Letter: Questions for Supervisors Rich Gordon and Jerry Hill
On Wednesday May 24, incumbent San Mateo County Supervisors Rich Gordon and Jerry Hill will be present at the Midcoast Community Council meeting. Also attending will be Jo Chamberlain, the sole challenger for Rich Gordon’s seat in the upcoming June 6 election. Jerry Hill is running unopposed.
Below are some questions that I would like to ask the incumbent Supervisors, and also hear the reaction from Jo Chamberlain:
1. The Devil’s Slide closure has basically doubled the amount of traffic that must head south from the Midcoast during the morning commute. This is sort of like a natural experiment to see what traffic will be like under the Supervisors’ plan to double the number of housing units on the Midcoast in coming decades. Given the extremely limited options for expanding Highways 1 and 92 in the future, the experience from the Devil’s Slide closure pretty much proves that the Supervisors’ buildout plan is a recipe for a traffic disaster. Why then, are the Supervisors forging ahead with this totally unworkable buildout plan?
2. On December 12, 2005, the Cabrillo Unified School District sent the Board of Supervisors a letter which stated quite clearly that Coastside schools "can support limited growth, but not a doubling in population." The Supervisors’ buildout plan completely ignores this important issue. How can the Supervisors justify a buildout plan that does not address the lack of capacity of the Coastside school infrastructure?
3. Half Moon Bay currently imposes a residential growth rate limit of 1%. After years of analysis and hearings, both the Midcoast Community Council and the County Planning Commission recommended that the Supervisors adopt a 1% residential growth rate limit for the Midcoast. The Supervisors ignored these recommendations and adopted a 2% growth rate limit as part of their buildout plan. Under their plan, the true growth rate limit would actually be much higher than 2%, because the Supervisors would grant full exemptions to: (1) new housing units classified as "affordable," (2) new second units, (3) so-called caretaker’s quarters in Princeton, and (4) disabled-persons housing (which have been proposed as part of the "Big Wave" office/housing complex). Given the severe future traffic problems that are already baked into the cake, how can the Supervisors justify anything but a strict (i.e., count everything) 1% growth rate limit similar to that imposed in Half Moon Bay?
4. The Supervisors’ plan to double the number of housing units on the Midcoast will require a significant amount of water. The Coastside County Water District (CCWD) is already undertaking a series of major water system expansion projects to serve the Supervisors’ plan. Current residents are being compelled to pay for these projects with rate increases . In 2003, CCWD raised water rates by 9.6%. In 2005, CCWD raised water rates by 12%. In May 2006, CCWD announced plans to raise water rates by another 7%. How can the Supervisors’ justify a buildout plan in which current residents are being forced to subsidize (via higher water rates) more traffic-inducing future housing development?
Kevin J. Lansing
Half Moon Bay