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December 17, 2021

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Tim Stein:

How did I twist what Carl May wrote? I quoted him verbatim.

What I challenge in my posts are misstatements of fact and misinformation. There is a lot of it. In Carl May's case, he pretends there is a "developer's playbook" that is based on dishonesty. This is false.

I have been a real estate developer for over 40 years. My playbook is written by the city where the development takes place. It consists of the General Plan and the Municipal Code. It also consists of overriding state law. If I do not follow the law to the letter, I cannot get a project approved. The real estate projects I propose are designed by architects and engineers to comply with the law.

I run into trouble with people like Carl May in two ways. First, they do not understand the legal and administrative process that regulates the real estate industry. They make personal criticisms against everyone involved from developers, to technical professionals, to city planning staff, planning commissioners, and city council Members. They label them as crooked and incompetent. I know from personal experience that these labels are unfair and not supported by facts. Second, they rarely address the merits of the project with specific criticism and recommendations for improvement.

If a person does not want part of their city developed, then they need to participate in the process that determines the content of the General Plan. The City of Pacifica is going to release shortly a draft updated General Plan for public comment. Anyone who is interested is free to review the draft and write a letter to the Planning Department offering their opinions. Carl May should direct his comments to the people who make the rules in a constructive manner if he wants to create change. His sarcastic commentary criticizing developers serves no public purpose.

Folks, let's stick to housing and development issues and skip personal comments about the developer. Thanks.

Maybe lose the imperious attitude. I understand you are used to ordering people around. I doubt you win every case in court, though, and you might want to look inward as to why.
You were offended by sarcasm, and decided to state what the rules were here, as if you and your investor own this blog, too. If the owner was smart, he'd have cast you aside long ago.

I've never seen a more incompetent outreach. I've seen plenty of incompetent, but you excel.

John:
Twisting what Carl wrote doesn't help your cause. And neither does your tendency to wage war with posters. Instead of building a movement with Pacificans to be on board with your overseas employers and their idea for our hillsides, you're attacking any and all who oppose this development.

Carl May:

"The superficial tactics of the developer's playbook work only on the naive and corrupted."

What arrogance.

According to you, the people of Pacifica must be too stupid or immoral to make their own decisions.

You must be the smartest person in the room. Or not.

I'm with Carl.

Simple-minded defenses of a developer's tactics don't faze me and most of the others who have spent many decades dealing with the hubris, ignorance, inadequacy, environmental destruction, greed, power thirst, and arrogance of developers, the real estate industry, some government agencies, and some elected officials in local cities like Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, in San Mateo County, in California, and on the federal level. The superficial tactics of the developer's playbook work only on the naive and corrupted.

Carl May:

You say, "What troubles me at this moment, in which a developer tries to use pictures showing a minor bit of vandalism to misdirect focus away from the massive negative issues involved in his project..."

I say my posting was directed at one issue: vandalism. It was not intended to "misdirect focus from the massive negative issues involved in this project." I swing at the pitches thrown at this project one at a time.

Maybe you think "a minor bit of vandalism" is okay. I and most others do not. What starts out as minor vandalism at 13 turns into stealing cars at 18. If this behavior is not condemned, it will repeat itself.

Young mountain bikers from the Pacifica side have been tearing up the sides of Montara and San Pedro mountains for several decades. They have cut trails through native plant communities (including one that contains a listed endangered species of butterfly), fragmented natural habitat, and created erosion gullies in steep areas. They aren't the only ones damaging the mountainsides, given the roads, power lines, mountain bikers from the Montara side, and off-trail hikers; but some are belligerent and most are ignorant of the consequences of their activities.

But what troubles me at this moment, in which a developer tries to use pictures showing a minor bit of vandalism to misdirect focus away from the massive negative issues involved in his project, is the crude nature of the damage being done by youngsters to his ridiculous sign. What has become of skillful, productive, conservation-oriented monkey-wrenching? Have the elders in Pacifica failed to carry out their educational duties?

Riptide welcomes and publishes civil comments from all sides of this issue, but to be clear, this blog is not responsible for what the developer calls misrepresentations of facts. All comments are the responsibility of the commenters.

Tim Stein:

The trail cam was installed at the recommendation of the Pacifica Police Department. It has been many months since the sign was first vandalized. The fact that I installed a trail cam says nothing about whether people support or oppose the project. It also is no indication of how I have communicated with people about the proposed project. The one thing it has shown is there are very few "bad actors" visiting the property. The trail cam is hidden, so I do not think it has been a deterrent.

My communication has been directed at people who have made inaccurate representations of facts about the project. These misrepresentations include the following: we are going to close the trails to the public, we are going to destroy the trails, we are going to cut down all the trees, we are going to build luxury housing, we are going to damage fragile native habitat, etc. All of these statements are false. I have been rebutting them as they have appeared on this blog and other social media. There is an organized propaganda campaign on this blog, Facebook, Instagram, and NextDoor opposing the project, and I am rebutting their misrepresentations every time I see them. These people say they represent the majority view of the project and this too is false. I have gone further and posted an accurate map at the property entrance showing how we are going to conserve the property. I also make frequent referrals to our website at www.lindamarwoods.com to inform people about the facts of our development. I also invite fact-based criticism of the project to get input that can help make the project better. I have not been confrontational. I have been factual and polite. My guess is some people are not used to a real public debate in Pacifica over real estate development projects and are uncomfortable when the project proponent calls out their misrepresentations.

The trail cam has been surprisingly useful. It has shown me the range of users who visit the property and the number of people who visit. The range includes hikers, dog walkers, mountain bikers, e-bikers, trail bikers, and runners. The number of users is large and the time of day when the property is visited begins at sun-up and continues throughout the day until after dark. The age of the typical user is older than I expected, with most middle-aged and many over the age of 60.

I think the fact that you've had to install a trail cam to monitor your sign says a lot about how so many people are against this development, and how you've been mostly confrontational with Pacificans.

The monument sign at Linda Mar Woods was vandalized again. Two letters (d and s) were removed from the sign. We have not reported this to the police yet. If the letters are returned by noon this Sunday 12/19, we will not pursue the vandals and their parents. If the letters are not returned by then, we will find them and will hold them and their parents accountable. (See security camera photo on the blog.)

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