Midcoast residents ask supervisors to reconsider LCP revisions

By on Wed, December 7, 2005

Darin Boville
The crowd at the meeting was standing-room only, although wyou can't see the many standers in this picture.
Darin Boville
The meeting opened with a presentation of the Planning Commission's proposal and the supervisors' subcommittee revisions.

A standing-room-only crowd welcomed the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors to the Coastside Tuesday. The supervisors came to the Adcock Center in Half Moon Bay to hear testimony from Coastsiders about their proposed changes to the Local Coastal Program for the Midcoast. Nearly fifty Coastsiders asked the supervisors to reconsider their plan. Only two who didn’t have an obvious financial interest in the plan spoke in favor of it.

For those of you who haven’t been following this story, the Midcoast LCP is a critical planning document that is used by local governments and the California Coastal Commission.  The Commission gave the county $40,000 in 2000 to help pay for the process of revising its Midcoast LCP. After years of hard work and compromise, the locally-elected Midcoast Community Council (MCC) delivered a set of recommendations to the County. The MCC’s work was recommended by the county’s Planning Commission (with some refinements) for adoption by the Board of Supervisors. The Supervisors set up a subcommittee to review the recommendations and come up with its own recommended revisions to the Midcoast’s Local Coastal Program [PDF]. The Supervisors’ update departed dramatically from the Planning Commission’s in many ways.

Tuesday’s meeting was a hearing on the subcommittee’s proposed revisions.  Friday, the Coastal Commission staff had delivered a stinging assessment of the subcommittee’s work [PDF]. Tuesday, the Midcoast Community Council weighed it with its own assessment [PDF]. The Board of Supervisors will meet again next Tuesday in Redwood City no earlier than 10:30am.  Anyone who didn’t get a chance to speak today will be allowed to speak at the next meeting.  The Supervisors have not said whether they will make any decisions at that meeting.

There were roughly 47 speakers supporting the original version of the LCP update created by the MCC and the Planning Commission, 10 speakers supporting the subcommittee’s version, and 10 raising other, specialized issues.

No one at the meeting said the Supervisors’ proposal didn’t go far enough to encourage development on the Coastside.  Terry Gossett, George Muteff, and a few realtors were there telling the Supervisors how wise they were in their revision of the Local Coastal Program. As far as I can tell, Gossett was the only Midcoast resident without a financial stake in the update to speak in favor of the supervisors’ revisions.

One significant group, family members of developmentally disabled Coastsiders and one disabled student from Half Moon Bay High School, spoke movingly in favor of the Big Wave project, a live/work facility for developmentally disabled adults.  However, they didn’t make it clear why exceptions to the County’s zoning were needed to make this project a reality, nor have the supervisors.

It’s notable that a very large share of the speakers were Montara and Moss Beach residents.  We may look back on this meeting as the genesis of a new home-rule movement in these communities.