Big Wave Letters: “Who are the developers really thinking of here?”

By on Tue, February 24, 2009

Send us your letters regarding Big Wave that you have sent to the county Planning Department. We’ll share them with the community.

Dear Planning Manager Leung

It is in the nature of a good professional planner to also be a Visionary, with the ability to look beyond the noise made by a few in the present, towards the needs of the Whole in the future.

Our Coastside is a Precious Jewel, not only for those of us who have chosen to live here in relative inconvenience and isolation, but to the rest of the people of San Mateo County, California, the United States of America, and all the countries of the World.

I meet people—ON A DAILY BASIS!—from around our state, country and world, who marvel at the beauty and ACCESSIBILITY of our little San Mateo County Coast, its beaches, hiking trails and lovely little businesses and restaurants. They tell me how wonderful their experience is to find such a place. They take back with them a memory that is often the unexpected high point of their vacation. And, they spend money and tell others what a great place this part of the California coast is for a vacation.

I simply don’t understand what purpose the Big Wave serves in the larger scheme of things, other than to put more money into the developers’ pockets. My own first cousin, Joan, has Downs Syndrome, a developmental disability. She utilizes a sheltered workshop situation and it seems to have improved the quality of her life. But, such work areas are best situated into, and spread out among, the larger community, so that the DD person can have the experience of MAINSTREAMING INTO the larger community, and NOT BE SET APART in a living/working/shopping area that will further emphasize their differences. It has long been understood in the field of human services that DD people, for their own happiness and fulfillment, should be integrated into the community as much as possible, not separated into concentrated communities consisting mainly of themselves.

Who are the developers really thinking of here? Not the DD people, who would be, essentially, institutionalized with decreased ability to share in the life of the greater Peninsula and Bay Area communities.  Not the accessibility of other San Mateo county residents to the Coastside. Not the people of the Coastside who need to get to and from work each day. Not the safety of all Coastside residents, DD and "normal", who would find it that much more impossible to evacuate in the face of a disaster. Not the many tourists, who would eventually learn to avoid this stretch of Highway One and take their dollars instead to Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. Not the residents of Greater San Mateo County, who look upon the Coastside, rightly, as their little place to "get away from it all" and have a few hours to a few days of accessible respite and renewal.

Please look into the future of San Mateo County. Please do not let a few greedy developers ruin one of the last best places on Earth.  Please serve the citizens of, not only the Coastside, but all of San Mateo County. Please take the long view - the one that is ultimately wiser, healthier for all citizens of San Mateo County, and more socially acceptable as well. Please do not let short-sighted greed over-develop the San Mateo County coastal areas.

Respectfully submitted

Susan Christine, M.A., MFT