Coastsider: Barry Parr on Dec 10, 2009 at 05:19 pm
The California Coastal Commission has unanimously rejected the county’s proposed update to its Local Coastal Program for the unincorporated Midcoast, as recommended by its staff.
We’ll post more details later, but this means that the ball is back in the court of Board of Supervisors.
photo by: Sabrina Brennan
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
DEIR Comments: by Lisa Ketcham
IV.B AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES
Impact AG-1 Convert Prime Farmland to Non-Agricultural Use
The soils on site qualify as Prime Agricultural Lands, although the County LCP designates them as General Industrial. The Montara-Moss Beach-El Granada Community Plan calls for protection of prime agricultural and open space lands within the community, and restriction of residential development in areas of prime agricultural soils. It calls for subleasing publicly owned lands at the HMB Airport for agriculture, which has been done. These airport fields are the same soil type and the same zoning as the Big Wave parcels. Agriculture is a compatible use for the airport overlay zone.
A Big Wave Project objective is “To provide space for gardens to grow organic food for consumption.” Although the project highlights agriculture for sustainability and resident employment opportunities, all available agricultural land at the project is proposed for development. It would better serve project objectives to scale back the buildings and leave some land for farming.
The DEIR concludes that the proposed development would not completely preclude future agriculture since the project includes offsite Big Wave Farming and a 5-acre onsite plant nursery. The offsite farmland proposed to be leased is already in agricultural production and does not depend on Big Wave Project to continue in production. The onsite plant nursery would be temporary and located on the 100-ft wetland buffer, not a permitted use.
Coastsider: by Lisa Ketcham Dec 1, 2009
“W” zoning stands for Waterfront, not Wellness Center
The Big Wave Wellness Center parcel is zoned “W” for Waterfront, marine-related light industrial. The only residential use allowed is a limited number of caretaker units included in industrial buildings which require “written statement from property owner acknowledging that marine and general industrial uses are the primary land uses and residents of caretaker’s quarters may be subject to inconvenience arising from such business.” A purpose of the Waterfront zoning is to “protect the functional and economic viability of the working waterfront area by restricting incompatible land uses.” Older “grandfathered” houses in the “W” district, if demolished, would not be allowed to be replaced.
Big Wave asks for a Use Permit for the Wellness Center on grounds that the housing component is a Sanitarium, defined as an institution for rest, recuperation, treatment of the chronically ill, or therapy for rehabilitation. County zoning allows Use Permit for Sanitarium “in any zoning district in the urban Coastal Zone, when found to be necessary for the public health, safety, convenience or welfare. “
County Zoning for “RM” district (open space) has Tsunami Inundation Area Criteria (6326.2): “The following uses, structures, and development shall not be permitted: …schools, hospitals, nursing homes, or other buildings or development used primarily by children or physically or mentally infirm persons. ...” This clearly points out the County’s intent not to locate projects such as this in a hazard area, but industrial zoned districts don’t have this wording. Perhaps that is because sanitariums are not a compatible use in an industrial zone? Perhaps the County’s long overdue update of coastal light industrial zones will reflect the now completed tsunami zone mapping and address this issue?
In any case, it is hard to understand how the County could decide that a Use Permit for Sanitarium in an industrial zone in a Tsunami Inundation Area, next to an earthquake fault is “necessary for the public health, safety, convenience and welfare.”
On the other hand, the developer claims special priorities for the Wellness Center as Affordable Housing, not an allowed use in the “W” zone. Housing does not fit the definition of Sanitarium. Nor is this housing necessarily affordable. Big Wave residents would buy into a co-op and pay ongoing association fees. There are no enforceable income or affordability restrictions. This project is neither a Sanitarium nor Affordable Housing.
A large part of the Wellness Center is a community center, pool, fitness center with open-ended retail commercial component (dog grooming, etc.) all open for business to the public. They propose charging for “event” parking (and office parking). Retail use is not allowed in the “W” district. It draws more traffic to the narrow local streets and charging for parking encourages parking along those streets. County commercial zoning (C-1, C-2) allows uses such as hospitals, sanitariums, pet grooming establishments, community centers, professional & business offices.
One of the Big Wave Project Objectives is “to adhere to existing zoning laws that allow for special needs residential and commercial use on the same site … and … to be consistent with local General Plan goals.” Commercial zoning may allow for residential on upper floors, but “W” is industrial zoning.
There are no requirements or assurances that the Wellness Center will open or succeed financially. Without that, the project looks like a hotel/condo/ conference center with shops in a visitor-serving coastal area conveniently near the airport.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Half Moon Bay Police Department
537 Kelly Ave
Half Moon Bay, CA94019
Phone: (650) 726-8288
6. If you need help with evacuation, tie a large WHITE sheet or towel to your front door knob so that it is visible from street. This will alert people that you need assistance.
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