Pacific Currents: Coastal Trails
The Rock: Proposed Development Would Tower Above Highway 1

The Rock: "Alcatraz/San Quentin" Look Not Right for Pacifica

By Rush Limbo, Riptide Wrangler

Just as the highway-widening debate heats up, an out-of-town developer proposes to build a nine-story colossus on top of The Rock at Highway 1 and Fassler. The architect's renderings look like San Quentin or Alcatraz.

The property owner (applicant) is Guru Thalapeneni, 1920 Glenbrook Road, Glenbrook, NV 89413. He apparently also has or had an address in Woodside, California. He is the founder, president, and CEO of Remoba, a mobile technology company, with almost 3,000 Google entries. You could look him up.

The City of Pacifica Planning Commission met in a public Study Session on October 21 to look at this controversial proposal. Inexplicably, the city had ham-fistedly posted a confusing and misleading notice on its website about the Study Session. The headline for that date said the regular commission meeting was cancelled. Nevertheless, dozens of citizens found their way to the unfriendly confines of Council Chambers to hear the Planning Commission's concerns about the proposal.

But if you clicked the link anyway, you got: 
And clicking yet one more time took you to:


Bray's alternative (top), applicant's proposal (bottom)

By Todd Bray, Riptide Correspondent

To further the debate, I offer this to the Pacifica Planning Commission, the general public, and the applicant: a three-story alternative to the nine-story proposal for the Sea Rock condos (aka The Rock) at Fassler and Highway 1.

By losing the top building and two floors of the bottom structure, I think a proposal of this scale, with an iconic coastal veneer of shingles, would not have much, if any, opposition. It's one-third the size of the project to date but still would allow for seven units and (possibly) a rooftop bar and grill.


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Mr. Thalapeneni, like many wealthy NorCal professionals, is using the state of Nevada as a sort of tax haven. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the case. We've had a few friends in the past year do this because of the new state law requiring those who earn more than $250,000 a year to pay more in state taxes. Seven years ago, his address was simply in Woodside.

In hindsight, it would have served the public better if on the cancellation notice the city had also noted that the study session was happening in place of the regular commission meeting. Planners are not webmasters, so let's give them time to learn how to effectively use the city website.

Sadly, we expect this now from city communications -- not a news flash.

This link will take you to the agenda and staff report for the Planning Commission study session on the "The Rock" -- Monday, October 21 in Council Chambers, 2212 Beach Boulevard, 7 p.m.

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