreements that are negotiated with developers in the interests of its citizenry”?

Lucy Lopez
Half Moon Bay

Last October, I was asked a question by a HMB resident. She started her question proudly stating she was a “no growther” (sorry Barry, just quoting), then went on with her question. In responding to her question, I started by addressing her first comment. If we (HMB) built a wall completely encompassing HMB, and let no one in or out, we’d still have growth. That is a reality. All evidence supports that statement. So we need to think about our options. One option is we can control growth. We’ve done that with Measure D, at 1 % p/yr. So, the rate of growth in HMB is a done deal, non issue, off the table. I suspect, and logic would support, that the authors of Measure D recognized the inevitability of growth, like it or not, as have I, and Measure D was created and put on the ballot (1999). I may remind readers that I have never stated that Measure D limits growth; rather that it limits the rate of growth, or controls growth. The woman I quoted above went home with my buttons, a yard sign, and my other material. What other options do we have? It has been mentioned, in this forum and others, that we should limit growth. How? I’m no land use attorney, but I suspect good ones would line up for a shot at a case whereby someone was not allowed to procreate, or move into a particular area. I think a better way to handle that is let Mother Nature dictate; and she most certainly will. We will run out of basic resources needed to support growth. According to the prior City Council and current Planning Director, on many occasions during the LCP Update battle, we will run out of water in 10-12 years. That may or may not be exactly accurate, but it certainly makes one think. That would limit growth. Again I would state, uncontrolled growth is not the issue. Planned growth, however, IS the issue. Mr. Woren must have misread what I wrote. Perhaps he should go back and read it again (above).

Regarding infrastructure, I might ask the audience to tell me what subdivision(s) in HMB was built that gave us anything that legitimately offset any of the “burdens” new development brings? The idea that there is a very real potential to get two developers to offset the “burdens” by willingly building a bypass that will benefit everyone on the coast in perpetuity sounds good to me. Again I would state that in the almost 30 years I’ve lived here, the population in HMB has over doubled (not including north and south coast) and there have been zero improvements in traffic circulation. Foothill will offer that. The idea that it will cost us 300+ homes is outrageous. That conspiracy theory holds about as much water as a sieve.

One more point I’d like to address is the area we’re discussing. That area would be from HWY 1 east to Foothill, and from Bayview south to HWY 92. Take a look at that area on the map (above). The question I’d ask is will that area ever have structures on it? In my humble opinion, I’d answer yes. We already know at least 40 homes will populate part of that area without Foothill. So how many more does it take before we wake up? Sooner or later that ground will be built out. Why not “allow” the owners of those properties the rights they have to build their homes and give something back (that is sorely needed and will benefit us, our kids, their kids, etc). If, as Mr. Bacon contemplates above, we do nothing, the chokepoint he describes, 92/Main/1 will paralyze us more each passing day, week, month, year, decade, etc. If we do the right thing now, the smart thing now, Mr. Bacon is absolutely correct in his closing statement; “Future generations would thank us.”

Mr. Pond

1.) The implementation ordinances passed in the early ‘90s subsequent to Measure A reserve a percentage for new development. These are part of the Local Coastal Program. I didn’t participate in that legislation but I would imagine there was a concern at that time that there were land use entitlements to be balanced.
2.) Most underlying lot lines in the City are 100 years old.
3.)  This year there weren’t enough infill applications in the first round to use up the full 1%.  Afterward some applications came in to use up the balance. The supply of actual buildable infill lots has been drawn down and is further complicated by the fact that many are in common ownerships which don’t want to build them all at once. I don’t think it would be terribly difficult to work out an averaging methodology.

Mike Ferreira

The argument that “if we built a wall around the Coastside there would still be growth” is a non sequitur.

The question is where do we as a society want the growth to be. And how much growth (in houses, people and traffic) do Coastsiders want in the future. That’s beyond the scope of this discussion.  But I’ve heard you use this example in the planning commission interviews and it made no sense to me then, either.

The Coastside is not a closed system.  But that’s not an argument for or against growth.

George Muteff wrote:
“in the almost 30 years I’ve lived here…there have been zero improvements in traffic circulation. Foothill will offer that. The idea that it will cost us 300+ homes is outrageous.”

George, what about the up-hill passing lanes on Hwy 92 and the upcoming Hwy 92/1/Main project and the upcoming Hwy 1 parallel bike trail project? Those have/will improve traffic circulation. Moreover, traffic has only become a really big problem within HMB City limits in say the last 10-15 years. And this is partly due to the growth of traffic from the Midcoast, which is outside of the City’s control.

If 300+ homes is “outrageous” as you say, then how many homes will it cost? Can anybody say for sure?

From my understanding, the total number of new homes that must be built to make it economically viable for developers to pick up the tab for the bypass is probably anywhere from 100 to 300, depending on how big those houses are. The true number would of course be determined by the outcome of some highly-speculative future (re-)negotiation between the City, two different developers, and the California Coastal Commission.

So, I think we are still left with the idea that I mentioned at very beginning of this thread: the traffic induced by homes that will be built along the bypass route will likely negate any net traffic benefits to existing residents or visitors.

I am starting a new group called the League for Coastal Planning.  The LCP will be a political action committe dedicated to rational planning on the coastside.  We look forward to a debate with The LCP (League for Coastal Protection) about interpretations of the LCP (local Coastal Plan). I will change the name and acronym of my group if the other LCP (the second one) agrees to change their name so I can say I support the LCP with out confusing people.

PS Who nomed that gorup and what were they thinking???

Just a note on running out of basic resources needed to support growth. That has already happened. Water is California’s prime basic resource. The coastside ran out of enough water to support local population and other activities zoned into the geographic area decades ago. There wasn’t enough water on the midcoast from Montara through Half Moon Bay during the drought of the late 70’s, so all additional water use since then increases the shortage.

The CCWD, essentially acknowledging it didn’t have enough water to support the glassy-eyed local growth religion, built a pipeline over the hill to make up for lack of a local resource that could sustain the population in what the population was doing. Typically, there was no local consideration that the water coming (inefficiently) through the pipeline was coming from another place that also does not have enough water for sustainability (the watershed the Hetch Hetchy System drains and the Tuolomne River). A still-enlarging distribution system followed in the CCWD portion of the midcoast; and this, in turn, stimulates a desire to enlarge that pipeline sucking the hind teat of Hetch Hetchy. The blind leapfrogging of sprawl, California-style, usually goes like this, as long as the growth ethic prevails (and no matter what the rate of growth). Only communities capable of saying “no more” can back away from the all-consuming, built-in rape of overdevelopment and get on to trying to turn the situation around for improved environmental security and a high-level, eventually sustainable quality of life.

It’s a common failing in California, so let’s not get too down on CCWD for its ignorance and malfeasance. For many decades, the entire state has overdrawn its water accounts. This has led to insane suggestions such as channeling water down from British Columbia or (sometimes implemented!) creating sacrifice areas from which water would be drained for someplace else (with more political power). It has led to destruction of grand-scale, self-sustaining hydrologic systems in this most diverse and naturally rich of all landscapes in the U.S.—as California has gone over to a massive, ever-increasing, plumbing system for moving water to where money and power say it should go—the Delta being just one casualty most people recognize. It has contributed to the destruction of the natural ecologic properties of the Colorado River system and to enormous legal battles with other western states over who gets to wreck the Colorado the most.

Back to the midcoast for other resources needed to sustain human activity—food, energy, biodiversity, minerals, etc. The midcoast, including HMB, is not currently sustainable using local resources in any of these categories. Growth for a better quality of life around here is an oxymoron that has already exposed itself.

Carl May

I’d like to suggest mud-wrestling as an alternative to this escalating and increasingly shrill debate - or - maybe the two prominant groups would agree to form an ad-hoc citizen’s task force, agreeing on the “problem” and agreeing on developing a directional, if not specific, plan.  Unless, of course, the present discourse is preferred - in which case, please bring on the mud-wrestling.

Carl,
While reading your comment it hit me that civilization (I don’t think its PC to use “western” anymore) is not sustainable anywhere because, in part, of its dependance on hydrocarbons for water, food, energy and the extraction of “minerals”. Is there any place on earth where human activity is sustainable ??

I essentially agree with your position and I applaud you for not focusing entirely on the middle class, cadilac problems of living on the coast. WE just see things a little differently.

Here I see thousands and thousands of acres of open space and an island of clearly defined urban space in the middle. There is room for limited growth and this should be done with the great environmental caution. The big problems in the next fifty years will be declining biodiversity, (not because of any growth in the urban area of the coast),global warming, capitalistic globalism, and, of course, energy.

Of course we hear the same old assertions made by the no-growthers.. Any road improvements mean that more houses will be built. Building new developments and improving conditions for the current population are distinct issues that are handled through separate channels. If we do not want new housing tracks then we must work on that as a separate issue. But we NEED to increase the throughput of our roads, desperately. This will help not only the folks that live here, but the businesses that are trying to eke out a living.

Mud wrestling requires wasting valuable water and so called “mud puddles” are often vital parts of vernal eco-systems. “dirt”, a componate of mud, is also a valuable rescource: in place its supports plants; on the run in our drainage systems is poses a threat to clean water and a healthy ocean.

(PS: This is a response to Ken Mcnutt’s comment that suggests a mud wrestling match to decide our diffences. I should have adressed it properly).

Your welcome Steve …but didn’t you miss other “Typos” in your posts?

You posted “The developer agreed to a reduction in housing density in exchange for an approval of their project”. That’s a “Typo” statement.  The developer maintained the Same FAR (floor area ratio) of buildout. He “slickly” cut the number of houses in half but DOUBLED the size of each (up to 5000 SQUARE FEET) on the same 100x100 lot size.
Please go to the “Pacific Ridge Settlement Agreement” as posted on the City of Half Moon Bay website. If you encounter any difficulties in reading the PDF files please email me and I’ll drop a copy off at your office with the specific sentences highlighted.

The main point of my earlier posting, a response to your comments, concerned ALL of us.
How would you react to a situation if as a Realtor you were unable to fulfill your fiduciary responsibilities   by an “Out of Court Settlement” barring you from “full disclosure” to your client?
How would you react if as a licensed Architect or Engineer you were unable to fullfil your License requirements of “full disclosure” of your professional opinions to your client?

Would you think this to be morally abhorrent?
Would you question the precedents upon which such a legal agreement was made?
Would you notify the Board of Ethics of your State Licensing Authority?
Would you contact the ethics Committee of the Board of Realtors or AIA or ASCE?
Would you contact the the local chapter of the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)for guidance?
Would you ask these organizations to mount a “class action suit” against this order?

What would YOU do?  Because this is what has been imposed upon the City of Half Moon Bay staff of licensed professionals and elected officials.

Is your statement “Sounds like a win-win to me, Terrace Ave. resident issues notwithstanding.” a Typo?

Jerry Steinberg
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Was away several weeks when CCF’s proposal emerged, and it’s a daunting exercise reading and considering all of the posts on Coastsider. Rather than argue against any particular respondent this late in the discussion, I’ll offer some observations that I think apply, perhaps alluded to by some, but not spelled out. The timing of CCF’s proposal, by the way, appears politically opportunistic in allowing proponents to make some hay with disgruntled commuters and Terrace/Highland Park residents.

First, SR’s 1 and 92 are the only way in and out of the area, but no matter how many improvements are made besides or around these roads, there is no getting past them: more connections to them will not improve their flow or make them go faster, but rather the opposite. A Foothill signal would be more then the proverbial straw for 92’s back, and is difficult to entertain conceptually.


The area around Terrace where new Bayview/Foothill winds goes through five subdivisions, only one of which is Ailanto’s. Since Ailanto is content to build its 63 homes under the current agreement, the inspiration to open up this area comes from landlocked developers and the usual advocates of infrastructure build-out.

The Bayview portion, even though it has moved a few feet slightly north, does not overcome the wetlands issues that scuttled it legally in the first place. It is legally indefensible in court or in front of the Coastal Commission. I suspect CCF and the developers realize this, but that proposing it is part of a strategy to at least get access through Foothill. Of course, without Bayview as part of the proposal, there won’t be political support from southbound commuters who derive only a negative benefit from Foothill by itself.

Setting aside the challenging permit problems for these roads, the costs would have to be borne exclusively by the developers. Ailanto would need to build at least double the 63 homes now slated in order to pony up its share for Bayview/Foothill, but that still would not be enough to cover cost of the roads and two traffic signals. More homes are needed to defray the expense of these “improvements,” so additional traffic is being proposed to help solve our traffic dilemma. That additional traffic will add to the burden already imposed on the only two roads out.

As the new, and necessarily expensive, homes come on line along the Foothill corridor, those residents would be unhappy seeing eastbound traffic queued along its only existing exit, and likewise in the opposite direction late afternoons. With Foothill lite scaled to one lane in each direction, how happy will these residents be to see Coastside traffic dispensed to their neighborhood to the point they will have difficulty pulling out of their feeder streets? I can already see these mostly professional people at the council meetings lobbying to close through-access to their neighborhood, much as now occurs in other cities along the Peninsula, i.e. Palo Alto.

Terrace neighborhood residents are in a bind because any scenario permits builder access through its street, and that of the purchasers of the new homes once built. By denying the settlement agreement, they hope to limit the total to 40 new homes until such time that there is other access to the area. The signal is opposed primarily to curb the possibility of more than 40 homes’ traffic affecting Terrace. However, if the city follows through with its plan to widen SR 1 from Main Street north to Kehoe, a light will be needed at Terrace because its southern jump lane will be gone, replaced by two fast-moving lanes in each direction. There would be no safe pull out. By opposing the light, I suppose the residents hope to also kibosh the long-standing plan to widen Hwy 1 past Terrace. That was considered an infrastructure improvement, so it is going to be fascinating to see if the council majority and its planning commission consider downsizing this recent plan. 

ken king

 

 

 

 


Apparently many people in the Terrace subdivision blame Mike F for the signal and voted against him because of that.  I can’t wait to see what the current councilmembers do about the traffic signal.  I’m betting that they do nothing to eliminate it.

The Beachwood and Ailanto developers both oppose Coastside Community First’s interest in Foothill/Bayview.  Last Tuesday an Ailanto representative addressed a meeting of local Realtors, describing CCF’s efforts as a “conspiracy.”  Want to join the conspiracy?  Start questioning the Ailanto settlement agreement.  In particular, ask what would happen, and who might lose, if the agreement fell apart.

“FOOTHILL IS DEAD”  We’ve been told an end to the agreement would mean a return to the terms of the Coastal Commission’s 2001 approval, which according to the handout Ailanto distributed to the Realtors, “allowed 40 homes to use Terrace Avenue for permanent access.”  In fact the approval allows 40 homes to use Terrace as temporary, not permanent, access.  Temporary access is conditioned on the following: “Permanent vehicular and pedestrian access to serve the subdivision shall be provided along either the Bayview Drive right-of-way, from Highway 1, or the Foothill Boulevard right-of-way, from Highway 92.” 

In other words, the Commission approval allows Terrace access only if alternative permanent access is available.  The approval doesn’t consider the scenario where no alternatives exist.  But the developers, along with past and current City Council members, have subsequently insisted that Foothill and Bayview are “dead.”  That means the condition quoted above couldn’t be fulfilled. The parties should be careful what they pray for (and publicly state, or stipulate in court), because if Foothill and Bayview are really dead, so may be the possibility of any subdivision at Pacific Ridge.   

That’s because if the settlement agreement falls apart, the parties resume where they left off, in appellate court.  The judicial panel would examine the plain language of the Commission’s 2001 approval.  “Temporary” access using Terrace means “temporary,” and doesn’t transform into “permanent” access simply because the permanent options are no longer possible.  On the contrary, it makes “temporary” access using Terrace a meaningless phrase.  The judges could throw out the subdivision approval as containing conditions that cannot be fulfilled, meaning no homes would be allowed.  Ailanto would then be in a position not unlike Beachwood.

LOT RETIREMENT   Another overlooked aspect of the settlement agreement is how it quietly morphs the lot retirement program in the 2001 approval.  Originally, Ailanto was required to buy legal lots at an undetermined market value from willing sellers on the MidCoast and HMB north of 92, and deed them to the County and City prior to receiving permits.  In the settlement agreement, on the other hand, Ailanto is required to pay HMB a fixed sum, which the City would presumably spend on buying up lots anywhere within the city limits.  Many people have criticized the amount of money agreed upon for the lot retirement as drastically inadequate to purchase the same number of equally buildable HMB parcels.

Even if one is unbothered by the small price tag, the settlement agreement downgrades the lot retirement program in a number of other ways.  First, in the 2001 approval, the developer does the lot retirement himself, and entirely before the subdivision gets started.  In the settlement agreement, he pays the City, which is on no time schedule to buy and retire lots, and appears uncompelled to spend the money received on lot retirement if it chooses otherwise.  There is no guarantee the lot retirement would ever happen.

Second, the 2001 approval rightly distributes the lot retirement across the area impacted by the Ailanto development, namely, the MidCoast and HMB north of 92.  The settlement agreement cuts out the MidCoast entirely, while allowing the City to purchase some or all of the lots from areas south of 92 – areas relatively unaffected by the development with a plethora of cut-rate legal (but unbuildable) lots in paper subdivisions.

Third, the 2001 lot retirement program does not require the use of eminent domain, as the developer purchases the lots directly from willing sellers.  In the settlement agreement, the City does the buying, so eminent domain can be used.  How would HMB decide which lots to seize?

The City couldn’t target lots that have applied for development, for a variety of legal reasons, most importantly “equal protection of the laws.”  In that case it would be seizing one parcel slated for development so that another one slated for development could proceed.  Nor could the City simply single out parcels it thought best for seizure, or use a random process (like a lottery), as both those methods would be arbitrary.  In any case, the City would be arguably seizing lots not for a direct public use or purpose, but to fulfill a condition that allows development of a private subdivision.  HMB voters just passed an advisory measure opposing such uses of eminent domain.

It’s not a conspiracy to question the Ailanto agreement, it’s common sense. 

Mr. Bacon’s posting:
1.)  Wrongly states that “the Commission approval allows Terrace access only if alternative permanent access is available.”  Not true. The Coastal Commission pre-agreement permit allows the construction of the streets and infrastructure for 126 lots at the outset and 40 of those lots can be built on with access on Terrace prior to any permit for Foothill.  They would be “temporary” only if Foothill could be built.  The 86 empty lots supposedly would be dependent on Foothill. But that’s where Mr. Bacon’s “conditions that cannot be fulfilled” could come into play and that was a big concern to the Council.

2.) Wrongly infers that “failure” of the Settlement Agreement would take the whole matter back to court.  It’s already been in court.  The Coastal Commission won.  If the Widening/Stoplight/Frontage Extension mitigation condition were to fail for any reason the Coastal Commission could simply substitute a different mitigation condition or revert to the “40 & 86”. They are in the driver’s seat.

3.) Wrongly substitutes “buildable” for “legal” lots.  There’s an important difference at land use law which is critical to the Coastal Commission’s permit and to the court decision..

4.) Falsely injects the issue of “eminent domain” into the “lot retirement” program.  There’s been no discussion of any such thing with the Coastal Commission, which holds the right to approve whatever program the City would establish.
    In college, we were taught that such fallacies are called “wife-beater”questions.

    Actually, though, I’m somewhat amused by the argument of Mr. Bacon - a Property Rights Advocate - to the effect that the lot retirement provisions have a ”small price tag”.  Hmmm…
Maybe he should have a debate with Mr. Muteff, who uses the word “extortion”.

    And equally amused at the assertion that the Beachwood developer is opposed to CCF’s proposal.  How to explain, therefore, the big sign promoting CCF’s Bypass erected Saturday morning on the Beachwood property?

Mike

Mr. Ferreira signed the 2004 Ailanto agreement, yet seems unaware that the agreement is an attempt to settle three related (and active) cases – two in County Superior Court and one in the State Court of Appeal.  He states that “It’s already been in court. The Coastal Commission won…They are in the driver’s seat.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  If the Ailanto agreement is nullified, the parties can either come up with another agreement to present to the courts or try the various cases.  If the agreement is consummated, the parties take it back to the courts and ask for stipulated judgments on that basis.  As it stands, the parties are and remain locked in multiple litigations, and the only one in the ‘driver’s seat’ here is our judicial system.  The parties cannot proceed apart from that system.

The Coastal Commission quote from my previous posting above is the first sentence from Special Condition 11, which states that access to Pacific Ridge “shall be provided” by Foothill and/or Bayview.  It further states that “until completion” of Foothill or Bayview, “Terrace Avenue may be used as vehicular access for up to the first 40 homes in the subdivision.”  The Commission’s approval does not countenance what the City (and Mr. Ferreira) now contend: that because of wetlands, neither Foothill nor Bayview are even possible.  If Foothill and Bayview are both impossible, then Special Condition 11 by definition cannot be fulfilled.  That’s why Ailanto needs the settlement agreement.

There is no principled reason to oppose lot retirement and other programs that transfer development rights, if they’re done properly. In many circumstances, there are strong reasons to require a subdivider to buy and retire the same number of comparable parcels the subdivision creates, as a zero-sum way to avoid an unwanted increase in overall development. 

The lot retirement program Mr. Ferreira agreed to with Ailanto is not supportable, however.  It attempts to masquerade the program as a substitute for traffic mitigation, when such programs are actually designed to mitigate cumulative development, thus holding down buildout.  For that reason I also disagree with the provision that retirement of any legal lot can serve as mitigation for a buildable lot.  We all know that many legal Coastside lots may never be buildable.  Cumulative development will increase, as will the final buildout, if a lot retirement program allows any legal lot, regardless of its lack of buildability, to “mitigate” a newly-created, eminently buildable lot.  My previous post also disagreed with lot retirement that 1) does not occur prior to subdivision development, 2) is conducted by government and not the developer, and 3) does not target the areas most impacted by the subdivision.  All of these defects appear in the settlement agreement’s lot retirement program.  Perhaps these defects appear because a proper program mitigating cumulative development would cost much more than the agreement provides.  Conversely, an improper Coastal Commission requirement, that does not mitigate the impacts it pretends to, was described by the federal Supreme Court as “extortion.”  That’s where Mr. Muteff borrowed the term.

As for the signs at Beachwood, which I have not seen yet, my guess is that if the owners allowed them, it’s because they find themselves of two minds about the Foothill/Bayview discussion.  On the one hand, their lawsuit with the City is predicated on the City’s finding that the creation of wetlands has eliminated the possibility of a subdivision, so it’s only natural if the owners are uncomfortable with a discussion examining that finding.  On the other hand, they probably see what most people do: that drivers need a way around the downtown bottleneck. 

Finally, Mr. Ferreira’s expressions of amusement towards others’ positions dignify neither himself nor this forum.  Perhaps he found it equally amusing to sign a settlement agreement that would make stooges out of City and Commission planners, by requiring them to publicly parrot positions with which they have previously – and rightly – disagreed.         

Mr. Bacon, I see in reading your last two posts that you avoided all of my points except one, where you claim that the Beachwood owners disagree with CCF’s approach to Foothil/Bayview. (Because you seem to be a careful reader, I find it curious that you confound that point by offering as evidence Ailanto opposing CCF, which is what I said when alluding to Ailanto being content with the current (Settlement) agreement.) So what evidence can you offer to prove that the Beachwood owners aren’t behind CCF?

The arcane minutia you go on about the proper sort of lot retirement that your organization is willing to support only obfuscates the environmental, economic, and traffic impacts of CCF’s unpalatable program, but I am confident it won’t camouflage these issues if the public focuses on what CCF is really trying to do, which is make a few people a lot of money while the rest of us watch our quality of life erode endlessly.

If CCF ever could overcome the legal, environmental, and financial issues that make Foothill/Bayview appear hopeless, you still cannot refute the evidence that shows it would add more traffic to 92, and slow the commute further by adding two major signals to the mix.

ken king

Mr. Bacon’s quibbles about the mechanics of the lot retirement program are non-responsive to my corrections of his earlier errors and are premature at best because the Coastal Commission retains final approval of the administrative program in order to insure that it proceeds in accordance with the Commission’s objectives.

It’s interesting that Mr. Bacon tries to personalize the agreement as though it was shaped entirely by me.  I suppose he’s calculated that there’s some political currency in that tactic with the political choir he’s singing with but the real story is that the Coastal Commission, their staff & attorneys,  and the HMB Council, staff & attorneys ironed out the agreement with the developer and his attorneys over an extended period of time.  In fact, I wasn’t even a member of the Council team that finalized the agreement. although I and all - repeat all - of the Councilmembers voted yes on that agreement.  And it is noteworthy that there were no objections at that time from any senior City staff to any of the terms or components of the agreement; quite to the contrary.

Nor is it clear in any sense of the word clear just what it is that Mr. Bacon thinks he will achieve with all of this.

Foothill and Bayview are toast because they are severely inconsistent with the Coastal Act/HMB Local Coastal Program regarding Wetlands. There’s nothing Mr. Bacon can do to change that.  There’s nothing I need to do to effect that. They are what they are.  Toast.

The professional studies have been done. The Foothill Stub would require the filling of 10,700 square feet of Wetland and 78,000 square feet of Buffer Zone. Not going to happen.  Ever. ‘Tain’t legal. End of that story.

What’s next for the CCF?  Who could predict? The Foothill Flying Bridge?  The Foothill Zeppelin?  Oh my gosh!  Why didn’t I think of it?  The Foothill Tunnel!!!

Can I ask where the wetland is that would be filled in? and, where exactly is the buffer zone? What is this zone buffering? I’m sorry for asking these stupid questions but all I see in the above picture is farm land and housing tracts.

I stand comfortably behind the estimates I received from the two firms I mentioned in a previous posting. Those estimates (both under $10 Million) have a light at either end (to keep it simple, and reduce cost). If I had my druthers, I’d like to see a Foothill with an underpass at either end (HWY 1 & HWY 92). I’d be very happy if we got a Foothill with a light on HWY 1 (@ Bayview) and an underpass at the HWY 92 end. Underpasses raise the cost. Both firms that gave estimates put each underpass at roughly $10 Million. The bottom line, from my perspective, is that any Foothill is light years better than what we currently have, and will benefit the entire coastside for many decades to come. If I’m not mistaken (and I’m not), CCF proposed just that; a 2 lane road (with amenities), from HWY 92 to HWY 1, with either stoplights or underpasses.

Mr. Lansing commented, “what about the uphill passing lanes on 92 and the upcoming HWY 92/1/Main project and the upcoming HWY 1 parallel bike trail project” in response to my zero improvements in traffic circulation (HMB) in the almost 30 years I’ve lived here. The uphill passing lanes are not within HMB City limits, and do nothing for traffic circulation in HMB. The “upcoming HWY 92/1/Main project” is just that…upcoming. As for “the upcoming HWY 1 parallel bike trail project”, what does that have to do with traffic circulation in HMB; wonderful for leisure, but over the hill commuting? So again, in the almost 30 years I’ve lived here, we’ve seen zero improvements in traffic circulation in HMB. As for the number of homes it would take to make the project viable, from the developers’ perspective? Good question. There are some variables. Beechwood seemed very content to do half the Foothill project (east to west) and that was to be 83 homes. For the other half of Foothill (Ailanto, north to south) adding 83 (total) seems logical; but not so fast. How much could we get for Foothill from County, State and Federal sources? Perhaps we could make complete payback, with interest, a condition of approval for the projects that are sure to go in that region sooner or later. There are other options as well, but for now, lets focus on Foothill and what that means to us now and in the future.

As for the proverbial “conspiracy” theory, it’s hard to tell where to start. It’s been my experience that those that cry conspiracy are usually the ones guilty of it, so they assume everyone thinks that way. I think I’ve been fairly clear and concise in my comments, starting long before the CCF Foothill proposal, on every issue I’ve worked on. I’m not known for my subtleties, vagueness, flip-flopping, or ambiguities. I tend to be rather direct. I’ve had many people tell me that whether they agree with me or not, on a particular issue, they always know where I stand. I research the issues I discuss thoroughly before doing so. It’s necessary. The stakes are high, and I want to base my decisions on facts. It’s time consuming, but also rewarding. Better decisions come from factually based data.

The idea that Mr. Ferreira lost the election because of the Terrace light is laughable, as is his assertions that he didn’t have the CCF proposal at the 5/02 Council meeting, or as late as Part 3 of his 3 part series on how Foothill can’t be done (5/10, on Coastsider still describes a 4 lane superstructure). Other spins do include;
Conspiracy theory
Proposing a complete bypass to “settle” for half of it
That I have a “political clique” (I wonder how the members of this “clique” feel about that?)
Mr. Skinner’s comments (I mean the second round, the one without “Typos”) “sounds like a win-win to me Terrace Ave. resident issues notwithstanding”
That Mr. Bacon or myself have anything to do with “who’s in charge at CCF”
That the “lot retirement” clause in the Ailanto Agreement is anything other than a sham That “landlocked developers” initiated this Foothill proposal
That anyone is pro Foothill for financial gain.
I guess, when one can’t argue the facts clearly, and intelligently, they resolve to “spin”.

I strongly urge everyone to read the Ailanto Settlement Agreement (2004), and the Supplement Agreement (2006). Study it. Examine it as if it impacted your life….because, if you live on the coast, it does. Unfortunately, this agreement, like the park and others, were done without public input &/or knowledge. Ask yourself why all the fuss? If, as a few have stated (one or two vociferously), Foothill is DOA, then why waste time arguing and spinning. If I knew something wasn’t possible, I wouldn’t waste my time. Foothill is more than possible, it’s doable and a necessary improvement to traffic circulation on the coast for us and those that visit us, now and for decades to come. Don’t take anyone’s word for it; I didn’t. Get the data, do the research, see for yourself. The Agreement is posted on HMB website at www.hmbcity.com , (Planning/Information for Newport…) It’s worth it.

 

 

1.) The consultants have mapped 12 wetlands east of the High School. They vary in size and characteristics.  One of them is larger than all of the others combined.

2.) A buffer zone is an area extending outward:

    a.)  100 feet from a wetland
    b.)  50 feet from a perennial stream,
    c.)  30 feet from an intermittent stream

This is per the HMB Local Coastal Program, which is very similar to San Mateo County’s.LCP, and is typical of most of the California coastal zone LCPs.

Mike Ferreira

Now that the long weekend is over I might as well get this out of the way and respond to Jerry Steinberg’s post from 3:21AM on 5/27/06.  While I’m at it I’d also like to comment that late-night email is a particularly ineffective tools for this type of discussion; but so be it. 

No Jerry, there are no other “typos” in my original post and unless you plan on buying me a new pair of reading glasses I don’t need your help reading the Settlement Agreement either. 

To answer your other questions:
If, as a Realtor, I was unable to fulfill my fiduciary responsibility to a client I would terminate my agency relationship with that client.

Regarding your second question, since I am not a licensed architect I cannot answer your hypothetical question about license requirements and full disclosure.

I do not find these issues morally abhorrent, as you put it and to date, in my professional experience I have never needed to resort to the type of extreme measures that you describe in your original post. 

Your final question asks “What would YOU do?”.  My answer is that I am doing it.  I continue to do my own research into this issue, speak with interested parties and listen to both sides of the issue.  I question the motivation of all those involved and refuse to be swayed by the opportunistic PR effort mounted by CCF, timed to coincide with a time of great public frustration at the closure of Hwy. 1 at Devils Slide. 

Frankly I believe this entire debate has become very counterproductive and is doing little or nothing to address the problems related to traffic flow and capacity on Hwy. 1. 

Kirk out.

Steve, I was disappointed in your not recognizing your “typo”, “the developer agreed to a reduction in housing density in exchange for an approval of their project”

That is a “TYPO” statement.
 
The developer maintained the SAME FAR (floor area ratio) of buildout. He “slickly” cut the number of houses in half but DOUBLED the size of each (up to 5000 SQUARE FEET) on the same 100x100 lot size.
If you were in Real Estate would you consider that a reduction in density?

I was encouraged by your response, “If, as a Realtor, I was unable to fulfill my fiduciary responsibility to a client I would terminate my agency relationship with that client.”

You obviously recognize that when acting in a position of TRUST,  it is morally abhorrent/repugnant/reprehensible/unconscionable to have imposed on public employees and elected officials a “gag” order, as is imposed by the “Out of Court Pacific Ridge Settlement Agreement.
Are they ALL to quit their jobs? …and “terminate their relationship” with the City of Half Moon Bay?
Huh?
Isn’t that why the citizens elected officials and hired professional staff members?

Steve your comment “resort to the type of extreme measures that you (Jerry Steinberg)describe in your original post” surprises me.

If you refer to the original post:

1 You agree that you would terminate your relationship in a situation where you could not execute from a position of trust.
2. I have asked Adam Lindgren, contracted HMB City Attorney for the precedents upon which such a legal agreement was made.
3. Upon receiving Adams response, I will as a licensed Civil Engineer in California communicate the issue to the Board of Ethics of the State of California Licensing Authority.
4. I will also contact the ethics committee of ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) for their review of the issue
5. Since the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union ) attempts to ensure individual liberties they would be a source for interpretation of this “gag” order.
6. And a “class action” suit would be initiated if there was agreement that it was necessary.

This is the “road map” to resolving issues in a Democracy. Don’t you agree?


Jerry Steinberg
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I am happy that CCF is pushing for Foothill as an introduction to its proposed solutions for Coastside improvements, because it serves as a wonderful exmaple updating the cargo cult of the South Sea Islanders, our own contemporary cargo cult, if you will.

For anyone paying the slightest attention to the arguments, you don’t have to read the Settlement agreement to form an opinion about the foolishness of the Foothill/Bayview idea. Just scroll up and look at the map above. Instead of driving south and making the single left turn onto 92 from 1, there are three turns on a longer and indirect approach to 92. Note the left, then right, then left again at 92, this last light affecting all outbound traffic on 92. Even if there were no homes along this longer stretch of road, it would extend the commute for those choosing this route. But there would be an indeterminate number of new homes along the route, and thus new commuters as well. How would many more commuters help improve 92’s circulation? Only a quasi-religious faith can explain this belief.

I think it’s great that we have our own quaint cargo cult right here on the Coastside. Mr. Muteff’s sign at Bayview is a perfect cargo cult offering!

ken king

As someone paying a little more than the “slightest bit of attention” (to use Mr. King’s words), I will gladly admit to being lost in the morass of arguments presented for and against this bypass. But as a layperson with regards to all of this, I can emphatically assert that common sense dictates that a parallel route to SR1 is needed not just to what is being proposed here but all the way to Montara! And traffic mitigation is not the only reason - safety and emergency access is another.

Whether or not the current CCF proposal is the exact right one - I don’t know. But something needs to be done—and it needs to start right away. Mr. Ferreira and others, if the proposed bypass is not right for some reason - please put forward a suggestion that is in your view.

I am frustrated beyond words at the amount of inertia to get anything done in this area. Ideas and solutions are needed rather than just shooting down everything and never trying anything.

How about a private road paid for with coastside community only bonds and restricted to only residential traffic? I would *gladly* contribute more of my tax dollars to such an effort. It could even be a toll road to finance its maintenance in the future.

Brian Dantes
El Granada

I’ve read George’s latest comment and really like what he is proposing. He seems be to correct in his statements on lack of road improvments on the coast. He also seems to be correct in his statements on “spinning” the argument if one can’t argue the facts clearly.

I would really like to see why the County/State cannot contribute to our road improvements in such a way they we wouldn’t have to rely on any developer funding. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mind having new developments (I’m not one to say I want the coast all to myself) I just think that this issue could be an area of compromise that could garner more support.

However, it seems to me that Mike’s statment above regarding wetlands, etc, would kill this issue entirely. I guess I wonder however, what sort of “consultants” were brought in to determine that some of the open space was considered wetlands? My guess (no facts to back this) would be that this assessment was another effort initiated by the no-growth contingent.

There are many vacant lots on my street that I would consider “wetlands”. Also, how valuable is a wetland that is surrounded by farm land (with sheep and cow manure everywhere) and housing tracts?
Ray

Oh and what the heck does “cargo cult of the South Sea Islanders” mean, Ken?? I have no idea what you are referring to and can only guess that you might be prejudice?
And, I did look at the map at what are you talking about? There is only 2 lights between the proposed road. It only makes sense that there would be some benefit. It would allow cars to not have to drive thru the 92/1 intersection, which would help out those folks that are NOT commuting over the hill. I’m sure the folks taking kids to school (cunha, hatch and the high school) would benefit from that. And there would be less traffic going east on 92 from highway 1 to the main st light (that would just be the folks coming from south 1 to 92 really).

However, it would really only help commuters if there were NO signals, which you could then assert that an extra lane on 92 would be needed.

We truly need a vision of what our roadways should be and not, piece-meal, short-sighted proposals.
Ray

Sorry to appear oblique to those unacquainted with the cargo cult phenomenon, but google the term and you’ll find over a million and a half links. Briefly, natives of the islands thought that either shipwrecked provisions, or later, stuff dropped on their beaches by Americans during WWII could be conjured up again through prayer and rituals.

Obviously things didn’t turn out as the believers expected. Their beliefs undiminished, they thought they were either not performing the rituals correctly, or that enemies were scheming against them. Like the South Sea Islanders, our Foothill cultists wait in vain, but reason similarly: “If it weren’t for the no-growthers, we’d have a bountiful pardise of pavement with unbounded freedom of movement.”

The cultists’ problem originates in their misplaced belief system and their failure to heed plain evidence, not in the opposition they inspire. They frequently employ the term “common sense,” but think that refers only to facts embedded within their own belief system. They are blind to counterevidence and facts that don’t agree with their deeply held beiefs. I called it quasi-religious, but it’s much more than that.

 

Sorry to appear oblique to those unacquainted with the cargo cult phenomenon, but google the term and you’ll find over a million and a half links. Briefly, natives of the islands thought that either shipwrecked provisions, or later, stuff dropped on their beaches by Americans during WWII could be conjured up again through prayer and rituals.

Obviously things didn’t turn out as the believers expected. Their beliefs undiminished, they thought they were either not performing the rituals correctly, or that enemies were scheming against them. Like the South Sea Islanders, our Foothill cultists wait in vain, but reason similarly: “If it weren’t for the no-growthers, we’d have a bountiful pardise of pavement with unbounded freedom of movement.”

The cultists’ problem originates in their misplaced belief system and their failure to heed plain evidence, not in the opposition they inspire. They frequently employ the term “common sense,” but think that refers only to facts embedded within their own belief system. They are blind to counterevidence and facts that don’t agree with their deeply held beiefs. I called it quasi-religious, but it’s much more than that.

ken king

Thanks for the definition Ken. And sorry if my comment was taken as an insult. I didn’t mean it to come out that way.

Oh, and there is no reason to call CCF cultists. Come on, we are all in this to try and make a better living environment for the whole community.

This does not have to be about building up pavement as far as the eye can see. The issue at hand, which we all need to resolve, is the very fact that we have a certain number of folks that live in our community. Plus, we must plan for the fact that it will grow (even though we can try very hard to control it). Now map the population to the road system we currently have. It is not up to par by any means. I hope everyone can agree to that.

Forget devils slide closure. Take a nice weekend where there are tons of visitors enjoying the coast (they have every right to it). Everyone knows how tough it is to get around town, and in a safe manner. We should be able to do something about it.

Ray

The HMB Review’s lead article is about the funds shortfall for SR 92 expansion, with the cost going 40% over what was predicted six months ago, roughly $4 million over. In an ideal world, this level of unpredictability would not occur.

In an ideal world, you would lay out the entire infrastructure needed in an area well beyond current needs, but the conundrum concerns who’d pay for it? Here on the coast we had a miniscule population in the 1950s, one not making great demands on the two main roads in and out, and not having sufficient density to fund more than the gradual expansion, which has actually happened.

The Coastside has too small a population to fund the kind of road Mr. Dantes desires. We’re having trouble funding fixes to 92 and 1, so it is unimaginable money could be found for the land acquisition to undergird a parallel road. The subsequent construction project would be on the order of a highway, so would be prohibitively expensive.

Mr. Dantes asks for concrete suggestions to help alleviate the current terrible situation. We would not be having this discussion had the Slide not failed again. Any decision made now would have NO effect on the driving situation during this congested period. Assuming CCF follows up its rhetoric by pushing for Foothill, and imagining a successful outcome in their persuading a whole lot of people, agencies, and judges, Foothill would still not be operable until long after the tunnel opens in 2011. So talk of Foothill as a solution to our current problems is a merely a diversion at best.

Not to slight Mr. Dantes’ point about safety, I share his concern. It is worrisome that the cable outage in April isolated many of us for more than a day, but has not been satisfactorily addressed by public officials who probably hope that it was an anomaly. However, building a prohibitively expensive road between the siphons of 1 and 92 will not move anything through those siphons quicker, as I’ve said. It is illogical to conclude that adding more commuters to our roads (more homes mean more commuters to pay for them) will improve public safety for the rest of us.

We reside on a narrow strip of coastal plain on which residential and road patterns were dictated a hundred years ago. In an ideal world we’d be able to reconfigure these patterns based on current and projected needs, but to do that would be to override the existing infrastructure already laid down. But, then, this would not be the place that most of us chose to live in originally.

We humans are left with having to adjust to the real world as we find it. That leaves us in the world of tradeoffs where we each have to decide what is best for our families and ourselves. I’ll hope along with everyone else that this Slide repair will be the last before the tunnel is completed. But since this is not an ideal world, there is no guarantee it will be.

ken king

Cargo Cult Science

I googled:
Cargo Cult Science and it showed 566,000 links
Cargo Cult Phenomenon and it showed 164,000 links
Common Sense and it showed 294,000,000 links

While pondering the significance of this large disparity I read with interest Richard Feynmans “Cargo Cult Science” commencement speech at Cal Tech in 1974.

Ken, in my opinion your use of his phrase is misleading and misses Feynmans main thesis,
  “We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science.”

I think that this “posting of comments” has brought to the surface (and hopefully Barry can continue to sustain the bandwidth) many of the facts (and distorted facts)  that have been “floated” out as to why infrastructure
projects, whether it be Foothill/Bayview or School Bonds or a new park or a new library or a new police station or bus service on the coast, can or can’t be completed. To get to the truth one cannot make “honest decisions” without FULL EXPOSURE of the issues. e.g. “Out of court Pacific Ridge Settlement” made behind closed doors without public input.

Your moving from environmental concerns to “where is the money coming from”?,  makes me feel you are discounting the value of “full honest disclosure.”

After pondering my google results I don’t think common sense will necessarily get you there either. Who would have thought a 300 million dollar tunnel vs a 60 million dollar road bypass. would become a reality?

Jerry Steinberg

After reading the last few comments in this thread, it seems to me that we need to either approach this disagreement from a different angle or abandon it and close out this thread.

My first thought is that many, if not most of the people who moved to the Coastside moved here because they liked what they saw.  That’s why so many work so hard to keep it that way.  So one question that I would put out is “Why move to someplace and then gripe about the way it is?”  If you think that SR 92 is too curvy, or SR 1 through Devil’s Slide too dangerous, or all of the roads overcrowded/inadequate, why did you move here?  (If you don’t like the foghorn, don’t move here and then try to get it muted.  That actually happened in the mid-90s.  The effort failed because a large number of people appeared and insisted that the foghorn be kept as was before the newbie complained.  Check the Review’s archives for that story.)

My next question to try to focus the discussion would be to the “we need bigger roads for the people who are here now” group:  Please describe precisely what size SR 1, SR 92, Foothill, Bayview, whatever, that you believe is required for the people who are here now.  After that, then please explain precisely what size SR 1, SR 92, Foothill, Bayview, whatever, that you believe will be required for *double* the current population.

OK, here is a new idea.  A traffic circle:  Main street is one-way north from 92 to HWY 1.  HW1 is south only from Main and 1 to main and 92. 92 is west only from 1 and 92 west to the current 92 and main. there would be no traffic lights necessary between 92 and one north or south. The current shopping center in the middle of the (albertsons) would have an access problem. maybe the city could put a redeveleopment bond to the voters to get that hidoeus strip mall torn down and replacec with different access configuration.

Go to jamacia way in Boston on Google earth if you want to see a traffic circle of comparable size. I am no traffic engineer but I think it would increase traffic flow substantially with adding the less asphaltthan other alternatives.

I travelled back home today over 92 and am of the belief that it can be widened, though there are a few sections that would be tough. I am sure our predicament is not unique and that Caltrans deals with this problem of road expansion quite often. I would leave it up to their hands to figure it out.

As to Leonard’s question above… All very good questions, and I for one would not be able to quantify. I would leave that up to experts such as Caltrans.

As to your question about moving to the coastside, I would flip that back to you. If you are so against improving our conditions here on the coastside, then why do you stay here? There is plenty of unimproved areas in Oregon that you could move to, with no fear of growth?

The fact is that we live within 25 miles of a big city, and there is a big housing shortage on the peninsula.
Ray

Mr. Steinberg commits the straw man fallacy since I never used the phrase, “cargo cult science” on which he builds his case. It might profit him to google “straw man fallacy” if he wants to avoid this error in the future. His 1974 Feinman quote is nice but irrelevant to my subject.

Cargo cults have been around since at least the 1890s. Google has any number of links pertaining to cargo cults should he want to pursue the topic. One to get started is:  http://www.afa.org/magazine/1991/0191cargo.asp

One has to admire Mr. Steinberg’s enthusiasm for embracing “Full Disclosure” in order to arrive at well-formed decisions on public issues, but it stretches common sense to say that the ONLY way of arriving at “honest” decisions is to approach subjects the way he does, i.e. by reading the Pacific Ridge Settlement Agreement.

ken king

Ken, in order to follow Barry’s guidelines of avoiding “personal attacks” I phrased your usage of “Cargo Cult” as misleading rather than “self serving”.

Your attempt at implying that a million links in a Google search was justifying not being “oblique” was again in my opinion “self serving”…and thus the comparision of many millions of links for the phrase, “common sense”. Google prides itself on showing relevant links on its first page of results…having started my college education in physics I was
naturally inclined to read a commencement presentation by a well known individual in the sciences and his usage of “Cargo Cult”  that
“showed up” on the first page.

As your writing skills are readily apparent I think you might also consider that readers will interpret your words/ideas based on their own experiences and views.

Since this posting is under the heading “Fear of Foothill” I believe your closing comment misses the point of my using the “Pacific Ridge Settlement Agreement” as an example of why generally accepted decisions are obtained by open and “honest” discussions of all those involved.
It would appear that without a Google search the 2000+ individuals who signed a petition to negate this agreement is an indication they would like to be included in the decision making process.

Jerry Steinberg

Mr. Steinberg discounts the telling economic arguments against Foothill and Beachwood as a digression from “full honest disclosure.” They are hardly that; they make said project economically unsupportable. He thinks the Pacific Ridge Settlement Agreement is nefarious because HMB’s council made decisions in mandated closed session with two other litigants, the Coastal Commission and Ailanto Properties.

As a thirty-year resident of Terrace Avenue, I was rocked to my core when the 1999 council approved Ailanto’s 197 houses, also in secret session, btw. Strangely, few Terrace Avenue residents expressed concern about what that would do to our surrounding environment. A few of us fought and lost that case in front of the Coastal Commission. Mr. Steinberg was not one of those folks.

While I am not ecstatic about any homes being built at the end of my street, I am relieved that the limit was negotiated down to 63, with just 40 allowed using Terrace for “temporary” access. Regarding a stoplight, one will be necessary if the city proceeds with its plan to widen Highway 1 to four lanes in front of Terrace. If the city abandons that plan, a signal would be unnecessary.

As an advocate of full honest disclosure, I wonder why Mr. Steinberg omits reference to the Beachwood Appeal decision in which the developer lost its case because the court upheld the city’s definition of wetlands in its LCP? This doesn’t just make it difficult for HMB to ever issue a CDP for Bayview, it makes it illegal. That, to borrow a current phrase, is another inconvenient truth CCF and, presumably, Mr. Steinberg prefer ignoring.

ken king

Ken, I did not “discount economic considerations” for infrastructure projects. Quite the contrary I attempted to (as you used the term “obliquely”) indicate that perhaps “common sense” might have indicated that 300 million dollars could have been spread over
a fully integrated coastside highway plan for enhancements to both routes over the hill.

I agree with your statement in a previous post “that leaves us in the world of tradeoffs where we each have to decide what is best for our families and ourselves”.

I believe the “Out of Court Pacific Ridge Settlement “tradeoff” to allow the developer to build 23 additional homes by installing an unwarranted traffic signal that will affect several thousand folks using Highway 1 is an insult to the intelligence of coastside residents … besides being as you call it (sarcastically) a “nefarious” scheme for its shell game approach of:
1. Touting the halving of the number of homes but doubling the size of each (up to 5000sf) for the same FAR (floor area ratio)for a total buildout of “285,000 habitable square feet of floor area …no home shall have more than 5000 sq ft of habitable floor area”
2. The “gag” clause which disallows the city professional staff and elected officials from expressing their opinions on this “out of court Pacific Ridge Settlement”.
3.  The developers apparent desire for a signal light to enable entry to his landlocked parcel in total disregard to the environmental and quality of life affects on the residents of Terrace/Highland Park.

Ken, your statement “if the city abandons the plan of widening the highway a signal would not be required” does not appear to be documented anywhere?

The developer had initially received the approval from the Coastal Commission to build 40 homes without widening the highway or installing a traffic light and using Terrace Avenue temporarily until permanent access was secured on Bayview or Foothill.

Thus even if he built 40 - 5000Sq Ft homes he would leave 85,000 sq ft of FAR (or almost a third) of his approved buildout “on the table” i.e NOT builtout.
If as you claim Foothill or Bayview cannot be built why wouldn’t the developer continue to litigate for a way to complete his buildout. Since this could extend over a period of many years Terrace Avenue would become by default the permanent access to Pacific Ridge.

The developer had sued to increase his buildout to 63 homes by spending (X Dollars) and installing a traffic light /modifying the highway/building a 7 foot high retaining wall and on top of that wall an additional 2 foot high wall above grade near Silver Avenue which resulted in the Out of Court Settlement Agreement.

I don’t think the developer would stop litigating.  Maybe its time for a ”tradeoff” and a new “vision” for coastside roadway development.

Jerry Steinberg

What would be the annualized maintenance costs for Foothill/Bayview?  Who would pay?  These would not be State-maintained highways, and as they would be completely within the City of Half Moon Bay, HMB would have to pay for the maintenance.  If they attract off a significant fraction of the existing SR 1 traffic, they’ll get pretty beat up and require a lot of maintenance.  Where will this money come from?

Ray’s non-answer notwithstanding, I’m still waiting for an answer to my questions above:  what roads do we need “for the current population” and then by extrapolation (multiply by 2) for the buildout population?  How can people push for more more more roads without being willing to say what’s enough?  Maybe enough is never enough for some people.

HMB Public Work’s Highway 1 plan (submitted to the county transportation authority February, 2004) is available at city hall. I discussed the highway-widening plan with Lucy Lopez on her porch last summer, so it’s not a secret. It is interesting that those intent on blocking the signal at Terrace Avenue and 1 did not inform citizens signing their petition about this plan. I suppose Mr. Steinberg’s mantra of “full honest disclosure” should not apply to him when he’s intent on achieving praiseworthy goals.

Formerly there have been NO monies to fix or maintain HMB’s streets before the Ritz revenues came on line three short years ago. CCF’s Foothill-lite is a HMB city street, not a county road or a state highway. Therefore Messrs. Bacon and Muteff’s loose talk about there being “possible” outside funds for a road doing double duty as a residential street and a highway bypass is either delusional, or plain hype. Actually, Mr. Muteff says, “It is possible that the residents of Half Moon Bay won’t be obligated for any of the cost.” Yes, anything is possible, but what is likely? With materials inflation of 40% in six months, such talk from a self-promoting fiscal hawk should be eye-opening to the rest of us.

HMB’s Director of Public Works, Paul Nagengast, has all he can handle trying to close the $4 million inflation gap on the 92 project that was supposed to begin now. Want a reality check? Ask Paul how soon other agencies will be able and willing to finance a project of Foothill-lite’s magnitude. Don’t stand too close to him though in case he loses control and laughs in your face.

ken king

Hey, Ken, regarding your quoting George Muteff and your response (in the middle of the second to last paragraph), see the end of my May 24, 10:00 am comment above!  Of course, the Foothill proponents haven’t responded to it.