For the previous two years, the city has not been filling vacancies on the Open Space Committee (OSC). This has caused cancellation of meetings, resulting in no work or progress on open-space issues.
Open space is such an important resource for Pacifica, and many people have worked long and hard on protecting important lands, that it seems entirely appropriate to have a committee dedicated to open space.
GGNRA is a significant land owner in Pacifica, and has shown a willingness to partner with the city on improving and maintaining coastal parkland and public access. A group specifically dedicated to interacting with GGNRA also seems appropriate.
For years, OSC has recommended outstanding Pacificans for their service to preserve open space. This recognition focuses public attention on the need to protect open space.
In an informal setting, OSC takes public input and suggests solutions to resolve issues and make recommendations to the City Council. OSC is the first to examine development proposals on public open-space lands and parcels named in the “Open Space Task Force Report.”
In protecting open-space values, OSC listens and works with the public and sometimes suggests plan revisions to allow development with maximum reasonable protection of open-space resources. For decades, this system has been efficient and has avoided possible confusion.
In Pacifica, history shows that encouraging public input at OSC works to the advantage of the city because issues are identified and addressed before they reach the Planning Commission and City Council.
There are a variety of ways the council could handle reorganizing the environmental committees. In whatever form OSC takes, it is inconceivable that the city would not have a citizen group whose job is to advise the council on open-space issues. Whatever decision the council makes, we should maintain both an Open Space Committee and a GGNRA advisory board.
Noel Blincoe & Leo Leon