Planning & Development Feed

Former Pacifica Planning Commissioner Leo Leon on PCT 26


Wavelength host Ian Butler interviews former Pacifica Planning Commissioner Leo Leon on Pacific Coast Television (PCT) Channel 26. Local issues include Highway 1 history, Pacificans for Highway 1 Alternatives, Pacifica General  Plan, Capital Improvement Program, Traffic Impact Mitigation Fees, and Pacifica Municipal Code.

Chamber Barely Attends Its Own 7-Eleven Lovefest

By, Special to Riptide

7-Eleven's 117-day-late attempt at community relations failed miserably as its Donuts & Pony Show set for 60 Chamber of Commerce participants was attended by only a meager three non-organizers (and non-journalists).

7-Eleven employees present were Stephen Oliver, Jesse Kent, Aparna Joneja, Blaire Skellie, Destiny Nguyen, Robert Young, and one unidentified woman.

Curiously absent was 7-Eleven applicant and Realtor Katy Schardt (who is now apparently handling the Grocery Outlet application at Pedro Point Shopping Center):
Friday morning we called the Chamber of Commerce and finally got a hold of Sonoma-bound (lame duck) chamber CEO Courtney Conlon.  

Conlon stated that she had not received our emails and denied our request for a 10-minute rebuttal to present "How Small Business Loses When 7-Eleven Comes to Town" and said that the chamber board had not had time to approve our request.  

Judging from the turnout, we're guessing that the chamber board probably did not approve Conlon's attempt to drum up support for 7-Eleven, as the board clearly did NOT have the support of individual chamber members.

Inaccuracies were certainly corrected. We counted 14 of 7-Eleven's statements at the morning's meet-and-greet that we made right for the record.  

NOTE: As always, we continue to respect individual chamber members immensely, and despite some attempts to parse and polarize our argument, we have always been big fans of local business in Pacifica.

Can You Build in a Tsunami Zone? posted a very interesting story September 6 about the California Coastal Commission (CCC) challenging the Midcoast fire station plan to build inside the El Granada tsunami zone. The fire district has hired a consultant to challenge the challenge, but meanwhile this raises good questions about other building projects that fall within tsunami zones elsewhere (like Pacifica, and specifically in Rockaway Quarry).

Slurpee Alert: 7-Eleven Plan for Dave & Lou's

7-Eleven's plan for 505 Linda Mar Boulevard (Dave & Lou's Valero station) would raze the existing building and build the convenience store parallel to Highway 1, with zero setback from the sidewalk, drastically reducing driver visibility turning onto Highway 1 and reducing ocean views of 26 nearby homes and mountain views of 36 nearby homes.

Listed site features include:
1. No setbacks (distance between building and property line)
2. Site would require use permits for sale of alcohol and 24-hour operation.
3. Location would be northwest corner of the lot. This location would give greater visibility and accessibility to pedestrian traffic.
4. New canopy should be raised to accommodate truck route.

(courtesy of

Harmony @ 1 Financial Status Update

Big Banker reports on Harmony @ 1 finances: "As of the close of business Friday, August 28, there were no recorded liens or notice of default. First loan, $5 million. Second loan, $5.6 million. On February 17, 2015, a strange deed of trust was recorded by Sonora Shores in favor of Urban Land, a performance deed of trust, which normally means there is some kind of equity share agreement between Sonora Shores and Urban Land, a specific performance action that takes place when lots sell. The only items filed and recorded were the Declaration of Convents, Conditions, and Restrictions (CCR); and a subordination agreement on July 29, 2015 regarding the CCRs."

Rockaway Quarry Development Back in Play

Photo 1 By Peter Loeb, Special to Riptide

Have you noticed heavy equipment operating recently in Rockaway Quarry? A new developer for the quarry is having his land planning and reclamation consultant take soil samples. It seems that the geotechnical report done many years ago can't be found, so they have to do it all over again.  

Project manager John Zentner (click link below for his team bios) has met with city staff, City Council members, and other community members. (I met with him August 25 and we walked the quarry site.) Zentner says he has talked with California Coastal Commission (CCC) staff and city staff about the geotechnical work, and says he did not need a permit.

Meanwhile, a concerned citizen contacted a CCC staff member, who said Zentner will be asked to submit a detailed work plan before any more work is done. The backhoe continued digging through August 25, so geotechnical work may be largely finished by the time the work plan is delivered.

Zentner says his first objective is to clean up the collapsed culvert blocking the wetlands at the end of the old quarry road. The culvert will be cleared, allowing the wetlands to flow.

The next stage will be completing the required quarry reclamation plan. This will require permits and coordinating with a number of agencies. It will involve a lot of earthmoving. Once the reclamation plan is done, the site will be ready to be developed.

Ideas for development and locations are general at this point, but they include a resort-style hotel with cabins on the area known as The Pad, a commercial area adjacent to the Rockaway Beach neighborhood, and an apartment building in an undetermined location. The general development concept is for the center of the quarry land to be restored wetlands.

Zentner Team Bios

From Swaim Report

City to Contract Out Building Division Services

The City of Pacifica has been studying proposals from qualified firms that wish to provide building division services in cooperation with the city Planning & Building Department. Apropos, the League of Women Voters (LWV) has created Best Practice guidelines for privatizing government services (avoiding conflict of interest is a major point):

Best Practice

Good Riddance: Linda Mar Sewer Tank DOA


Since a standing-room-only crowd gathered at the August 14, 2013 Pacifica City Council meeting, Linda Mar residents have been fighting the city's proposed equalization basin in the SamTrans/Caltrans park-and-ride lot.

This 100-foot-wide and 85-foot-deep sewage tank holding 2.1 million gallons was scheduled (per a March 23, 2015 City Council meeting) to break ground this month at the parking lot across the street from Linda Mar shopping center.

We have obtained an opinion that published city contracts in play make it official -- the Linda Mar sewer tank is dead, but it may end up being built at the Community Center parking lot.

Big thanks to Wastewater Director Dave Gromm, Assistant Superintendent/NCCWD Board President Joshua Cosgrove, and the City Council members who listened to the people of Linda Mar.

Fairmont Grandmother Fights 7-Eleven

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Don't let the walker fool you. Betty Duran is a 30-year Fairmont resident, mother, grandmother, and warrior who spearheaded a movement, along with her Fairmont, Linda Mar, and Pedro Point neighbors who oppose 7-Eleven's further penetration into Pacifica.
The video above is an edited version of Pacifica City Council's July 27 meeting, where Betty and her neighbors voiced passionate appeals to overturn a May 18 Pacifica Planning Commission ruling allowing 7-Eleven’s application to build a 24-hour gas station and convenience store in her beloved Fairmont neighborhood. (Story and video by Maxine Hines)

Keener & O'Neill Initiatives: Transparency & Trust

From Pacifica City

In addition to the huge (but partial) victory for those opposing the proposed Fairmont 7-Eleven, two other important topics briefly floated to the surface at the July 27 Pacifica City Council meeting.

Council member John Keener advocated for the right of residents (both renters and homeowners) to be notified in writing by the city Planning Department (equally to corporate property owners) on any planning, development, or zoning issue affecting their part of town.
Historically and according to California law, non-owning residents (renters) have always been ignored, but not a single one of the nearly 6,000 residents (renters and owners) in the 6027 census tract were "noticed" by the Planning Department of the original Fairmont 7-Eleven permit hearings on May 18.

As the cost of Bay Area homes and rentals skyrockets, renters are becoming more permanent members of the community, who many feel should have a right to know when a 24-hour 7-Eleven, or anything else, is moving within 50 feet of their front doors.

Keener said: "My feeling is that residents and property owners ought to be equal for notification on these sorts of issues."

Council member Mike O'Neill advocated for public comments at council meetings to be returned to the beginning of the agenda. O'Neill suggested moving "Oral Communications" on non-agenda items to the front, so that people with neighborhood issues don't have to wait through hours of procedural business, as occurred on July 27. (If you work a full-time job, it is a hardship to sit until midnight at a council meeting, particularly if you have school-age children.)

O'Neill said: "I would like to see Oral Communications moved up to the front of the meeting like it used to be... Maybe we move Oral Communication before Public Hearings, because I don't think it's fair to have people sit out there for three hours when they want to get up and talk about a light that's burnt out, or something."

Council member Sue Digre seconded O'Neill's motion to staff to find more evidence in Pacifica's General Plan that the 7-Eleven project DOES NOT COMPLY with Pacifica's General Plan.

Midcoast Highway Safety Plans

Highway 1 Safety Alternatives

County Transportation Dept.

San Mateo County transportation planners are studying which traffic controls and safety measures to build on midcoast Highway 1 (Gray Whale Cove to Half Moon Bay). Whether you are a motorist, motorcyclist, bicyclist, pedestrian, or anyone else concerned about traveling safely on the midcoast, this plan affects you. Use links above to see all the proposed alternatives.

7-Eleven Protest Gains Ground @ Pacifica City Council


Last night was a major but partial victory for the fight against 7-Eleven. Pacifica City Council voted unanimously to continue this issue to September 14, with a staff directive to build support (and I'm going to word this carefully) for a Denial of the Fairmont 7-Eleven (technically an approval of the Betty Duran appeal).

We would like to thank Betty Duran for her night-and-day volunteer work on this issue for more than the past two months; thank Loreen Cuneo, who has been speaking; and thank all the residents of Fairmont and Pacifica (it was a standing-room-only crowd) who spoke unanimously against the Fairmont 7-Eleven.

We're not out of the woods yet, but last night was a major victory in the fight against 7-Eleven, and opponents of both the Fairmont and Linda Mar 7-Eleven proposals owe Betty Duran their gratitude. Don't let the walker fool you; that woman is a warrior!


Opinion: Pacifica's Unlucky Number 7-Eleven

We at believe that nothing about this proposed Fairmont 7-Eleven does anything to improve the community. We believe the City of Pacifica should have informed in writing at least one resident of the 6027 census tract (where the proposed 7-Eleven would stand) before holding the original Planning Commission meeting on May 18, 2015. The city did not do so.

We also believe that 7-Eleven has been a bad neighbor in Pacifica for 45 years -- the current stores in Manor and Sharp Park have been nuisances: magnets for crime that have been robbed twice in a two-week period, sold alcohol to minors, painted over disabled-parking spots, made parking spaces out of sidewalks that Ocean Shore kids need to safely get to school, and damaged the community in general.

7-Eleven's representative for the Fairmont location is Katy Schardt, the same person who brought the disastrous San Mateo location that was later revoked amid the documented threat of an $8.6M lawsuit by 7-Eleven.

Whether you hate 7-Eleven or buy your morning cigarettes there, please join us on September 14 and speak your three minutes to City Council on whether you want this or any 7-Eleven in your community.

When you arrive, fill out a parking slip and place it on your dashboard to avoid a ticket. Also, to make a public comment, fill out a yellow card in the back of the room with your name, city, and topic, and make sure it gets to city staff. Riptide readers, please stop by and say "hi" after the meeting. We'll be in the front row.

711m_trash 711c_circles 711m_circlesCircled areas indicate code violations and/or neighborhood nuisances ( photos).