July 06, 2021


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"Linda Mar Woods" song by the Curios (Lee Parvin and Nancy Hall)

So now the subject is "change" and societal approaches to the future? The discussion to be led by a conveniently self-appointed social engineer, uber-visionary, and seeker of fortune, Master John. The crock overfloweth. This is, as it has been from the start, about gaining permits for a badly located, large subdivision steeped in negatives for its immediate neighborhood (could the assumed hegemony over the residents and school on Higgins Way be any more arrogant?), the Linda Mar area, the entire city of overpopulated Pacifica, and parts beyond where Pacificans must draw resources, ecological subsidies, and economic inputs that the city cannot provide its residents and businesses locally in its overgrown and partially mismanaged state. As they have shown in a number of elections that were not swamped by outside money, Pacificans are capable of thinking for themselves and making advances for the betterment of the city. They don't need the superficial, uneducated advice that emanates from the real estate development industry and its apologists trying to peddle the failed growth ethic.

Ian Butler:

I know the song and the lyric, but how does it relate to the subject of change and how we respond to it as a society? This is the topic we have been discussing recently here.

Previously Impartial:

Sorry. I have a very low tolerance for people who spread misinformation. There is a lot of it being spread by the Protect San Pedro Mountain group.

My choices are to say nothing and let the virus of lies spread or call them out and speak the truth to them. If I say nothing, people will believe what they are saying is true. This is the Joseph Goebbels Nazi propaganda approach to public relations. He said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." I cannot let this happen. The only antidote is to rebut the big lie by telling the truth.

This group recently posted an OpEd in the Pacifica Tribune that was loaded with false statements. I wrote a rebuttal calling out every one of them. People were surprised and shocked to see how they falsely represented the project I am proposing. Eventually, the truth will win out, people will stop listening to them, and they will be embarrassed by their loss of credibility.

Peter George:

In response to your question about widening Higgins Way, I am still working on it. We have a preliminary plan upon which I am not settled. I am trying to come up with a way to widen the street without having to completely rebuild it. The basic problem is the street as constructed is too narrow, and if cars are parked in the street, it becomes essentially too narrow for cars to pass. You see this every day during drop-off and pickup at the Montessori School and on the weekends with the bike riders.

One idea I am looking at is to leave the street as it is, and construct recessed "parking slots" along parts of the street. These are indentations the width of a car where cars can park without clogging the whole street. The areas without parking slots would be designated "no parking." By eliminating cars protruding into the street, the street becomes passable.

Another idea I am examining is the creation of a residential parking lot behind the Montessori School on land we own. I am trying to determine how much flat land I have to work with to see if this is feasible and how many parking spaces I can create. I will have a surveyor out there shortly to stake the property line. This idea plus the parking slots idea together may resolve the question of Higgins Way's width problem and the need for more residential parking.

Carl May:

The point of the verse I quoted from George Harrison is as he stated in the title to the song: "All things must pass." Life is forever changing and while you may wish for a time in the distant past when Pacifica was a rural community with few people, those times are long gone. It is better to embrace the fact that life is changing and try to participate in a process of constructive change. You cannot turn back the clock.

We are actually living in an exciting time that has accelerated the recognition of the need for change. Covid has brought forward ideas and technologies that can help manage competing needs for more housing and less travel congestion. It has also raised our awareness of the need for pleasant outdoor recreational experiences.

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


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:

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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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

HPD, cough.

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.


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.


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.



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

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