Letter: Why was Pillar Ridge moved from Moss Beach to El Granada in 2008 census?


Posted by on Mon, May 18, 2009

US Census data, chart by Barry Parr

In crunching the Midcoast numbers from the 2000 census, whoever was in charge decided to move the mobile home park from Moss Beach to El Granada, moving it to a different mailing address, and water/sanitary district.  It made for a sharp drop in population for Moss Beach from the previous census and an unusual increase for El Granada, essentially making the 10-year comparisons useless.
If statistics are supposed to help planning, it seems counter-productive to assign a significant neighborhood population to a census area in a different water/sanitary/postal district.  One wonders what could have been the reason for this.  Was there a confusion about the location of the Pillar Ridge community because it was called El Granada Mobile Home Park at the time?

Lisa Ketcham

Does the census figures have an impact of the division of property tax dollars going to GSD and MWSD?

Whatever silly thing the Census Bureau did has no effect on which local jurisdictions the neighborhood is in, so there would be no effect on property tax division.

Q:  “Calling a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?”<br>
A:  “Four—just because we call it a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

Pillar Ridge is still in MWSD and not in GSD.

I always wondered why the original name was the “El Granada Mobile Home Park”, when it was never anywhere near El Granada.  I.e., that name never made any sense.

Many things are named after where they are not (or maybe where they wished they really were).  Princeton’s a prime example.  So it’s fitting that Moss Beach right next door had one community named after El Granada, and still has a whole airport named after Half Moon Bay.  I’m glad pilots don’t actually expect it to *be* in Half Moon Bay when they come in for landings.

My favorite has to be Ocean View Park (a nice community park actually in Half Moon Bay), from which there is no ocean view to be had.

Seriously, though, to the question, property taxes and district boundaries are something the tax collector is generally very good at keeping straight.

Back to Moss Beach, I’m surprised Caltrans didn’t notice the drastic change in population numbers when they made up the signs showing population to be 400.  There are more than four times that many registered voters in Moss Beach.

You’re surprised at something that CalTrans did or didn’t do?  Get real.

Now they’re going to have to do a $200,000 study to determine what the sign should really say.

I think my personal favorite is that SFO isn’t in SF.  Not even close.  Dare I say it’s in another County?

That’s it for today’s mixed drink of sarcasm and cynicism.

Getting serious for a second, is there any way to make sure the Census Bureau has a clue for the upcoming decennial count?

You’d think CalTrans would get their figures from the census.  Various studies use it too, like the Big Wave financial analysis.  The data is available down to relatively small blocks—that’s where I got the population figure of 850 for Pillar Ridge back in ‘02.

When residents were discussing a new name for our community in ‘04, we wanted a name attached to the place.  Someone suggested Misty Pines, but I said that will surely cause some kind of plague that will kill all the pines within 10 years.  So we settled on Pillar Ridge.