MCC moves forward with incorporation/annexation study


By on Mon, September 5, 2011

Sign at a house on Farallone in Montara.

NOTE: We’ve had a lively discussion in the comments on this letter, so we’re moving it to the main column.

I’m not sure I understand this matter completely, but I want to go on record anyway by saying “... This doesn’t make sense for Montara or Moss Beach.”

As a Montara resident, I feel we may wind up paying for HMB’s troubles, and getting cut off from the County because Lehman Brothers nearly bankrupted them. We hardly receive any services here considering the taxes the county collects from us already. This seems like some back room deal that I don’t want be at the table for when that hand gets dealt out.

Anyway, don’t we have a 19 million dollar bond outstanding we’re paying on: What’s going to happen with that?  I think there are 3 seats on the MCC up for grabs. I can’t imagine what the MCC was thinking about, as it seems they have opened a can of worms.  What makes this worse is that it’s left up the Board of Supervisors and not giving the community its due process.

I’m curious as to how MWSD feels about subject?  I’m not sure if I’m on the wrong side of the topic here, so if I am, feel free to enlighten me.  Thank you

From the Review story by Lily Bixler on August 18, 2011:

The Midcoast Community Council has requested that San Mateo County re-evaluate a study that would determine if incorporation or annexation options are fiscally feasible. The council suggests that a steering committee be formed to guide the review process.

The study considers the feasibility of annexation to Half Moon Bay or incorporation of Montara, Moss Beach, Princeton, El Granada and Miramar into a new municipality. The study estimates the cost of providing municipal services to the Midcoast and the revenues for a year of operation.

The study would update, and in some cases correct, a 1998 study that addressed the issue. According to the 13-year-old study, the Midcoast would lose $1.4 million by annexing to Half Moon Bay, and it would face an $877,000 deficit if it were to go it alone.

In a letter sent to county supervisors late last month, MCC noted that circumstances have changed since that study was prepared. Substantially higher property values resulting in higher property tax collection, a larger population and transient occupancy tax revenues from the Oceano Hotel are factors that warrant a review.

MCC urges the county to consider a scenario in which the Midcoast incorporates and the local water districts dissolve, with their functions taken up by a new city department. Also, MCC suggests any analysis address how Half Moon Bay’s Beachwood lawsuit settlement debt would affect annexation.

In the letter, MCC makes a case that by the time community support grows for incorporation or annexation, the San Mateo County Local Agency Formation Commission process is complete and a new municipality is formed, the economy will likely be back on track.

LAFCo would conduct the study. That agency gets funding from the county, cities and special districts.

The county hasn’t made a decision yet on whether it will request the study through LAFCo, but the board of supervisors is expected to discuss the matter soon.