Simon Says, “StopTheCellTower, Please!”


Posted by
Mon, September 13, 2010

Dear CCWD’s Chris, Bob, Jerry, Ken, Jim, David:

My name is Simon Streets.

Please call me Simon.

My family of 6 and I reside on San Clemente Road in El Granada the fourth house up from Isabella Road where the CCWD and AT&T are considering “planting” a cell tower mono-pine tree.

By now you have heard and read various concerns of several El Granada community members regarding the “planting” of this cell tower tree.

I have been active in “spreading the word” about these cell tower plans to our community and expressing our community’s concerns to the MCC Board.

Most concerned parties are in favor of improved cell service in the surrounding communities, but most of these same parties strongly request that any required cell towers be co-located with current cell towers or located in commercial areas and not in R-1 zoned residential areas.

I understand that these cell tower plans are part of “your business” and provide some revenue for the CCWD, however, the concern and disruption that these plans cause many of my El Granada neighbors is part of “my business”, and I truly hope that you will hear, listen, and absorb the concerns of the El Granada community members whom have provided their concerns to you via letters, e-mails, online petition comments, petition signatures, newspaper articles, web-site postings, etc.,.

Montara house maximizes sunlight on foggy days

Posted by
Sat, September 11, 2010

Anderson Anderson Architecture
Anderson Anderson Architecture

Architecture site Inhabitat features a Montara house that it says is designed to maximize sunlight on the “foggy California coast”. There are more pictures on the original site.

The foggy Northern California coastline can sometimes put a damper on your spirit, but given the a chance to inhabit a house like the Montara House, you’d be sure to find a pick-me-up no matter what the weather conditions. Located on the coast just south of San Francisco on a steep sloped site, the concrete home maximizes natural daylight inside the home and provides a comfortable and warm environment to escape the fog. And though designed by San Francisco-based Anderson Anderson Architecture, the resident family were actually the builders of this eco-home, which includes an impressive pv and solar water heating system.

Local Coastal Program and Midcoast groundwater study at MCC, Weds


Posted by
Sat, September 4, 2010

At the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Midcoast Community Council on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 7:30 p.m. at Seton Medical Center Coastside, Steve Monowitz, Deputy Director, San Mateo County Planning and Building Department, will update the Midcoast community on both the Local Coastal Program Resubmittal and the newly released Midcoast Groundwater Study, Phase III. Presentation and discussion will cover:

  • 1: Lot Retirement
  • 2: Temporary Prohibition of Private Wells and Groundwater Issues
  • 3: Growth Limits
  • 4: “Grandfathering”
  • 5: Restriction of Public Works Capacities
  • 6: Public Service Priorities
  • 7: Re-zoning of Bypass Lands
  • New issues that have arisen since last update

Why should you Care? As residents of the Midcoast, the decisions being made here will affect your daily lives when it comes to things like water quality and quantity, traffic congestion, HWY 1 safety issues (remember the Tunnel will be opening soon) and the overall quality of life that we all enjoy in this seaside haven. We invite the public to come and listen, learn and voice your opinion. Please visit the MCC webpage for more information. Past LCP presentations, Midcoast LCP Update / Ground Water Study and more can be found on the MCC’s LCP update page. Directions to Wednesday’s meeting at Seton Medical Center Coastside, Marine Boulevard & Etheldore, Moss Beach: Take Highway 1 to Marine Boulevard and follow hospital signs uphill Please note: MCC attendees PLEASE park in upper parking lot per hospital policy.

Coastal erosion, flooding, and sea level rise in Pacifica, Sun, Aug 16

Press release

Posted by
Sat, August 7, 2010

Bob @ Sharp Park

Worried about coastal erosion, flooding and sea level rise?

Come hear local coastal engineer, Bob Battalio, present an assessment of our challenges and opportunities in an age of climate change. Learn how Pacificans can adapt while maintaining our coastal community, save our natural shores and enjoy the ride.

August 16th 6:30pm to 8:00pm @ Sharp Park Library Community Room, 104 Hilton Way, ?Pacifica.

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Dardenelle trail walk: This sunday, 10am


Posted by
Sat, August 7, 2010


This post has been updated with details on a second walk and more information about the planning process.

This Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 10:00am and 2:00pm, the board of Midcoast Park Lands is conducting a walk from the parking lot of the Moss Beach Distillery to the Montara Light House.  The primary purpose is to walk the trails in the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve where proposed trail improvements are under review (PLN2010-00183).   

This is an opportunity to view story stakes of the proposed trail location, trail width (14’ wide), bridge location and scale of the proposed bridge (12’ wide x 60’ long).

The public comment period has been extended to August 16, 2010 by 5:00pm.
A Negative Declaration has been published for the projects.  Comments should be sent to Mike Schaller (San Mateo County Planning – 650-363-1823 – [email protected]). Information on the plans and the Negative Declaration document are available at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve page of the San Mateo County Parks Web Site/.

The Negative Declaration comments will be an agenda topic at next week’s MCC meeting [MCC].

The optional full walk goes from the north end of de-commissioned Ocean Blvd. to the Montara Light House.  This path affords an opportunity to view potential routes, views and issues involved with completing a route for the California Coastal Trail and a Bicycle Route from Pillar Point to the Montara Light House.  The walks will be led by Len and Gael Erickson and will leave the Distillery Parking Lot at 10:15am and 2:15pm.

Help create an open source map of the Coastside, Sat, Aug 14


Posted by
Sun, August 1, 2010

Open Street Maps is a self-described “Wikipedia of Street Maps”: a complete set of local street maps that anyone can contribute to.

On Saturday, August 14, at 10am,  Bay Area OSM fans will converge at LaDiDa in Half Moon Bay for a mapping party [Meetup].  Bring your GPS or cell phone with GPS software—or borrow a GPS from the organizers at the event.

OSM’s goal is to create an open-source map of the world’s streets. Commercial street maps (such as Google, Yahoo, MapQuest, and Bing) are copyrighted by one of two companies (TomTom or Nokia). OSM got its start in Europe, where copyright restrictions made it impossible for developers to create new systems on top of existing map data.

I’ve been personally contributing to OSM for more than a year by cleaning up their maps of Montara and adding points of interest. Most of the Coastside maps have been created using US Census data and are already quite good, but parts of them are out of date, incomplete, or incorrect.

I’ve been using EveryTrail’s free iPhone app for my work, but there are other apps available for iPhone and Android. I recommend downloading a GPS app and practicing recording your tracks between now and the 14th. Or just bring a GPS or borrow one at the meeting.

You’ll get help uploading your tracks and updating the map based on your data.


CGF opposes wide asphalt trail at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

Posted by
Sun, August 1, 2010

Sabrina Brennan
The current trail is a relatively narrow dirt track.

CGF opposes wide asphalt trail at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

The Committee for Green Foothills has written a letter opposing the county’s plan for a wide, paved trail inside the Fitzgerald Marine Preserve. The comment period for the proposed trail has been extended to 9am on Monday, August 16. The county has promised to put up stakes showing the coverage of the new trail by Friday, August 6.

The CGF notes that the proposed project is not in compliance with the county’s Local Coastal Program policies regarding environmentally sensitive habitat areas (ESHA), particularly wetlands, as well as the master plan for the marine reserve itself. Among its objections:

  • The marine reserve’s master plan says the county should “emphasize the sensitivity of the resource, to enhance the educational value of the Reserve, to manage visitation, and to limit use of the Reserve as a recreation destination.”
  • The marine reserve’s master plan says, “all trails and paths …shall be surfaced with pervious materials such as decomposed granite”, instead of the asphalt planned by the county, and that pervious surfaces can be ADA compliant.
  • The CGF describes the proposed trail as “an overblown paved transportation facility that does not invite people to enjoy and appreciate the natural setting, and connect with nature.”
  • Changing the location of the existing bridge over San Vicente Creek would increases impacts on riparian vegetation and an archeological site.
  • The proposed changes to beach access, including much more extensive rip-rap, will impact the beach.
  • There is not enough information in the plan to judge the impact on environmentally sensitive habitat areas (ESHA).

Read the full letter after the jump.


16.5’ wide asphalt trail planned for the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve


Posted by
Wed, June 30, 2010

The existing Dardanelle Trail is part of its natural surroundings.
The County's recently-completed trail at Mirada Surf West, and its accompanying bridge, can accomodate RV's.

County Parks is planning to construct 10.5-foot wide asphalt trail, with 3-foot wide aggregate shoulders on either side at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. The plan includes a 60 ft long by 12 ft wide bridge across San Vicente Creek.

The public comment period for the Negative Declaration is July 1 to July 30. 

The plan includes:

  • Trail in the approximate location of an existing Dardenelle Trail on the east side of the FMR. The proposed trail will have a 10-foot wide asphalt surface with 2?foot wide aggregate shoulders on either side of the trail.
  • A 60-ft. long by 12-ft. wide prefabricated fiberglass clear span bridge approximately 30 feet upstream of the removed bridge.
  • Bridge abutments, which are 12 feet wide, spanning the width of the bridge. The abutments have wing walls, which extend approximately 10 feet. The wing walls on the north side of the bridge are at 45-degree angles from either side of the abutment base and the wing walls on the south side of the bridge are at 90-degree angles extending behind the bridge. The abutments are 9.5 feet in height and are mostly buried underground. A 3.5-inch diameter foundation pipe pile extends from the bottom of the abutments to a minimum of 37 feet in depth and will be embedded 10 feet into bedrock.
  • Fence with handrail along the asphalt trail
  • Retaining wall, 1-6 feet tall along the north side of the trail
  • Large overlook, 35 ft. long by 40 ft wide, with reinforced concrete grade beam surrounding it
  • Auxiliary overlook, 30-ft. by 20-ft and approximately half way down the trail, on the creek side

Send comments to Michael Schaller, County Planner:

Michael Schaller
Senior Planner
Planning and Building Department
County of San Mateo
P: 650/363-1849
F: 650/363-4849

The proposed “trail” would be wide enough to drive an RV on. Please send comments!

County showing its plan to widen Hwy 1 in Pacifica, Tuesday

Posted by
Fri, June 18, 2010

One of two similar plans to widen 1.3 miles of Highway 1 from 4 lanes to 6 lanes between Fassler Ave and Reina Del Mar Ave that will be shown at the meeting. Click for larger version.

The county Transportation authority will show its plans to widen Highway 1 for 1.3 miles between Fassler and Reina del Mar in Pacifica at 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 22 in the Pacifica City Council Chambers, 2212 Beach Blvd. You can download a complete package of attachments from Coastsider from the link above.

The meeting package includes eleven alternatives, but only two—both of which will widen Highway 1 for 1.3 miles—will be given further study. From the release:

The first hour of the meeting will be an open house, which will give people the opportunity to view exhibits and talk to the project team.  An informational meeting will follow which will include presentations on the history of the project, the purpose and need for the project, the environmental constraints and concerns, the design concepts that have been reviewed and an overview of the environmental process and schedule.  This will be followed by a question and answer period. 

The meeting is being held by the San Mateo County Transportation Authority and the City of Pacifica, in partnership with Cal Trans. For more information please contact the Transportation Authority at 650-508-6283 or [email protected]  Additional information is available on the project website.

Interim Director Jim Eggemeyer appointed County Director of Planning and Building

Posted by
Wed, June 9, 2010

This is based on a county press release

Jim Eggemeyer, acting Director of Planning and Building for San Mateo County, has been appointed to the position permanently by San Mateo County Manager David Boesch. Eggemeyer succeeds Lisa Grote, who left San Mateo County employment to take a position with the City of San Mateo.

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