July 06, 2021


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Bravo, Rocky! You have made a dent in our collective psyche. Let us play on.

Oh, I like the idea. I heard there was an underground vault somewhere in Pacifica where the Illuminati were plotting to overthrow the City Council and install their Grand Whizzer as our Overlord so all development would be approved no matter how extreme or insane. Prove me wrong.

I agree, and I may end up missing the daily dialog. Maybe we should create a phantom controversy to occupy us on Riptide. What say you, Rocky?

But John, it's been so much fun.

Dear John Kontrabecki and The Other Side: I want to thank all of you for your thoughtful comments on Linda Mar Woods. I think we all have learned a lot about the development, but it feels like we have reached a stalemate in the discussion, and I am frankly tired of seeing it go around and around in circles. May I suggest that John meet with The Other Side in a public place to hash this out, and let Riptide get onto other business. Please wrap this up as soon as possible, and then I will close this thread.

John: Statistics are important because they represent the truth that is not open to any interpretation. Whereas you use words like "small fraction", "many", "not all", these words can be taken to mean almost anything between 0 and 100%. "Not all" could truthfully mean 0.001% or it truthfully could mean 99.999% -- you know that better than anyone. You write answers that are defensible regardless of anything. I'm trying to engage with you on the specifics of the project. But when you use phrases like "many", and "not all", then all you are doing is giving a non-answer that looks like an answer. I can't engage with someone who will not answer my questions. Are you saying in all the maps you've made, you've not made maps and calculations of this stuff? I can show your engineers how to compute areas and percentages off a map if they need some pointers. It will only take a few minutes.

If you go back through this entire thread you will see far too many occurrences where I asked very specifically for numerical answers to my questions -- and I'm frustrated because all I ever get are slippery verbal answers. Answers that you can always claim were truthful in hindsight no matter what you decide to do (occupational hazard, I guess?). The more slippery answers you give, the more it looks like the project has something to hide. If that's not reason enough for you to start providing specifics, then I'm not sure what is. Also waiting on the answer for the insurance question, too. Thanks.

Peter George:

You wrote: "I'm still waiting for the statistics, by the way. The percentages of trees removed, land graded, and land paved."

I cannot tell you what percentage of trees are to be removed because we did not count all the trees on the property. It would be a waste of time. We only counted the trees located within the roadway and the sidewalk area on both sides of the road, and then only the larger heritage trees.

If you can tell me why these statistics are important, and I agree with you, I will ask my engineer to do the calculations. I do not see the point.

This is a 58+ acre site. The graded and paved area represents a small fraction of the total site area.

Previously Impartial:

Please answer my questions.

1. What would you do about the unrelenting lies being spread about Linda Mar Woods by the Protect San Pedro Mountain Group?

2. What is "unprofessional" about calling out the BIG LIE strategy the Protect San Pedro Mountain Group is following?

John: Going back through this thread, I now count at least 14 clear, direct questions I asked on which I never got direct answers. My frustration is the only answers I get are typically lawyer truth-stretching and avoidance ("never answer the question, just tell them what you want them to hear"). My frustration is that this outreach is clearly so much less than it could have been. Every engagement I have with the "outreach" of this project is an exercise in frustration. If that is a criticism of you, rather than the project, you are welcome to see it that way, I guess. But are you saying someone else is in charge of the outreach other than you? Was someone else responsible for first mentioning Nazis in this thread? OK, so now I'm waiting on 16+ answers...

LAFCO? Commonly referred to as "LAUGHCO" for its highly politicized, pro-urbanization, pro-overgrowth, anti-environment, developer-loving board, it is usually dominated by its two sold-out county supervisors--whichever two county supervisors are on it at any given time. For decades the people of unincorporated San Mateo County have been fighting it to avoid consolidation and maintain a degree of local control over our lives. That degree of local control, often expressed through our local special districts, has been one of the few avenues for maintaining a decent quality of life over the decades in the face of wealth-serving government at the county and state levels.

Forest? Only the biologically and ecologically ignorant call a species-depauperate weed patch of introduced and invasive trees a "forest." There is nothing truly natural about such a place.

The carpetbagging voice of newly self-assigned superiority may attempt to take over righteousness and authority using the misdirecting and erroneous techniques of the developer's playbook, but the ploy fails under the slightest real-world challenge and objective scrutiny.

Peter George:

Newly constructed homes in California are required to have sprinkler fire prevention systems. It is the old homes without sprinklers that may have insurance issues.

Additionally, we will create fire breaks with the roads we are constructing and there will be fire hydrants spaced along the roads throughout the project. This too is required by law.

Finally, we will be clearing out the dead bushes, undergrowth, and kindling from the floor of the forest to remove the fuel that would feed a forest fire. No fuel, no fire risk.

The road system we construct will make it possible for the fire department to reach the top of the hill and adequately address any fire that may occur in the open-space areas.

As it stands today, there is a serious wildfire risk. Our plan will substantially reduce, if not eliminate, the risk of wildfire on the property. Proper forest management techniques are not being used now, but they will be in the future if we are allowed to proceed with our development.

John Kontrabecki:
“I suppose being 'professional' in your view means allowing the lies to go unanswered.”

—No, that is not what my view of being professional means.

John Kontrabecki:
“Perhaps I should have used Donald Trump's 'Big Steal' as the basis of comparison. He uses Joseph Goebbels' propaganda techniques, too.”

—Perhaps it would be wise if you didn’t make these types of comparisons at all.

Jay Bird:

No. Higgins Way is not just fine. It is a mess. Regardless of whether our project is approved, the street needs to be organized differently, with proper parking provided for the mountain bikers off the street, safe drop-off created for the Montessori School, and a turnaround created for delivery and emergency vehicles.

Again I take it from your silence on my previous post that you do not live there so you really have no firsthand experience with the mess that exists now. I invite you to visit the street during the week in the morning and on a Saturday morning to see the congestion.

Peter George:

Looks like "shoot the messenger" time. Your posting does not address the project. Just the messenger.

Have you run out of fact-based substantive arguments against the project?

Linty Mar:

You're right! "Goebbels may not have pulled the trigger, but his 'techniques' made it acceptable for others to do so."

This is exactly what I am saying. The BIG LIE makes it acceptable for others to follow the BIG LIE and do horrible things to people and to society.

Our project is intended to address a housing shortage while conserving the environment. The BIG LIE is trying to enable others to kill the project before it is even presented for government approval.

Thank you for saying it so succinctly.

John: Prove to us that an insurance company will insure one of your new homes standing in a forest in a Tier 3 Extreme wildfire zone, when there are mature, dense trees overhanging the roof. Folks up and down the coast are finding it almost impossible to insure their homes even in Tier 1 areas. And you are now talking about building dozens of closely spaced homes inches away from mature trees in a Tier 3 zone. These homes will be uninsurable -- and therefore unsellable. Try again with the whole "live in the forest" spin -- and this time be realistic. I'm still waiting for the statistics, by the way. The percentages of trees removed, land graded, and land paved. As usual you avoided any real response -- other than the utterly unrealistic "sales spin" one you just gave.

But I guess that gives you "deniability, right? You'll claim as the green-minded developer you wanted to hug ALL the trees, but those big nasty insurance companies made you tear them down. Let's skip that dance and just cut to the chase right now. Have you spoken to insurance companies with this specific plan of building in the forest in a Tier 3 Extreme wildfire area?

"... This is the Joseph Goebbels Nazi propaganda approach to public relations..."
"... the people I criticize as using Nazi propaganda techniques..."
"... I said they are using Joseph Goebbels' propaganda techniques....This group is using the internet... to do the same thing."
"... I said the Protect San Pedro Mountain group was using propaganda techniques first created by Joseph Goebbels. It is called 'the big lie.'"

Get real! Goebbels may not have pulled the trigger, but his "techniques" made it acceptable for others to do so. Your attempt to compartmentalize and inoculate your statements are pathetic. I stand by my previous post.

John: Who hired you as the community outreach voice for this project? I presume you hired yourself for the role, right? And you probably still think you are the best man for the job, right? But in your more reflective moments, has it ever occurred to you over the past several months that maybe someone else might, just might, be better suited for the role?

Your outreach effort is so outrageously bad -- a parody almost -- that I strongly suspect it was never, and will never, be a serious effort to engage with anyone at all. And John the Lawyer (as opposed to John the Amateur Outreach Coordinator) is just going to force this project through the courts regardless of anything the community says. Frankly, that is the only conclusion that makes any sense to me anymore. Can you point to any evidence to prove I'm wrong? If you are still serious about having a credible conversation with this community, then prove it.

Higgins Way is just fine -- unless you want to add more than 100 cars a day to the daily traffic pattern.


Just going to leave this here.

Our present infrastructure can’t handle what you are trying to sell.

Peter George:

We will be publishing our illustrative map shortly. We have been working on it, but the guy doing it is busy with other projects.

As for the trees, the only trees we will cut down are those that are in the path of the road we build. All other trees will remain unless they fall within the foundation of a home, then they will be removed.

The whole idea is to buy a home and live in a forest. Why would I remove the very amenity I am trying to promote? This would be entirely inconsistent with an outdoor-recreation-oriented residential development.

Jay Bird:

No. Higgins Way is recognized by the Public Works Department as a substandard street because of its width. It may be legally parked on one side, which turns a two-way street into a one-way street. Add to that the parents dropping off and picking up children at the Montessori School by double-parking and you have an unpassable street.

Additionally, there is no operable turnaround for cars and delivery vehicles. They must do a three-point turn to turn around. This is not easy for USPS, UPS, FedEx, and Amazon.

I doubt that you live there.

Linty Marr:

Your description of my remarks is totally inaccurate. Read them again. I said the Protect San Pedro Mountain group was using propaganda techniques first created by Joseph Goebbels. It is called "the big lie." I did not say this group was comparable to the actions of the Nazis and I resent your accusation.

I said in another post I could have compared their actions to Donald Trump's "stop the steal" propaganda. He too is following Goebbels' techniques of deception by repeating lies over and over again in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Peter George:

The process works this way. We apply to LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) and the City of Pacifica for annexation. The property is considered to be within the sphere of influence of Pacifica by both. The annexation application will be approved at the same time as the tentative map by the City of Pacifica. I will not force the city to annex. They will do so voluntarily because LAFCO will want it to and it is good planning practice to do so.

John: Who decides if/when that second parcel of land gets annexed by the city? Can you develop that parcel if it is not annexed? And if not, are you claiming you can legally force the city to annex it (all your previous comments seem to be suggesting that you can legally force it to happen). But you are the lawyer, not me (thank heavens!), so please give us your considered legal opinion.

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