Beachwood and AB1991: The view from Sacramento

Posted by on Tue, April 8, 2008

Capitol Weekly, which covers state goverment, has an article on AB1991 and the Beachwood settlement. It includes some interesting quotes from Leland Yee and Gene Mullin:

Yee said earlier that he agreed to be a co-author of AB 1991 before the settlement was finalized. But he has since witdrawn support, citing two "surprise" clauses in the agreement. The first calls for the city to pay developer Keenan $18 million even if the bill fails, scuttling the settlement. The second is a part of the agreement that lets Keenan build 46 homes on an adjacent piece of property that wasn’t part of the original lawsuit.

"It seems as if this ended up as a Christmas tree with all sorts of goodies under it," Yee said. "If it becomes a developers’ paradise, I’m not interested."

The main author of AB 1991 is Assemblyman Gene Mullin, D-South San Francisco. He said that he will continue to push the bill, adding that he offered the bill to help to city avoid bankruptcy; his office did not participate in the settlement talks.

"We volunteered to them that if they engaged in settlement talks and needed a bill, I would have a spot bill available for them," Mullin said. He added: "They could have gone forward with an appeal. They chose to settle…We will fulfill our commit to carry the bill and work as hard as we can to make sure they don’t have to pay $18 million."
Environmentalists say Mullin has some alleged ties to the pro-development old guard, but Mullin dismisses these claims. In the early-to-mid 1970s, Mullin said, his divorced father married Dolores Mullin, a longtime Half Moon Bay city councilwoman and one-time mayor. But Mullin notes that he was already in his late 30s at the time, so Dolores Mullin was never really his stepmother or godmother, as some have stated. Mullin’s father died in the 1980, and he said he had little contact with Dolores Mullin after that.

"She was a conservative Republican and I’m a liberal democrat," Mullin said. "We didn’t have a lot of interaction, to say the least."

The County Times also has a very good story on AB1991, which includes these details:

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, also agreed to co-sponsor the bill in response to a request Mullin’s office sent to the entire Bay Area delegation in February, according to Mullin. Her name is not attached to the "placeholder" bill Mullin submitted at the time, but will appear in the final, amended language that includes the details of the settlement.

That language is being analyzed by a slate of legislative attorneys, according to Mullin. It will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Local Government on April 30 before coming to a vote on the Assembly floor.
The city’s Architectural Review Committee will, in fact, consider the proposed design of Keenan’s homes — but will only be able to apply the standards in effect when the city fist approved a building permit for Beachwood back in 1990.

Asssemblyman Gene Mullin describes himself above as a “liberal democrat.” Then why is he sponsoring a bill that is a dream-come-true for right-wing property rights Republicans? Answer: because the right-wing dominated HMB City Council asked him to. Thanks for standing up for your principles Assemblyman Mullin.

Below is another recent article by Julia Scott at the SM County Times. It notes the “blank check” that our esteemed City Council gave to “Chop” Keenan and also the fact that the Council gave away far more than the original lawsuit was ever about.

Basically our City Council allowed Keenan to write his own terms for the “settlement” and now they are calling in political favors to make it happen. An believable betrayal of the interests of HMB citizens by Muller, Patridge, Fraser, and McClung.

Barry and Kevin,

Thanks for all the news stories links. Maybe I can provide a synopsis for the reader.

By Assemblyman Gene Mullin
“This bill would allow an approved tentative map, whose expiration was due in part to a city-initiated utility-service moratorium and that is the subject of pending litigation, to be deemed in full force and effect as part of a litigation settlement.”

Sounded benign - right?

2/3 Vote Required

Assemblyman Gene Mullin sent an email broadcast to our Bay Area Legislators to ‘help save Half Moon Bay’.

State Senator Leland Yee stood up.

28 Feb 2008 - Referred to Committee on LOCAL GOVERNMENT
HEARING DATE   :  30 April 2008
Co-Sponsors     NONE

1 April 2008 - the Settlement Agreement was approved by our City Council
When I received it, I scanned to the bottom for the “APRIL FOOLS”

It would gut every Environmental and Land Use Protection on the books: Coastal Act provision, environmental review, and on and on.

State Senator Leland Yee - intelligently said, I didn’t sign up for that!

The text of the new Bill is:  not yet published / not available.

IMHO, getting 2/3, two-thirds, of the Assembly, in an election year, to vote to gut all Environmental and Coastal Protections in not only the affected area of a Law Suit, but also the adjacent area, is less likely than replacing the centre of the State Seal with a picture of baby seal bashing!

How about replacing the contents of an Appropriations Bill with a bail out of HMB of $13,000,000 with the requirement of the resignation of the four who authorized the Settlement Agreement. Much more likely to pass!

Ken Johnson
We can actually have an impact.