Coastal Commission halts project near sensitive habitat in HMB


Posted by on Sat, May 12, 2007

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California Coastal Commission
Slide from the Powerpoint at the Coastal Commission hearing shows the site and the riparian corridor.

The Coastal Commission has put a hold on the construction of a house approved by the Half Moon Bay Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission approved the construction of a large two-story house at 2788 Pullman Avenue, near an intermittent stream and riparian area that provides environmentally sensitive habitat for the California red-legged frog and the San Francisco garter snake.

Professional biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game notified the City about the existence of this protected habitat in March 2006, as explained in the lengthy Coastal Commission staff report.

The Planning Commission first considered the application in December 2006. The project was continued and then later approved on March 22, 2007 by a vote of 4-1, with two planning commissioners recusing themselves from the hearing.

At its May 9, 2007 meeting in San Pedro, in southern California, the Coastal Commission unanimously agreed there was a "substantial issue" about whether the local decision was legally consistent with the City’s ordinances that mandate buffer zones around sensitive habitat areas. The Coastal Commission will review the project at a future meeting to determine what changes are needed to ensure that the project complies with the city’s ordinances and regulations of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game.

You can view a video of the May 9 Coastal Commission hearing on the Coastal Commission site. The discussion of the Half Moon Bay project starts at about 19 minutes into the video and runs for about 3 minutes. You can use the slider in the video window to scroll forward to the 19-minute mark.