In all my years on the Pacifica Planning Commission, I never saw a more useless map (click link above to see project proposal). Therefore, I have added a third page, highlighting as best I could figure out (having seen the dog-and-pony-show drawings presented to us earlier) to make it more readable. It bears no resemblance to what we were shown, so some of the highlighting is guesswork.
Reading the first page, you get some numbers in absolute contradiction to the neighbor-friendly drawings shown to us quite some time ago: 16 houses on the ridge, not five or six. Farther down Gypsy Hill Road, 10 more houses; then even farther down, 16 below-market homes (required by law to include affordable housing). A "paper road" would have to be paved.
This is a grossly larger development than we were originally presented with, and in my personal opinion, the intent was to placate the neighbors into thinking this was no big deal so there would be no opposition. One of the “selling” points to our community was that the Campagnas themselves would be the architects, with their intimate respect for the community and environment.
Here is the truth, which I have heard directly from an inside source: The Campagnas do not have the money to develop this project. They hope to get all permits in place so they can sell to some outside company that will obviously build it to make a profit. Adamo Campagna would like to be the architect, but there is nothing to say that this would happen or what that would really mean, anyway.
Another glitch in the plan is that the required noticing area does not include the people on the hillside across the valley of Brighton (e.g., Talbot), who would be the most visually impacted, but because of the code, are not required to be noticed.
Additionally, there is the reality of a history of mudslides on this hill. Because we have had no hard winters in a long time, that may have faded into recent memory. But at the top of Brighton (under Grace’s Vista Point) is a very steep, bare hillside, which has repeatedly slid in wet winters.
After the recent disastrous news from Washington state, where a massive mudslide occurred where they knew mudslides had occurred in the past, how dare we put people at risk? For those on Brighton, whose backyards face the steep hill but have so far been protected by the dense vegetation, what will excavation do to the stability of the hill? The proposed houses are large and set somewhat downhill, dug into the hillside; the extent of excavation required is of major concern.
I’m not even going to go into the various species of wildlife that live here, including many varieties of birds in particular, at the risk of being labeled some kind of environmental extremist.
If any of this matters to you, please be at the study session at City Council Chambers on Monday evening, April 21. Now is not the time for apathy.
BJ Nathanson, Former Pacifica Planning Commissioner
2014 Left Coast Annual Juried Exhibition. Juror Jenny Gheith of SFMOMA gives a talk and presents awards on Sunday, April 13 at 1 p.m. Showing concurrently is the 2013 LCA Awards Exhibition, featuring work by 2013 award winners Ellen Little and Lucy Traeger. Both exhibits run through May 18. Sanchez Art Center is at 1220 Linda Mar Boulevard, Pacifica. Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. during exhibits. For more information, call 650-355-1894 or visit www.sanchezartcenter.org.
Photos above courtesy of Sanchez Art Center: Ellen Little, Urban Bird no. 13, watercolor on paper, 52” x 75” (bottom); Lucy Traeger, National Palace, Haiti, acrylic on canvas, 18” x 24” (top).
Throughout the Bay Area, Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve (280 @ Edgewood/Canada exit in Redwood City), is famous for its spectacular spring wildflower displays. Friends of Edgewood docents offer free wildflower walks every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. through June 8.
Every year is different at Edgewood. The weather favors some plants one year and a different set is abundant the next. Join us to discover what this year’s crazy weather reveals.
The approximately three-hour walks through grasslands, chaparral, coastal scrub, and foothill woodlands offer a surprising amount of biodiversity. You are likely to see 50-100 plants in flower on the moderately paced, three-mile journey.
Edgewood supports more than 500 distinct plant species, four of which are federally listed as endangered or threatened. In addition, the fragile Bay checkerspot butterfly, one of the threatened species, has made its home in the unique habitat afforded by the serpentine grasslands. The various plant communities also provide habitat for frogs, lizards, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, deer, and more than 70 resident and migratory birds.
Visitors can complement their docent-led walk by visiting the Education Center near the main entrance, featuring interactive exhibits that explain Edgewood’s connection to the surrounding landscape and its history.
Go to friendsofedgewood.org or call 1-866-GO-EDGEWOOD (1-866-463-3439) for more information. (Photo above by Kathy Korbholz)
Pacifica Beach Coalition hosts regular cleanups and habitat restorations at Pacifica beaches. If your school, group, or family would like to help, please contact Pacifica Beach Coalition at 650-355-1668. Supplies and support provided. Join Pacifica Beach Coalition to put your special talents to work. Become a Beach Steward for your favorite beach. Help with recordkeeping, writing articles, taking photographs, school presentations, media communications, fundraising, grant writing, and more.
If you like to walk in San Pedro Valley Park and enjoy its flora and fauna, and you want to help maintain the park, drop by the visitor center and join the volunteer team called Friends of San Pedro Valley Park. Several times a year, experts present programs at the visitor center and guided hikes focusing on park wildlife, geology, and botany. Volunteers help maintain the hiking trails and wildlife habitat in the park.
Bay Area nature enthusiasts stay informed about nature events and list their own events on BAY NATURE. That’s even easier to do now with the online event submission form. You can email your announcements, but please submit events two weeks in advance. The calendar is the most comprehensive listing of nature-related public activities in the Bay Area: hikes, talks, film screenings, workshops, restoration projects, special days at nature centers or science museums, and anything else nature-related. Calendar events also feed into the interactive map, one of the most popular features of the website. Your event may also be selected for the biweekly e-newsletter, Bay Nature Connections. Visit the website at the link below:
Explore internship and volunteer opportunities year-round in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), including Pacifica's three national parks (Mori Point, Milagra Ridge, and Sweeney Ridge), plus Ocean Beach, The Presidio, and Muir Woods. Projects include planting, weeding, mulching, beach cleanup, trail maintenance, and more. Register online at PARKS CONSERVANCY. For more information, call 415-561-3077 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
MEDIA ALLIANCE Check out the lineup of classes for writers, editors, photographers, designers, broadcasters, community organizers, computer wizards, dancers, actors, and other creative folks. Media Alliance has an interactive website for finding jobs, signing up for classes, and connecting to other media activists in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Beach Watch volunteer shoreline monitoring was launched by the marine sanctuary in 1993 under the auspices of NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. Beach Watch uses highly trained “citizen scientists” from all walks of life to conduct regular shoreline surveys spanning 150 miles of coastline from Point Año Nuevo to Bodega Head. The volunteers have conducted wildlife surveys during oil spills. Since 1996, the nonprofit Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association has managed Beach Watch data and volunteers. Find out more about the sanctuary and its volunteer programs: FARALLONES and NOAA.