Midcoast Community Council meets April 15 in Moss Beach to continue discussing Highway 1 traffic improvements on the midcoast. Click the link below to read our correspondent's report about the March 11 meeting, how attendees voted, and which alternatives were discussed. Click "Comments" below this post to follow this thread, including clarifications by Lisa Ketcham of Midcoast Community Council and other interested parties.
Make your voice heard on the Highway 1 widening issue. The issue is the “Housing Element” proposal in front of City Council. The City of Pacifica is required to develop a “housing element” that explains where housing might be developed, and the city has been circulating a proposed new "housing element."
Pacificans for Highway 1 Alternatives (PH1A) is concerned about several references to the Calera Parkway Project (CPP) that speak of the highway widening as if it were a good thing and a done deal (pages 62 and 66-67).
We want the city to remove all references to this highly contentious project from the "housing element." None of these references are necessary for the "housing element," and by treating the widening project as a given, the city shows a bias toward accepting CPP.
Further, as the "housing element" must be consistent with the city’s General Plan, including CPP in the "housing element" implies that CPP is consistent with the city’s General Plan. CCP is NOT consistent with the General Plan because the General Plan says that the capacity of Highway 1 should not be increased, and of course CPP increases the capacity of Highway 1.
Please write to the city and/or come to the hearings below to say:
1. The "housing element" should not include the Calera Parkway Project.
2. The project is not consistent with the General Plan. If CPP is included in the "Housing Element," then the "Housing Element" would not be consistent with the General Plan.
Write to Christian Murdock, Planning Department, 1800 Francisco Boulevard, Pacifica, CA 94044 (Email: email@example.com) by Friday, April 10 at 1:30 p.m.
Hearings:Planning Commission, Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m.; City Council, Monday, May 11 at 7 p.m.
A new comment from Dan Underhill was received on the post “City Council's O'Neill & Keener: Public Projects” of the blog Pacifica Riptide:
"I'm ready to hear about what other industry, apart from tourism, you think Pacifica might promote. I'm ready to include that industry in what I encourage the citizenry and the council to push. Yes, we lack funding. We have always lacked funding. The carpetbaggers have always cited this as the reason we need to sell out to the highest bidder. The dreamers who stuck with their principles have got us tunnels instead of a super freeway bypass, and an art center and concert hall instead of an abandoned school, and a regularly scheduled outdoor farmer's market, and a spectacular park where a dangerous stretch of highway once was, and a dog park, and a community garden, and a community theater, and libraries, and a whole alternative school (for those who remember back that far) instead of just one alternative class. All of these contribute both directly and indirectly to the collective wealth of our community in ways which selling out simply could not. Our community needs real economic solutions to real economic problems, and selling out simply lacks the long-term legitimacy required to keep us afloat."
Pacifica City Council members John Keener and Mike O'Neill led a public discussion March 1 on important city projects and issues, including sea-level rise impact on future development, San Pedro Creek widening and Pedro Point bridge over Highway 1, Linda Mar water retention basin, Caltrans' proposed widening of Highway 1 from Rockaway to Vallemar, Beach Boulevard sewer plant conversion, Palmetto Avenue streetscaping, new public library.
California Coastal Commission (CCC) responds to City of Pacifica request to change Local Coastal Plan for proposed Beach Boulevard project (aka The Old Sewer Plant). Officially known as Amendment # LCP-2-PAC-14-0173-1, this is a working draft. The proposed project is intended to be integrated into Pacifica's General Plan. The city's information about this project is published on the city website at the link below:
The City of Half Moon Bay is scrambling to account for a $4.3 million discrepancy in its budget after an unnamed employee apparently forgot to record a city payout as an expense. This snafu (reported by the Half Moon Bay Review, January 21) comes on the heels of the City of Pacifica "search" for a missing $4 million in its budget. We're waiting for the other shoe to drop. Who's next? Daly City?
By Carlos Davidson, Special to Riptide On January 13, a spirited group from the Pacifica Climate Committee greeted commuters with signs urging President Obama to veto the Keystone XL pipeline. Similar rallies were held in 160 communities across the country. If Congress approves it, the pipeline would boost development of tar sands oilfields in Canada, and increase greenhouse gas emissions. When the fight against Keystone started, it seemed a long shot. No major fossil fuel project has ever been stopped because of its effect on climate. Keystone could be the first. Obama has threatened to veto legislation authorizing the pipeline. Climate activist Bill McKibben recently wrote: "The fossil-fuel industry’s aura of invincibility is gone. They’ve got all the money on the planet, but they no longer have unencumbered political power. Science counts, too, and so do the passion, spirit, and creativity of an awakened movement from the outside, from the ground up."
Pacificans should be interested to learn that the City of Pacifica appears to incorrectly calculate its annual sewer charge. I will briefly summarize the main points as I understand them.
The city calculates the annual sewer charge based on each residence’s water use. Up front, it's important to know that all Pacificans have the same six bimonthly water billing periods for any sewer charge (February-March, April-May, June-July, August-September, October-November, December-January), irrespective of when meters are read for any bill period.
At issue is whether the "two consecutive highest rainfall months" methodology used by the city is a correct restatement of the "bi-monthly water billing period of highest rainfall" as found in the Municipal Code.
According to the Municipal Code, the city must compare each residence’s total water consumption for the year to six times its water consumption in the "bi-monthly water billing period of highest rainfall". Then the lower of the two values is multiplied by the predetermined sewer rate to arrive at the sewer charge.
The main idea behind this rationale is that during the water billing period of highest rainfall, irrigation should be lower, and so water consumed should more nearly match actual sewage produced. Residents with low water consumption (and lower actual sewage produced) pay the minimum amount, or about $580 for the most recent sewer charge year.
For the most recent sewer charge shown in the figure below (Sewer Charge Methodology Errors), the city did not select the "bi-monthly water billing period of highest rainfall". Instead, it used the "two consecutive highest rainfall months" of November 13 and December 13, which totaled 1.26 inches of rain; since these two consecutive months bridge two different water billing periods (October-November & December-January), the city selected one of the two (December-January) for multiplication by 6.
But neither October-November (0.91 inches) nor December-January (0.36 inches) represent the "water billing period of highest rainfall". According to the Municipal Code, since the "water billing period of highest rainfall" was February-March (1.16 inches), each residence’s water use in February-March should have been chosen in the calculation.
The city has not selected the correct water billing period in three of the past five years, as shown in the Five Year History at the bottom of the figure below. Rainfall totals for the city’s chosen bill periods are ranked and compared to the correct bill periods; note the years for which the city has selected the bill periods of third-highest or fourth-highest rainfall.
For the two years in which the city correctly calculated the sewer charge, note that the "two consecutive highest rainfall months" coincided with the "water billing period of highest rainfall". Pacificans whose water use was lower in the "water billing period of highest rainfall" than in either the city's chosen bill period or the annual consumption were overcharged.