County’s June 16 LCP update hearing will be covered at tonight’s MCC meeting

By on Wed, May 27, 2009

April Vargas will be covering the county’s proposed updates to its Local Coastal Program (LCP) at tonight’s Midcoast Community Council (MCC) meeting. The LCP is the county’s plan for the unincorporated Midcoast. It is required by the Coastal Act and must be approved by the Coastal Commission.

MCC will meet at 7:30 pm at the Seton Medical Center Coastside, Marine Boulevard & Etheldore, Moss Beach. Take Highway 1 to Marine Boulevard and follow hospital signs uphill. Attendees must park in upper parking lots per hospital policy (turn left just before the end of the main driveway).

The county will be holding a hearing on the update at Half Moon Bay High School on June 16 at 5pm.

Coastal Commission staff rasised a number of significant issues with the county’s proposal. Some that were identified by the county as significant are listed below, but I’m sure there’s more that other folks in the Midcoast are interested in seeing covered.

  • The scope of the proposed changes, which revise the amendments approved by the Board, as well as policies of the LCP that were not proposed for change.
  • New policies that require demonstration of adequate public service capacities and restrict the allowable capacity of public works projects.
  • A recommended prohibition against individual private wells and septic systems within the Midcoast urban area.
  • Replacement of the County proposed 75-unit annual limit with a population growth rate of 1%, and application of this limit to secondary dwellings units.
  • New policies that replace Countywide stormwater pollution control requirements with detailed construction, erosion control, drainage, and treatment standards.
  • Deletion of a policy that would enable the County to resolve conflicts between LCP policies in a manner that is on balance the most protective of coastal resources.
  • A prohibition against the formation or expansion of special districts until public service capacity issues are resolved.
  • New traffic mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements.
  • New requirements for the provision of coastal access trails and related studies.
  • Deletion of a proposed incentive to provide affordable housing units.
  • Requirements to designate the Devil’s Slide bypass alignment as a Linear Park and Trail and rezone this area to Community Open Space.
  • Changes to land use designations and allowable uses on the Burnham Strip.



Thanks for posting this!

This is a critical process that has been going for about 10 years. The Coastal Commission has raised a number of critical issues in this important plan and I’m glad to see the MCC taking a lead role in this process.

It’s ironic that the county chose to hold this important Midcoast hearing in the city of Half Moon Bay, rather than the communities most affected by the LCP.

Almost all of the hangups the county ran into were due to its failure to do serious carrying capacity assessments at the outset of the LCP revision process. It isn’t like they were not urged to compile those figures. What they, especially Supes Gordon and Hill, did was to cobble together a revision that amounted to nothing better than political piecemealing to favor their pet development interests. The public hearings were a grabbag of topics set up to go where the county wanted to go rather than create the bases for an objective update of the LCP. And the extensive work and input of the MCC was pretty much ignored.

So the county got clobbered in the staff analysis of whether or not the revision lives up to the requirements of the Coastal Act. No surprise there. And the areas where they got clobbered the most were water, wastewater, and traffic—all resource or population considerations. They could have been criticized for so much more they proposed or omitted; but Coastal Commission staff probably chose to point out and make recommendations based on the most obvious factors, figuring correction of those considerations would benefit many others if they are fixed.

It will be mildly interesting to see if the county will make fundamental improvements to the update. My guess is they will try to fiddle with semantics and details in an attempt to bring the thing up to a minimum level of acceptance that they can lobby through.

The Board of Supervisors, led by Jerry Hill and Rich Gordon, ignored the County Planning Commission’s recommendations (which were based on numerous local public hearings) in an attempt to push their own pro-development vision for the benefit of their many realtor/developer friends

It’s really imporatant for people to attend the June 16 meeting and/or write letters to the Supervisors urging them to abide by the Coasal Commission staff recommendations—which are are closely aligned with what the County Planning Commission originally approved before the whole thing was corrupted by the Supervisors.