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July 2015

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.

Doodle Crew Strikes Coastal Trail



Bench3_grafittiFrom Linda Mar Beach at Crespi to Rockaway Beach, a vandal (or vandals) tagged benches and trees sometime between Saturday morning, July 25 and Sunday night, July 26. Note that the middle photo shows graffiti expressing some vague "political statement" about Donald Trump and the ivory trade -- think GOP and elephant? ( photos)

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).

Pacifica Brushfire: Teen Suspect Arrested

Pacifica Police Arrest Teen Suspect

On July 23, Cal Fire ground crews, two helicopters, and a tanker plane using bright red fire retardant (above) joined forces to douse a small brushfire on the hillside above the Little League fields in East Fairway Park. The firefighting helicopters used water from Sharp Park Golf Course ponds. Shelldance nursery is seen in the foreground. (Ian Butler photo; information gathered by Ian Butler, Chris Fogel on NextDoor, Kevin Kelly on Sweeney Ridge, and

Kevin Kelly video



P1560358Kevin Kelly photos

More Voices Raised Against Highway Widening

Pacifica Pet Hospital says on its Facebook page:

"Sorry, but we have to occasionally include a political post -- we usually don't do these, but this one would impact us SIGNIFICANTLY and could even drive us out of business: We are for TRANSPARENCY in this project, and it doesn't look like we are getting it. We live AND work right next to this intersection and move through it several times a day from all angles. All you need to do is look at the traffic now that school is out to be really really sure that our traffic problems do NOT stem from a highway that is too narrow, but from the school traffic that clogs up Highway 1 and Reina del Mar. Widening the highway is NOT the solution, finding a way to mitigate school traffic would be far more helpful.

The city manager's plan and critical public responses are available on Riptide. Scroll down to page 3 and see "Pacifica City Manager Reopens Highway Debate" and "Highway Hijinks" (posted July 11), also "Multiple Groups Fight Highway Widening" (posted July 12). And don't miss Carol Fregly's Pacifica Tribune op-ed, July 22:

Highway 1 Safety

Maxine Hines' video on the highway-widening debate is on You Tube


Shark Attacks Rare Around Here

Shark_600 created this map image from the incident log of the GSAT that SF Gate entered the data points for. GSAT keeps an incident log of shark attack files:
Shark Attack Data
Interactive Map

GSAT shows four incidents in or near Pacifica in the past 24 years: 1/1/1986, Linda Mar, Pacifica, surfing, unprovoked, non-fatal; 1/12/1990, Montara Beach, San Mateo County, surfing, unprovoked, non-fatal; 3/12/1993, Pedro Point, Pacifica, free diving, unprovoked, non-fatal; 6/25/2013, Pacifica, kayaking, unprovoked, non-fatal.