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July 06, 2021

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John Kontrabecki:
Do you realize that others are following these comments besides the few posting here? Your lack of professionalism is astounding.

Kumbaya

A member of the Beatles is now quoted in pursuit of acceptance of shallow philosophy and, of course, development permits. It's all about life, love, walking on the sunny side of the street, and having one's way at the expense of others.

John: If we're having a conversation through Mr. Harrison's lyrics, may I offer up this nugget:

Piggies
Have you seen the little piggies
Crawling in the dirt?
And for all the little piggies
Life is getting worse,
Always having dirt to play around in
Have you seen the bigger piggies
In their starched white shirts?
You will find the bigger piggies
Stirring up the dirt,
Always have clean shirts to play around in
In their styes with all their backing
They don't care what goes on around
In their eyes there's something lacking
What they need's a damn good whacking
Everywhere there's lots of piggies
Living piggy lives
You can see them out for dinner
With their piggy wives
Clutching forks and knives to eat the bacon

John: Do you have the new plans yet on your engineer's ideas on how to widen Higgins in front of the Montessori school?

Carl May: We live in a changing world and nothing stays the same. You can lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Sunrise doesn't last all morning
A cloudburst doesn't last all-day
Seems my love is up
And has left you with no warning
But it's not always going
To be this grey
All things must pass
All things must pass away
Sunset doesn't last all evening
A mind can blow those clouds away
After all this, my love is up
And must be leaving
But it's not always going
To be this grey
All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
None of life's strings can last
So I must be on my way
And face another day
Now the darkness only stays at night time
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good
At arriving at the right time
But it's not always going
To be this grey
All things must pass
All things must pass away

(George Harrison)

The benevolent, more-learned-than-thou developer moves on from half-cocked, selective interpretations about the governing of his money-maker-to-be to an assumption of the mantle of social philosopher, seer, and friendly guru. Lacking experience with Pacifica and its environs, he blesses the place with self-serving lessons from his world travels, lifestyle, and personal philosophy. There is so much the more than 40,000 empty shells of human beings attempting life in Pacifica have to learn from him--especially when it comes to PRing one's way into desired permits.

Julie:

Thank you for the link to the article. It captures my own understanding of the history of suburban development, and my observations and thoughts to a large degree. But Linda Mar Woods is the wrong location for a shopping district. Perhaps at the corner of Adobe Drive and Linda Mar Boulevard. I have traveled extensively in Europe and the kind of model described in the article is very common.

I never said there would be no children in the development and everyone would be working at home. What I did say was I expect the people buying the homes to be moving from within Pacifica, not from outside the City, and most would not have young children. I do not want an adults-only community. I am not creating a retirement village. It is an economically integrated community with people of a variety of age and income groups. We have too much segregation in our culture and it hurts society. Whether it be race, religion, income, age, sexual preference, etc. I am against segregation and for economic integration. I am also reading the handwriting on the wall regarding hybrid work. It is here to stay and Covid has tested the concept on an accelerated basis. Employees like it because it keeps them off the freeway and with their families. That extra bedroom or ADU is now a home office. This is where we are, not where we will be.

I also accept the fact that there will be car trips created by this development, but with proper infrastructure, this will be manageable. Widening Higgins Way and extending it to Peralta Road will manage the traffic.

People will see that they can improve the quality of life and lower the cost of living by changing their own behavior. I say this because I have seen how my own family has adapted to Covid by staying at home, shopping online, streaming movies, and not going to the mall. This was initially driven by fear of infection from Covid. Then we learned it was really easy to do, lowered stress, created more family time, and saved money. If you have not tried this, you should.

John, perhaps you missed Peter George's post.

https://rsocialconscience.com/2018/03/08/jobs-housing-and-carless-urban-villages/

To back up your projections about traffic impact, make the development adults only, no cars. Put in a Zipcar dealership for those necessary trips. After all, you INSIST there will be no children and everyone will be working from home. They can also order their groceries and household goods online, not causing traffic congestion. No need for garages unless for the storage. Right? Just hikes and stuff.

Peter George:

Once again, you ask a good question: What are you, the developer, actively doing to make this development less car-dependent?

Another way of saying this is: What are you, the developer, actively doing to encourage residents to reduce the number of vehicle trips per day?"

Vehicle trips are generated mostly by commuting to school or work, shopping, and recreation or entertainment.

There is no one answer to this question, but a combination of answers. The answers have one thing in common-- breaking the car-centric lifestyle. A developer can do some things, but the real answer involves changes in consumer behavior.

You know that I believe the pandemic has demonstrated the viability of hybrid work where office employees work two days a week from home. I also think hybrid education is viable with children studying via video link a few days per week. What is needed is reliable high-speed internet and we intend to install fiber optic cabling throughout the Linda Mar Woods development. Not everyone, however, can work from home.

Commuting: There is public transportation on Linda Mar Boulevard. The problem is the mile distance between Linda Mar Woods and Linda Mar Boulevard. There are three solutions I may suggest: Uber, electric bicycle-sharing, and a shuttle service. The first two are already potentially available. Electric bicycle-sharing will have to be expanded into the area. A shuttle service can be organized by the Linda Mar Woods homeowners association privately if there is demand for it.

Shopping: The best way is to have the goods you need brought to you. Instacart and Safeway provide this service for groceries. Amazon and many other retailers provide this service for almost all other goods. USPS, UPS, and Fed Ex are the delivery services that actually make the deliveries for all other goods. We are going to construct a proper street that makes it easy for delivery vehicles to pass through the neighborhood on Higgins Way beginning at the corner of Adobe Drive. There presently is not a proper turnaround and the delivery vehicles have a hard time navigating this narrow street.

Recreation or entertainment: Linda Mar Woods is being developed for homeowners who are outdoor recreation enthusiasts. We are renovating and expanding the network of trails for hikers and bikers. No need to leave home when you live in the middle of the location where you recreate. Our high-speed internet connection will enable people to stream video entertainment into their homes. For prepared dining, Uber Eats and other services already provide delivery. For other kinds of recreation or entertainment, people will likely have to use their cars.

Car-sharing has been tried successfully in more urban environments. Same with local car rental like Enterprise Rent a Car. I have not seen car-sharing and rental companies come into suburban locations yet. It may be possible for the homeowners association to purchase several cars to create a private car-sharing service limited to people living within the neighborhood. This is more viable today because the cars can be electric vehicles that require little maintenance and can be parked and charged at the community center parking lot.

If you believe Elon Musk and other visionaries, within the decade many of us are going to sell our cars and rely on private car services with autonomous self-driving vehicles. I think this is still fantasy. More likely we will rely upon services like Uber and reduce the number of vehicles we own to save money. This is what people who live in urban environments are doing. Using Uber is cheaper and more convenient than owning a second or third car.

All of the ideas I have presented above involve technology and services that are already being used elsewhere. In fact, I personally use most of them and know that they work. I own an electric bike, use grocery and prepared food delivery, shop online, and rent an extra car when I need one. In the past three years, I have put 16,000 miles on my Tesla electric car. That is 96 miles per week or less than 20 miles per workday. This number is inflated because I have taken several long road trips during this time. I do not live a car-centric life anymore. It is a matter of personal choice. I would rather not spend my time in traffic. We will all have to learn to change our behavior if we wish to avoid the inconvenience of a car-centric life.

Carl May:

Okay, Carl, where is your description "of the rules, the 'facts,' and social propriety." All I see coming from you are
sarcastic comments with nothing to back them up.

Why don't you tell us what you think are "the rules, the facts, and social propriety." It is easy to be negative about everything with nothing backing it up.

Kumbaya.

Straight out of the developer's playbook: pretend that you, the developer, are the knower and keeper of the rules, the "facts," and social propriety, implying all who have experience and knowledge beyond the developer's highly selective, incomplete, artificial, simple-minded, self-serving, conveniently defined, parochial, imaginary little game are lacking in perspective and fundamentals. This ruse might work with those locals who just fell off the turnip truck and with politicians who cater to the overblown real estate industry, but it doesn't make it out of the vapor onto solid ground with citizens who have extensive real-world experience with con jobs and the negative consequences of gullibility and short-term thinking in places where they live and intend to have a future. Places like Pacifica.

John: What are you, the developer -- (despite your insistence on referring to "the developer" in the third person, it is you, right? The developer and the community outreach voice are, oddly, one and the same, right?) What are you, the developer, actively doing to make this development less car-dependent?

The Woods is not near any transit, not near a highway, and is on the top of a steep hill that makes walking entirely impractical (I'm talking about walking from Safeway, not walking the dogs). Consequently your development is totally car dependent (and yes, Uber and Lyft and Teslas are all still cars, so don't bother pointing to those again). So what are you, the developer, actively doing to make this subdivision less car-dependent than the average 1971 subdivision?

Don't point to coincidental externalities (like hybrid work), or your faulty wishful thinking (like your entirely incorrect claim that there are fewer school-age children in Pacifica's future). There is nothing in the lindamarwoods website other than paper-thin greenwashing, so don't bother pointing there either. What are you **actively** doing? Or are we stuck in 1971 thinking with all the consequent problems that generated? Thanks in advance.

Carl May:

You will not win hearts and change minds with strawman arguments that depict the developer and this property in a false light. Sarcasm is the weapon of the weak. Better to argue the merits based upon facts and the law.

Generally, if you have the facts on your side, you argue the facts. If you have the law on your side, you argue the law. But if you have neither the facts nor the law on your side, you attack the character of your opponent. I guess we know where you are -- no facts and no law.

Julie:

The City Council is obligated to follow state law and the Pacifica Municipal Code. It has no discretion to ignore the law.

You need to look at the Housing Crises Act of 2019. It freezes the development policy, standards, or conditions that apply to a particular property designated for residential real estate development to those in effect on January 1, 2018, and prohibits any changes as applied to a particular project whose application for approval is pending. The City Council cannot change the current land use designation under the General Plan for this property, which is for residential development, since we have made an application for approval that is pending.

We will follow state law and the Pacifica Municipal Code to the letter.

John, let’s not parse.

The City Council appoints Planning Commission members.

I’ll use a phrase from modern mythology.
The voters’ influence “trickles down” from there.
Eliminating the council members who’d approve this will decide who sits on Planning.

District Council elections mean that the people most affected by the increased inconveniences will decide this.

Have a nice day

https://library.municode.com/ca/pacifica/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TIT2AD_CH2COCO_ART1GEPR

“So long as a development conforms to state law and the Pacifica Municipal Code…”

HPD, cough.
https://library.municode.com/ca/pacifica/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TIT9PLZO_CH4ZO_ART22.5HIPRDIHP

Show us your calculations. You’re going to have to do them eventually according to the new “fact sheet” that happens to be missing some critical facts, like this one: « All areas not considered coverage shall remain undisturbed in their native or natural state, with the exception of the recreational areas. »

Eye roll. The benevolent, "conversational" developer sticks doggedly to trying to get others to play the game with the rules s/he imposes, using the terms and interpretations s/he prefers. How lucky for weak-minded, downtrodden Pacifica and its naive denizens to have a great one from beyond to explain how things are and how they ought to be.

Julie:

You are both wrong and right! The Planning Commission is appointed, not elected. The City Council is elected.

Both are subject to state law. The state government has made it its mission to break the barriers to the construction of new housing. So long as a development conforms to state law and the Pacifica Municipal Code, it cannot be turned down. It does not matter how loud you scream at public meetings or post protests on social media sites. The law is the law. If you hire a lawyer and try to overturn a lawful project approval, the property owner will lawyer up and fight the lawsuit.

The smart move for people concerned is to study the developer's ideas and have a dialogue with him that results in a better project for all. This mindless opposition with no engagement will lead to long unhappy faces at the end of the process. The Don told Michael in The Godfather, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." This means you talk with your enemies, not shun them. That is good advice for everyone.

This developer loves to talk with people about his developments to hear their criticisms and ideas. Good stuff comes out of these conversations.

Julie:

The new state laws encouraging housing development are not limited to transit hubs. They go a lot farther than you know.

Learn about hybrid work. It is the new norm.

https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?sa=L&ai=DChcSEwig9KP3tLPzAhUZPq0GHR-TD4oYABAAGgJwdg&ohost=www.google.com&cid=CAESQeD2kOHCh8QJYyu7vSDe4apaJgE0p_c-y5q9QjLyOR0YJvMD2vg-P7l6Lmndo7Rk6BKcRnquzzudI0En0W_9SCP4&sig=AOD64_2g7Oth8BgI6HeEjypU08dEx2vloA&q&adurl&ved=2ahUKEwjwopv3tLPzAhXSvp4KHdVBDC4Q0Qx6BAgFEAE

https://www.google.com/url?a=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjwopv3tLPzAhXSvp4KHdVBDC4QFnoECAkQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.shrm.org%2Fhr-today%2Fnews%2Fhr-news%2Fpages%2Fhybrid-work-model-likely-to-be-new-norm-in-2021.aspx&usg=AOvVaw1Q_2oX4PAnFnNOUuJ7S6rU

See my reply to Rocky Raccoon for my side of the bandit sign controversy.

Rocky Raccoon:

Nick Lusson complained to the Pacifica Police over a $2 bandit sign. Duh? He could have called me or sent me an email because he has my contact information, but he did not.

I returned the bandit sign to Mr. Lusson, but he did not re-install the bandit sign in the middle of the path. Maybe he should not have put it there in the first place.

I have done more to clean up the trailhead at Old San Pedro Mountain Road trail than Nick Lusson and his Protect San Pedro Mountain group. True. They have done nothing to protect San Pedro Mountain.

So why is Mr. Lusson posting a video of me on Instagram and on his website? Weird.

"I was performing a public service by removing the sign from the pathway." A-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Hahahahaha. *Whew*

There is a need for new housing. The new law will make it hard for cities to turn down projects NEAR TRANSIT HUBS.

Unless you have sky buckets, a cable car, or shuttle, you are nowhere near a transit hub. The students in school, and most of your residents, will be using Peralta, Linda Mar Blvd., and surface streets to get to already crowded Highway 1.

You keep throwing statistics about working from home that have no basis in fact. Like someone who doesn't actually live here.

You have cried foul at graffiti, and blamed the other side without proof. You get caught on camera stealing a sign, and dismiss the value of the object stolen.

Wow.

Tim Stein:

I have been working to clean up the trailhead at Linda Mar Woods. I have installed a new monument sign, painted the gate, replaced all the rusted-out signs, installed a new sign with distance markers to various parks, installed an e-bike sign, installed a new no-parking sign, placed a garbage can at the gate, and picked up a lot of garbage and dog poop bags.

Unfortunately, my good works have not always been appreciated. The monument sign was vandalized with graffiti and the e-bike sign was destroyed. I have renovated the monument sign, removed the e-bike sign, and installed a trail camera to keep an eye on the entrance to Linda Mar Woods. Since installing the trailhead camera, at the recommendation of the Pacifica Police, and announcing it on social media, there has been no more vandalism.

During this time, a group calling itself "Protect San Pedro Mountain" has posted bandit signs along both sides of Higgins Way promoting themselves and their cause. The organizer is Nick Lusson and they are classic NIMBYs. The property is nowhere near San Pedro Mountain and their real agenda is to preserve Higgins Way as their private dead-end street by stopping any residential development in Linda Mar Woods. Members of this group also posted bandit signs on the Linda Mar Woods property. When I asked Mr. Lusson to remove them, he refused, so I did so myself. I learned never to expect cooperation from Mr. Lusson, so I no longer consult with him on anything.

One day when I was visiting the trailhead at Linda Mar Woods, I noticed a new bandit sign was placed in the middle of the pathway near the gate. It was obvious to me that it interfered with the path the mountain bikers and hikers use to enter the property. I knew it was going to be knocked over and turned into trash sooner than later, so as I was departing I removed the sign and put it in my car. Shortly thereafter, I received a call from the Pacifica Police Department informing me that Nick Lusson had lodged a complaint against me for stealing a bandit sign. I discussed the situation with the police officer and told him he was being played by Mr. Lusson who was attempting to create a controversy over a $2 bandit sign. The officer said Mr. Lusson graciously offered not to press charges if I returned the sign and apologized to him. I then returned the sign to the police and the matter was dropped, until Mr. Lusson posted his video on Instagram and made accusations against me. Mr. Lusson does not seem to understand that I was performing a public service by removing the sign from the pathway. I imagine he understands now because he did not put the sign back where it was previously located. His posting the video is just one more skirmish in his guerrilla warfare campaign against Linda Mar Woods.

The more interesting question is why would someone go to the Police Department over a $2 bandit sign? You will have to ask Mr. Lusson.

Peter George:

No streetcars. I was describing the history of residential development and how we ended up with tract housing. It was the development of the automobile that resulted in tract housing where every house is the same in design. Streetcars did not create mixed-density neighborhoods. They have existed since the time of the Greeks.

I am making arguments about Linda Mar Woods based upon factual evidence. I have completed studies in civil engineering, biology, geology, traffic engineering, etc. I am also speaking more broadly in my posts about the rapid increase in change caused by the impact of Covid and the evolution of computer technology. Most employers with large staffs of office workers have switched to hybrid work where the employee works from home 40% of the time. This cuts commuting time by 40%. I am also noting the transition to electric cars and the evolution of Uber and Lyft and the impact on car ownership and use. Finally, I have offered my thoughts on how Pacifica can improve the quality of life for its residents.

“Fortunately, it is the Planning Commission and City Council that will approve the project. They will take the time to investigate the facts and judge the project on the merits. They are obligated to approve projects that conform to the law. Our application when completed will conform to both state and Pacifica law applicable to the project. We will not be asking for variances or changes in the law to get approval.“

Last time I checked, City Council and Planning Commission are subject to the will of the voters. Not out-of-town developers.

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