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July 06, 2021

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"I want to share an example of how Boyscouts and other trails in Linda Mar Woods can be improved for the mountain bike community."

Photos of the bike park in Terre Haute, Indiana:
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Griffin+Park%2C+terrehaute%2Cindiana&t=newext&atb=v1-1&iax=images&ia=images&iai=https%3A%2F%2Fmedia-cdn.tripadvisor.com%2Fmedia%2Fphoto-s%2F0d%2F91%2F34%2F98%2Fplenty-of-chances-to.jpg

"Improvement"? Most would disagree.

Viewers will just have to imagine the noise, dust, erosion.

John:

Can you please back up your response to Tim Stein with some concrete studies? Or are your claims just your opinions?

A lot of them do not make any sense. For example, more people less traffic, or that the new houses will somehow change affordability here. More density = positive impact on quality of life.

Please, if you could, sharing any hard and independent data with us would be fantastic. If it is just your opinion, then sadly it does not have much weight, as I assume you do not have any relevant experience of the life here.

Julie:

You raise a good point. Why is it that our teachers and first responders (cops and firefighters) cannot afford to live in the community they serve? The answer is the cost of buying or renting a home. The follow-up question is why are homes so expensive that they are not affordable to public service workers? The answer is "supply vs. demand." The supply of new housing has been choked off.

Who is choking off the supply? It is not the Planning Department, Planning Commission, or City Council. It is the NIMBY crowd who organize to oppose every residential development in the city. They are smart, social media savvy, and they mobilize to attack every new project proposed. Their newest target is Linda Mar Woods.

If you want your 30-year-old teacher to be able to live and work in the community where he or she was born, then join the movement to support new housing. Use your smarts and skills for positive change. Become engaged for good.

Julie:

I think my answer was very clear. At least 30 percent of the homes (about 38 houses) will be affordable for a family with a combined gross income of $161,500 per year. This is what the State of California calls "moderate-income housing." We have not locked in on sales prices, but I can show you how to do the math.

What could a person with $5,100 a month in housing costs afford to pay? With fixed-rate 30-year financing available at 3% and a 5% down payment, I estimate the price is going to be around $885,000. This is for a three-bedroom two-bath townhouse that is about 1,400 square feet in size. It is a new home, not a tract home built in the 1960s. And it will be located within a public park that has hiking and biking trails immediately accessible out the door. Sounds like living in the Presidio in San Francisco.

Where can you find a new home in Linda Mar for $885,000? Nowhere. They do not exist.

Can your 30-year-old teacher buy one? Sure, if he or she has the 5% down payment and can qualify with income and credit.

I am going to try to drive the price down further by offering some smaller flats if there is demand. Perhaps a two-bedroom with one bath would be more suitable for his or her lifestyle and family status.

This is what a development planned for economic diversity is all about. I can build a variety of homes of different sizes and prices to meet the needs of people with different incomes. A development created this way also attracts people of different generations and creates a path for upsizing or downsizing your home as needs change without leaving the neighborhood. They will fit harmoniously together from an architectural design perspective. It does not have to be cookie-cutter tract housing where they are all the same design and size. Perhaps you and your 30-year-old may want to move into the same neighborhood and be within walking distance of each other?

Buried in your replies was there an answer to “How much will the homes go for?”

I know we can google it and San Mateo County will provide the information. Thanks. We can look that up. What about the project?

What nobody knows, sir, is how much your homes will cost. What is the price range? You don’t take on a project like this without it having a role in your planning, and ROI.

Could a teacher buy one? I have a 30 year old.
She’s one of your “targets” at least here, not sure about the boardroom. She grew up in Pacifica. Can’t afford to buy.

Not sure if the down payment from parents was an attempt to insult. We saved, lived in a studio, bought a lot zoned for residential, did a lot of the work ourselves. Took a few years.
When our parents died, I’d lived in my own home for a decade.

Aim better.

I want to share an example of how Boyscouts and other trails in Linda Mar Woods can be improved for the mountain bike community. I am working with a trail design consulting firm that designed a bike park in Terra Haute, Indiana called Griffin Park. Compare this to what is at Linda Mar Woods now.

Check this out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEZEsuHNy4s

Julie:

Sorry, but I do not see any contradiction between building housing at a profit that Pacificans want and providing affordable housing to those who can no longer afford to live in the community in which they grew up. This is especially true when the developer's goal is to create an economically diverse community by varying the kinds of homes within the neighborhood.

When every home in a community is 1,400 square feet in size and sits on a 5,000 square foot lot, you do not have an opportunity to create economic diversity. This is Linda Mar. All the homes cost the same because the cost of creating them is the same. But when you develop a variety of homes (single-family detached, townhomes, duplexes, flats) within the same neighborhood, you can vary the size and density per lot and the costs will vary with some homes costing a lot less than others. You can then vary the prices of the homes and sell both affordable homes and more expensive homes in the same neighborhood. The character and quality of the neighborhood are uniformly high, but the price of each home varies. This is what economic diversity is all about.

Julie:

"Affordable" housing is defined by state law. It is based upon the median income for families of different sizes within San Mateo County. The state publishes this data every year and determining the "affordable" price is a function of the median income data.

For moderate-income families, the income calculation used looks like this for a family with 2 adults and 3 children:

Moderate Income home-
Median Income 2021 San Mateo County
5 Person Household $161,550
Moderate Income Allowance @110% $177,705
Maximum Allowance @35% $62,197
Monthly Allowance $5,183

Total Monthly Housing Allowance Per Home $5,183

To arrive at the moderate sales price, you determine how much you can charge for a home for a family of 5 with a monthly housing allowance of $5,183. You have to add to the monthly mortgage payment real estate taxes, insurance, homeowners association dues, and utilities.

Does this look like "moderate-income" to you? Can two working adults make $161,550 per year? So does this sound "affordable" to moderate-income families? It does to the State of California. What can you buy in Pacifica on a housing allowance of $5,183 per month? Nothing with a foundation. Certainly, not a 1,400 square foot Linda Mar tract home that sells for $1.3 million. So if you were born in Linda Mar, you cannot afford to live there unless you earn much more than $161,550 per year, unless your parents give you money for a very large down payment.

Julie:
The vision for Linda Mar Woods is for a new kind of community in Pacifica with a variety of homes of different sizes and prices to create an economically diverse neighborhood. At least 30 percent of the homes will be affordable for moderate-income families. The subdivision will include single-family detached homes, two-flats, duplexes, clustered townhouses, and single-family homes with accessory dwelling units. This approach will maximize choice in the types of housing available in Pacifica and create variety in the development pattern of the hillcrest. It will also allow the owner to offer a range of for-sale affordable housing at a variety of prices. Phase 1 of the development will subdivide the property into 125 lots of varying sizes representing the maximum number of structures that are proposed to be built in the project. Subsequent development phases will offer a mixture of home types in an architecturally, harmoniously, comprehensively planned community.

The inspiration for this approach comes from older neighborhoods found in towns and cities throughout the U.S. developed before the automobile became an essential part of daily life when streetcars were the primary means of public transportation. For example, in parts of old San Francisco, within a single block, you can find a mixture of single-family, two-flats, duplexes, and townhomes all built at the same approximate time in complete architectural harmony to meet the needs of an economically diverse community.

The Linda Mar Woods neighborhood will not be your typical tract home development.

“I acknowledge that there are profits to be made here. We do not do this for charity. But it will be profitable only if we provide the consuming public what it wants and is willing to pay for. It has to be great and it will be. And what is wrong with making money providing the consuming public what it wants by creating a great new residential neighborhood?”

“1. You say no Pacificans want this built. Wrong. There are Pacificans who were born and raised here who can no longer afford to live in their community because housing prices have exploded and there is very little 'affordable' housing. They will want to see this built.”

These two contradictory statements were written by the same person.

"When our project is built, the recreational amenities at Linda Mar Woods will be much improved and dedicated to public use forever. And this will not cost the taxpayers of Pacifica one dime."

2016 - Amphitheater (Quarry)
2021 - Recreational Amenities (Linda Mar Woods)

"You say no Pacificans want this built. Wrong. There are Pacificans who were born and raised here who can no longer afford to live in their community because housing prices have exploded and there is very little 'affordable' housing. They will want to see this built."

So how much will those homes go for, Mr. K? Under a million? They can't afford Linda Mar Boulevard ranchers with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath that are going for $1.3 million -- how will yours be "affordable" for the people who live here now?

Community organizers, this thread is gold!

Wm. Boyce:

I acknowledge that there are profits to be made here. We do not do this for charity. But it will be profitable only if we provide the consuming public what it wants and is willing to pay for. It has to be great and it will be. And what is wrong with making money providing the consuming public what it wants by creating a great new residential neighborhood?

The development will turn what is currently declining private property used extensively for recreation by the hikers and bikers into a much improved public asset. No government will spend the money doing this. Only private capital will invest in this, provided it gets the opportunity to develop and build a new residential neighborhood on a portion of the property.

Tim Stein:

Your comment is factually inaccurate. Please allow me to correct the record here.

1. You say no Pacificans want this built. Wrong. There are Pacificans who were born and raised here who can no longer afford to live in their community because housing prices have exploded and there is very little "affordable" housing. They will want to see this built. There are people in Linda Mar who are unhappy that Adobe Drive is the primary path to Linda Mar Boulevard and gets backed up during rush hours. They will love seeing Higgins Way improved all the way to Peralta so a second pathway to Linda Mar Boulevard is opened to relieve congestion. There is a significant number of Pacificans who are hikers and bikers who will be thrilled to see San Pedro Mountain Road restored and Boyscouts protected and made permanently available to the public through recorded easements. And there are many more.

2. This will negatively impact all who live here. Wrong. This will positively impact all who live here. See answer to #1.

3. This will eliminate the mountain bike trails within Boyscouts entirely. Wrong. We are going to renovate Boyscouts and build more trails for less skilled riders, and these trails will be within dedicated open space and preserved for public use forever.

4. There is no way we are going to allow downhill mountain biking because of inherent liabilities. Wrong. You need to look up Civil Code Section 846, which makes private landowners immune from liability for injuries suffered by people who enter their land free of charge for recreational purposes. No liability worries here. Access to the trails will be free.

5. You represent an overseas developer whose business model is to build and develop properties. Wrong. I represent an overseas investor who has hired me as a developer to plan residential projects that will help relieve the severe shortage of affordable housing in California.

Define “affordable” housing, Mr. K.

You keep using that word.
"I do not think it means what you think it means." -- Inigo Montoya

“Affordable” as in the apartments that families used to live in before the real estate PACs decided rent control was worse than illegal immigration and abortion, and wouldn’t allow it on the ballot? Families and lifelong residents now living in motor homes, which the City of Pacifica, and those opposed to rent control, also oppose?

By adding more housing, the state wants homes that people can actually afford -- the kind that developers like you have no interest in building. Close to public transit, many above existing buildings in shopping areas.

Maybe our Congresswoman Jackie Speier could explain it to you. I have a contact in her office through my employment. Let’s ask her.

Hey, man:
There are big, BIG profits to be made. Any port in a storm.

John:
The thing is, though, no Pacificans want this built except for the realtors who will make money by selling properties. It will negatively impact all who live here.
It will eliminate the mountain bike trails within what's known as "Boyscout" entirely. Your second phase wipes out the upper access. There's no way your company and new homeowners are going to allow downhill mountain biking because of the inherent liabilities of how we ride -- and crash.
Pressure is being exerted by the state to make cities build more affordable housing. And I get it that you represent an overseas developer whose business model is to build and develop properties. This just isn't the right spot, and the opposition from the residents of Pacifica, who won't be buying any of these home, by the way, is going to be great and will extend into our next election cycles.

Julie:
You say, "This is more about greed than anything else, and a disaster for anyone but the developer."

This is factually inaccurate. This is about two things: (1) providing much-needed new housing in Pacifica at affordable prices, and (2) preserving and protecting a recreational property that is privately owned and widely used by the residents of Pacifica for outdoor activity, including hiking and biking.

Sure, we developers do this for a living and expect to make money for our efforts. But to do so we must create something the community wants and shows it by buying the homes that will be developed.

When our project is built, the recreational amenities at Linda Mar Woods will be much improved and dedicated to public use forever. And this will not cost the taxpayers of Pacifica one dime.

Erin Macias:

The city Public Works Department has put a lock on the entry gate to Linda Mar Woods at the end of Higgins Way to stop unlawful vehicle entry. This should take care of any illegal dumping.

Thank you for acknowledging the illegal dumping on your property. I hope you take the appropriate steps to stop it and clean it up.

No matter how high the property taxes, the new homes and people will be a further drain on fire, police, and city services. Our land and city services are finite. This is more about greed than anything else, and a disaster for anyone but the developer. I'm tired of it.

Erin Macias:

No, I was not aware that Flores Gardening/Landscaping is dumping on the property. No one has permission to dump on this property. I am on the property frequently and have not seen any evidence of dumping, other than about 50 yards from the entry gate where San Pedro Mountain Road is washing out. It looks like someone has dumped construction debris, like rock and bits of concrete, to try to stop the erosion. Is there more? What am I not seeing?

If there is dumping taking place, I need proof to stop it.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Since the developer is on this thread, are you aware that Flores Gardening/Landscaping (photographic evidence) has been repeatedly dumping on this property? What plans do you have to stop this from happening and when will it be cleaned up? They allegedly claim they have permission from the owner of Linda Mar Woods.

Steve Alvarez:

Help me out here. What water need are you referencing? Landscaping? Drought tolerant planting and preserving the native trees. Domestic water? Not a problem. North Coast County Water District, same as everyone else in Pacifica.

WHERE ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO GET WATER FROM, WHEN WE ARE ALREADY IN A VERY GREAT DROUGHT?! THESE HOMES WILL ONLY EXACERBATE AN ALREADY TERRIBLE WATER DEFICIENCY!
This is not the time to be adding more burdens on Pacifica.

Just say no:

The creation of a real estate project is a process that begins with an idea. We have submitted our idea to the city Planning Department and will be presenting it to the public on our Vision tab of the website shortly. Then the conversation begins.

You asked a very good question: "Would you normally want to start with a vision statement to direct the design?" The answer is YES. And we have one, which we have been working from for more than a year. It has been evolutionary as we have learned more about the community, the property, and how it is used by the public.

We will be posting the Vision statement shortly on the website and I invite you to read it. I will give you a hint. How do you develop a private property that has organically become an important recreational amenity to the community while responding to the need for affordable housing in the community? Our answer is you enhance and preserve the existing recreational resources and build houses people can afford in a cluster away from the recreation.

You can join the conversation, engage in the process, and influence the outcome in a constructive way. Or you can just say no. Your choice.

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