Currently, Highway 1 is 64 feet wide as it passes the quarry area*: Caltrans states that the average eight-lane freeway is 132 feet wide**. This is the width of Interstate 280, including all lanes and shoulders, as you pass through Millbrae at Crystal Springs: Caltrans' plan for Pacifica is to expand Highway 1 as it passes the quarry area to a width of 144 feet*: In other words, Caltrans intends to expand Highway 1 in Pacifica, from Rockaway to Vallemar, to a width that is 12 feet wider than that of an eight-lane freeway.
Highway 1 (currently) = 64 feet wide
I-280 at Crystal Springs (8-lane freeway, average width) = 132 feet wide
On July 14, Pacifica City Council passed a weakened Climate Action Plan (CAP).
The Pacifica Climate Committee, a local citizens group working on climate change issues, lobbied the city to start working on a plan in 2009. The council appointed a task force in 2010 that worked for two years to develop the plan. After much effort, the plan has strong goals but is rather weak in what it asks the city to do.
The Pacifica Climate Committee hopes that the city will follow through and begin work to achieve the goals set out in the plan. The city should appoint a staff person in charge of implementation as promised at the council meeting, when it cut the dedicated half-time staff person that the plan originally called for. Council should take quick action on near-term measures in the plan.
The CAP calls for a 35 percent reduction in Pacifica’s greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2020, and 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050, which is consistent with State of California targets. These are very ambitious goals. Pacifica’s plan calls for encouraging new development to be near transit, improving walking and biking infrastructure (e.g., safe routes to schools, bike lanes), setting a waste diversion goal of 75 percent away from the landfill by 2020 and zero waste by 2030, and supporting state law requiring commercial recycling. The plan also calls for improving public transit but without any specific measures.
Originally, the CAP called for residential and commercial energy efficiency ordinances that would have required sellers or buyers to make basic energy efficiency improvements to homes and commercial buildings when they were sold. This part of the plan was cut by council due to opposition primarily from real estate interests, most notably the San Mateo County Association of Realtors (SAMCAR).
While Council supported the ambitious goals set out in the CAP, it appears that that the current plan will not actually achieve those goals. In a July 14, 2014 letter to the city’s Associate Planner Lee Diaz, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) staff commented that the plan, as currently written, is not strong enough to reach those targets.
BAAQMD staff also questioned various inconsistencies in the CAP and criticized the methodology the city’s consultant used to calculate some of the projected emissions reductions. For example, staff commented, estimated reductions from adoption of a water conservation ordinance were “grossly overestimated,” and other estimates were similarly flawed.
BAAQMD staff strongly recommended (among other things) that the city should reinstate the residential and commercial energy conservation ordinances to ensure that short- and long-term goals of the CAP will be met.
In another peculiar exchange, council member Karen Ervin asked whether the city could encourage the adoption of residential solar energy by lowering solar permit fees. Planning Director George White responded that the city had investigated this and determined that Pacifica’s solar permit fee is already among the lowest in the area. But according to a study done by the Sierra Club, Pacifica’s $335 solar permit fee is the second-highest fee in San Mateo County, second only to Daly City's. Pacifica’s permit fee is well above the $257 average for Northern California cities. We hope council can be persuaded to lower solar permit fees in the future.
Pacificans for a Scenic Coast uses CEQA law to challenge Caltrans Highway 1 Widening EIR
When: Friday, August 22 at 2 p.m. Where: San Mateo County Hall of Justice, 400 County Center, Redwood City
In August 2013, Pacificans for a Scenic Coast (PSC) filed suit against Caltrans under the California Environmental Quality Act. On August 22, Judge Marie Weiner hears that lawsuit in county court
The suit challenges the adequacy of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Highway 1 widening project. The suit contends: the project was not adequately described at the time of the EIR, the project is out of scale with Pacifica’s scenic nature, the EIR contains contradictory information on impacts on threatened species, and the EIR does not adequately address adverse impacts of the project.
A PSC spokesman says, “Caltrans has approved a project that will more than double the width of the existing roadway, and encase the highway in 9- to 22-foot-high retaining walls. Pedestrians and bicyclists crossing from west to east or east to west would be challenged in crossing such a wide roadway, which as proposed is completely out of scale for a community the size of Pacifica. There were only two alternatives considered by Caltrans, big and bigger. Bigger was Caltrans’ preferred alternative.”
City of Pacifica Senior Services bargain-priced indoor rummage sale Wednesday, August 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursday, August 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pacifica Community Center, Highway 1 at Crespi. Both days feature the ever-popular $2-per-bag room—all the items you can fit in a supermarket-style grocery bag for $2. The sales consist entirely of donated reusable items priced very low. All proceeds support Senior Services. For information, call 650-738-7384.
"QUIET WEATHER PATTERN CONTINUES ACROSS THE AREA INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK. DRY CONDITIONS PERSIST WITH AREAS OF NIGHT AND MORNING LOW CLOUDS FOLLOWED BY SUNNY AFTERNOONS. TEMPERATURES NEAR NORMAL WITH NO UNSEASONABLY HOT WEATHER FORECAST. POSSIBILITY OF SHOWERS INDICATED BY THE END OF THE WEEK AS TROPICAL MOISTURE SPREADS NORTHWARD INTO THE STATE." (National Weather Service)
"The newest 12Z GFS develops a major hurricane off of the west coast of Mexico and moves it quickly north/northwestward up the Pacific coastline, eventually approaching the California coast at tropical storm strength and making landfall near the Bay Area as a weakening tropical depression/remnant low (on Day 11). Remember: this remains quite unlikely to pan out exactly as depicted! However, there are increasing signs that some sort of East Pacific remnant moisture/energy event is possible in California by the end of the month." (National Weather Service)
Seasonal fencing to protect Western snowy plovers is now installed at Pacifica State Beach in Linda Mar. City of Pacifica teams from Public Works and Parks, Beaches, and Recreation, as well as volunteers from Pacifica Shorebird Alliance and Sequoia Audubon, worked together to install temporary symbolic fencing and signs.
Installed before the birds arrive in early fall and removed after they leave in late spring, this visual barrier makes it easy for people to walk around roosting snowy plovers, which are difficult to see. It is a standard tool for protection of shorebirds and has public acceptance at other Bay Area beaches and throughout California.
Protection of the Western snowy plover at Pacifica State Beach (Linda Mar) has been in process for several years. The symbolic fencing, educational materials, and some of the signage are made possible by a generous grant from the Audubon Society and administered by Sequoia Audubon and Pacifica Shorebird Alliance (PSA), a project of Pacfica's Environmental Family, a 501(c)(3) organization.
"Thanks for maintaining the best blog in Pacifica."(John Keener)
Our sponsors may offer you a discount or a special deal. Just tell them, "I saw your ad on Riptide." We appreciate our good friends' generous support since our 2007 launch. You can help, too. Click to ask how. Also, please click the ads and shop the Amazon link on our right sidebar—we get commissions. THANK YOU.
Sprout Farm by Beau Gill Fall Harvest by Larry Calof
"California Agriculture" Art Show, Coastside Land Trust Gallery, 788 Main Street, Half Moon Bay. Exhibit runs through October 24. Gallery hours are Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and by appointment.
SAVE THE DATES!
Saturday, August 23 from 10 a.m. to noon: Purissima Old Town Site Workday. Please join us for the second of four habitat restoration workdays at the old town site. We continue to remove invasive plants and maintain a small foot trail leading to a meadow. Meet at the corner of Verde Road and Highway 1 (same turn as Elkus Ranch). Wear long sleeves and pants, sturdy shoes, and sunscreen. Bring buckets and gloves. All ages welcome; under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Monday, September 1, 10 a.m. to noon: California Coastal Trail Construction Kickoff! You are cordially invited to join us for a casual celebration and orientation for this exciting project! Exact location TBA, as we get closer to the date.
Call 650-726-5056, email email@example.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for up-to-the-minute announcements. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Coastside Land Trust is dedicated to the preservation, protection and enhancement of the open space environment, including the natural, scenic, recreational, cultural, historical, and agricultural resources of the San Mateo County coast for present and future generations. Native Plant $5 Sale! Go green with summertime sale prices on 1-gallon native plants, including coyote bush, currant, bee plant, strawberry, lizard tail, white yarrow, wild rose, and sagebrush. Please visit our office to purchase plants and view our demonstration garden. Coastside Land Trust
Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica—Opening Friday, August 22, is Sanchez Art Center’s sixth annual 50|50 Show, with 67 artists selected by juror Jack Fischer. Each artist has created 50 small artworks in 50 days, for an exhibit of over 3,000 affordable pieces. The fundraiser Preview from 6 to 7:30 pm allows ticketholders to reserve purchases. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $10 at www.brownpapertickets.com or 800-838-3006, or at the door for $20. The Grand Opening from 7:30 to 9:30 pm is free, and artworks may be taken home at the time of purchase. Music by Lara Garner at the keyboard. Sanchez Art Center is located at 1220 Linda Mar Blvd., Pacifica, CA. Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1 to 5 pm during exhibits (except opening nights), or by appointment. For more information: 650-355-1894, www.sanchezartcenter.org.