Half Moon Bay Review
 
 
 
 
 
TalkAbout Start a topic Login Create Login Forgot Password  
All Categories Around Town Elections Entertainment/Dining Schools
City Council Environment Sports Beyond the Coastside Catch All
Clay Lambert's Blog Mark Foyer's Blog Stacy Trevenon's blog Mark Noack's blog Bill Murray's Blog

Were The 2000-2005 Council Members Litigious?

I thought it would be an interesting exercise to look at the cast of characters in control of our City from 2000-2005. I looked at their actions, and the chronology of those actions, for a pattern of behavior. With the list of actions provided, and the dates of those actions added, it did in fact point to a consistent pattern of behavior. Here’s that link: Web Link

Apparently, it was well read as there are over 2000 views (hits) and over 100 comments to date. Note that thread was posted a little over a week ago, on Sunday evening, August 24th.

Now, perhaps it might be of interest to follow-up on that theme from a slightly different perspective. Let’s take a look at the Closed Session contents of each meeting, starting with the January 4th meeting of their final year in control, 2005, to see if there’s a pattern of behavior there and if there is does it match the pattern we’ve already identified.

Typically, there are two Council meetings per month. They are on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Starting with the first meeting of 2005, here’s the Closed Session Agenda:

Minutes of the Regular & Special Meeting

City of Half Moon Bay City Council

January 4, 2005

The City Council convened in Special Session at the hour of 7:00 p.m. with Councilmembers Fraser, Ferreira, McCausland, Taylor & Mayor Grady present.

RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION — 7:00 P.M.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay (Ailanto I) California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District Case No. A098920; — Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay & California Coastal Commission (Ailanto II) San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 416540; Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay (Ailanto III) San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 422561.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Parness v. City of Half Moon Bay, San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 443388.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference with Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation —Wavecrest Village LLC v. City of Half Moon Bay; CIV No. 435208.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Devcich v. City of Half Moon Bay — San Mateo County Superior Court Small Claims Case No. SCC-102550.

The City Council convened in Regular Session at 7:35 p.m.

Mayor Grady announced that in Closed Session information was received but no action was taken.

That, folks, is one busy Closed Session Agenda. Any of it look familiar?

There was another meeting on January 25th, but it was a Special Meeting with no Closed Session. That meeting was solely for “Presentation of Community Park Master Plan Proposals from Design Firms”, and was titled as such.


Comments

City legal invoices for the year of 2005 showed legal service billings for Yamagiwa, Terrace, Ailanto, Crnugelj-Gale, Wavecrest, Cypress Cove, Hwy 92 Improvements, Nerhan, Gill Vista, Podesta, Nurserymens Exchange, and planning for Carnousti in an amount of over $812,000.

That would make 2005 ONE of the biggest and most litigious years in the history of HMB. However, 2005 legal costs would be surpassed in dollar amounts in 2006 (over $1,774,000) and then in 2007 (not sure of this total), now, what can we expect for 2008? Probably, more of the same.

That is a helluva legacy from the Council of 2000-2005, us HMB citizens will just keep paying and paying. This is not over by a long shot.


Just think of the nice parks we could have of that legal money been spent on us instead.


I deleted a bunch of silly back-and-forth between the usual suspects. Next time I'm going to block folks from participating. Fair warning.


Clay granteth and Clay taketh away...


Thank you Clay.

To Back To Topic, the legal fees for fiscal year 2007 were (better sit down) $2.5 Million. Over 90% of that money (fees) was under "Land Use Litigation" - Beachwood. That $2.5 Million that we gave Meyers Nave, our contracted legal firm until June of this year, was exactly the same dollar amount the City received in Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), which is supposed to go to City services.

Here is the Closed Session Agenda from the next Council meeting, held on February 1, 2005:

Minutes of the Regular & Special Meeting

City of Half Moon Bay City Council

February 1, 2005

The City Council convened in Special Session at the hour of 7:00 p.m. with Councilmembers Fraser, Ferreira, McCausland, Taylor & Mayor Grady present.

RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION — 7:00 P.M.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay (Ailanto I) California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District Case No. A098920; — Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay & California Coastal Commission (Ailanto II) San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 416540; Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay (Ailanto III) San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 422561.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Parness v. City of Half Moon Bay, San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 443388.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.9 (b) – Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation – Significant Exposure To Litigation (One Case).

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference with Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Wavecrest Village LLC v. City of Half Moon Bay; CIV No. 435208.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Devcich v. City of Half Moon Bay — San Mateo County Superior Court Small Claims Case No. SCC-102550.

• Bodnar v. City of Half Moon Bay, Workers Compensation Appeals Board, Case #SFO 0475348.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9—Conference with Legal Counsel—Existing Litigation—Yamagiwa v. City of Half Moon Bay, Cal. Court of Appeal, First App. Dist., Case No. A1000999.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9—Conference with Legal Counsel—Existing Litigation—S& P Carmichael v. City of Half Moon Bay, San Mateo Superior Court Case No. 449862.

The City Council convened in Regular Session at 7:35 p.m.

Mayor Grady announced that no action was taken in Closed Session and that the City Council will adjourn to Closed Session following the regular meeting.

More of the same. What a friendly bunch. Looks like they made friends with just about everyone they came in contact with.

Note Devcich v City of HMB. I remember that one. Mr. Devcich’s home was flooded due to the City’s lack of maintenance of drainage ditches. Sound familiar? He was forced to take the City to Small Claims Court because they didn’t care about his problem; the one they created. He won the maximum amount allowed at that time - $5,000.00. Although the cost and stress produced a higher level of loss to him and his family, he left the courtroom content. The City, however, was not.

The City appealed his Judgment, and after assigning two Meyer’s Nave attorneys, at a cost of $25,000.000 to us, they beat Devcich on appeal.

What does that tell us about the mentality of the 2005 Council? Bully? Mean spirited? Vindictive? Any of this sound familiar? Did they apply the full force and weight of City resources simply because they could?


Is Chop Keenan litigious? Are Chop Keenan supporters hung up on litigation?


The following is from the Closed Session held February 15, 2005:

Minutes-

Regular & Special Meeting

City of Half Moon Bay City Council

February 15, 2005

The City Council convened in Special Session at the hour of 7:00 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, McCausland, Taylor & Mayor Grady present.

1. Appoint City Manager and City Attorney as Property Negotiators for APN-048-136-140; 065-044-150; 065-045-060; and 065-206-020.

A motion was made by Councilmember Taylor to appoint the City Manager only as the property negotiator for APNos. 048-136-140; 065-044-150; 065-045-060; and 065-206-020. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Ferreira and upon a roll call vote, the motion carried by a vote of 5-0.

RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION — 7:05 P.M.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference with Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Wavecrest Village LLC v. City of Half Moon Bay; CIV No. 435208.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Parness v. City of Half Moon Bay, San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 443388.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.8 — Conference With Property Negotiators. Property: APN 048-270-070 and 048-270-080, APN-048-136-140; 065-044-150; 065-045-060; and 065-206-020. City Property Negotiators: City Manager and City Attorney. Negotiating Parties: City of Half Moon Bay and County of San Mateo. Price and Terms of Payment: Under Negotiation.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.8 — Conference With Property Negotiators. Property: APN 048-270-070 and 048-270-080, South of Sewer Plant Road. City Property Negotiators: City Manager and City Attorney. Negotiating Parties: City of Half Moon Bay & Peninsula Humane Society. Price and Terms of Payment: Under Negotiation.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.8 — Conference With Property Negotiators. Property: 3072 Cabrillo Highway, APN 048-094-020. City Property Negotiators: City Manager and City Attorney. Negotiating Parties: City of Half Moon Bay & Kenneth Coverdell. Price and Terms of Payment: Under Negotiation.

The City Council convened in Regular Session at 7:30 p.m.

City Attorney Lindgren announced that in Special Session the City Council appointed the City Manager and City Attorney as property negotiators for APN Nos. 048-136-140; 065-144-150; 065-045-060; and 065-206-020. City Attorney Lindgren further announced that in Closed Session the City Council received information but no action was taken.

A pretty light Closed Session, if you ask me. By the way, the Parness item was the Terrace Avenue residents attempting to stop the Ailanto (Pacific Ridge) Project to come from using Terrace as sole access for construction of the 63 McMansions that the Coastal Commission now holds in their hands. It is expected to be on the Commission Agenda in October, for approval to start construction – using Terrace Avenue as sole ingress and egress for construction and the resulting homes; forever.


Chop Keenan is not litigious unless it is his last resort. Just like anyone else who is business-minded.


The following Closed Session Agenda is the March 1, 2005 meeting.

Minutes of the Regular & Special Meeting

City of Half Moon Bay City Council

March 1, 2005

The City Council convened in Special Session at the hour of 7:00 p.m. with Councilmembers Fraser, Ferreira, McCausland, Taylor & Mayor Grady present.

RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION — 7:00 P.M.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.8 —Conference With Property Negotiators. Property: APN 048-270-070 and 048-270-080, South of Sewer Plant Road. City Property Negotiators: City Manager and City Attorney. Negotiating Parties: City of Half Moon Bay & Peninsula Humane Society. Price and Terms of Payment: Under Negotiation.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8 – Conference With Property Negotiators. Property: APN APN-048-136-140; 065-044-150; 065-045-060; and 065-206-020. City Property Negotiators: City Manager. Negotiating Parties: City of Half Moon Bay and County of San Mateo.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.8 — Conference With Property Negotiators. Property: 3072 Cabrillo Highway, APN 048-094-020. City Property Negotiators: City Manager and City Attorney. Negotiating Parties: City of Half Moon Bay & Kenneth Coverdell. Price and Terms of Payment: Under Negotiation.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.9 (b) – Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation – Significant Exposure To Litigation (One Case).

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference with Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Wavecrest Village LLC v. City of Half Moon Bay; CIV No. 435208.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Parness v. City of Half Moon Bay, San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 443388.

The City Council convened in Regular Session at 7:35 p.m.


There was a Council meeting on March 10 2005 and another on March 15 2005. The meeting from the 10th had no Closed Session. The only note of record I see, regarding a Closed Session meeting from the meeting they held on the 15th is this:

Minutes of the Regular & Special Meeting

City of Half Moon Bay City Council

March 15, 2005

The City Council convened in Special Session at the hour of 7:00 p.m. with Councilmember Taylor absent and Councilmembers Fraser, Ferreira & Mayor Grady present.

RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION — 7:00 p.m.

The City Council convened in Regular Session at 7:30 p.m.

City Attorney Lindgren announced that during Closed Session direction had been given but no action had been taken and that several items were continued for further discussion following the Regular Meeting.

Direction on what? They spent 30 minutes in Closed Session, but there are no items listed for Closed Session for that meeting.

Probably just an oversight.


There was one more meeting in March 2005. It was a Special Meeting, and it was Special indeed. This meeting was called to fill the vacated Council seat of Sid McCausland. The meeting was held at the Bell Building, on Kelly Avenue, just around the corner from the usual Council meeting place, the Ted Adcock Center.

You may remember, McCausland had resigned and moved to Alaska, leaving his vacated seat open. The Council had been furiously working on a very restrictive LCP Update, trying to jam it through the City and hustle it off to the Coastal Commission for Certification. As Taylor said that night, “we’re on a roll”. They sure were.

We would find out in August of that year that the roll they were on was illegal. That’s when Ron Zumbrun came to town and showed them, confirming what most had been saying all along, which finally stopped that madness. I remember, as I was there.

To set this up, the meeting was called to fill the seat by appointment of the Council. The term for Council seats is four years. McCausland resigned less than two years into his term. There were many, myself included, that felt since over ½ the term was still to be served it should go to a vote of all HMB voters. The Council felt otherwise. They wanted to maintain continuity, as they put it. I understood continuity to mean control, and that’s exactly what they exercised on this night.

Two people had filled out “Willing to Serve” forms: Naomi Patridge and David Gorn. Patridge had served on the Council four times before. Gorn had no City involvement prior to submitting his form. Patridge was there that night, decked out in a lovely red outfit. Gorn was in Hawaii.

The Council had a table set up where they say, backs to the wall. The Bell Building’s room is smaller than their usual meeting spot. Patridge sat directly in front of them, on a chair that appeared to have come from the Infant Toddler Center. Gorn, in Hawaii, was teleconferenced in on a phone at one end of the table. Most of us felt it was a done deal long before the meeting occurred, but we all hoped the Council would be open. After all, they’d stated that they wanted someone that was up to speed because they didn’t want to lose their momentum. Below is the full text of the Minutes:

Draft

Minutes of the Special Meeting of the

Half Moon Bay City Council

March 28, 2005

The City Council convened in Special Session at the hour of 6:45 p.m. with Councilmembers Fraser, Ferreira, Taylor & Mayor Grady present.

Oral Communications: None.

RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION — 6:45 p.m.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6—Conference with Labor Negotiator—City Manager—Police Officers’ Association; Management Team; International Union of Operating Engineers Stationary Local 39 AFL-CIO; Police Management and Unrepresented Employees

The City Council reconvened in Special Session at 7:30 p.m.

ORAL COMMUNICATIONS:

George Muteff, 408 Redondo Beach Road, said that in his opinion, the City Council should not appoint a Councilmember to serve the remainder of former Councilmember McCausland’s term, but rather hold an election to find a successor.

Interview of Applicants for Appointment to the City Council to Fill the Vacancy Created by the Resignation of Councilmember Sid McCausland; appoint Councilmember.

City Manager Ryan reviewed the process for interviewing applicants.

David Gorn was interviewed by the City Council via telephone.

Naomi Patridge was interviewed by the City Council.

Discussion ensued between the Councilmembers.

A motion was made by Councilmember Ferreira to adopt the resolution appointing David Gorn as a Councilmember to serve for the remainder of former Councilmember McCausland’s term. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Taylor and upon a voice vote, the motion carried by a vote of 3-1, with Councilmember Fraser voting no.

A motion was made by Councilmember Taylor to adjourn the Special Meeting at the hour of 8:45 p.m. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Ferreira and upon a voice vote, the motion carried by a vote of 4-0.

Questions were asked and answered. At one point, the Council stopped to lament how 'tough' this was, then they trudged on.

As you can plainly see, Gorn was chosen. Gorn was a staunch League for Coastside Protection supporter and member, as was Ferreira, Taylor, and Grady. Gorn's hand would come in quite handy for that bunch, in many ways, until he too resigned before term. That occurred in 2006, and John Muller was appointed by that Council to fill Gorn’s/McCausland’s vacated seat. There was less than ½ the term when Gorn left. Choosing Gorn maintained the 4-1 No Growth majority.

Closed Session was for Labor Negotiations, as you see.


To Now Pitching,

Judge Walker ruled on Beachwood, and it was one of the most devastating accounts of suppression of property rights that I have ever read about. Chop Keenan is not the aggressor here. The city of HMB was ruled against, and that is why we owe Mr Keenan $41M, and by the negotiations of the current council that amount is reduced to $18M.

Now Pitching, Please go back and read the Beachwood decision.

Your one liner assertions do not really fit this forum. Real data with citations would be more fitting.

NP, for you to say " Are Chop Keenan supporters hung up on litigation?"

Is that all you have?


I give you the above George lists--presented without reference to object, content, issues or outcomes and much of the list material posted in prior messages on TalkAbout--to indicate where the fascination with litigation lies. Indeed, he is so taken with his little exercise he doesn't bother to note many items are not litigation but, rather negotiations. He greatly increases the length of the material with his own highly biased editorializing, as if it were as factual as the agendas he has copied. Of course, our painter (in the air) of injustices to land-speculating developers fails to note which negotiations were settled and which went into litigation, the supposed subject of this thread. For actual items of litigation, the lists boil down to a relatively few lines.

Followers of TalkAbout already know what this is about. Shills for developers would like to chill the desire of the City of HMB, or any other governmental entity to stand up for itself legally and to be more willing to roll over at the threat of a lawsuit from a private party. Sworn obligations of the city offices involved be damned; interests of the citizens versus interests of the developers be damned. Note the attempt to play Walker's highly appealable screwball ruling on Beachwood with its novel and contrary outlook on takings into solid support for inhibiting the use of a city's full legal means for protecting itself from predators on its environment. Because they want to intimidate the city into backing away from defending itself in the future for the benefit of their developer buds, they must tout the low-level and appeal-untested Walker ruling as being much more than it is, a veritable ruling from on high if you are to believe them. (But there is no reason to.)

The attempt at legal pressure we see so superficially concocted here is quite like the approach of anonymous George's favorite right-wing legal outfit, a corporation-supported legal office dedicated to getting around or defeating environmental regulations that loses many more cases than it wins, the Pacific Legal Foundation. Even in the environment trashing Bush era, the PLF flounders. Yet George has held them up to the city as a shining authority. Yeah, an authority on how to try to fleece the public for the benefit of the wealthy.

Another obviously ridiculous aspect of the above parroted lists is the fact that the city was not litigious at all in many of the instances. The city was forced to respond to actions against it by others who were, rightly or wrongly, pursuing legal action aganst the city. The city did not initiate the legal actions. This is entirely reminiscent of the Chop Keenan approach to dealing with local government--determine that you won't make a huge enough profit on what is patently legal, then lawyer up and sue for more. Any sane citizen wants their city to protect their rights against that knd of ruthlessness. It's a shame the current City Council did not do so with an appeal of Walker's ruling instead of getting all mushy sweet with the one attacking the city.

In any event, it is clear in the above copied material that it is not the City of HMB, for all its shortcomings, that was litigious in the cases listed. It's right there in the items. Much of the lawyering up came from the side of those challenging the city. Thus the very valid questions: Is Chop Keenan litigious (after all, he is the one who sued)? Are Keenan's supporters hung up on litigation (after all, they post endless material like George's and act like the goofy Walker ruling stands as a reason to modify the town's approach to life, love, parks, and a water supply).


"getting all mushy sweet with the one attacking the city"


NP, George may have mispoke when he asked if the City Council of 05-06 was litigious. The only correct statement you have made is that they did not initiate the lawsuits. Few of them can be considered "negotiations". A negotiation is generally an attempt at give and take.

No the councils mentioned were incredibly arrogant and disrespectful of the City's money, willing to battle and counter lawsuits, at any costs. After all, its not their money, just the hardearned money of the taxpayers and local businesses. Their legacy of waste and squandering of funds will cripple us for some time.

George's lists don't even include the smaller lawsuits brought by individual lot owners denied their rights to legally build or remodel by these same councils. There were quite a few of these, and certainly none of them were granted the same kinds of variances and approvals as one of their own councilmembers and planning commissioners. Which also came at the cost of the taxpayers.


When NP pitches everybody gets on base. You are a hitter's dream come true. Sometimes when we are forced to stand at the plate watching your trademark windbag windup, we actually doze off from boredom. Its ok since everybody knows you can't find the strike zone.

Come on NP, please throw me a strike because your are hurting my batting average. All these walks are killing me. The good news is everybody who faces you wins convincingly.


The information provided here is available to all on the City web site: Web Link

This link will provide the City Council Minutes from January 2005 through July 15, 2008. Since January 2005 is as far back as it goes, that’s where I started. The City does maintain the Minutes further back, but they’re not online at this time.

The Minutes offer so much more than just the Closed Session Items I’ve posted. For those interested in assessing the Council’s ‘personality’, please hit the link provided above and browse around. You will be amazed at what you will find. Makes for interesting reading on how our local government is run. I would remind readers that the available minutes only really cover two administrations; the 2005 Council, and the current Council; two completely different Councils with two completely different ‘personalities’ – but interesting reading nonetheless.

In an effort to get the data out into the public purview without dragging this thread out for months, I chose to post the entire first quarter’s Minutes in one day. I will post the entire second quarter next, followed by the third quarter. It will end with the November 15th meeting as that was the last meeting of that administration. That is not to say that all (or any) of that administration’s legal burdens disappeared when they left office on December 6th, when the new Council was sworn in. Beachwood is but one example of the continuation of action.

As you can see, it is simply a matter of opening the link, then copy and paste. What you see is what you get. A lot of the listed legal Items are familiar to most; some are not. The Devcich case would be one that most would not be familiar with, yet for as little significance as some may think this case holds, it is a fair representation of the City’s posture with the public under that administration.

There has been some discussion inferring that the City didn’t run around looking for people or entities to sue, and therefore were not litigious bullies. That stone needs to be turned over. The position the City took during the years of control was one that forced actions against us. It was the posture of ‘if you don’t like it, sue us’ approach, and it cost us a bundle. Bear in mind that every dime that the City spends in legal comes at the expense of other City services; services we so desperately need. I would add that Meyers Nave, our contracted legal firm during the years of Minutes available online, actually provided two “services” to us; they provided legal “advise” to our Council, and they directed ALL litigation to their own firm. Their “advice” on legal matters was slightly lower than most in terms of cost. They more than made up for the slight ‘discount’ in advice fees through litigation. I always took issue with that. It doesn’t take a genius to understand their incentive and actions, which cost us then, now & will continue to cost us for years to come; maybe decades. They served at the pleasure of the Councils they represented; until they were Fired.


George, as a matter of fact, when negotiations stalled with various property owners and possible filing suit against the city, Mike & Company (Tony, Debra, Grady, etc) were well known for saying, "bring it on". As evidenced by spending $25K to appeal a $5k decision to Mr. Devcich. Clearly, irresponsible and disrespectful. (and stupid, you'd fire a manager or executive who couldn't apply the common sense to settle).


The length of these Closed Session Agendas coupled with the dryness of legalese, don’t necessarily lend themselves to gripping reading and the resulting dialog. I didn’t set these Agendas, I’m just putting them out there. Dialog, although not necessary, is welcome.

It is appropriate to mention HMB Moderate. I have seen your posts on TA over a period of time and I must say your handle seems to match your comments. I find myself in agreement with your comments a whole lot more than not. Perhaps we know each other, perhaps we don’t. Either way, I appreciate your input, and the measure thereof.

Below is the first Closed Session Agenda of the second quarter of 2005. As you will see, it is dated April 5, 2005:

Minutes of the Regular & Special Meeting

City of Half Moon Bay City Council

April 5, 2005

The City Council convened in Special Session at the hour of 7:00 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn, and Vice Mayor Taylor present. Mayor Grady was absent.

RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION — 7:00 P.M.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference with Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation —Wavecrest Village LLC v. City of Half Moon Bay; CIV No. 435208.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay (Ailanto I) California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District Case No. A098920; — Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay & California Coastal Commission (Ailanto II) San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 416540; Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay (Ailanto III) San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 422561.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.9 (b) – Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation – Significant Exposure To Litigation (One Case).

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54957.6—Conference With Labor Negotiator—City Manager—Police Officers’ Association; Management/Confidential; International Union of Operating Engineers Stationary Local 39; AFL-CIO; Police Management and Unrepresented Employees.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.8 — Conference With Property Negotiators. Property: 3072 Cabrillo Highway, APN 048-094-020. City Property Negotiators: City Manager and City Attorney. Negotiating Parties: City of Half Moon Bay & Kenneth Coverdell. Price and Terms of Payment: Under Negotiation.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8 – Conference With Property Negotiators. Property: APN APN-048-136-140; 065-044-150; 065-045-060; and 065-206-020. City Property Negotiators: City Manager. Negotiating Parties: City of Half Moon Bay and County of San Mateo.

The City Council convened in Regular Session at 7:30 p.m.

City Attorney Lindgren announced that during Closed Session direction had been given but no action had been taken.

We again see Wavecrest Village LLC in the Closed Session Agenda. Just make a mental note of that for now. We can discuss this Item when it concludes later in this year (2005).


Small coastal towns thought California are seen by aggressive developers as easy pickings it is part of the duty of our elected officials to defend the towns growth/no growth position

This is what took place in HMB .

Would you rather have them taking money from a developer?


The next Council meeting was April 19th. It was a Special Meeting, and demonstrates no Closed Session. The upfront time was instead aimed at the LCP Update. There were four meetings in May, according to what’s posted on the City web site. The first was on May 3rd. Here’s the Closed Session Agenda:

MINUTES OF THE

REGULAR & SPECIAL

MEETING

OF THE

HALF MOON BAY CITY COUNCIL

MAY 3, 2005

The City Council convened in Special Session at 6:30 p.m.

RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference with Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Wavecrest Village LLC v. City of Half Moon Bay; CIV No. 435208.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54957.6—Conference With Labor Negotiator—City Manager—Police Officers’ Association; Management/Confidential; International Union of Operating Engineers Stationary Local 39; AFL-CIO; Police Management and Unrepresented Employees.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.8 —Conference With Property Negotiators. Property: APN 048-270-070 and 048-270-080, South of Sewer Plant Road. City Property Negotiators: City Manager and City Attorney. Negotiating Parties: City of Half Moon Bay & Peninsula Humane Society. Price and Terms of Payment: Under Negotiation.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9—Conference with Legal Counsel—Existing Litigation—Yamagiwa v. City of Half Moon Bay, Cal. Court of Appeal, First App. Dist., Case No. A1000999.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.9 (b) – Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation – Significant Exposure To Litigation (Two Cases).

CONVENE REGULAR MEETING/PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The Regular City Council meeting was convened at the hour of 7:35 p.m., with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn, Taylor and Mayor Grady in attendance.

Mayor Grady announced that in Closed Session information was received and direction was given, but no action was taken.

Note Beachwood. That was the City’s Appeal in State Court; not the one we all know now.


The next meeting was May 7th. This was another Special Meeting, with no Closed Session. This meeting was held to move the LCP Update forward. Here's the start:

Minutes of the Special Meeting

City of Half Moon Bay City Council

Half Moon Bay Lodge

May 7, 2005

The City Council convened in Special Session at the hour of 9:00 a.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn, Taylor & Mayor Grady present. Councilmember Taylor excused herself at 11:00 a.m.

PUBLIC HEARING ITEM:

1. PDP-88-04: Continued Discussion and Public Comment on Proposed Amendments to the City of Half Moon Bay Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan as Recommended by the Planning Commission at a Special Meeting on April 21, 2005.

Public Hearing and Discussion of Foundation Policies Regarding:

Chapter 2 Land Use

Chapter 3 Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas:

Marine and Water Resources

Chapter 9 Development

Chapter 10 Public Works

Planning Director Liebster presented the staff report.

There is quite a list of public speakers. For more, go to the City web site: Web Link


The next meeting was May 10th; another Special Meeting. Didn't last long. Here's the entire Agenda:

MINUTES

SPECIAL MEETING

OF THE CITY OF HALF MOON BAY

CITY COUNCIL

May 10, 2005

1. Convene

The meeting was convened at 6:00 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Taylor and Mayor Grady in attendance. Councilmember Gorn arrived at 6:10 p.m.

2. Recess to Closed Session

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference with Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Wavecrest Village LLC v. City of Half Moon Bay; CIV No. 435208.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.9 (b) —Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation—Significant Exposure To Litigation (Four Cases).

3. Public Comment

There was no public comment.

4. Adjourn

A motion was made by Mayor Grady and seconded by Councilmember Gorn to adjourn at 6:56 p.m. Upon a voice vote, the motion carried by a vote of 5-0.


The next meeting was held May 12th. Again, a short meeting, with no Closed Session. Here's the Agenda:

MINUTES

SPECIAL MEETING

OF THE CITY OF HALF MOON BAY

CITY COUNCIL

May 12, 2005

1. Convene

The City Council convened in special session at 7:00 p.m. at the Cabrillo Unified School District Board of Directors meeting held at the Hatch School Multi-purpose Room 490 Miramontes Street, Half Moon Bay. Councilmembers present were Fraser, Gorn and Mayor Grady.

2. Discussion of Cabrillo Unified School District Governing Board Agenda Item X A. 1

3. Public Comment

None.

4. Adjourn

A motion was made by Councilmember Gorn and seconded by Councilmember Fraser to adjourn the special meeting at 9:11 p.m. Upon a voice vote, the motion carried by a vote of 3-0.


Next we have May 17th. Below is the Closed Session Agenda:

MINUTES OF THE

REGULAR & SPECIAL

MEETING

OF THE

HALF MOON BAY CITY COUNCIL

MAY 17, 2005

The City Council convened in Special Session at 7:00 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Taylor and Mayor Grady in attendance. Councilmember Gorn was absent.

RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54957.6—Conference With Labor Negotiator—City Manager—Police Officers’ Association; Management/Confidential; International Union of Operating Engineers Stationary Local 39; AFL-CIO; Police Management and Unrepresented Employees.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.9 (b) – Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation – Significant Exposure To Litigation (Three Cases).

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference with Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Wavecrest Village LLC v. City of Half Moon Bay; CIV No. 435208.

City Attorney Lindgren announced that in Closed Session the City Council gave direction but took no action.


The next Council meeting was a Regular meeting, held on June 7th. Below is the Closed Session Agenda:

MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL AND REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY OF

HALF MOON BAY CITY COUNCIL

June 7, 2005

The Special Meeting of the City of Half Moon Bay City Council was convened at 7:00 p.m.

Councilmembers present were Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn and Mayor Grady. Councilmember Taylor was absent.

Recess to Closed Session

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.9 (b) – Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation – Significant Exposure To Litigation (1 Case)

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8 – Conference with Real Property Negotiator City Manager – APN Nos. 056-081-370; 056-081-380; 056-081-390

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.8 — Conference With Property Negotiators. Property: 3072 Cabrillo Highway, APN 048-094-020. City Property Negotiators: City Manager and City Attorney. Negotiating Parties: City of Half Moon Bay & Kenneth Coverdell. Price and Terms of Payment: Under Negotiation.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Dutra v. Half Moon Bay, CIV 422894*

The Special Meeting was adjourned at 7:25 p.m.

The Regular Meeting was convened at 7:30 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn and Mayor Grady. Councilmember Taylor was absent.

City Attorney Lindgren announced that an item relating to litigation from the Cypress Cove Townhomes Association had been added to the Closed Session agenda as notification of the litigation was received after the posting of the agenda.

City Attorney Lindgren also announced that during Closed Session the City Council received information and gave direction, but no action was taken.

I always take a double take when I see "Anticipated Litigation – Significant Exposure To Litigation". How do they know? Who could it be? What's it regarding?


The next meeting was June 21. Below is the Closed Session Agenda:

MINUTES

REGULAR & SPECIAL

MEETING

OF THE

CITY COUNCIL

CITY OF HALF MOON BAY

June 21, 2005

CONVENE SPECIAL MEETING – 6:30 P.M.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6 – Conference with Labor Negotiator – City Manager – Police Officers’ Association, Management/Confidential; International Union of Operating Engineers Stationary Local 39 AFL-CIO; Police Management and Unrepresented Employees

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Wavecrest Village LLC v. City of Half Moon Bay; CIV No. 435208

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Cypress Cove Townhomes Association v. City f Half Moon Bay CIV No. 447330.

CONVENE REGULAR MEETING

The Regular Meeting was convened at the hour of 7:40 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn, Taylor and Mayor Grady present.

City Attorney Lindgren announced that during Closed Session the City Council gave direction but took no action.

This concludes the second quarter of 2005. It was a busy quarter in many regards. The City's push on the LCP Update was the top topic, but litigation still loomed.


What's with all these long copied agenda posts by George?

All it proves is that legal cases drag on for a long time and they require City Council members to get regular updates from the law firm.

The people who sued the City were moastly trying to use legal blackmail to get what they wanted. Back then, the City stood its ground and eventually won---unlike now when the Old Guard Council gives away the store to the people who sue us, like Keenan.


What all these lawsuits show is that the prior council was stubborn and stupid. This litigate everything to death will be taught in every municipal law school course in how not to do run a city. It was a flawed strategy from the start with a predictable outcome. Thanks Mike. You will always be remembered as the man who tried to sink Half Moon Bay.


The Coastal Act was based on the fact that the California coast was for ALL Californians. The problem is that many of the anti-growth groups have peverted the Coastal Act to try to stop other Californians from either visiting or living on the coast. This recent ruling proves that the anti-growth Councils were wrong by illegally denying other people their rights.

Now Pitching and Imoan_it's not that the Keenan's of the world are litigious or that anyone likes litigation. Beechwood and other places on the Coast were zoned for housing (probably before you moved here), but past anti-growth Councils have used the Coastal Act to deny other families their right to live on or enjoy coast. I think the approval process for Beechwood actually went on for some 20 years. It's gone on that way here for many more years, with the Stanford biology crowd using the Coast as it's own little land use laboratory.

You and the anti-growth Councils, like the Malibu community, do not own the coast. It's not your private BU community, as many of the locals seem to think. Other people have a right to live here. Most of these individuals have paid taxes on their property for 20, 30 or more years (including sewer bonds) without being able to build and ironically, benefitting unethical, entrenched no-growthers.

Until you realize that and stop trying to prevent other families from moving here; be prepared for more litigation, and to again, lose in Court. Abide by the original intent of the Coastal Act, don't twist it's rules to stop legal development, and you'll see a lot less litigation.


"Until you realize that and stop trying to prevent other families from moving here; be prepared for more litigation, and to again, lose in Court."

Wait long enough and they'll usually out themselves--here copping to who is litigious. Got the losing part wrong, though. Though the Coastal Act has been weakened by legal losses over the years, it has been upheld far, far more often.

Lawsuits are a tool for developers and other would-be developers to try to get around environmental and other planning and zoning provisions. Locally in HMB, they try to intimidate government by threatening expensive legal action. In doing so, it is they who create the expense for government. When they find a new gadget to add to their tool, as happened with the Walker ruling, they add it to their intimidation attempts. It's a form of legal and financial bullying that benefits a few profiteers at the expense of an entire town and its way of life. It takes guts to see past the short term, but the only way to defeat bullies is to stand up to them. The City Council failed to do that with its failure to appeal Walker and then compounded its mistake in the settlement terms with Keenan. There should be a lesson in there for them, if they can hear it above the racket created by the shills for the developers.


Hey NP, you ought to run for President. You sound just like GW.

You'd get one vote.


Now pitching_ you're missing the point but oh well...

If this lawsuit is as easy to overturn as you say, why don't you get some of your environmental lawyers to do some pro-bono work?? They've been awful quiet throughtout this process. You'd save some of that legal money you've been so critical of the City for spending to date.

By the way, did you build the house that you live in or did some "shill" developer build it for you??


"If this lawsuit is as easy to overturn as you say, why don't you get some of your environmental lawyers to do some pro-bono work??"

Just wake up from a year-long nap. Or suffering from that winged foot--is it true that you shot it yourself?

Appeal of the Walker ruling is off the table due to the settlement the CC4 made with Keenan. With the help of some very bad and expensive advice, of course. (See perhaps thousands of messages here and on Coastsider.com that go to what happened beyond your point of confusion.) The failure to appeal is what is now as instructive as ever. It's good to know where you went wrong, to correct the mistake in the future, and to know who your real enemies are. Give in to or defend the failure to appeal, and you only increase the armaments of those who attacked you legally in the first place.


Why would anybody listen to the people who made this mess. Their strategy proved to be ruinous. With that performance, you pull the pitcher immediately and bring in a relief pitcher. Who should know being pulled more than you, you rarely make it through the first inning.


"Why would anybody listen to the people who made this mess. Their strategy proved to be ruinous."

Exactly, NPN. I'm proud of you even though you are probably unaware of how you are correct. No one in their right mind would continue to pay or pay attention to the Lanny Davis legal outfit and the other bad advisors who urged dropping the appeal and going what proved to be an impossible settlement route, the impossible part being the dependence on the unacceptable AB 1991 bill. I'm not with them, but some people who are still willing to try to help the city in spite of all suggest the CC4 was simply out of its league in dealing with Walker's ruling and that is why they were prey to the bad advice and making the mistakes they did.


NP_ you're right, technically. My bad. The point remains the same though; if it was so easy to overturn, as you keep contending, any two bit law firm should have been able to win it. Right?

And again, did you say you built your own house?


This council was right and the past council was $41 million wrong. Nobody is going to listen to people which such poor results. That is why they were thrown out of the game. Horrible pitching. You can relate to that. You do it every day.


"This council was right and the past council was $41 million wrong."

Poor guy, trying to know the unknowable. Without the appeal of the ruling and with all the mistakes by the current council, nothing close to the right and wrong of anything can be determined.

Keeping the past in mind so the same mistakes won't be made over again, it's time to move on to a realistic campaign for financial relief and the future of Beachwood as the city looks forward to paying the bloodsucker who has it by the short hairs by the June, 2009, deadline.


When a pitcher is sent to the showers for getting pounded with a $41 million grand slam home run, the coach is not going to listen to the pleading for a few more pitches. You do not have a good arsenal of pitches to warrant staying in longer.

The same things goes for the appeal,the coach doesn't have confidence in his crippled pitcher. He blew it and is done. Nobody is going to listen to him anymore.

Don't you see all the garbage the angry crowds have thrown at you for your lousy pitching? You are washed up.


bloodsucker? Someone says "..paying the bloodsucker.."

Is that what we call someone who tried to excersize their rights and was repeatedly denied over a period of years by a group that violated the US Constitution?

The problem with that bunch is they got caught. The "bloodsucker" you describe, after seven plus years of being promised but denied, while taking his money all the while, got tired of it and sued. He was one of few that had staying power.

His choices were the same available to all that came in contact with Ferreira and crew: either give up, or sue. He sued and won.


The next meeting appears as July 5th, but there’s a small problem; the entire upper portion of the Agenda isn’t there. The Closed Session Agenda, which is a part of the entire Agenda, should be at the top; it’s missing. Here’s the link: Web Link

See for yourselves.

One thing that does jump out at us is this part is that Council’s political savvy. Please note their efforts to alter the rules and regs for the upcoming November election. They had a very firm grip on local power and were very reluctant to give it up. That their proposed changes were fraught with ‘issues’ made no difference. A local resident, Stacy Owens, who deals with elections for a living, tried to tell them; to no avail. They knew what they wanted and with the election coming soon they were willing to alter the Election Code, just like they’d done on so many items before, to help secure their grip.

Stacy Owens, 435 Kehoe, stated her concerns regarding the proposed ordinance. She urged the City Council to carefully review the proposed ordinance before adopting it.

A motion was made by Councilmember Gorn to approve the proposed ordinance. It was approved.

Funny thing is, Ferreira complained about the changes – After the election that he lost, as he felt those changes affected him after the fact. Life is full of irony.


The next meeting was July 7th. Here is the start of the Agenda, including the Closed Session part:

MINUTES OF THE

SPECIAL MEETING OF THE

HALF MOON BAY CITY COUNCIL

THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2005

CITY HALL CONFERENCE ROOM

501 MAIN STREET

1. Convene Special Session: 6:00 P.M.

Councilmembers Present: Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn, Taylor

Mayor Grady joined at 6:17 p.m.

Pursuant to Government Code Section 54953(b)(3), Mayor Grady participated in the Special Meeting by Audio Teleconferencing, from the following location

Wyndham Hotel, Colorado Springs, Room 915

5580 Tech Center Drive

Colorado Springs, CO 80919

Telephone Number 650-759-9528

Recess to Closed Session:

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay (Ailanto I) California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District Case No. A098920; — Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay & California Coastal Commission (Ailanto II) San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 416540; Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay (Ailanto III) San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 422561.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference with Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Wavecrest Village LLC v. City of Half Moon Bay; CIV No. 435208.


By the way, the above meeting of July 7th adjourned right afterthe Closed Session. Must have been an important Closed Session. Here's the link; see for yourselves: Web Link

Next we have July 19. Here's The Closed Session part:

MINUTES

REGULAR & SPECIAL MEETING

OF THE

HALF MOON BAY CITY COUNCIL

July 19, 2005

CONVENE SPECIAL MEETING – 6:35 p.m.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6 – Conference with Labor Negotiator – City Manager – Police Officers’ Association, Management/Confidential; International Union of Operating Engineers Stationary Local 39 AFL-CIO; Police Management and Unrepresented Employees

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Wavecrest Village LLC v. City of Half Moon Bay; CIV No. 435208

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Cypress Cove Townhomes Association v. City f Half Moon Bay CIV No. 447330.

CONVENE REGULAR MEETING – 7:35 p.m.

The Regular Meeting was convened at the hour of 7:30 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn, Taylor and Mayor Grady present.


Next we have the August 2nd Council meeting. Here's the Closed Session Agenda from that meeting:

MINUTES

REGULAR & SPECIAL MEETING

OF THE

HALF MOON BAY CITY COUNCIL

August 2, 2005

CONVENE SPECIAL MEETING – 7:00 p.m.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6 – Conference with Labor Negotiator – City Manager – Police Officers’ Association, Management/Confidential; International Union of Operating Engineers Stationary Local 39 AFL-CIO; Police Management and Unrepresented Employees

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Parness v. City of Half Moon Bay, CIV No. 443388

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Wavecrest Village LLC v. City of Half Moon Bay; CIV No. 435208

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay (Ailanto I) California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District Case No. A098920; — Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay & California Coastal Commission (Ailanto II) San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 416540; Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay (Ailanto III) San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 422561.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Cypress Cove Townhomes Association v. City f Half Moon Bay CIV No. 447330.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9—Conference with Legal Counsel—Existing Litigation—Yamagiwa v. City of Half Moon Bay, Cal. Court of Appeal, First App. Dist., Case No. A105613

CONVENE REGULAR MEETING – 7:45 p.m.

The Regular Meeting was convened at the hour of 7:45 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Taylor and Mayor Grady present. Councilmember Gorn was absent.

Note the activity here. We have a) Labor negotiations b) Terrace Avenue c) Wavecrest d) Ailanto - times 3 e) Cypress Cove f) and Beachwood

We now know how three of those items turned out. We lost.


From the August 16th meeting, we have this:

MINUTES

REGULAR & SPECIAL MEETING

OF THE

HALF MOON BAY CITY COUNCIL

August 16, 2005

CONVENE SPECIAL MEETING – 7:00 p.m.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6 – Conference with Labor Negotiator – City Manager – Police Officers’ Association, Management/Confidential; International Union of Operating Engineers Stationary Local 39 AFL-CIO; Police Management and Unrepresented Employees

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Cypress Cove Townhomes Association v. City f Half Moon Bay CIV No. 447330.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(b) – Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation – Significant Exposure to Litigation (23 cases)

CONVENE REGULAR MEETING – 7:30 p.m.

The Regular Meeting was convened at the hour of 7:30 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn, Taylor and Mayor Grady present.


By the way, further down on the August 16th Agenda above is that Council's attempt to get their collective feet out of the bucket they'd stepped in with C-5-00, the Ordinance they'd passed in 2000 which created 1828 Substandard Lots in town. See this link for more information: Web Link

Another attempt to restrict our rights gone awry.


There are Council meetings missing from the City's web site; lots of them. We need look no further than the month of August (above). That is the last August ’05 Agenda on the City web site, yet there were at least two more held later that month, on consecutive days. I know because I was there. The missing meetings are the LCP Update meetings. According to that Council, there were over 70 public LCP Update meetings.

I bring this up here because it was in August 2005 that on two consecutive nights Mayor Grady and that Council were held speechless. The first evening was when they'd received a fax from Ronald Zumbrun ESQ, citing some of the illegalities of their attempted Update. The next night Zumbrun came to HMB and showed them. That LCP Update stopped right there, as Zumbrun publicly explained the consistent illegalities and cited case after case after case as examples. Lindgren, from our contracted legal firm of the recently fired Meyers Nave stuttered and mumbled attempted responses then fell silent.

Zumbrun was gracious enough to follow our repeated comments and concerns with his legal expertise.

Game played. Thank you Mr. Zumbrun, for saving our town from yet more illegal actions that would have added untold Millions of dollars in awards from the legal actions that would have resulted.


The next meeting we see from the City web site is September 6th. Here's the Closed Session part of that Agenda:

MINUTES

REGULAR & SPECIAL MEETING

OF THE

HALF MOON BAY CITY COUNCIL

September 6, 2005

CONVENE SPECIAL MEETING – 7:00 p.m.

The Special Meeting was convened at the hour of 7:00 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn and Mayor Grady present. Councilmember Taylor was absent.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.8 — Conference With Property Negotiators. Property: 3072 Cabrillo Highway, APN 048-094-020. City Property Negotiators: City Manager and City Attorney. Negotiating Parties: City of Half Moon Bay & Kenneth Coverdell. Price and Terms of Payment: Under Negotiation.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay (Ailanto I) California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District Case No. A098920; — Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay & California Coastal Commission (Ailanto II) San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 416540; Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay (Ailanto III) San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 422561.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.8 — Conference With Property Negotiators. Properties: APN Nos. 056-230-080; 056-250-050; 056-250-160; 056-310-060. Temporary Construction Easement Document Nos. 57586-1; 57590-1; 57589; 57571; 57567; 57578.City Property Negotiators: City Manager and City Attorney. Price and Terms of Payment: Under Negotiation.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Cypress Cove Townhomes Association v. City of Half Moon Bay CIV No. 447330.

CONVENE REGULAR MEETING – 7:30 p.m.

The Regular Meeting was convened at the hour of 7:30 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn and Mayor Grady present. Councilmember Taylor was absent.

Note Taylor's absence. She made very few meetings between July and November of 2005, her final year.


This is the last meeting observed in September '05, on the City web site. Here's the entire Agenda:

MINUTES

REGULAR & SPECIAL

MEETING

OF THE

CITY COUNCIL

CITY OF HALF MOON BAY

SEPTEMBER 20, 2005

CONVENE SPECIAL MEETING – 7:00 P.M.

COUNCILMEMBERS PRESENT: Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn, Taylor. Mayor Grady was absent.

Recess to Closed Session

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.9 (b) – Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation – Significant Exposure To Litigation (2 Cases)

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Cypress Cove Townhomes Association v. City of Half Moon Bay CIV No. 447330.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Yamagiwa v. City of Half Moon Bay CIV 449464.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Crunugelj-Gale v. City of Half Moon Bay CIV No. 449378.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6 – Conference with Labor Negotiator – City Manager – Police Officers’ Association, Management/Confidential; International Union of Operating Engineers Stationary Local 39 AFL-CIO; Police Management and Unrepresented Employees.

The special meeting was adjourned at 7:28 p.m.

This concludes the third calendar quarter of meetings for the 2005 Council. Note Cypress Cove, Yamagiwa (Beachwood), and Gale. That would be Saso Gale, the gentleman who, to this day, is still simply trying to build a modest home for his family on his lot on Terrace Avenue.


The next meeting was held on October 4th. Here’s the Closed Session Agenda:

MINUTES

REGULAR & SPECIAL MEETING

OF THE

HALF MOON BAY CITY COUNCIL

October 4, 2005

CONVENE SPECIAL MEETING – 6:30 p.m.

The Special Meeting was convened at the hour of 6:30 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn and Mayor Grady present. Councilmember Taylor was absent.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay (Ailanto I) California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District Case No. A098920; — Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay & California Coastal Commission (Ailanto II); San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 416540; Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay (Ailanto III); San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. 422561

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Yamagiwa v. City of Half Moon Bay CIV 449464

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6 – Conference with Labor Negotiator – City Manager – Police Officers’ Association, Management/Confidential; International Union of Operating Engineers Stationary Local 39 AFL-CIO; Police Management and Unrepresented Employees

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.8 —Conference With Property Negotiators. Property: APN 048-270-070 and 048-270-080, South of Sewer Plant Road. City Property Negotiators: City Manager and City Attorney. Negotiating Parties: City of Half Moon Bay & Peninsula Humane Society. Price and Terms of Payment: Under Negotiation.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.9 (b) – Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation – Significant Exposure To Litigation (1 Case)

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Honor F. Paoli and John Paoli, Trustees of the Giovanni and Honor F. Paoli Trust – CIV Case 449585

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 — Conference With Legal Counsel — Existing Litigation — Crunugelj-Gale v. City of Half Moon Bay CIV No. 449378

CONVENE REGULAR MEETING – 7:30 p.m.

The Regular Meeting was convened at the hour of 7:30 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn and Mayor Grady present. Councilmember Taylor was absent.

We continue to see a full legal Agenda. Ailanto and Beachwood continue their presence. Those properties abut each other on the east side of Hwy 1. Both developers felt forced to litigate. Both actions have come with a healthy price tag. A good argument could be made that the forced actions of both were unnecessary. Taylor was absent again.


October 18th was next. Here's the Closed Session Agenda:

Minutes of the Regular & Special Meeting

City of Half Moon Bay City Council

October 18, 2005

The City Council convened in Special Session at the hour of 6:30 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn and Mayor Grady present. Councilmember Taylor was absent.

RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION — 6:30 P.M.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6 – Conference with Labor Negotiator – City Manager – Police Officers’ Association, Management/Confidential; International Union of Operating Engineers Stationary Local 39 AFL-CIO; Police Management and Unrepresented Employees.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8 – Conference with Property Negotiators. Property: 3072 Cabrillo Highway, APN 048-094-202. City Property Negotiators: City Manager and City Attorney. Negotiation Parties: City of Half Moon Bay & Kenneth Coverdell. Price and Terms of Payment: Under Negotiation

• Don’t forget special agenda items also! (Wavecrest Litigation? Check with Adam)

The City Council convened in Regular Session at 7:30 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn and Mayor Grady present. Councilmember Taylor was absent.

City Attorney Lindgren said that during Closed Session the City Council discussed and gave direction on labor negotiations; gave direction regarding property negotiations for 3072 Cabrillo Highway, and stated that an emergency item was added to the Closed Session regarding the Wavecrest v. City of HMB litigation.

Among other things, there was more extensive discussion on Kehoe Ditch (further down on the Agenda).

Note Taylor's absence again.


This next meeting was November 1st, and the last Council meeting prior to the City election of 2005. Here's the Closed Session Agenda:

Minutes of the Regular & Special Meeting

City of Half Moon Bay City Council

November 1, 2005

The City Council convened in Special Session at the hour of 6:30 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn and Mayor Grady present. Councilmember Taylor was absent.

RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION — 6:30 P.M.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.9 (b) – Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation – Significant Exposure To Litigation (1 Case)

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.8 — Conference With Property Negotiators. Property: 3072 Cabrillo Highway, APN 048-094-020. City Property Negotiators: City Manager and City Attorney. Negotiating Parties: City of Half Moon Bay & Kenneth Coverdell. Price and Terms of Payment: Under Negotiation.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Cypress Cove Townhomes Association v. City of Half Moon Bay CIV No. 447330.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6 – Conference with Labor Negotiator – City Manager – Police Officers’ Association, Management/Confidential; International Union of Operating Engineers Stationary Local 39 AFL-CIO; Police Management and Unrepresented Employees

CONVENE REGULAR SESSION

The City Council convened in Regular Session at 7:30 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn and Mayor Grady present. Councilmember Taylor was absent.

Note Taylor’s absence again. She did not run for re-election in 2005. She missed most meetings from June through the election. She did, however, make the next meeting on November 15th. We’ll see that one shortly.


One more item of note, further down the November 1st meeting (above), was this one with HOST:

13. Half Moon Bay Open Space Trust (HOST) Accomplishments and Request for Waiver of ARC/Sign Permit Fees

City Manager Ryan presented the staff report and introduced Mary Mitchell of the Half Moon Bay Open Space Trust.

Ms. Mitchell provided a list of HOST accomplishments and requested that the City Council waive the ARC/Sign Permit Fees.

Motion by Grady/Fraser to approve the fee waiver. Upon a voice vote, the motion carried by a vote of 4-0, with Councilmember Taylor absent.

Now let's see the old one hand wash the other at the November 15th meeting which follows.

By the way, Grady was Mayor. He was also a member of HOST.

No recusal?


The next meeting was a contiuation of the November 1st meeting. Here's the Closed Session Agenda, and a bit more:

Minutes of the Continued Regular & Special Meeting

City of Half Moon Bay City Council

November 3, 2005

The City Council convened in Special Session at the hour of 6:30 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn and Mayor Grady present. Councilmember Taylor was absent.

RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION — 6:30 P.M.

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.9 (b) – Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation – Significant Exposure To Litigation (1 Case)

• Pursuant To Government Code Section 54956.8 — Conference With Property Negotiators. Property: 3072 Cabrillo Highway, APN 048-094-020. City Property Negotiators: City Manager and City Attorney. Negotiating Parties: City of Half Moon Bay & Kenneth Coverdell. Price and Terms of Payment: Under Negotiation.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Cypress Cove Townhomes Association v. City of Half Moon Bay CIV No. 447330.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6 – Conference with Labor Negotiator – City Manager – Police Officers’ Association, Management/Confidential; International Union of Operating Engineers Stationary Local 39 AFL-CIO; Police Management and Unrepresented Employees

CONVENE CONTINUED REGULAR MEETING – 7:30 P.M.

(Meeting Continued from November 1, 2005)

The City Council convened the Continued Regular Meeting at 7:30 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn and Mayor Grady present. Councilmember Taylor was absent.

City Attorney Lindgren reported that during Closed Session the City Council received information and gave direction regarding labor negotiations and anticipated litigation and that the City Council added an item to Closed Session Agenda relating to Wavecrest.

City Attorney Lindgren announced that the Supreme Court denied a request to hear the Yamagiwa v. City of Half Moon Bay case.

PUBLIC HEARINGS AND ORDINANCES

1. Discussion and Possible Action on Proposed Amendments to the City Local Coastal Program: Revisions to Chapter 17.06, 18.04 and LUP Policy 9.4 to Implement Measure D; Failed Wells Policy; LUP Chapters 1 and 3; PDP-88-04.

Planning Director Liebster presented the staff report, assisted by Planning Consultant Wendy Lama and City Attorney Lindgren.

Note the Council's continued determination to send something, anything, to the Coastal Commission to alter the LCP, for Certification.

Again, note Taylor's absence.


We now have the last meeting of that Council. The election had taken place. It was an historic election for this little town, and was bitterly contested. Ferreira thought he'd won, but as the votes continued to be counted his lead over McClung was disappearing, and eventually gone. He called for a recount, which took us into January. The recount proved he'd lost.

This Closed Session Agenda was fairly benign. We have labor negotiations and the eminent domain matters regarding the Hwy 92 project (23 cases):

Minutes of the Regular & Special Meeting

City of Half Moon Bay City Council

November 15, 2005

The City Council convened in Special Session at the hour of 6:30 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn and Mayor Grady present. (Councilmember Taylor arrived at 7:00 p.m.)

RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION — 6:30 P.M.

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6 – Conference with Labor Negotiator – City Manager – Police Officer’ Association, Management/Confidential, International Union of Operating Engineers Stationary Local 39 AFL-CIO; Police Management and Unrepresented Employees

• Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(b) – Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation - Significant Exposure to Litigation (23 cases)

CONVENE REGULAR SESSION

The City Council convened in Regular Session at 7:30 p.m. with Councilmembers Ferreira, Fraser, Gorn, Taylor and Mayor Grady present.

Please note Taylor’s presence. This will be apparent later in the meeting.


There were 11 Agenda Items that evening. The place was packed. As evening turned to night, members of the public went home. That's fairly common, as most have to get up early the next day and deal with their lives. The very last Item on this Agenda, Number 11, was 144 Kelly, the property (legal buildable lot the City had purchased for $500,000.00 - our money, (abutting Grady’s on the northwest corner) and it's future disposition. HOST was scheduled to be the benefactor of a Conservation Easement to be placed on that parcel, at our expense. Taylor opened Public Comment on Item 11 at 11:40 PM.

We remember HOST, don't we? At the November 1st meeting Grady recognized them and gave them a free ride on fees. He was also a member of HOST, and if memory serves me had been on their Board; yet he did not recuse himself, nor did he disclose his relationship with them as he sat and discussed, then voted to grant their Request for Waiver of ARC/Sign Permit Fees. Here's Item 11:

11. Discussion and Possible Adoption of Resolution Authorizing City Manager to Execute a Conservation Easement Deed for 144 Kelly Avenue (APN: 056-096-590) in Favor of the Half Moon Bay Open Space Trust

Mayor Grady recused himself from the discussion and left the meeting.

Vice Mayor Taylor took over as chair of the meeting.

Joe Chapman of the City Attorney’s office presented the staff report.

Vice Mayor Taylor opened Public Comment at 11:40 p.m.

Chris Mickelsen said he opposes the proposed conservation easement.

Naomi Patridge, 487 Laurel, said that this lot would be a good spot for a city parking lot.

Terry Gosset, Californians for Property Rights, said he opposes the proposed conservation easement.

5

Draft Minutes

11/15/05

Joel Farbstein, 412 6th Street, Montara, said that concerned citizens just want the opportunity to fully research the options for this property before any action is taken.

George Muteff, 408 Redondo Beach Road, said that the City should sell this property rather than place a permanent conservation easement on it.

Ken King, 633 Terrace, said that he recently saw owls on this property.

Steve Wilson, 157 Miramontes, suggested a conservation-serving use of the property (interpretive center) might be more appropriate. He further suggested that a gift of funds from the sale of this property would ensure the survival of the Coastside Medical Center.

John Von Almen, read a letter from Melissa Lane into the record stating her support for the conservation easement on this property.

Vice Mayor Taylor closed Public Comment at 11:55 a.m.

Further discussion ensued between the City Council and staff.

Motion by Ferreira/Gorn to adopt the resolution directing the City Manager to execute a Conservation Easement Deed for 144 Kelly in favor of the Half Moon Bay Open Trust. Upon a voice vote, the motion carried 3-1, with Councilmember Fraser voting no and Mayor Grady recused.

ADJOURNMENT:

Motion by Ferreira/Fraser to adjourn at the hour of 12:15 a.m. Upon a voice vote, the motion carried by a vote of 4-0, with Councilmember Grady absent and the meeting was adjourned.

Isn't it funny how friends help friends? Taylor wasn't going to miss this one.


That concludes the Closed Session meetings of that cast of characters. What a way to go out; with a bang (144 Kelly). They lost their bid to maintain control of our town, and it was a bitter battle.

So, from 2000-2005, that cast of characters ruled. No Growth controlled our town and it has cost us dearly. We will be paying for their deeds for many years to come.

Judge for yourselves regarding their litigious posture. Some call it predatory.

Again, the link to the City Council Minutes is: Web Link

If you have the time and interest, go see for yourselves. Take your time; browse through them. There is a lot more information there. You will learn how we were handled by this bunch.


As a guide to editorial comments in the above slog:

Web Link


For those that can't seem to bring any substance to this discussion, perhaps you can explain this: Web Link

The kink is to a Review piece from December 11, 2001. It shows a very busy Council.

Here's a quote from the piece: "Discussed the 12 lawsuits pending against the city regarding land use in closed session."

Does that say twelve lawsuits? Land use litigation? Closed Session?

No wonder Lindgren made partner with Meyers Nave.


Second line, second word should read link, not kink.


You'll find this little gem in the same Review piece link above: "Approved a resolution to preliminarily approve an amendment to the city's contract with the state Public Employees' Retirement System. The amendment, which will come to the council for approval on Jan. 8, increases the city's contribution to the police officers' retirement system."

"The amendment increases the city's contribution from 1.75 percent of salary to 7.93 percent. This will cost the city $79,353 for the 2001-2 fiscal year. The annual cost is projected at $158,706, some of which is a one-time cost to get the new system running."

Who was that that was complaining about Police Salaries? Blaming this Council for wages gone wild? Take a look here Lansing, Boville, Parr. It wasn't this Council that got us here; it was your friends. After all, it wasn't their money.


Thank you George, for all your good work.


Thank you, winged foot, for your input.


To tag onto my post above (Sept 7 @ 12:46) regarding the 144 Kelly Conservation Easement, take a look at this piece: Web Link

It's another Review piece, titled, "Talk Of The Town-City official gets stop work order from planning dept.", dated May 14, 2002.

Apparently Grady had a few issues while constructing his house. Here's the opening paragraph: "On May 10, an ongoing quarrel with neighbor David Labuda escalated for Half Moon Bay City Councilman Jim Grady when Labuda notified the Half Moon Bay Planning Department that Grady's contractor was grading his property at 149 Miramontes between six to 12 feet too far to the west, damaging the old Ocean Shore Railroad right of way."

Isn't that the piece we ended up conserving?

Here's the closing paragraph: "While he campaigned during the elections in November 2001, Grady said, "There is nothing built on (right of way) and it is the only clear line of demarcation between the open space and the development. If that falls, where do you stop?"

"...where do you stop?", indeed.


Here's another Review piece demonstrating the litigious nature of this cast of characters titled, "City settles five Beuth lawsuits":

Web Link

This piece, from November 12, 2002, is simply more evidence of that Council's arrogance and the tangled web they wove; the web we're paying for now, and for many years to come. Here’s an excerpt: “Beuth, who owns 46 infill lots in Half Moon Bay's Grandview Terrace neighborhood, sued the city over its distribution of Measure A certificates in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. He also filed a suit claiming the city violated his civil rights in 1999 by not accepting his Measure A applications that year.” Note the dates.

As we dig deeper into the narrow cast of characters, the timeline of their actions, and the consistant ‘pattern of behavior’, we continue to find supporting documentation and evidence of their goals and their idea of law – versus - our laws. It’s not pretty.


Another very interesting piece is this one, titled, "City Council trampled residents rights", written by Bill Bennett, and published in the Review on August 14, 2001: Web Link

A quote from this piece is very telling; "The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits any level of government agency from taking individual property rights without providing just compensation. The Supreme Court has held that government actions taking away easements or public rights of way, or any governmental action that diminishes the value of personal property, can be considered constitutional takings requiring compensation."

Now remember, this was in 2001 - a little over one year after the May 2, 2000, CDP denial to Beachwood. Same format here, just different property. Fast forward to 11-28-07 and we have this: Web Link ;The Beachwood Judgment from Federal Court Judge Walker, clearly stating what Mr. Bennett described in his piece.

"Pattern of behavior"? Sure looks like it to me. What do you think?


On March 13, 2001, the Review published this piece: "In the Public Eye: HMB City Council March 6". Here's the link: Web Link

At that Council meeting, held March 6, 2001, some time and discussion went toward land use litigation; specifically how we'd pay for it.

From the piece: "The first item discussed during the open session was Councilman Coleman's suggestion of a parcel tax to go toward the city's legal defense fund. Coleman said that, because the city has been facing so many expensive lawsuits, the council should discuss putting a parcel tax on the next ballot to help pay its legal fees. "As far as land use, we get surprised with rather large legal bills," Coleman said. "Should we keep getting surprised or should we create a financial plan to deal with these surprises?"

In response, Wayne Hinthorn said, "I wonder if it ever occurred to the council that these surprises were the result of bad policies," said local resident Wayne Hinthorn. "Low-growth and no-growth policies have always proven to not work well."

Further down the piece is this; "We are facing mounting pressures that have financial costs to them," Ruddock said. "If we really want to preserve land, frankly, we have to buy it."

I've known Ruddock since her kids and my kids were at Hatch together; a long time.

That is the smartest collection of words I've heard or seen in print from her.


"That is the smartest collection of words I've heard or seen in print from her."

And your credentials for judging the intelligence of another are...? None in evidence on TalkAbout, so maybe you can fill us in?

Next thing we know, the fallacy monger will be commenting on logic.


NP,What are your credentials for making an intelligent point? None. You walk everybody you face because your logic is off target.


Now Pitching_ What specifically in George's comments are fallacy?

Maybe you could fill us in?

From what I've seen, George has certainly made a much better effort at getting at the true facts than you ever have.

In fact, you actually never address the issue other than responding with your contrarian rants.

Get right with your conscience someday.


Isn't it obvious that NP does not know how to pitch. His ERA is worse than Mayor Mike's golf score.


On April 25, 2001, the Review published this: "Ailanto sues Half Moon Bay". Here's the link: Web Link

The piece starts with; "The developer of the 126-house Pacific Ridge subdivision has filed a lawsuit against the city of Half Moon Bay. Ailanto Properties is demanding the right to compensation for sewer and water assessments and the right to have its vesting tentative map extended." Sound familiar?

Lindgren's presence is evident with this; ""They are not asking the city to do something," said city attorney Adam Lindgren. "They are just asking the court to declare their rights. "What they are trying to do here is ensure that they have time to build their project and get some of the money back that they paid to the city," he said."

It's a piece worth reading.


On March 8, 2001, the Review published this piece by Steven Hyman: "How litigation can be expensive to our health". Here's the link: Web Link

Hyman discusses the cost of land use litigation, which was mounting at the time with Wavecrest, Beachwood, and Ailanto (Pacific Ridge) due to the actions of our Council and their interactions with developers attempting local projects. To this day, the only one truly settled is Wavecrest.

Hyman warns us of what’s to come. Another piece worth reading.

Does Hyman have a good crystal ball or what?


On March 8, 2001, the Review published this piece titled "Go ahead, sue me". Here's the link: Web Link

The piece starts with; "Will looming lawsuits halt Half Moon Bay's efforts to limit growth, save open space and control overzealous developers? Maybe not. As one of the 44 bills that state Senator Byron Sher, D-Palo Alto, introduced during this legislative session, SB 1164 will provide some fiscal relief for those mounting legal costs the city of Half Moon Bay accrues while defending its Local Coastal Program (LCP). Currently, the state does not reimburse local governments for expenses incurred defending land use decisions. If approved by the legislature, the bill will provide eligible coastal cities with $500,000 for legal fights if the Attorney General's office joins in the lawsuit. These funds would have easily covered the cost of the $300,000 Beachwood lawsuit that Half Moon Bay lost in San Mateo County Superior Court last month, as well as helped to pay for an appeal of that decision. (The City Council unanimously voted to deny the 80-house subdivision a coastal development permit because of environmental concerns.)"

$300,000 legal cost for Beachwood? Try $5 Million by the time all was said and done with the Federal Judgment offered up by Judge Walker on 11-28-07, plus a $41 Million reparation.

Again we see the phrase "...while defending its Local Coastal Program (LCP)."

Is that really what we were doing, or rather what was being offered as explaination for actions taken by our elected and appointed officials to satisfy the personal goals of the League for Coastside Protection (LCP) members and sympathizers that ran this town at that time?


Thanks for reminding me of that piece I wrote 7 years ago. Wow, to think that things I wrote so long ago are out there for anyone to find so easily. That's a little scary!

But what was really interesting about writing this column was all the hate letters I got. In the 12 years I've been writing for the Review, this was the second most controversial one. (The other being about the Ritz opening and the wealthy people they will attract & how it will change HMB).

As you can imagine. I received many negative responses to this both in the open line section and mailed to me directly. They all kind of said we will fight these developers until we go broke. Sometimes you should be careful for what you ask for because it may come true.

And say to say for all of us we got what we asked for.


On December 13, 2000, the Rview published three pieces of concern here:

1) "The cold war of the coast"

Here's the link: Web Link

This one starts with, "The tunnel, Wavecrest Village, Moss Beach Highlands, Beachwood, and Pacific Ridge are all names whose mention gives migraine headaches to Coastsiders with both pro-growth and no-growth leanings. For years the merits of these developments have been debated in committees, councils commissions, courts and cafes with little consensus."

2) "Coastal Commission to decide Pacific Ridge"

Here's the link: Web Link

3) "Beachwood subdivision in court this Thursday"

Here's the link: Web Link

The last two are self explanatory through the title. All three are worth the visit.


George, I have to thank you (as I did in another topic) for keeping us updated on this matter. The articles and posts and info from the city arrive at different times, sort of like puzzle pieces spread out on the livingroom coffee table.

You've gone a long way toward filling in the outside borders. Now we need to help by following your links and checking to see that the puzzle pieces fit.

Actually, you've filled in more than just the borders. I figure some people won't believe it all unless they fit the pieces in themselves. So let's get to it.

I'm sick of Now Pitching standing outside the livingroom window yelling that we don't have the right puzzle, you've mixed up pieces from several puzzles or there are NO puzzle pieces in front of us...

They are there for us to fit together. Let's do it.


Hyman was wrong then and he's wrong now. We gotta stop these greedy capitalistic shills from ruining Half Moon Bay. Let's get a recall going and kick the current bums out along with Hyman and his moneygrubbing obsession to sell more homes. His column is just a front to make money but to me its best used for the bottom of my bird cage. We gotta keep on fighting and take our town back.


"We gotta keep on fighting and take our town back."

It will take awhile to get the town back from the destruction contemplated and begun by Ruddock, Coleman, Taylor, Ferreira and Grady. Hopefully they have not done serious enough harm. Ferreira and Grady are still trying.


We need Ferreira even more now. We gotta take back this place before its completely ruined by greedy developers and Realtors like HYman who only care about the almighty $$$. The CC4 sold us down the river without a paddle. We need MIke


The facts are clear. The 'pattern of behavior' by this cast of characters is consistent over a long period of time.

Their goals are clear. Anyone that seeks our vote and money in pursuit of an elected position, and then works to satisfy their own personal goals at the expense of the voters (public), immorally and illegally, needs to be held ‘Accountable’.

Anyone that would prefer the type of government expressed here, and here Web Link , and here Web Link over what our State and US Constitutions offer may want to consider living somewhere that fulfills that preference; Russia, Syria, Cuba, and Venezuela come to mind.

Some are born sheep. The rest of us will continue to seek ‘Accountability’ for those responsible for our current position, and we will continue to seek individuals that do what they were elected to do; help us enjoy a better quality of life now and in the future by meeting the needs and goals of the majority.

In the end, when we vote we give the most sacred offering we have; our trust. We trust that individual, or those individuals, with our most prized holdings; our families, ourselves, and our assets. That’s the basis of our form of government. For those that want, or need to be told what to do and how to live there are plenty of alternatives.


Here's a piece from the Review, "Poor planning can cost lives", that addresses our infrastructure. Here's the link: Web Link

This piece, from November 15, 2000, speaks to our roads, their usage, and what's needed. Referencing this stretch, "Highway 1 between Half Moon Bay and Moss Beach", California Department of Transportation engineer Jim McCrank offers (from the piece), ..there is no question that the road wouldn't be quite as dangerous if a thousand cars traveled it a day rather than the current 11,000.

That was then. I'd love to see the numbers now.

Think of how much we've spent in legal fees over the last ten years, "defending" the indefensible, and don't forget the cost of the penalties we will now (& in the future) pay for the No Growth at any cost, and it's very evident that this cast of characters has hurt us all, in many ways, for a long time, and many years to come. The cost is huge.

The cost comes out of our pockets, out of our family time, out of our quality of life, out of our property, and out of our children's education and lack of local resources, to name a few measures.

Our attorneys, and the attorneys of those we've fought, have made a bundle. Those monies should have stayed right here, improving our infrastructure, schools, parks, and all the other resources we so desperately need.


Keep Fighting_ Whose house do you live in? Did you build it or did a developer build it? Does that make you a greedy capitalist and a schill?

Did you also buy the whole Coast, while you were at it? The way you talk, it's as if you (and only your kind) own the Coast and are therefore, just plain greedy.


Review's cartoon summed it up good. Our stupid leaders folded without a fight should have fought them with appeal. We would win and save millions. City sold out to developers and greedy Realtors who drool over $$$$$$. Principals matter and we got none. Bunch of weak sellouts.


When I see comments like the one above, I realize the importance of a comment I made above; "Anyone that would prefer the type of government expressed here, and here Web Link , and here Web Link over what our State and US Constitutions offer may want to consider living somewhere that fulfills that preference; Russia, Syria, Cuba, and Venezuela come to mind."

The United States Of America is based on Capitalism, and the rule of the majority. There is no one here, posting on TA or anywhere else, that have no bills.

One advantage to Capitalism is the ability of us all to chase our dreams and collect compensation measured to our 'success' of that pursuit. But we can't eat money, or shelter ourselves with currency, or do any of the things we need or want with money. We can, however, use the money we receive to buy the things we need and want; to achieve our goals. That investment benefits everyone.

To call someone “money grubbing” because they prefer a profession as a realtor, or carpenter, or Preacher, or teacher, or small business owner, or restaurateur is absurd.

I suspect KF is confused. He/she is mixing a person’s profession with a decision made by our current Council. One has nothing to do with the other, yet this person (who hides behind the cloak of anonymity) casts aspersions in all directions except his own.

Perhaps a long visit to one of the countries mentioned above might help this individual appreciate what they currently have, and the very foundation of the great country; perhaps not, who knows. History is littered with mindless followers.


The concept of Capitalism was certainly appreciated by Lindgren and his partners at Meyers Nave, but I guess that's OK with some.


There were to many reasons to fight the developers who want to ruin our town. It also makes me sick to see people like Hyman pushing development so he sells more big money homes. thats all he cares about. How much did Keenan pay him to push his views? This is disgusting


In my opinion, Steven Hyman is a fair and honest man whose opinion is much more correct than wrong. I cannot recall ever hearing Mr Hyman "pushing development so he sells more big money homes"

So, Keep Fighting, any facts on this subject or is it all conjecture?


Im so tied of this place going down the toilet. Everybodys kissing Keenans you know what. Ive read Hymans propaganda garbage for years and hes so full of it. Its just a paid ad so he can sucker people into buying more overpriced homes here. What a phony. We should have fought Keenan to the end.


KF_ Again, did you buy HMB? You obviously didn't spend any of your own money to buy Beachwood. That's the only way you can "tell" other land owners not to build here. They've paid property and bond taxes on their property, typically for years. You've benefitted from it.

When did you move here? Did the bridge go up right after that?

Who are you the judge, jury and the elitist?

Who's "we" and who are you to say that other people are suckers?

Get right with your conscience someday.


I've been fortunate to be able to express my opinions through the Review for the past dozen years. Its also been a lot of fun too. Most of the time, I write about things that are not controversial but then there are things that I know will hit a nerve.

I thought the City's change of direction to fight everything was a dangerous strategy that we couldn't win due to our limited financial resources. As I said above, I was amazed at the large number of "fan mail" I got although I knew the piece would be thought provoking.

What's been fun about the blogs both here and on Coastsider is the interaction with people. Most of the time you can have intelligent and informative dialog with people. In a few cases, you get to spar with the likes of HMB's Star Pitcher or my new found friend KF.

I have thick skin and I'm having a good time. And at 6am, its kind of hard to sucker people into buying a home. And to those who don't like my column, its ok for birdcages and probably wrapping fish too.


"I have thick skin and I'm having a good time. And at 6am, its kind of hard to sucker people into buying a home. And to those who don't like my column, its ok for birdcages and probably wrapping fish too."

Well, it is all about you, Steven--and those commissions, now and in the ever-growing future.


Np,

When people work in the service business thats how they make a living. The better the service, the more satisfied customers they have. And my column is a service I do for free for the community. Some like the free advice and some don't. All I know about you is that the vast majority of your comments are rude and irrelevant. It is hard having an intelligent discussion when the other party doesn't make a meaningful point.


Gosh, Steven, I'm already aware of your underlying quest for commissions, whether or not what you suggest is good for the community. That's the main factor to keep in mind when reading your messages, isn't it?

Sorta like Keenan's clear statement that he decides based on his financial self interest. That frames any and every consideration of anything to do with him.


Now Pitching = Keep Fighting. It is pretty obvious. Your hate for capitalism and your envy of those who succeed in this system are the primary motivation for your diatribes. NP, you couldn't shake the dust from Mr. Hyman's shoes. I know your dream would be to have some sort of socialized state where those "evil" successful people would have their comeuppance, have their property confiscated to give to "deserving" unfortunates, like yourself. Winged foot, as to whether NP lives in a house he built himself...his type of dwelling is dug, not built. He might even live an a bunker, like Trotsky's in Mexico City.


Wow, acD, know you won't consider it, but I'd suggest changing psychics.


This isn't Carl Marx's Russia. Here all businesses are based on sales whether it is a gas station, supermarket or a little shop on Main Street. Sales makes the world go round. The better you satisfy the customers' needs the better you do.

In my business, many people provide the same function so the ones who do best provide a higher level of consumer satisfaction. If companies don't have sales, they lay off employees because they can't cover their overhead. When companies thrive, so do their people who go out and buy goods and services. Growth is good and keeps things rolling.

Carl's vision of the world crumbled because it was a failed strategy. And so is yours.


>>This isn't Carl Marx's Russia.<<

Nor is it Karl Marx's London, England.

--Darin

www.montarafog.com


Your kind of unbalanced growth is cancer, Steven. Your stolid belief that "growth is good" (ergo, more commissions) is as impractical as any of Marx's hypothetical ideals because it is disconnected from physical reality. You want more and more out of the same finite supply. The overdevelopment of HMB going forward can only further degrade the place for all, whether or not it provides "sales."


NP_ Are you the only one with rights? You can live here but others can't. No one else can build on their land? God's chosen few, huh?

Why don't you leave the Coast, if it's your belief that growth is bad? You were part of the growth right? And if you really believe it, do the right thing and leave (and tear down your house too, when you leave, that way everyone else can enjoy it as free open space)


I don't understand about the over development of HMB because the stats just don't bear it out. The number of raw land sales over the past 18 months have been tiny and for good reason. It takes too long to get a permit and the costs keep rising. When you combine that with flat home prices, it becomes unprofitable for builders to make money.

Spyglass was the last big project built here totaling 50 or so homes. Selling that many expensive homes took 4-5 years. The Seymour homes took almost 2 years for 20 less expensive homes.

Its a myth that this place will explode if we build a lot of homes. For a variety of reasons, HMB is just not that popular despite that our home prices are way below the county average. People seem to prefer paying more to live over the hill.

So to all the no-growth people I say sincerely just relax. Selling the Pacific Ridge an Ocean Colony homes is going to take 5-8 years to sell. And it looks like the State is going to throw us a generous bone to do nothing with Beachwood.

And about growth, its good for business. If the Ritz sells more rooms, thats good. If the restaurants sell more meals that good. The opposite means job loss and business failure and thats bad. There is very few positive things you can say about business doing worse.


Bringing this back to topic, I just completed duplication of the Meyers Nave contract with the City. Its "effective date" was April 15, 1996. It has seven Amendments, and of course we know that contract was terminated June 30, 2008.

It's titled "Let's Look At The Personnel". Here's the link: Web Link


A consistent no-growther would be opposed to human breeding, while advocating (and once having said his/her piece, then practicing) suicide, for reverse-growth's sake. The best method to reverse growth is to stop breeding and kill ourselves. Any way you cut it, human beings are gumming up the ecosystem.


Take a walk on the wild side, get outside your houses and away from your computers. Check out the ROR tour a week from Saturday. You'll see blufftops, birds, snakes and frogs, residents and visitors enjoying this open space. You'll note that Grady's house is nowhere near the easement. God, that's an old topic.

Really, I think you forget why we live here and why tourists come over to visit. That is if they can get through commute level "F" to get anywhere.

Yes, we should have appealed and perhaps the cut and paste king georgie should look at who is currently in charge of the store. And perhaps Clay could minimize all that existing data he puts on here ad nauseum so there could be dialogue on these blogs instead of just scrolling through easily obtained public information. Suggestion: George, you and wingboot and brian (there's another blogger but I'm too tired to scroll back up - oh yeah, I hit) start a book club and go over every city council statement word by word - or take a walk on the wild side. It's a short tour for those of us out of shape from too much blogging


"You'll note that Grady's house is nowhere near the easement."

That not true at all

In fact, his house involves two easements:

1) 144 Kelly is directly to the northwest and abuts Grady's property.

2) A sewer easement runs across the northern property line. I imagine you are sitting down in front of your computer. Good.

Imagine that a normal citizen went to the City and asked them to abandon a sewer easement on the citizen's property. How quickly would they be laughed at and ridiculed, you ask?

In the case of Grady, a City Councilman at the time, that ridicule did not happen. In fact, the City went ahead and abandoned a 10-foot easement and put in a smaller 5-foot easement, enabling Grady to fit his monster house into the smallish, triangle shaped lot. Even then, he still needed to have the net/gross lot rule changed in his favor. Do you think this is preferential treatment?


On top of Brian's add on, which is absolutely correct, I might offer those that offer nothing of substance several points.

Personal attacks don't change the message. The reason you attempt to alter the direction of discussion is simple; you don't like what's being said, you can not counter the facts, and you're not willing to do any research at all to even try to redirect with any counter-data.

As to Level Of Service (LOS) on 92, or any other of our local roads, the LOS is the result of zero improvements or additional roads to offset the LOS. Moreover, your lcp group controlled this City from 1996-2005. They did nothing positive that I can find and that includes improving our infrastructure. Further, it has been long suspected Ferreira and crew 'purchased' the 92 'park' to keep 92 two lanes in perpetuity, thereby restricting future growth as our infrastructure wouldn't handle it. Perhaps you missed Zumbrun's visit in August, 2005. He demonstrated case after case of court challenges and victories from CA cities that knew their infrastructure needed improving, wouldn't improve it, then used it as an excuse to deny projects.

One more thing; I was under the impression that the Editor use beseach, Clay, has commented many times that 'cutsie names' wouldn't be tolerarated. Names like, "king georgie" would fit that mold. Personally, I don't care because it makes you look childish and weakens whatever position you may achieve. Plus, it reminds me of elementary school antics; you know - sticks and stones sort of thing.

I provide facts. It takes a lot of work to get those facts, and even more to reproduce them for those that want to know. If you are not one of those that wants to understand how we got in the messes we're in, don't read my writings.


One of the really sad things about all this litigation is the staggering amount of money spent and how little we got as a community.

As I have said many times, Beachwood will go in history as one of the biggest blunders in HMB. We spent $5 million on attorney fees plus a few million more in related costs over the years to overpay for this worthless field of weeds.

How many millions did we spend on Pacific Ridge to reduce the number of homes from 225 to 70. And add to the legal fees another good sum for staff time and reports, etc.

Then there is North Wavecrest. I know we also spent miollions on lawyers plus more big bucks on reports and staff time. Here we spent all this money to have POST swoop down and pick up this property for open space. That's good that they bought but what did the City get out of it?

I bet when you add up the total cost of just these 3 projects, we probably spent $12-$15 million on legal fees and related costs. Beachwood's total cost with settlement is well in excess of $25 million.

We are a small town with a small budget. Its sad to see so much money wasted that hasn't benefited anybody but the lucky lawyers who latch on to the HMB gravy train. Our kids have really suffered because of these costly and poor decisions.


Thank you Steven. My mind is reeling. And I don't even live in HMB.

What is the population there?

How much money per person is that?

How much was taken out of their pockets? How much was not spent on the needs of the people?

Maybe we need a colorful graph or something?


The population of HMB is around 12,000 so the cost per capita is around $1,000. What's bad is that the legal costs alone consume 15-20% of the the City's total budget. That's an unrealistic percent of the budget.


Steven,

Maybe you could make it your quest to get your developer buds to stop suing the city as a routine part of their property speculation? That might alleviate your need to make up sob stories about how the local kids are suffering from the city's need to defend itself.

Also, there is the old, hackneyed fact the only way the city could have received major relief on Beachwood would have come through winning an appeal of Walker's decision. The failure to do that makes your whine read partially hollow.


I wish I could say these guys are my buddies because maybe I would sell more homes. I have never met or spoken to Mr. Keenan. I have spoken to the people from Pacific Ridge years ago and I knew some of the people from OCP but they aren't there now.

What bothers me as well as many other people is the fact that we have wasted so much money fighting things as oppossed to trying to find a comprisime. The community has not benefited from this massive amount of money spent on lawyers.

My son was suspossed to be the first graduate from the new Cunha. He's now a senior in college. This is not accetable not to mention the cost over-runs from the multi-year delay. And where's our Boys & Girls Club?

It is infuriating to see every project dragged out for years with massive amounts of money wasted on lawyers instead of actually doing things. Perhaps I'm naive but wouldn't it be nice to accomplish something instead of lining the pockets of lawyers. Don't our officaials owe us that? Please let me know if I'm off base.


NP_ you're wrong as usual.

None of this would have happened if your anti growth buddies on the Council would have let people build on their LCP residentially approved and legally zoned property.


"My son was suspossed to be the first graduate from the new Cunha. He's now a senior in college. This is not accetable not to mention the cost over-runs from the multi-year delay. And where's our Boys & Girls Club?"

Earth to Steven: the money spent by the city on lawyers to defend it against aggressive property speculators had no connection at all to your gripes quoted here.

If the would-be developers had not been part of the greedy push for the location of a new middle school at North Wavecrest through year after unnecessary year, with the complicit school board of the time, your son would have had his day graduating from a refurbished Cunha. Truthfully, now, did he actually care whether or not the commission-producing housing base grew by the number proposed for North Wavecrest?


Personally, I thought rebuilding Cunha was a logical idea but the school board wanted a new school so that was what was decided. We were taxed for the school around 10 years ago and its still not done.

What frustrates me about this place is that every project is such a big deal and nothing seems to get done. It seems every project is a major battle.

I feel sorry for the politicians because of all the garbage they have to deal with. In business, you make a decision and you just do it. In politics, it seems all you do is talk and spin your wheels for years while wasting the taxpayers money.

I do believe all the people who have run this place for a long time care about the coast. I just wish we could find common ground and make timely decisions and do things. Like I said, I guess I'm naive.


We've been over this many times. Most get it, but there are a few that don't.

HMB spent $2.5 Million on land use litigation for the City's 2006-2007 fiscal year. It was all Beachwood. Our budget was $10 Million. That's 25% of our budget going to Meyers Nave to 'defend' the indefensible. As luck would have it, that $2.5 Million is also the same dollar amount HMB received in Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) for the same fiscal year. That's not where our TOT is supposed to go.

To clarify a point, the Settlement Agreement offers two choices;

Build homes, or

Pay the "Upset Price" of $18 Million, plus 6% if not paid in full when due. We don't have $18 Million. If we 'borrow' it and spread it across Forty (40) years it will exceed $52 Million. Our grandchildren will be paying this debt. It will be paid out at $1.3 Million per/year for 40 years. That's a 13% haircut on our budget right off the top, for 40 years. With a population of 12,225 people, that $52 Million comes to $4,254 per person.

We could, of course, declare bankruptcy. That option has it's own issues and costs.

Anyone that would suggest "Maybe you could make it your quest to get your developer buds to stop suing the city as a routine part of their property speculation", clearly does not heed facts. There will always be a few.

There are some that label Keenan's purchase as speculation. Judge Walker didn't seem to agree. He seemed to be of the opinion that Keenan's purchase was a cost of doing business, with the expectation that the City would follow the rules. The City did not.

I would, instead, use this comment as an example of speculation: "Also, there is the old, hackneyed fact the only way the city could have received major relief on Beachwood would have come through winning an appeal of Walker's decision."

Finally, it is my opinion that the Wavecrest Project was probably the best planned project we've seen in these parts. It would have benefited so many for a long, long time.

Now, to the question that titles this thread; Were The 2000-2005 Council Members Litigious? Judge for yourselves, but my answer is yes.


Steven Hyman,

I hope your son is doing well as a senior in college, and I am sorry that he never benefited from Any of the Plans for HMB. Why is that? Look at many CA coastal towns, None have as many problems in building community infrastructure as HMB. Why is that?

I really want to know. Why is that?

Could we HMBers have a Dark Side, unlike any other CA coastal towns, that has a philosophy unfriendly to Humans?


Pat, thanks for nice comments. My son is doing great at UC Irvine majoring in bio-medical engineering. Off topic but a good part of his success is due to the outstanding math, science and shop teachers he's had here. They really inspired him.

Hopefully after we put the Beachwood nightmare behind us, our leaders will not foolishly waste such a large percent of our budget on lawyers. The millions we have spent over the past 10-15 years have not served us well.


NP_ You're the one who needs to learn what "logical fallacies" means.

It seems from your sarcastic comments that you don't practice much of what you preach. Maybe while you're at it, you should also learn the meaning of words like ethics, principles, conscience, truth...


Always refreshing to get advice from a person hopping wildly on one foot, having winged the other. You should be hopping in George's direction with those words, if you have any idea what they mean yourself.

No one who knows what the basic logical fallacies are can read George's take on the local scene and not see several repeatedly knocking what he says off the stool of credibility. Do take my suggestion and look them up. By doing this for yourself; it will be more meaningful than having to take the word of someone running circles around you.


NP_ Weak.


Always refreshing to read someone who writes so much and says nothing so often. You provide us with much laughter from your wild pitches. I guess another day has gone by and only balls and balks. Go back to your playground and practice,practice,practice.


Here's a piece, a Letter To The Editor, Dated March 13, 2001, titled "Dennis Coleman got it backwards", Web Link ,from a local resident. I haven't included Editorials in any of these threads, but in this case I'll make an exception.

I know the gentleman that wrote this piece. I know him to be easy going, intelligent, articulate, a nice person, and - oh by the way - a builder; and a darn good one at that.

Randy Ralston builds homes, very nice homes. He builds them one at a time, so I suppose it'd be more than a stretch to label him a 'developer', but he is a builder. I've seen his work; very nice.

Here's another example of someone who had to deal with the Council and PC and had trouble with them. He recognized them for what they were, and what they did.

Ralston's editorial is short, to the point, and is yet another reference to the litigious nature of the No Growthers taking our money with one hand and paying it out to attorneys with the other hand, with no regard to the people that play by the rules or what that money was meant to do.


Here's another piece published in the Review March 8, 2001, written by Steven Hyman. It's titled "How litigation can be expensive to our health", and again demonstrates Hyman's crystal ball and the Council induced struggles we had at the time. Web Link

Hyman, at one point says, "A few judgements against the City could be financially devastating." Well, we know now that he was wrong; it only took one - Beachwood.

He further states, "This problem isn't just confined to the City of Half Moon Bay, either. We have a water board, sewer districts and other agencies along the Coast that have all taken very strong anti-growth positions that may not be legally defendable." I've noted, multiple times, each Board, their members, and the No Growthers on each Board. He was absolutely right. Their grip was devastating.

At the end of his piece, Hyman sums it up nicely with, “And as is usually the case in litigation, the real winners seem to be the lawyers.” Where have I heard that before?

Here’a a tip of the hat to you Mr. Hyman. I only wish we’d all listened at the time.


On February 28, 2001, the Review published a piece titled, "City staff feeling housing crunch", Web Link

This piece speaks to several issues, but could also be a good argument for where our money was going (litigation) versus where our money should have been going (local needs).

This is a very interesting piece because of all the elements it touches, along with how one element impacts another within our City. It’s a good read.


And I thought that the infamous NP had finally gotten the picture that what he says is irrelevant because nobody agrees with him and everybody can see the fallacy of what his twisted mind perceives as truth. Yeah, NP, you are in a league of your own; I would love to buy you for what you're worth and sell you for what you think you're worth - that would be 100% profit....Oh! I AM sorry, please forgive the capitalistic ideology when dealing with Mr. Red of the coastside.


This Review piece, published February 21, 2001, is an important read. The piece is titled, "Approval comes with mixed reviews", and is one of many pieces written about Ailanto.

The piece starts out, "After nearly two years of staff-level negotiations with Richmond-based developer Ailanto Properties, the California Coastal Commission approved a 126-house market rate subdivision on a lot just east of Highway 1 and north of Terrace Avenue in Half Moon Bay last Friday. The mixed conditions of approval, however, upset both proponents and opponents of the project. The subdivision, known as Pacific Ridge and formerly as Dykstra Ranch, has been opposed by neighbors and environmentalists since it was approved in a 4-1 vote by the City Council in April 1999."

A little further into the piece follows, "The commissioners reduced the number of proposed houses from 197 to 126 to increase the buffer zones around wetlands on the property, as well as dropped the construction of homes below the ridgeline. It also limited the developer to 40 houses without additional road access. Right now Terrace Avenue, a neighborhood street, is the only existing road that is available to the many future subdivision residents."

It continues with, "The City Council must approve the construction of either Bayview Boulevard or Foothill Boulevard before Ailanto can build the additional 86 houses. Ailanto probably shouldn't hold its breath for either route. First of all, Bayview Boulevard is tied up with the proposed 80-house Beachwood subdivision, which is located just west of Pacific Ridge. It's not clear when, or if, this development will become a reality. And the City Council is divided over whether or not Foothill Boulevard is a good idea because of its impact on Highway 92 traffic and wetlands."

All the balls in the air that this piece demonstrates are still in the air today. I hope everyone hits the link and reads the piece.

Were The 2000-2005 Council members Litigious?


The piece above, "Approval comes with mixed reviews", deserves a closer look. On top of everything else required to start construction on a project, the Coastal Commission assed this to Ailanto; "Ailanto must purchase an equivalent amount of open space for every house developed. This means if Ailanto builds 126 houses on approximately 32 acres of the 114-acre lot, it must purchase development rights on 32 acres to preserve as open space. We'll be interested to see how this transfer of development rights (TDR) condition is implemented."

This particular ‘requirement’ has been challenged in court on more than one occasion. Some call it extortion. What do you think? Let’s create an example and incorporate a few real examples of some of the hoops created. Perhaps we can understand the frustration, and resulting lawsuits a little better.

Suppose you bought a 5,000 square foot, buildable infill lot in HMB. Like most, you want to build a home for yourself and family, and took your first step toward accomplishment by doing your due diligence and purchasing the property. You started the process.

The next step is (was) the acquisition of a Measure A Certificate. You can’t apply for a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) without one, so you throw your hat in the ring (along with money) and apply. Maybe you get one that year, maybe not. Perhaps it takes two or three years to get that Measure A, but you finally get it. You’re on your way, or at least you think so.

Next, you pay your money (you always pay) for a CDP and get it. Congratulations! You’re almost ready to start your dream. Then you enter the City’s processes; you submit plans (more money), and are scheduled for the Architectural Review Committee (ARC). They look at your plans, make some changes, add some “Conditions of Approval” and approve your project (home). Great. Now to the Planning Commission (PC). The Planner you get advises you and works with you to get your project through the PC by meeting all the requirements. This is an area that has historically been tough, for many reasons.

The PC reviews your project and feels they need more data, so they tell you what they need and push it to another meeting some months down the road. Whatever they asked for is sure to cost more money. Three months later, you’re back in front of the PC with everything they asked for. They review it again and this time a future neighbor complains, forcing more modifications (money & time) to your home. You go back to the drawing board, make the requested changes and reschedule for another PC meeting.

At this next meeting, some three months later, you feel good that you’ve done all that’s been asked, but you’re nervous about the outcome. They review your project again, add some more “Conditions of Approval” and pass the project. After all this time, money, stress and effort on the part of yourself and family, you’re elated. You go home, tell the spouse, and have a couple celebratory drinks. Congratulations (again).

Oh, not so fast. This is HMB.

Just as you’re lining up the contractor, materials, permits and more, you get a call from the City. Someone you don’t even know has appealed your project (home)! Now what?

Fortunately for you, the Appeal is to the City Council, so you should be able to get this Agendized within a month (another costly delay). Your spouse is upset, you’re upset, and it’s costing you more money and time, but you feel you’ve done nothing wrong so it should work out. Three weeks later you’re in front of the Council. Now everyone gets a look at your home. You don’t know who to trust.

Just imagine how you would feel at this point, drained financially and emotionally, as you listened to your Agenda Item being called up by the Council. You’ve got too much into it now to walk away and you’ve done everything required during each part of the process; yet here you stand.

How would you feel if the person that appealed your project (home) complained that your house would result in more traffic; traffic that the neighborhood didn’t want? How would you then feel if, as a “Condition of Approval”, the Council required you to widen the road that abuts your property – the entire length? This has happened. What if the Council told you that, instead of widening the road, you had to build a bigger garage, which would reduce the size of your house (more time & money)? What if they told you that you had to offset your traffic issue (mitigate) by buying another lot somewhere in town the same size as the one you own, and give it away as Open Space?

How would you feel? All the examples given here are real examples, only I shortened the timeframes. Where do you draw the line?


I made a couple of errors above. First paragraph, second line should read; "the Coastal Commission added this to Ailanto"

Fifth paragraph, first sentence, should read; "Next, you pay your money (you always pay) for a CDP." CDP's are issued after all process approvals. Just wishful thinking on my part, I guess.

My apologies.


This piece, titled "Pacific Ridge gets a CDP", was also published in the Review on February 21, 2001: Web Link

It goes into quite a bit more depth, and includes quotes from many of the players at the time.

It's easily worth the read, although you may want to have some Advil and a couple of cocktails available when you read it. It's not for the faint of heart.

The lead-in is: "Half Moon Bay will get 126 new high-priced homes following the California Coastal Commission's approval of the Pacific Ridge development last Friday in San Luis Obispo. However, with the conditions added to the approval, it is a possibility the development will go to the courts. "It was a denial in disguise," said project consultant Norbert Dall. "This is really a travesty of justice." Opponents weren't satisfied either. "This is not smart growth by any stretch of the imagination," said William Parkin, the attorney for appellants George Carmen and Eleanor Withrop. "We think it should have been denied." Ailanto Properties, the developer of the 114-acre Pacific Ridge, has had to contend with locals over the development since the mid-1980s."

Now remember, Eleanor Witrop, the appellant, was also on the Water Board (CCWD) and represented the No Growth faction well. She and her husband, George Carmen, were also instrumental in opposing Beachwood. They no longer live in HMB, but we still do.

Any of this sound familiar?


In the same February 21, 2001 Review we find this piece, titled "City quiet about investigation into Wavecrests Measure A allocations".

It's a short piece.

Here it is: "The city of Half Moon Bay has been keeping a tight lid on its investigation into the Wavecrest Village project's acquisition of Measure A allocations because the issue is being handled in closed sessions. The 276-house development, which has not obtained a coastal development permit (CDP) from the California Coastal Commission, has been receiving 25 Measure A allocations each year for the past three years. The city began implementing Measure A, the 3 percent growth control ordinance, in 1998. Subdivisions must receive a coastal development permit before receiving a Measure A allocation. Councilman Dennis Coleman brought up the issue at a December meeting and noted that Wavecrest's exemption was not something that he or Mayor Debbie Ruddock had agreed on. Ruddock and Coleman were the subcommittee members who drafted the city's agreement with Ocean Colony Partners, the developers of Wavecrest. "Unless there was another meeting, I don't know how this changed," Coleman said at the December meeting. "I think we should look into this," Ruddock responded."

Makes me think of the old "Who's on first" comedy skit, only this is real.


On December 13, 2000, the Review published a piece called, “The cold war of the coast”. Here’s the link: Web Link

This is an interesting piece. It provides us all with some history; a very reasonable history of development on the coast and some of the struggles between pro-growth and no-growth factions going back to WWII. Names like Westinghouse, Dean and Dean, and Doelger are discussed, along with Douglas, the Coastal Act, the Coastal Commission, and all their interaction with the San Mateo coastside from Daly City and Pacifica, south to include us.

There’s no one stop shopping here, but this is a piece worth reading to get a fair sense of our background relative to surrounding communities and the issues we’ve had and continue to have with the never ending struggles between pro-growth and no-growth here in HMB.

This piece belongs on both “Were The 2000-2005 Council Members Litigious” & “What We Know”.

Enjoy the background. It’s pretty good.


In the same HMB Review publication of December 13, 2000, we find a letter from our then Mayor Dennis Coleman, a devout No Growther. Coleman referenced his three legged stool many times during his tenure as HMB Council member. The letter he wrote is titled "Water, water everywhere", and appears here: Web Link

One of the primary 'touchstones' of the No Growth faction relies on our 'infrastructure', and its ability to control growth. Coleman presents one of his arguments here to stop the CCWD efforts to improve and expand our water lines and capacity.

Coleman seems to be responding to a Review piece from the week prior, December 6, 2000. Apparently he didn't agree with the title and content.

This piece is important for several reasons, but I would have to say that most important on that list of reasons would be that Coleman was Mayor at that time, the 'leader' of the No Growth Council majority, and in the middle of a hurricane of lawsuits (Beachwood, Ailanto, Wavecrest & more) - all of which were initiated during his watch and none of which have been completely resolved save Wavecrest Village, which found resolution at the end of last year (2007) with the sale of Wavecrest by OC to the new owner POST. The Plumbers Union finally gave up.

Coleman was also the Mayor seven months earlier, when the 2000 Council, in May of that year, denied the Beachwood CDP using only part of our Wetland definition, at the exclusion of the language pertaining to Beachwood's real conditions, to label that ground a Wetland, thereby 'justifying' the denial. Coleman, Ferreira, Taylor (who voted against Beachwood twice; once as a Planning Commissioner in 1999 & again as a Council member in 2000), Ruddock and the rest got help from the Coastal Commission's legal staff for the twisted interpretation of Wetland needed to deny the project. They also “went shopping” (Judge Walker’s quote) for a biologist that would stand in line with them.

Here’s one quote from Coleman’s piece, located about 2/3 rd’s down the piece:

“As usual with Coastside infrastructure, however, the water issue comes down to a question of scale (aka how much is too much). CCWD could spend a few million dollars taking care of current residents and 10 or 20 years of smart growth or spend 15 or 20 million dollars to meet the average day demand of "buildout" (aka 8,000 more Coastside houses).”

This is one view, and without any other might make sense. As with everything else in life, however, there’s much more to this story. It would be a fair assessment now, with a Federally impossed $41 Million Judgment against us with more to come, that Coleman’s priorities, actions, and personal beliefs didn’t fit the best interests of our community. The No Growth factions efforts have hurt us all irreparably. We will bear the burden of Coleman, Ferreira, Taylor, Grady, Benjamin and a handful of others for many years to come.

By the way, does Coleman even live here anymore? Or did he take the path of his friends Lani Ream, Sid McCausland, George Carmen, Elenor Wittrup, and others that created our burdens then moved – leaving us to pay for their sins?


Again, in the same December 13, 2000, Review we see two more pieces attesting to the mayhem created by the 2000 Council.

One, titled “Coastal Commission to decide Pacific Ridge”, is here: Web Link

The other, titled “Beachwood subdivision in court this Thursday”, is here: Web Link

You may, or may not want to read them, as we’re still dealing with both, but it does give us a sense of the times in Y2K.

These two pieces, along with Coleman’s attempt at justification (above), and the Review’s piece “The cold war of the coast” above Coleman’s, all in the same edition of the Review, clearly show the resources committed (ours) to this losing strategy by the No Growthers and their willingness to have No Growth at any cost.

I mean, what the heck, if it doesn’t work we can always move – right Coleman, McCausland, Ream, Carmen, Wittrup, and the rest?


Yet another piece that turns up in the December 13, 2000, Review is this one, titled "City Council, remember the voters". Here's the link: Web Link

This piece discusses Measure D, co-authored by some of the sitting PC and Council members of that time.

Measure D was voted on and passed, with solid numbers and support of the HMB voters, to cap growth at 1 percent in the November 1999 election. Measure A, its predecessor, capped the growth rate at 3%.

The first two sentences of the piece read as follows:

"Half Moon Bay voters overwhelmingly supported an initiative to cap growth at 1 percent in the November 1999 election."

"However, over a year later, the City Council has not yet drafted an implementing ordinance for Measure D."

Funny (not really); here we sit going into the end of 2008 and still no Measure D implementation, despite the vote in 1999 and the promises of every single candidate running for HMB City Council since its passage.

That bunch sure was busy; a lot of talk, chest pounding, and bluster resulting in no accomplishments (for us) and long term debt totaling almost five times our budget! What a crew.

The December 13, 2000 Review must have been one big paper. This is a worthwhile read.


The week prior, the Review published this piece titled, “HMB public works director Ambrosi Smith resigns”. Here’s the link: Web Link

This piece, although very short, is also very interesting. It adds to the color of the stage set by the No Growthers with more turnover of staff (not just Smith, either). Apparently this was a very difficult group to work with, if you had morals.

The first two sentences read as follows;

“The Half Moon Bay City Council honored Public Works Director Therese Ambrosi Smith at its Dec. 5 meeting for her service to the city.”

”Smith submitted her resignation several weeks ago, according to City Manager Blair King.”

Another interesting point here is that Smith was the owner of 144 Kelly. We remember that parcel, don’t we? That’s the one the City wouldn’t let Smith build on, then bought with our money for $500,000.00, then placed a Conservation Easement on as the last action of the No Growth majority at 12:15 AM, on November 15, 2005, making that legal, buildable lot fallow in perpetuity, to the benefit of a very select few – one of which currently sits on the Council.

Other excerpts from this piece include:

“Bill Smith, a former planner for the city's Planning Department, resigned his position last month.”

“These two resignations come just a year after the Interim Planning Director Mike Bethke stepped down from his position before his temporary contract with the city expired. Planning Director Ken Curtis assumed his position on Jan. 10.”

”Former city planner Mark Hoffman also resigned last year.”


In the same December 6, 2000 Review we see a letter from local resident and builder, Chad Hooker, titled "Suffering from Chad detachment deficit". Here's the link: Web Link

It starts out with;

"Until a working girl decided to write a book called "The Happy Hooker," nobody paid much attention to my last name. Until this recent election,, nobody paid any attention to my first name. But now, despite what you may have heard or read, I can verify that I am not dimpled or pregnant, even though I frequently feel uncounted."

Then he follows with, "The part of this whole Florida chad problem that I can relate to is the issue of detachment, or in my case, the lack of detachment: I remain unable to detach myself from our local political discourse despite its increasingly bitter and vitriolic tone. I am certainly disheartened by it and have tried in the columns I have written to encourage a broader view of the issues to get the community to see both sides of development, preservation, legal, and other ideas and their consequences." Hooker continues to pin down troubling issues with, "But the local tone of our politics is to attack and vilify anyone who doesn't agree with your position. Don't attack the position. Don't argue the point. Instead, try to destroy the individual with attacks on credibility, intention, integrity, and of course, throw in the profit motive. Don't forget a different point of view is not logically possible when there is only one truth. My, my, how Stalinesque."

This tactic Hooker describes in 2000 is just as present today as it was then, only I think those that prefer these tactics have gotten better at them. Then Hooker makes a very valid point:

"Then, stand back and wonder why we don't get good candidates for the many important seats that need qualified and dedicated citizens working toward the public interest. Gee, can't you think of a better way to get your ration of abuse than serving the citizens of the Coastside?"

Hooker not only identifies a huge issue that plagued us then and now, he also proposes rational, logical solutions: "Each of us needs to participate in the discourse and therefore the process of how we collectively manage the coast and our larger society. Attacking to destroy any individual participant in that process only serves to undermine the larger intent and scope of the democratic process. All voices must be heard, not shouted down."

Hooker ends with, "It is long past the time to move beyond the scorched earth policy of distorting the facts in an effort to kill the opposition rather than discussing the issues, options and opportunities within the context of responsibility to the larger community, not just a community of believers in one particular course or cause. We claim to be a civilized democracy. Let's understand what that means and step up to the challenge. This is a plea, a request, and an urgent call."


On November 29, 2000, the Review published this piece titled “IN THE PUBLIC EYE”. Here’s the link: Web Link

It’s a short piece that starts with this;

“The Half Moon Bay City Council held a regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Newly appointed Mayor Debbie Ruddock, Vice Mayor Toni Taylor and councilmembers Dennis Coleman, Jerry Donovan and Naomi Patridge were in attendance.”

“One of the first orders of business was the realignment of the city council, where Debbie Ruddock was unanimously voted the new mayor. Toni Taylor was voted vice mayor 3-1, with one abstaining vote. Jerry Donovan nominated Naomi Patridge as vice mayor, but the motion did not pass.”


Along with the piece above, the November 29, 2000 Review also published this piece, titled "Ruddock moves to center of council". Here's the link: Web Link

Here's the lead-in;

"Last week was quite a memorable one for Debbie Ruddock. She was hired as a project analyst by the Coastal Conservancy, appointed as an alternate to the California Coastal Commission, and named the mayor of Half Moon Bay."

"Her three new jobs have one issue in common - the environment."

Here's a comment from Ruddock, followed by some of her accomplishments;

"Being in California and seeing how quickly things can disappear has been pretty motivating for me," said Ruddock, 47. "Once it's gone, it's gone forever."

"During her eight years on the council, Ruddock has worked to control growth in Half Moon Bay. She co-authored growth control measures A and D, and Measure G, which directed the city to preserve bluff tops for open space and passive recreation. She also voted against the proposed Beachwood subdivision and Manrao Motel."

The piece goes on to discuss Ruddock's maturing as a Council member, items the Council needs to deal with like Wavecrest Village, Pacific Ridge, Measure D, our General Plan and its update, our LCP, how to position ourselves better to deal with developers and more. It's a worthwhile read, with comments and insight from several Council members and more.


This is so much to take in, especially when you read it all at once. It really ties things together and explains why we are in the situation we find ourselves.

Some of these events were predicted yet we kept on barreling down the road without worrying about the cliff at the end. I know hindsight is 20/20 but boy did we make a lot of mistakes.

There's no question that George answered the question of this thread. But as important is how much money did these decisions cost the residents of HMB? And was it worth the expense?


Yeah, it really gives us something to think about when we see all the events, the players, their actions, measured against the timeline. Funny how things happen and we just don't see it, or we're just too busy to pay close attention and get (dare I say it) 'involved'.

You've provided some good stuff over the years, Steve. I'd sure like to get my hands on that crystal ball of yours. Works pretty good, I'd say.

To your two closing questions, I can partially answer the first one, as I have all the legal invoices going back over six years, and I can get further back if I ask. The cost, in dollars spent, has been astronomical. But what about a point you raised earlier? What about the cost of 'misdirecting' those same dollars spent on litigation? Money that should have gone to roads, library, a new Police Station, parks (real ones), kids, and more? That is anyone's guess.

To answer your last question, my answer would be a resounding NO, but I suspect most already know that.

The point now is two fold; recognition through Accountability, and a significant change in the way we run our town - a different political approach. It is my hope and goal that we can do both.

Lessons learned? We’ll see.


Just want to say I think it is great Anonymous George has this outlet for his "unique" fantasy world. I hope the Review gets credit for the public service. If it were not safely sequestered in these threads that few except those tripping the light fantastic of local politics and government care about, he might be out trying to push it where it couldn't be dismissed by people with better things requiring their attention.

Thanks, Review.


On October 12, 2000, the Review published this piece, titled "Not such a beautiful day in the neighborhood". Here's the link: Web Link

This piece speaks to my post seven up, where I shared the Review's piece “HMB public works director Ambrosi Smith resigns”. Smith owned the 144 Kelly parcel. She tried to build a home on it and was denied. This piece speaks to the denial. It is written by the Review Publisher, Debra Godshall.

The opening paragraph states: "It used to be that being "neighborly" meant bringing your new neighbors a casserole when they first moved in or taking care of their dog when they left for vacation. But if you listened to City Council last week - Debbie Ruddock in particular - being "neighborly" means allowing your next door neighbor not only to decide if you can build on your lot, but where, exactly, your house can be placed on that lot."

The next paragraph gives us a little insight. It reads: "On Oct. 3, the council voted to continue an appeal of Therese Ambrosi Smith's Coastal Development permit, which was approved by the Planning Commission in January after five public hearings. In addition to the Planning Commission's approval, Smith also had both sewer and water, a Measure A permit and approval from the Architectural Review Committee. Her plans for a small, one-bedroom house with a loft was less than 1,200 square feet, about one third the size of what could be built on the lot. The plans met all setback requirements, and Smith even moved the house an additional five feet from the back of her property to give her neighbors a little more of a view."

A little further up, on September 20, 2008 at 10:35 pm, I posted a hypothetical scenario demonstrating some of the hoops and issues real people have faced when attempting to build a home on property they own, zoned for building a home. This cast of characters made that dream a nightmare. This piece gives you a sense of it.

Think about it; Smith had to go in front of the Planning Commission five (5) times to get her approval. She got approval to build a 1200 square foot home (1/3 the size she's entitled to build, based on the lot size) in January, yet here she sits, in front of that Council, on October 3rd dealing with an appeal.

On July 8, 2000, Council member Grady submitted his request to build a home exceeding 4,000 square feet (PDP-60-00); Smith's property at 144 Kelly abuts Grady's property to the northwest.

From our vantage point in time, we now know that Smith, in frustration and trying not to lose more money, gave up on her modest plans to build a home on 144 Kelly and sold the parcel to the City for $500,000. The City Council, on November 15, 2005, at 12:15 AM, voted to place a Conservation Easement on that property. Grady's 4,000+ square foot home stands on the furthest western parcel on Miramontes and the lot that Smith owned is now protected from development by the 2005 Council, also 'protecting' Council member Grady's northern views - in perpetuity.

The piece continues with, "Smith begged the council to either approve or deny the appeal because, she said, she could no longer afford to go after a "moving target."

And this, "It looks like the neighbors will get exactly what they wanted," Smith said Tuesday. "But a lot of people have been hurt in the process."

And we wonder why we've been on the receiving end of so many lawsuits; and it ain't over, yet.

As a footnote, the 2000 Planning Commission, with Ferreira as Chair, had passed P-19-00 earlier in 2000. That was known as the Net/Gross Lot Rule. It further restricted the size of a potential home on a vacant lot.

After Grady's application was submitted, the PC rescinded P-19-00 and replaced it with P-20-00, which was virtually identical to its predecessor P-19-00, at the very same meeting. That spread in time, between the revocation of P-19-00 and the passage of P-20-00, was just enough to allow Grady’s project to be exempt (in the pipeline).

In 2007, this Council questioned the legality of P-20-00 and, supported by the opinion of the City’s legal firm Meyers Nave, determined it was illegal and rescinded it.

Grady’s house was the only house to avoid the Net/Gross Lot Rule during its seven year tenure (2000-2007).


Thank you again, George. It's amazing how these guys can even sleep at night, never mind all their posting against you.


Thanks winged foot. You're right. There's more.

On October 5, 2000, the Review published this piece, titled "Coastal Commission recommends approval of Wavecrest Village". here's the link: Web Link

We all now know how this turns out, as Ocean Colony Partners (OCP) announced late last year that they were selling this ground to POST, for $13.5 M (I believe), to be paid over two years.

Please, hit the link and check this one out. This is what could have been, and it was very close to happening.

"The Wavecrest Village project, one of the largest in the city's history, was approved in July 1999 by the Half Moon Bay City Council. The 207-acre undeveloped property is bounded on the east and west by Highway 1 and the ocean, and north and south by Arleta Park and Ocean Colony housing subdivisions. The project would include:

* A new middle school on 25 acres fronting Wavecrest Road.

* A Boys and Girls Club on three acres across Wavecrest Road from the new middle school.

* Two-hundred and seventy-one homes consisting of 225 market-rate units and 46 medium-density "affordable" units.

* An 18-acre area along Highway 1 across from the south end of Main Street for offices and commercial businesses.

* Newly built ball fields and picnic areas at Smith Field, 77 acres on the bluffs of permanent open space with a minimum 1,000-foot setback from the bluff edge, and a community garden."

Does this make you wonder?


Just to make the timing and substance of actions are clear:

Grady's application to HMB: 7/8/2000

P-19-00 passed by Planning Commission: 8/10/2000

The resolution applies only to "applications submitted after the date of this resolution and shall not affect determinations regarding applications that are in process of that have been approved prior to the date of this resolution."

Letter from HMB to Grady explaining, among other items that need revising, that his house plans include a 56% floor area ratio: 8/16/2000

P-20-00 passed by Planning Commission: 8/24/2000

Now, the same basic resolution applies "only to those projects for which applications are filed as complete after the date of this resolution and shall not affect determinations regarding Coastal Development Permit applications for single-family houses for which applications have been determined to be complete prior to the date of this resolution."

Decidedly different timing. Very quick work - nice to have friends.


Besides having another of one of those 15 year spin your wheels project, it ended in kind of a bad way for HMB. While I feel the community would have benefited from this, at least it was sold as opposed to another 10 years of stalling tactics.

What is unfortunate for us is how much money the City spent on this project with lawyers, reports and countless hours of City staff time. And what did we get for this massive amount of expenditures? 0!! We probably don't even get the property tax money which would have been $135,000 a year to start.


Most Institutions have a process called -- Lessons Learned-- so that they can better understand the factors that caused great angst and hardship for their institutions and make sure that Great Wrongs never happen again.

I would like to suggest that the city of HMB adopt that concept. Identify the people or processes that have caused great damage to our city. Explain how Wrongs did happen, Make new ordinances to prevent the future occurence, prosecute the guilty (that would be a chilling event!)

and Move On...


How are you going to prosecute the Old Guard that headed HMB into a sea of problems from the incorporation process on? Most of them are dead.

The illogical editorializing and whining by shills for using property to plant the last crop and for hit-and-run developers and builders doesn't turn up--in the usual targets by the whimsical George, the Review's editorial positions, and the like--anything close to prosecutable crimes. In fact, if you bundle all the defamation and innuendo together, what you get is a desire to get around or terminate existing laws and policies. Who, then, are the would-be law-breakers?

To move on, one needs to get past the childish playground games that some try to substitute for analysis and responsibility, the better to promote their narrow interests. First up on the main stage is taking care of the $18 million owed to Keenan, including, possibly, partial relief from Sacramento.


George........stiffle.

What took you hours of typing was a wonderful exercise in free speech although all it did besides bore, is to help confirm that this area has been in the hands of developers whose plans are now actually just stuck in banking quicksand, and this is going to go on forever because a blind person could pin the tail on culprits in the COUNTY GOVT. who are all going to be sweating re-election, or appointments when investigations start firing a lot of people who have taken about as much in bribes from lowly departments all the way up to the top.

And when that's done, you still will not see this coast changed, improved or taken over by any DEVELOPMENT MONSTERS...Too many will be in jail or being tried. People may not all be dumb here, but nobody does much about anything. We are a microcosm of mid America.


George,

I just re-read all of this topic and I want to thank you on behalf of our community for laying out all the details of many wrongs committed against our community by a few individuals.

Thank you.


I’m back to finish this. I apologize for the gap. Something unavoidable came up and I had to take a break.

In a Review piece, published August 28, 2000, author Chris Wilson updates us on a recent Council meeting. Although it appears benign business as usual, the fact that it was business as usual is why it found its way here, and far from benign.

Mayor Dennis Coleman, Vice Mayor Deborah Ruddock, and council members Toni Taylor, Jerry Donovan and Naomi Patridge were present.

Here’s the link: Web Link

Here’s Chris’s opening paragraph: “Council decided with five 'ayes' to continue the decision of whether to deny application for a coastal development permit (CDP) for the proposed Labuda residence at the west end of Miramontes Avenue to the September 19 council meeting.” I bring this to your attention because on July 8, 2000, just six weeks earlier, current Council member Jim Grady submitted his application for his now completed home on the western end of Miramontes, which abuts the Labuda property discussed here. He and Grady were not on good terms, as opposed to Ferreira (PC Chair) and Grady. With the No Growth Council majority working with the No Growth dominated Planning Commission, Labuda’s application didn’t stand a chance. Labuda ended up doing what so many before and after him did; throw their arms in the air and walk away.

The next paragraph starts with: “The council also unanimously voted to postpone until September 19 Herman K. Kalfen's appeal of the Planning Commission's approval for a CDP for the proposed Ambrosi Smith residence on Kelly Avenue.” That’s 144 Kelly Avenue, the property that abuts Grady’s parcel on the northwest side with a stellar sweeping view from Pillar Point south. We know how that one turned out, too. Smith gave up and sold the lot to HMB for $500,000, and the 2005 Council, with Grady as Mayor, placed a Conservation Easement on that parcel (11-15-05, at 12:15 AM) protecting that parcel and Grady’s unabstructed view in perpetuity. She also left the City’s employ.

Here’s the next paragraph: “A proposed amendment to titles 17 and 18 of the HMB Municipal Code, a part of the Local Coastal Program, to adopt procedures to implement the Measure D residential growth control provisions was continued to the September 19 meeting.” Although, to the casual observer, this is also benign, it is not. The Action depicted here actually went through the ‘process’, culminating with C-5-00; the Policy that instantly created 1828 Substandard Lots in HMB. According to the Planning Commission Agenda Report Addendum (07-08-04) titled PDP-30-04, Exhibit A; Arleta Park, Bernardo Station, Casa Del Mar (including El Mar Beach, Casa Del Mar Estates, Kehoe Estates, St. John 1, 2, and 3), Frenchman's Creek, Grandview Terrace, Highland/Terrace, Miramar, Ocean Shore (Belleville), Seahaven, and Spanishtown, average out at 76% "Substandard". Total lot count in this report is 1828, with number of vacant lots at 305.

Ordinance No. C-5-00 is directly responsible for the woes that so many suffer from regarding the "Substandard" issue, many without even knowing, yet. That Ordinance, initiated in 2000, unanimously passed through the Planning Commission, with Mike Ferreira spearheading it as Chairman of the Planning Commission, in 2000. It was then sent to the Council, where it was approved unanimously and sent to the California Coastal Commission for certification. It was certified by the California Coastal Commission in 2001. C-5-00 repealed Chapters 18-02 & 18-06 of the Municipal Code.

Here are a couple more tidbits:

Councilmember Ruddock requested Planning Commissioner John Sullivan be removed from the Planning Commission and be replaced by Linda Poncini. Ruddock gave no cause for Sullivan's removal, but Donovan said he suspected it was because Sullivan would not go along with requests Ruddock made with Sullivan "over coffee." "I will not be supporting his removal," Donovan said.

Finally, in an item Mayor Coleman added to the agenda, Coleman proposed staff write a letter to the Association of Bay Area Governments asking for a reduction in the Mid-Coast's ABAG housing quota.

Coleman recommended directing staff to write a comment letter to ABAG asking for a 50-percent reduction of the Mid-Coast housing quota, based on the five-to-seven year Highway 92 construction period.

Remember, this is the year that Ailanto and Beachwood were denied, with both filing lawsuits against the City.

No Growth? You bet, at any cost.


Two weeks earlier, the Review published this piece, titled "In the Public Eye: Web Link

Mayor Dennis Coleman, Vice Mayor Deborah Ruddock and Councilmembers Jerry Donovan and Naomi Patridge were present for the Aug. 1 City Council meeting. Councilmember Toni Taylor was absent.

In part, and in duplication of the piece above (perhaps because above wasn’t the first postponement), it states: “Three items were postponed by a 4-0 vote until the August 15 City Council meeting. They are: 1) an appeal of Planning Commission denial for a coastal development permit (CDP) for the proposed Labuda residence at the west end of Miramontes Avenue; 2 an appeal of Planning Commission approval for a CDP for the proposed Smith residence on Kelly ; and 3) a consideration of proposed amendments to the Half Moon Bay Municipal Code, which would allow the adoption of procedures to implement Measure D residential growth control provisions.”

Right after that, another topic was discussed; USA Media had just raised their rates (USA Media sold to ATT, who raised prices over 25% across the board and sold it to Comcast within six months, if memory serves).

Operartions Manager Robert Hager gave USA Media's reasoning for the rate increases and disparity therein that has riled seniors.

While subscriber rates haven't increased in the last three years, programming costs of have gone up 35 percent, Hager explained. Former Coastside cable company Weststar had offered seniors a 24 percent discount.

There was discussion between the Council members and Hager, focused on the hit to seniors on fixed income. The highlight (or more appropriately the lowlight) was when then Vice Mayor Ruddock engaged Hager: “"I personally will be supporting every piece of Internet legislation that will destroy the monopoly of the entertainment industry, including cable TV, over the services that we all need and deserve at a competitive rate," she said. "I think what you're doing is irresponsible and reprehensible."

"In what way," Hager asked?

"You're gouging people who can't afford the service, and you're taking advantage of loopholes in federal law to do it," Ruddock said. "You may be able to do it just like dogs being able to lick their genitals, but the fact that you do it anyway is reprehensible."

"I kinda resent that last statement," Hager said. "But that's your opinion."

I resented that statement, too. I was embarrassed. I was at that meeting. I remember it well. I wasn’t happy with the increase either, but sat quietly in the audience. I had no problem with the topic, but I was stunned that our Vice Mayor would make a comment like that. Is that the kind of articulation we want our children to absorb from our elected officials? Does the word arrogance ring a bell?


In a piece published August 10, 2000, local Chad Hooker had some interesting observations. The piece was published in the Review and titled, "Show me the money". Here's the link: Web Link

Hooker's opening paragraph reads: "The city budget for the new fiscal year has been approved; it carefully details and describes revenue sources and expenditures as well as goals and objectives for different departments." Can we see what's coming?

He follows with comments like, "The idea seems to be "pay for what you use". He follows with, "In short, try hard, keep doing better, make a good program and behave within the budget. Sounds like good government within the confines of limited money."

Then he states, "In that light, I noted a line item in the administrative services section of the budget called non-departmental expenditures. Last year it was $138,100. This year it is $490,500. I assumed such a not-so-small change in the budget would justify a good explanation. The descriptions lead to this fact: The City has transferred $250,000 from reserve funds to Risk Management Fund 63, "to cover the cost of the ABAG litigation deductible and the cost of potential land use litigation." Elsewhere it described this budgeted amount, saying "This amount only covers potential litigation costs. It does not attempt to reflect potential settlement amounts."

Our land use litigation was ramping up. We were being sued by Ailanto, Beachwood, and Wavecrest at the time. We ended up spending $5 Million on Beachwood legal fees alone.

Hooker continues with, "In another series of notes, the budget describes various insurances the city carries and concludes by saying: "The city is self-funded for land use issues." "Self-funded" is an interesting term implying that the funds exist; what it really means is there is neither the money nor the insurance for settlements or judgments."

"What all this means is that our city has set aside a quarter of a million dollars for this year alone to pay lawyers to argue with lawyers just over land-use issues. It is hoped that this is enough money just for the arguing part. If "we" lose, we have no insurance coverage. We probably would also not have a city any more."

"In that light, it should be noted that under the issues section, it says: "Land use litigation - Yamagiwa claim (Beachwood subdivision) is approximately $33 million including attorneys' fees and interest." Hmmm."

"So what is this "land-use issues" term about? It results from the City Council denying, retracting, withholding and otherwise stonewalling on the permitting of subdivisions of single-family homes, resulting in lawsuits in the cases where property owners were certain they had previously been granted development rights. This is the perceived mandate from the voters: Stop new housing at all cost."

"The problem is, when you commit to doing something "at all cost," you better be able to pay. This city can't pay settlements and judgments pertaining to land-use lawsuits, and it has no insurance for same. So what will happen if the city loses? Other cities have been sued, have lost, and are no longer incorporated cities. Now that would have made an interesting campaign plank! But let's understand: There are not very many things that can knock a city out of existence, but this level of lawsuits certainly can."

He goes on, but it's important to know that there were reasonable people around at the time, sounding the alarm. We just didn't hear it. As a result, we lost the Beachwood case in Federal Court, 11-28-07, to the tune of $41 Million (plus the $5 Million we spent in legal fees for that case).

We ended up getting the $5 Million back from ABAG, thanks to Yelitza Dunham's public request to the Council that they look into it, which they did.

We now face, as we all know, a reduced fiscal penalty of $18 Million due June 1, 2009, to settle the Beachwood matter, as a result of Settlement talks. Web Link

Hyman and Hooker were paying attention. They told us repeatedly.


"Our land use litigation was ramping up. We were being sued by Ailanto, Beachwood, and Wavecrest at the time."

Now way more than 20,000 words of personal takes and twists to try to show developers trying to overcome city land use regulations are litigious.

Like no one knew that in the first place.


In a Review story dated July 12, 2000, we see the genesis of the move away from disking in favor of mowing for weed abatement. The piece is titled, “City Council Stops Non-Ag Disking in HMB bt 3-2 vote”, and written by Chris Wilson. Here’s the link: Web Link

Although this piece does not describe litigation, it does demonstrate the No Growth Council majority’s (& the No Growth Planning Commission’s majority’s) interest in “wetlands”. It’s an interesting read. If it were a stand alone piece, most wouldn’t give it a second look, but understanding our elected and appointed officials mind set at the time we can see that this fits.

Read the piece. There are some interesting comments from Coleman (Mayor), Ferreira (PC Chair), Hanson and Sullivan (PC members) and Asche (HMB Fire District Chief). Coleman and Ferriera’s comments villify developers. It was this Action by the then Council that stopped disking for fire breaks, in favor of mowing (4”- 6” in height, I believe).


On July 12, 2000, the Review published an article titled, “Ailanto Asks The Commission for More Time”. This piece, written by Deirdre Pettit, gives us a glimpse into some of the machinations that occurred then with this project. Here’s the link: Web Link

The piece starts out with: “Two weeks after the California Coastal Commission staff recommended the commission deny the Pacific Ridge project at a hearing scheduled for this Friday, the developer has requested the hearing be postponed.”

“Oakland-based developer Ailanto Properties requested the postponement in a letter dated July 7 without stating a reason, according to Supervisor of the North Central Coast District Chris Kern.” As a side note here, Chris Kern replaced Jack Liebster at the Coastal Commission when Liebster came to work for HMB as our Planning Director (6/23/03).

Continuing with the piece, “The proposed 145-house subdivision, located on 114 hillside acres on the east side of Highway 1 just north of Half Moon Bay High School, has faced opposition from a local grassroots organization and endured the scrutiny of the Coastal Commission since it was approved 4-1 by the Half Moon Bay City Council last year. Mayor Dennis Coleman was the sole council member to vote against the project.”

“At the time the project was approved by the council, Ailanto Properties had proposed a 197-house subdivision. The number of homes proposed on the property was reduced during subsequent negotiations between the Coastal Commission staff and the developer this year. The reduction in houses created additional buffer zones around a number of wetlands, riparian corridors and endangered species habitat areas identified on the property. But commission staff ultimately decided that these adjustments were inadequate.”

“Coastal Commission staff recommended that the commission deny the project because it would have "adverse impacts, both individually and cumulatively with other potential projects ... on coastal resources and public shoreline access, thus making it inconsistent with the policies of the Half Moon Bay Local Coastal Program and public recreation and public access policies of the California Coastal Act." I will add here; what “other potential projects”? The City Council, with the Commission’s help, reduced Ailanto to 63 five thousand square foot McMansions which, as ‘luck’ would have it, is on the Coastal Commission’s Agenda next week (10-15-08), in Ventura (guess they’re not anxious for our input).

The next paragraph states: “The staff report furthermore states that the development would contribute to unacceptable levels of traffic congestion, therefore blocking coastal access. It also states that the development would degrade visual resources and have an adverse impact on the coastal environment, including wetlands and endangered species habitat.”

The piece continues, just like the saga.


This piece, written by Chris Wilson and titled “Half Moon Bay City Council: Luly 6, 2000” was published in the Review July 12, 2000.

Part of it reads: “Planning Commission Chairman Mike Ferreira gave the Council photos he had taken of the Pilarcitos Creek riparian destruction at the north end of Church Street."

"Is there any contractor in California that doesn't know that's illegal?" Ferreira asked.

The Council decided to address the "riparian rip-off" during the closed session of a future meeting.”

“Such destruction of wetland and riparian habitat - a discussion that included weed-abatement disking - should be considered as not just civil but criminal action, Vice Mayor Deborah Ruddock said. She said it was time to get tough with what she characterized as environmental vandals.”

I’ve never seen the photos discussed, so I won’t comment to that. I do, however, see a pattern of behavior regarding Ferreira and company’s attention to their definition of “wetland”. This meeting was a mere two months after the same Council denied the Beachwood CDP (05-02-00), with Coastal Commission assistance, based on their interpretation of our “wetland” definition, which resulted in a Federal Judgment against us for violating the US Constitution, in the amount of $41 Million. Web Link

The article then goes on to say, “Moving to the ordinances and public hearings portion of the meeting, the City Council heard nine specific appeals and protest letters from citizens who had been denied year 2000 Measure A allocations. Measure A allocations grant applicants the right to apply for a Coastal Development Permit.”

“The Council voted 4-1 to approve the exceptions. Councilmember Jerry Donovan voted no.

After the decision, Therese Ambrosi Smith shook Koepf's hand and said, "Welcome to permit hell." Smith was the City employee that owned 144 Kelly and tried to build a modest home. She gave up.

The piece continues with, “About 30 of the 70 people in the audience left after the Measure A decisions were handed down. Item seven on the agenda was a presentation of zoning code amendments that planning staff and the Architectural Review Committee recommended the city adopt. The new residential development standards ordinance outlines the maximum size and light plane for homes to be built on both standard and sub-standard lots.

The intent of the ordinance is to increase the space between homes to create more visually appealing neighborhoods. Opponents of the ordinance had claimed it would limit the ability to maximize second-story floor space.”

That Council, and their appointed bodies, performed a constant attack on property owners by consistently reducing or denying their home sizes. If you didn’t like it, you would be in “permit Hell”, as Smith so aptly put it.


Here's the link to another Ailanto (Pacific Ridge) piece published in the Review on June 28, 2000: Web Link Written by Deirdre Pettit, it's mostly covered in the above post.


Now here's an interesting piece. On June 28, 2000, the Review published this piece, titled "Alliance Holds Public Forum, written by Deirdre Pettit: Web Link

It starts with: “The prominent Half Moon Bay preservationist organization Neighbors' Alliance held a community forum on June 13 to discuss issues facing the city such as redevelopment, growth control, affordable housing, and infrastructure.”

Neighbor’s Alliance morphed into the League for Coastside Protection (LCP).

It continues with, “The forum, organized by longtime environmental activist David Iverson, featured panelists from the Half Moon Bay City Council, Planning Commission and Midcoast Community Council.”

“Mayor Dennis Coleman, Planning Commission Chairman Mike Ferreira, Midcoast Community Council Chair April Vargas and member Paul Perkovic, and City Councilwoman Debbie Ruddock sat on the panel.”

“Issues addressed during the meeting included the update of the General Plan, enforcement of the city and county local coastal program (LCP), preservation of open space, and the old Ocean Shore Railroad right of way.”

”The two most prominent issues discussed at the forum were growth and the proposed redevelopment plan in downtown Half Moon Bay.”

“Mayor Coleman, the first speaker, started out the discussion with a presentation on growth.”

In part, Coleman said, “He went on to say that the availability of water, roads, sewer and schools helps promote development.

A solution to expanding infrastructure and facilities to accommodate the minimum amount of growth, he suggested, is "right-sizing." What this means, Coleman said, is making sure the capacity matches - not exceeds - the population build-out number contained in the city's (LCP).”

Coleman, Ferreira and company have consistently obstructed efforts to improve our water, roads, sewer and schools.

The piece goes on. Have a read.


On June 28, 2000, the Review published a piece titled, “Wavecrest Hearing is Postponed”

Here’s the link: Web Link

“After months of heavy lobbying by a coalition of local interests as well as state politicians, a state agency has postponed its decision on a major Half Moon Bay development.”

”The California Coastal Commission staff has stayed a hearing on the Wavecrest Village project that had been scheduled for July in Marin County.”

“The proposed project, located in Half Moon Bay west of Highway 1 just north of the Ocean Colony subdivision, includes a Boys and Girls Club, a middle school, ball fields, market-rate housing, a commercial building and a community garden."

"The project received unanimous approval from the City Council last year, but was appealed to the Coastal Commission by two Coastal Commissioners. The 12-member commission found that the project raised substantial issues regarding its conformance to the city's local coastal program and the Coastal Act. Two major issues that have dogged the project are the presence of wetlands on the site and conformance with city zoning.”

Interesting read, but we all know how it turned out. I wonder how much the City spent in litigation fees and staff time on this one.


Eric Rice wrote a piece which the Review published on May 17, 2000, titled "Coastal commission hears Pacific Ridge, Postpones decision". Here's the link: Web Link

As an aside, most of us haven't heard that name (Eric Rice) for a while. He did a lot of work for the Review. He went to Santa Cruz to work when he left here. Anyway, back to it.

This piece is most certainly worth reading. This piece talks to the concerns, and the original remedies for them (which made sense).

Here’s one quote found about ½ way down: “However, the bulk of Friday's discussion centered on traffic, ranging from the project's impact on one street to how it will affect the entire city.”

The first sentence of the opening paragraph reads: “Coastside roads are going to get worse before they get better.”

The second paragraph reads: “At the Santa Rosa meeting, commissioners discussed the 145-house development and the many unanswered questions surrounding it. The development would be located along the hillside on the east side of Highway 1, north of Half Moon Bay High School.” Here we sit in October 2008, and the questions still remain. One difference between then and now, however, is that logic and common sense seem to have vanished and this project has become infinitly more complex as a result.

The piece goes on to say, “The Pacific Ridge development (formerly Dykstra Ranch) was approved for 197 homes by the Half Moon Bay City Council 13 months ago, but was appealed to the Coastal Commission by the Coastside Community Association, a grass-roots residents group. Since then, the project has undergone significant revisions that have reduced the number of homes to 145.”

“About 25 people from Half Moon Bay attended the meeting, including City Manager Blair King and City Council Members Naomi Patridge, Debbie Ruddock and Jerry Donovan, who came in support of the development.”

“Much of the May 12 hearing focused on the traffic impacts that will be created by Pacific Ridge. But speakers also touched upon the larger question of what to do about the worsening traffic problems on the coast caused by the cumulative development in Half Moon Bay and the unincorporated Mid-Coast.”

Here’s where it starts to get good.

“Mark Massara, a Sierra Club spokesman, suggested that the city and the commission examine what will happen if the city's current direction of development continues. He noted that the city has been very successful in positioning itself as a "rural, event-driven destination community," with such events as the Pumpkin Festival, Flower Market and Mavericks surf contest. But he said the city is changing without any forethought into a bedroom community, which could be detrimental to that image.”

“Several residents of Terrace Avenue, including appellants George Carman and Eleanor Wittrup, spoke at the hearing, pleading with commissioners to not allow their street to be used as the primary access road to Pacific Ridge. Ailanto is seeking permission to use Terrace as access during and after construction and is now proposing to install a traffic signal at Highway 1 and Terrace Avenue.” Isn’t this choice. Carman and Wittrup were husband and wife. They were a driving force in stopping Beachwood. Wittrup, a staunch No Growther, was on the Water Board (CCWD). They were both very vocal. They made up the “grassroots organization that appealed the City’s approval (Coastside Community Association). Neither one lives in HMB now, and again, we’re stuck with the problems either they caused or actively participated in.

Examples: Beachwood’s $41 Million Judgment, and the Ailanto project in terms of size and access.

The piece continues with: “Traffic was originally supposed to be funneled into the development via a proposed road, Foothill Boulevard, which would have intersected Highway 92 near Hilltop Mobile Home Park. That is the approved access in the city's Local Coastal Plan.” Foothill Blvd. Those two words, for some unknown reason, have managed to strike fear into the hearts and minds of everyone with influence. Why? I have no idea. Maybe it just makes too much sense, or it’s the easiest, cheapest solution. Who knows, but it gets better.

The following paragraph continues: “But the City Council discarded Foothill for a variety of reasons in favor of moving traffic through a different proposed road, Bayview Avenue, which empties onto Highway 1 rather than Highway 92. Bayview would be built parallel to and just north of Terrace Avenue, running from Highway 1 east to the Pacific Ridge development. However, when, if at all, that street will be constructed is also in question.”

We still don’t know, but it’s not looking good. For those that don’t know where Foothill is; Foothill Blvd borders the goat field (on the north side) on Hwy 92. It is paralell to Hwy 1, and runs north/south from 92 north to behind the High School. Bayview, for those that don’t know, is the would be road located at the apron on the east side of Hwy 1, between Terrace and Grandview. There is a 4X8 foot sign there, double sided, demonstrating the beginning or end (depending on which way you’re going) of the Foothill/Bayview bypass. Ailanto was supposed to build Foothill, and Beachwood was supposed to build Bayview. They connected at Ailanto, behind the High School.

Just as another side note, roughly 75 % of the evening traffic westbound on Hwy 92 heads north on Hwy 1. That number will increase over time, as there is more room for growth to our north than there is here.

What an idea; a 2 lane bypass that would relieve congestion at 92 & Main, carrying 75% of current traffic north without having to deal with 92 & Hwy 1, or 92 & Main, offering commuters relief for decades to come. The cost to us? Zero, if done correctly. It would also relieve the traffic stresses of both Ailanto and Beachwood.

The piece continues with: “One coastal commissioner said he wants to see a proposal brought back for Foothill Boulevard that protects wetlands and riparian areas.” Yeah, me too.

“Members of the public and some commissioners suggested that if the Pacific Ridge development is OK'd, the approval should carry the condition that an access road other than Terrace be used.”

The piece concludes with this little gem: “Planning Commissioner Mike Ferreira also attended the meeting, urging the Coastal Commission to reject the development and send it "back to the drawing board" and the city for reconsideration.”

Guess what happened? Ferreira’s signature is on the Ailanto Settlement Agreement that was eventually made between Ailanto, HMB, and the Coastal Commission. That Agreement reduced the number of homes to 63, up to 5,000 sq ‘, and Ferreira moved the homes south and placed them on Foothill. Subtle, huh?

One more side note. Lucy Lopez, Jerry Steinberg, and other Terrace Avenue residents have stayed on these issues. Terrace Avenue residents will have representation at next week’s Coastal Commission hearing (10/15/08, next Wednesday), yet another Commission hearing to determine Ailanto’s fate. Currently, Commission staff reccommends approval, with 17 conditions. For more information, here’s a current link to some of the current concerns from someone who will carry the burden: Web Link


This next entry doesn't have as much to do with litigation as it does to what it takes to get anything done in HMB; although there's litigation here, too (surprised?).

This piece, also published in the Review on May 17, 2000, is titled, "HMB Planning Commission agrees to widen Highway 92", and was written by Deirdre Pettit. Here's the link: Web Link

The Hwy 92 widening project has just been completed. It was double the cost you'll see when you hit the link, and was 10 years in planning prior to the approval offered by the PC in 2000.

The litigation involved here was regarding securing the land for expansion; Eminent Domain (for public benefit).

Here's the opening paragraph: "The Half Moon Bay Planning Commission gave the green light to an $11.1 million Highway 92 widening project on Thursday."

The next one states: "The highlights of the project, which has been stuck in its planning stage for the past decade, are the addition of a second left-turn lane from southbound Highway 1 to eastbound Highway 92, widening Highway 92 from Highway 1 to the eastern city limits, widening Main Street from Highway 92 south to Stone Pine Road and north to Highway 1, and construction of new sidewalk and bicycle lanes."

It's a worthwhile read.


In the same edition, here's one completely off topic, but included non-the-less. It's titled, "Farewell to the Half Moon Bay Review, written by ... Eric Rice. Well worth reading. Here's the link: Web Link


Here's one of the pieces we have to include. This is, without question, the report on a City Action that has offered HMB its most devestating defeat ever, and threatens our very existence. This piece, titled simply “Council denies Beachwood”, was written by Deirdre Pettit, and was published in the Review on May 10, 2000. Here’s the link: Web Link

“By unanimous vote, the Half Moon Bay City Council approved findings for denial for the proposed 83-home Beachwood subdivision at the May 2 regular meeting.”

“According to a 10-page staff report, the proposed project would violate the city's Local Coastal Program, Coastal Act and Environmental Quality Act by filling in nine wetlands that were identified on the site.”

“Wetlands consultants hired by the city, Richmond-based LSA Associates, which the city also hired for the Pacific Ridge and Wavecrest Village projects, mapped out the wetlands.” Would that be one of the consultants that Federal Court Judge Walker said the City “shopped” for? “125. The City's third wetlands consultant was Steve Foreman of LSA”, page 51 of 167, from Federal Court Judge Walker’s Decision (11-28-07). Here’s the link: Web Link

From the Review’s piece; “The developers of both the Beachwood and Pacific Ridge projects had agreed to share the costs for the construction of a new road, Bayview Avenue, to access the two subdivisions.”

Walker, in his Findings, continues with, “When the City rejected Yamagiwa's

CDP application due to the presence of wetlands on Beachwood,

the City Council accepted Foreman's wetlands map. (Ex 179, at

9281 ["The City finds that the conclusions of Messrs Foreman

and Lohmann as to the extent of wetlands on the project site

are accurate, and bases its decision herein on the information

provided to the City by LSA."].)”

“127. Significantly, Foreman found no wetlands that would interfere

with the ability to construct Bayview Drive on the north side

of Beachwood, the street the City wanted built for traffic

circulation purposes.” How convenient for the City; Walker noted that convenience.

“Thus, Foreman's final wetlands map would have prevented significant

development of homes on the lots previously approved by the

City's 1990 VTM, but would have preserved the ability to

construct Bayview Drive and the downtown bypass favored by the

City.”

The Review piece notes, “Pacific Ridge is currently on appeal to the California Coastal Commission, which is scheduled to review the project from the top down at a hearing this Friday in Santa Rosa.” We’ve covered Ailanto above, to some degree. It’s important, I believe, to know and understand all that was happening at the time. The City had several litigeous balls in the air, all of their own making. The one that slipped through, Beachwood, would be the one that brings the City to its knees.

In Walker’s Findings (above link), he clearly notes how the City, not satisfied with the answers they got regarding the presence, or lack thereof, of wetlands shopped around until they got what they wanted. In doing so, he notes; (pg 55) “135. This conduct is noteworthy because it calls into question the trustworthiness of the opinions and conclusions presented by the City at trial regarding the location and cause of wetlands on Beachwood. Having exhibited a pattern of shifting consultants and shifting definitions, the City comes to trial with impaired credibility on the key wetlands issues in the

case.”

Walker’s Decision continues with; “137. The City Council voted to deny the Beachwood CDP at its March 21, 2000 meeting. Thereafter, it took six weeks for the City Council to adopt a written resolution containing the reasons for its denial. On May 2, 2000, then-Planning Director Curtis submitted the proposed resolution to the City Council, with the recommendation that the City Council "review the

resolution and determine if it adequately and completely reflects the conclusions of the Council reached after the close of the public hearing on March 21, 2000." (Ex 131, at 1409142.) Lamphier prepared the resolution, with input from others. (Lamphier, 625:15-16.) She knew it was important that the resolution be accurate; in fact, she knew that litigation would likely follow the City's CDP denial.

(Lamphier, 626:20-25.) It is obvious from the circumstances

(as well as the six weeks spent on the task) that the City

carefully considered the wording and contents of its lengthy

resolution denying the Beachwood CDP.”

Walker continues with; “The City's attempt to conjure up a change in the law as the basis for its 2000 decision is not credible based on the evidence, and the court rejects it.” This comment was Walker’s response to the City’s attempt to: (from his Findings) “At trial, the City tried to suggest that the 1999 decision in Bolsa Chica Land Trust v Superior Court, 71 Cal App 4th 493 (1999) was the determinative factor in the City's 2000 denial of the Beachwood CDP. If that were true, one would expect to find the 1999 case mentioned

prominently in the City's 2000 resolution which was carefully

drafted over a six week period. But it is nowhere mentioned

in the City's resolution. (pg 57)

More to come on this one.

To the topic here, “Were The 2000-2005 Council Members Litigious?” You decide.


Continuing with the Review’s “Council denies Beachwood" piece, Web Link

“Local contractor Chad Hooker spoke to the council, asking the members to approve the project to set the right precedent for future City Council actions.”

”A prior council approved the vesting tentative map for the project, Hooker said, and if this council denied it then it wouldn't be possible for developers to rely on decisions made by this council in the future.”

“Councilwoman Naomi Patridge said that she agreed with Hooker, and would like to approve the project for the very same reasons he articulated.”

”However, Patridge said, she could not vote for the project if it violated the city's Local Coastal Program.”

Patridge, at a Council meeting several months ago, commented that she felt pressured at the time and thought she was doing the right thing, based on our legal advice (Meyers Nave), our Planning Commission’s actions, and the Coastal Commission’s strong influence and direction. She also stated that she regrets that decision and referred to it as a mistake.

The Review piece concludes with; “The developer, William Crowell, is suing the city over the project.”

”Councilwoman Toni Taylor made the motion to adopt the resolution of denial, which was given a second by councilwoman Debbie Ruddock.”

”Patridge, Councilman Jerry Donavan and Mayor Dennis Coleman joined in the final vote to deny a coastal development permit for the project.”


In the same May 10, 2000, Review edition, we find another piece written by local Chad Hooker, titled “Abuse of Environmental Law”. Here’s the link: Web Link

Remember, Hooker opined to the Council at the May 2, 2000 Council meeting just before it denied the Beachwood CDP, that they were making a mistake if they denied it and presented his argument to them. They didn’t listen.

Here’s his opening comment: “Why is environmental law being so severely abused? Because it so easily can be.” He follows with; “The easiest way to block something from happening is to claim it will hurt the environment. This places the responsibility for proving otherwise on the group or person wanting to do something. Proving a negative is very tough, so endless reports, studies and so on, almost always contradictory, are frequently followed by litigation. Property owners are accused of degrading the environment and must then defend themselves in an arena where the baseline statistics can be vague, the alleged violation unclear, and the remedial solution impractical at best.”

Hooker then offers an example: “A specific local example of such legal abuse is the selfish roadblocks that have been used to deny permits for single family residences along the old Railroad Avenue right of way in the Alsace Lorraine area. The genuine agenda of the neighbors fighting the construction of those houses has nothing to do with wetlands, but "wetlands protection" is a viable argument when "saving my view" is not. So every effort has been made to argue that houses there will kill something other than the neighbors' view, even though studies, and the city staff, have concluded exactly the opposite.”

Then Hooker provides another example: “Another example of environmental law abuse is the Catch 22 facing Bill Crowell, the property owner and, dare I say, "developer" of the Beachwood subdivision property north of Terrace Avenue. He has a legal residential subdivision east of Highway One with an approved map. He was told in 1990 that he could develop the property but had to wait until he had both sewer and water. Now infrastructure work is complete but the rules have changed; i.e., the Local Coastal Plan is somehow different now. What really changed is the City Council and its perceived mandate to thwart all growth, even at the expense of behaving ethically by honoring past commitments made by this city.”

Hooker continues with; “In the interim, water flowing from other people's property onto the Beachwood property could accumulate there. That prompted some neighbors to deem it a "potential wetland."

”Meanwhile, Crowell had reportedly installed drainage to prevent such water accumulation. Eric Rice suggested earlier this year that Crowell should be "punished" for installing the drainage provisions without first getting a permit; the neighbors' accusation is that a wetland was actually drained. Note that no one is proposing to purchase the land to save it as a habitat or sanctuary, but rather to punish the developer for putting in drainage so it wouldn't become a wetland. Rice's enviro-police force is not yet up and running, and the gallows are not yet completed, but the council is meting out the punishment by denying a development permit.”

From Walker’s Findings of Fact (link above), from page 93, “Mitigation Efforts by the Property Owner 217. Shortly after Melanie Mayer Gideon first found potential new wetlands on Beachwood outside of its southeast corner in January 1999, Crowell attempted on February 2, 1999 to pump

standing water out of some of the street depressions on Beachwood. Although no one had yet determined that the standing water on Beachwood did constitute wetlands, the City responded by putting a rapid stop to the pumping.”

Then continues on page 94; “Then-Planning Director Anthony "Bud" Carney wrote a memorandum to the then-City Manager Blair King outlining the City's rapid response to the report of water pumping on Beachwood. Carney contacted the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish & Game and the United States Army Corps of Engineers in an effort to put a stop to the

pumping. (Ex 156; Lamphier, 596:4-21.) Police officers came to the site, and Crowell directed the workers he had hired to stop pumping. (Crowell, 727:19-728:17.)”

I guess he didn’t have the phone number for the National Guard.

Continuing with Hooker’s piece, “As of now, there is not even consensus on what a wetland is. Since the court ruling called Bolsa Chica, nobody knows, or maybe everybody knows but everybody disagrees. There is presently no consistent, standard definition of a wetland.”

Hooker continues with; “But really: it is simply not credible that every puddle should be cherished for its potential to have significant biodiversity. If it's that easy to create a wetland, why don't we just decide where it would be really cool to have that kind of endangered plant habitat and go create some?”

“This hypocritical use of environmental law will lead to a backlash against such laws. All local citizens and species will then be the losers. I, for one, would like to see the hard-won advances in environmental protection of the last twenty five years preserved and enforced. I don't want a return to dirty air and water, paving over of marshes and clear cutting of forests. But what I see instead is the law being abused simply because that is the easiest way to stop a project to save your view or fulfill a political agenda without having to buy the property in question.”

“And it should prompt the planning commissioners and elected officials to question whether they really believe an argument they are hearing. Or are they simply using it as cover for a vote they would prefer to make, given their political take on growth?”


Another Review piece from early May, 2000, shows us the networking of different No Growth Boards, the collusion if you will, for the No Growth at any cost theme.

The piece is titled “Proposed management changes at water board cause uproar”. It was written by Deirdre Pettit. Here’s the link: Web Link

The piece starts out with; “The April 25 Coastside County Water District meeting began with more questions than answers.”

”The special meeting was called by the District Board of Directors to hire a special attorney and to evaluate the performance and the job descriptions of General Manager Robert Rathborne and district counsel Hanson Bridgett.”

“But at least two of the five directors said they didn't seem to understand the reasons for hiring another attorney. “I’m dying with curiousity to know why we need a special counsel,” said Director Ken Coverdale.”

“"I personally do not feel we need a special counsel for this matter," said Director Major Gates.”

“Director Eleanor Wittrup explained in response that she felt the board needed a special counsel to impartially address personnel issues in light of the nearly 30-year relationship between Rathborne and Hanson Bridgett.”

“Although Gates wasn't swayed, Coverdell agreed to hire Santa Cruz-based attorney Jonathan Wittwer to serve as special counsel to the district.”

”Wittwer's law firm, Wittwer and Parkins, also serves as legal counsel for the Highland Park grassroots organization the Coastside Community Association, of which Wittrup is a co-founding member. The organization was formed to appeal the Pacific Ridge project, which is proposed to be constructed across the street from Wittrup's home.”

Is this adding up? You bet. Wittrup, a CCWD Director, and her husband George Carmen, were the vociferous opponents of both Beachwood and Ailanto. Grassroots my eye. As mentioned earlier, they generously helped get us into these messes. They don’t live here anymore. We do, and we are the ones left to pick up the pieces, attempting to clean up the messes they and their No Growth at any cost buddies shoved in our ears.

The piece continues with; “In the public comments section of the meeting, several people in the audience expressed satisfaction with Rathborne's service to the district and dismay that the handling of his job description and performance evaluation was being conducted in such a public manner.”

"I'm shocked and dismayed (about the discussion) in a public setting," said Elizabeth Schuck.

”Board members still attempted to move forward with the meeting despite uproar from the audience, but they lacked the information they needed to evaluate the job description and performance evaluation criteria.”

”This frustrated Director Coverdell, who praised Rathborne during the meeting and questioned the grounds for writing a new job description.”

There’s more, but you get the idea. The link provided will take those interested to the piece.


This next piece, also published in the Review, is titled “Top to bottom review for Pacific Ridge project this week”, also written by Deirdre Pettit, covers groung we’ve already covered, with a couple of exceptions. Here’s the link: Web Link

It starts out with; “The California Coastal Commission will review the Pacific Ridge project from the ground up at a public hearing scheduled for Friday, May 12, in Santa Rosa.”

”However the slim 21-page staff report on the proposed 145-home subdivision, released April 27, makes no recommendation of action to the commission.”

“Without a staff recommendation, the commission cannot act on the project, according to Steve Scholl, deputy director of the commission's North Coast office.” I didn’t know that.

“George Carman, a Highland Park resident and appellant of the project, said he expected a decision on the project by the commission would be delayed until July.”

”And, he said, he is pleased the commission will be dedicating time to discussing policy issues in a public setting that are related to traffic.”

“But Carman said he believes the commission should have rejected the project outright months ago and sent it back to the city.”

"Frankly, we think that the Coastal Commission is attempting to plan a project on behalf of the applicant," Carman said. "We think the commission should have heard the project in a timely manner and made a decision on it."

”If the commission does approve the project, Carman said the Highland Park-based, grassroots organization the Coastside Community Association will add the commission to the lawsuit already filed against Ailanto and the city.”

”The Wavecrest Village project, which includes affordable and market rate homes, Boys and Girls Club, middle school and commercial complex, may also be scheduled during the July meeting. The Wavecrest Village site is located on the west side of Highway 1 just north of the Ocean Colony subdivision.”

Two things to note: a) Carman’s presence, attitude and approach and b) the Wavecrest Village Project’s presence in the mix.

No Growth at any cost? Litigeous? We’re paying for it now, and will be for many years to come, in many ways.


This next Review piece is important for several reasons. Titled “HMB planners propose substandard lot laws”, written by Deirdre Pettit and publihed in the Review April 19, 2000, shows us another assault on property owners, their property, and debunks the myth that the 2000-2005 Council spun as “unintended consequenses”, while creating 1828 Substandard Lots in HMB. I posted all the affected subdivisions above (George, a resident of Half Moon Bay, on October 10, 2008 at 7:50 pm). Here’s the link: Web Link

This piece starts out; “A zoning ordinance recommended to the Half Moon Bay City Council by the Planning Commission earlier this month is expected to restrict development on about 1,500 lots citywide.” But they said they didn’t know!?

”"The main purpose for the modifications is to improve design and reduce the size of housing on increasingly small lots," explained Senior Planner Bill Smith.”

“The ordinance amends current zoning regulations for residential development and creates a set of guidelines for those interested in building a home in the city.”

“The ordinance, which the commission reviewed at its March 9 regular meeting, is a product of a yearlong combined effort of the Planning Department, the Architectural Review Committee and a special sub-committee. Architects Chris Ridgeway and Linda Poncini and substandard lot activist Gar Taylor volunteered their time to work on the subcommittee.”

Ferreira was Planning Commission Chair. Gar Taylor is Toni Taylor’s husband. She was the only person that got to vote to deny Beachwood, twice; once as a Planning Commissioner, then again as a Council member (05-02-00), as she filled the Council seat vacated by Betty Stone.

The piece continues, “The ordinance accomplishes its goals by changing several sections of the city's current zoning codes.” You can say that again.

This bunch never stopped attacking our rights, and almost always had the spin to justify it. I guess when you’re willing to violate the US Constitution (Beachwood), why not step on local, County, and State laws, too?

The piece continues; “It alters the maximum building envelope, which regulates the size and shape of houses on various sized lots. The new envelope is designed to increase the space between houses on both standard and substandard lots.”

“Another way the ordinance will create less bulky homes is by altering the proportionality rule, which establishes a ratio between the actual lot size and the required lot size in the zoning district. This will reduce the size of homes that are allowed on lots that are severely substandard.”

”It also changes the definition of floor area to include basements and attics to reduce the bulk of buildings.”

There’s more, for those interested. Check it out with the link provided.

Again I ask, Were The 2000-2005 Council Members Litigious? You bet, and arrogant, too.

To update; All 1828 Substandard Lots created by this bunch have been re-designated as “Exceptional” Substandard Lots, through pressure on the 2005 Council, which pushed the Coastal Commission for political relief, culminating with the 2006 Council’s efforts in securing the recognition from the Coastal Commission (in 2006). Nothing has been done since then, so to this day, those Exceptional Substandard Lots are still the same, and impact homeowners in almost all City subdivisions. See the post referred to above to see if you’re one of the 1828. The Ordinance is C-5-00, and as you can see started with Ferreira’s Planning Commission (Chair) and his No Growth buddies.

Litigious? How far would you be pushed before you fight back?


The April 12, 2000 Review presented an interesting piece titled “Giving back control” and written by Deirdre Pettit. Here’s the link: Web Link

The opening paragraph begs the reader to continue.

“To some Half Moon Bay residents the California Coastal Commission is an organization of rabid tree huggers with too much power. To others, it is the last line of defence against unscrupulous developers out to destroy the precious coast.”

Followed by: “What cannot be disputed is that the 12-member Coastal Commission has taken control of two significant projects in Half Moon Bay - Wavecrest Village and Pacific Ridge. Both were approved by the City Council, but have been tied up since last summer on appeal.”

“Some strange political bedfellows have joined forces in suggesting that the city might - just might - want to give back to the state its hard-won authority to make planning decisions for the city.”

Say what?

“The contentious and expensive regulatory environment that accompanies the city's enforcement of the Local Coastal Program (LCP) has led King to consider bringing the idea of decertifying the LCP before the City Council.”

”Decertification of the LCP, which is the city's adaptation of the Coastal Act, would mean giving back to the commission the power it was granted several years ago to issue Coastal Development Permits (CDPs). These coveted permits allow developers to build within the Coastal Zone, which includes the entire city of Half Moon Bay.”

”King said he wants the council to discuss whether the benefits of local control outweigh the costs of enforcement and the risk of litigation inherent in approving development within the city.”

Blair King, City Manager at the time, brought this idea forward to the Council. He presented some interesting points and arguments, and people took sides.

This piece features comments from City Manager Blair King, Coastal Commission Executive Director Peter Douglas, City Finance Director John Ellis, City Attorney John Truxaw (Meyers Nave), Bob Henry - project manager for the Oakland-based developer of Pacific Ridge, Ailanto Properties, Pat Fitzgerald of Wavecrest Partners, Commission North Coast Office District Supervisor Chris Kern, Mayor Dennis Coleman, Councilwoman Toni Taylor, John Lynch, and Chad Hooker.

Here’s a taste:

“One of King's key arguments is that the state cannot foist unfunded mandates upon the city, as it is doing today From the perspective of several city staff members, enforcing the Local Coastal Program comes with significant costs and potentially catastrophic risks.”

”The biggest risk is litigation. The city has been sued for approving Coastal Development Permits for Pacific Ridge and North Wavecrest and now faces a likely court battle for its March 21 denial of a permit for the proposed Beachwood subdivision.”

”The council unanimously rejected the latter permit because, members argued, the Beachwood project does not conform to the LCP, especially in regard to area wetlands.”

”Cities such as Half Moon Bay, with small staffs and tight budgets, face devastating consequences if they are hit with even a single court judgment that they have illegally taken away someone's property rights by denying a Coastal Development Permit, said City Finance Director John Ellis.”

”One such ruling against the city could cost several million dollars, throwing the city into financial chaos. At the least, losing a court ruling could force the city to cut back the number of officers on the city's police force and staff or to forgo planned improvements to public facilities and streets or construction of a new library and police station.”

”In fact, this doomsday scenario hasn't played out in a single coastal city since the Coastal Act was passed, but Ellis said it is nevertheless a specter that lurks behind city decisions.”

And where are we today? “…cost several million dollars …” – Try $41 Million! Never happened to a CA coastal City before? It certainly has now, and we’re ground zero.

I can understand both sides of this argument, although I favor local control. Perhaps I would have thought differently in April, 2000, had I had today’s knowledge. Every speaker to this piece brought valid points, save one.

“Thus it comes as no surprise that City Attorney John Truxaw says that preventing litigation against the city is his top priority.” Yeah, thanks for looking out for us Truxaw. Truxaw was Lindgren’s predecessor from Meyers Nave (MN). Those ‘gentlemen’ nailed us for $5 Million in fees for Beachwood alone. For our money, we were rewarded with a $41 Million Judgment against us; small matter of violating the US Constitution.

The piece is long, but it’s a very worthwhile read.


This Review piece, from March 30, 2000, comes as no surprise. We’ve pretty well covered it already, but it’s certainly worth noting. The piece, titled “HMB Council rejects Beachwood subdivision”, written by Deirdre Pettit, covers the March 21, 2000 Council’s decision to deny the CDP. Here’s the link: Web Link

The May 2, 2000 Council meeting was the formal denial, but most of the work was prepared for this meeting. The Staff Report is so large for this Item at this meeting that I had to go to City Hall to get it. It was too large to ship electronically.

The lead paragraphs follow:

“Facing a costly and protracted court battle, the Half Moon Bay City Council positioned itself to reject plans for an 80-home subdivision in order to defend city and state environmental laws.”

”At its March 21 meeting, the council unanimously voted to have staff come back at its next meeting with findings to deny a Coastal Development Permit for the Beachwood project. Council members determined that the plan does not comply with the Local Coastal Program, California Coastal Act and California Environmental Quality Act.”

More from the piece: “In the motion of denial, Councilwoman Debbie Ruddock directed staff to come back with specific findings at the next meeting to substantiate the vote.”

”These findings will include provisions of the Local Coastal Program that the project plan allegedly violates, such as the requirement that the city protect wetlands, environmentally sensitive habitat areas, endangered species and views.”

“Councilman Jerry Donovan questioned why the environmental reports prepared by the developer's consultants differed substantially from that prepared by the city's consultant. The developer's consultants identified two potential wetlands on the site, while the city's consultant, LSA Associates, identified nine.”

Funny thing; Judge Walker had the same question. Walker’s answer? (from Findings of Fact, pgs 72 & 73); “171. The only witness who testified to the presence of pre-TAAD wetlands on Beachwood was Dr Huffman. Dr Huffman purported to review a series of aerial photographs, from which he was able to divine that wetlands existed on Beachwood pre-TAAD.”

“(Huffman, 1455:9-1457:3; 1465:16-1466:16.) The court rejects

Dr Huffman's methods and conclusions as implausible,

unsupportable and contrary to the facts.”

“172. Dr Huffman did not adequately explain how or why he was able

to conclude that dark areas on pre-TAAD aerial photographs showed wetlands. To the contrary, he had no explanation whether other dark areas in the same photographs constituted wetlands, or what types of vegetation were growing in such other dark areas. (Huffman, 1466:17-1468:7; 1471:19-1474:1.) In the end, Dr Huffman resorted to claiming that his special training allowed him to see things and draw conclusions that others could not. (Huffman, 1474:2-14.) The court is not convinced.”

What, kindda like Spiderman?

“173. Moreover, Dr Huffman's opinion regarding the presence of

pre-TAAD wetlands on Beachwood is contrary to the overwhelming

evidence of the lack of such pre-TAAD wetlands on Beachwood.”

Two speakers at this meeting were George Carman and Mike Ferreira. Here’s what they had to say:

“George Carman, an opponent of the Pacific Ridge subdivision, requested that the council restore the site for five years to allow wetlands and environmentally sensitive habitat to re-emerge on the site after years of grading, disking and draining.” Remember Carman? He was almost as influencial in stopping Beachwood and Ailanto as his buddy Ferreira. Carman’s wife, Wittrup, was busy pushing her No Growth agenda as a CCWD Board member. Both have moved, leaving their string of messes behind for us to deal with, like so many before and since; Thanks guys.

”Planning Commissioner Mike Ferreira also requested that the commission reject the project because of the grading and disking to the site and the "big problem" in the difference of opinion between the consultants regarding their determinations of wetlands on the property.” Yeah, following the law can be really tricky sometimes, huh Ferreira?


This next piece was also published in the March 31, 2000 Review. It’s titled “Checking the armor before heading into battle” and was written by Eric Rice. Here’s the link: Web Link

His opening comments : “Now that the Half Moon Bay City Council has unanimously lined up in opposition to the 83-home Beachwood subdivision, virtually assuring that the matter will be decided in court, allow me to play Devil's advocate.”

”Is this really a project the city wants to go to the mat on?”

”The council has concluded that the subdivision falls far short of complying with the city's Local Coastal Program, particularly in how it would result in building on wetlands. Maybe it does. I can't know for sure because the consultant who determined for the city that there are extensive new wetlands on the Beachwood property was LSA Associates. LSA was roundly dismissed by many wetland-huggers last year for what they saw as a failure to spot what they considered to be obvious wetlands in North Wavecrest and Pacific Ridge. If they were so incompetent last year, as I heard some people suggest, how can they be trusted to be so right about Beachwood? It couldn't have just been politics, could it?”

It was all about politics, Eric, and good question on trusting their competency. Judge Walker figured it out, too.

Continuing with the piece, Rice states; “So far, the City of Half Moon Bay has spent $83,000 in legal fees fighting a lawsuit filed by Beachwood's developers. That has just been for the preliminaries. If it actually goes to court, those costs will skyrocket as the city's legal guns pull out their $300- or $400-an-hour Magnum .44s. Maybe the city can get the California Coastal Commission and its considerable legal resources to join us, maybe not.”

That little diddy cost us $5 Million in legal fees to Meyers Nave, and Keenan’s legal fees as well (at least a good part of his fees). As to the Coastal Commission’s help? What help? They seem to be very content to watch us crash and burn with AB1991 and SB863. Remember Christie’s comments (legislative liason for the Commission) to the State Assembly? She started out saying the Commission would authorize 19 units on the property, and by the time she got done several Committee meetings later she had us with 45 units and retail space! Who did you think you were fooling, Ms. Christie?

Rice continues with;

“For what?”

”I don't hear people suggesting that this piece of property is unusually beautiful coastal terrace. It's not on the bluffs overlooking the ocean. It's not filled with majestic cypress or eucalyptus trees. It doesn't have a life-giving river running through it. It's basically a piece of flat land between two existing subdivisions.”

Good points Eric.

Visit the link to read more.


This piece, from the March 23, 2000 Review, is titled, “Taylor’s first priority should be school, club”. Here’s the link: Web Link

Taylor was elected to fill the vacancy left on the Council with the resignation of Betty Stone. Taylor campaigned for the seat.

The lead-in paragraphs follow:

“O.K., Toni Taylor has been elected to the Half Moon Bay City Council. All the supporters of Measure D, the 1-percent growth-control measure in Half Moon Bay, who worried that it might not be enforced if John Sullivan were elected can breathe a sigh of relief.”

”Measure D was one of the major issues in the recent campaign. Another was the future of the Boys and Girls Club and new middle school in Wavecrest Village. With Measure D out of the way, I think Taylor's first priority should be to try and find some way to move the club - and, more importantly, the new middle school - forward.”

As we now know, Wavecrest Village did not, and will not move forward. POST bought the 207 acres late last year. Stick a fork in that one; it’s done. The Boys and Girls Club? Well, that hasn’t happened either. New school? Refurbish Cunha. Measure D? Another completely empty promise. To date, no attention, let alone implementation.

Promise the world, and give nothing. Isn’t politics interesting? The No Growthers not only give nothing, they take. Beachwood, Ailanto, Wavecrest Village, a new middle school, possible Hwy 92 widening, appealing the CCWD El Granada Pipeline expansion, Boys and Girls Club, shrinking the envelope of an individual’s right to build a home, 1828 Substandard Lots, the illegal Net/Gross Lot rule (with only Council member Grady slipping in over the seven year period from passage by our Planning Commission to the revocation by the 2006 Council); and this doesn’t include the money they cost us - $41 Million Federal Court Judgment for violating the US Constitution, $3.1 Million for an alleged park with now less than 9 usable active acres (purchased to prevent widening 92 later) with NO plan for payment, their annual deficit spending and more.

The piece continues with; “Why haven't they been separated out from the rest of the project and allowed to proceed?”

”Is it because Wavecrest developer Bill Barrett doesn't want the club and school to move forward without the residential component of the development?”

“Is it because the staff of the California Coastal Commission is dragging its feet? Or could it be that the city is not pushing hard enough to get the commission's attention?”

”Is it simply bureaucratic shuffling?”

”These are all questions Taylor should ask and then pass on the answers to the public. During her campaign she said several times she supports the club. Let's see some action.”

”It looks like it's up to her. Council Members Jerry Donovan and Naomi Patridge have been ineffective in getting the ball rolling, and Council Members Debbie Ruddock and Dennis Coleman, who negotiated the Wavecrest deal in the first place, aren't out there trying to sell Wavecrest now.”

”Finding out what's going is only the first step. Using the management prowess she advertised during the campaign, Taylor should try and find and press for a solution.”

Finally, this little gem;

”I suggest she enlist her campaign adviser, Planning Commission Chairman Mike Ferreira, to help her. He has been one of the primary people raising red flags about the development and has caught a lot of flak for it.”


I neglected to add (above), in terms of cost, the legal fees we've spent "defending" HMB (what a joke) against all the evils on the planet, and the cost to the Councils, Staff, other City employees and us, the bearers of their burdens for the last 10 years. The mental anguish and stress litigation creates is, at minimum, draining. It's no wonder we go through so many employees. The only constant is fight and expense. What about those that left? What about Betty Stone, Lani Ream, Sid McCausland, George Carman, Eleanor Wittrup, Carol Cupp, Dennis Coleman, and the rest?

The cost is, has been, and will continue to be extraordinary, and the shame of it all – uneccessary. For What (or for who, to be more precise)?


“Taylor sweeps onto Council” is the title of the Review piece from March 9, 2000, just 12 days before she got to vote on Beachwood for the second time in two different capacities, again denying the Beachwood CDP. She voted against it as a Planning Commissioner prior. This piece was written by Deirdre Pettit.

“Following a trend in recent city elections in Half Moon Bay, voters elected a preservationist, slow-growth candidate to the vacant City Council seat.”

“Planning Commissioner Toni Taylor was elected to the council by 1,735 votes to fellow commissioner John Sullivan's 1,448 votes.”

“Both vowed to implement Measure D, the initiative that capped the growth rate in the city at 1 percent.”

“Completion of the General Plan was a priority for both candidates, although Taylor had promoted her extensive participation in Planning Commission subcommittee meetings on the plan during her campaign.”

“And both Sullivan and Taylor trumpeted their commitment to preserving the coastal environment.”

”However, while serving on the Planning Commission, Taylor voted against both the Pacific Ridge subdivision and three homes on the old Ocean Shore Railroad right of way, two hotly contested developments, on environmental grounds. Sullivan voted for both projects.”


On February 2, 2000, the Review published a piece titled “Planning Commission turns down two Railroad Avenue houses, written by Deirdre Pettit. Here's the link: Web Link

These were the same Planning Commissioners that denied Beachwood’s CDP, 5-2 (Hansen and King voted yes).

This piece opens with;

“To build or not to build?”

“That was the question that drove a heated six-and-a-half hour debate over the Railroad Avenue Right of Way at last Thursday's Half Moon Bay Planning Commission meeting.”

“Nearly 100 people attended the meeting, and many weighed in on the question of whether or not to grant Coastal Development Permits to three separate single-family homes on the right of way. Vocal opponents of the three proposed homes made up a majority of the crowd, and about 30 stalwart opponents and supporters stayed at the meeting until it adjourned at 2 a.m.”

“The three parcels are located on a four-mile strip of land along the blufftops west of Railroad Avenue, adjacent to the Alsace Lorraine and Miramontes neighborhoods.”

“Opponents, including area residents Roseanne Garrison and Scott Singer, have argued that the city shouldn't approve the permits because they allege the R1 zoning and property lines aren't accurate; nearby wetlands require more than the 20- to 100-foot setbacks recommended by staff; the California Environmental Quality Act requires the cumulative impact of the projects to be taken into account; and the historical right of way and open space should be preserved.”

”City staff and the property owners, however, have argued that the zoning and title documents are in order and the statute of limitations for appeal of the original zoning decisions have run out. Staff has also argued that environmental studies demonstrate compliance with the Local Coastal Program.”

”And no opponents of the developments or the city have offered to buy the property from its owners to preserve it as open space.”

Usual arguments, back and forth, but the last sentence above was the real issue. You want it for Open Space? Buy it! At least that’s how I interpret Judge Walker’s Decision (Beachwood, 11/28/08).

There are several reasons I pulled this piece. One is to show the cast of characters on the Planning Commission; same bunch as Beachwood. Another is to identify the applicants.

“Commissioners Toni Taylor, Mike Ferreira, Jim Benjamin and Don Heinz bought the opponents' arguments for the properties owned by Roxanne and Don Pera and Cindy and David Labuda and voted to deny them Coastal Development Permits.” There’s history here, with more to come. Labuda owned a tech company and at the time had gads of money. He contributed and donated to many local causes. He was partners with Paul Shankman in Cetrellas until Paul sold his part to Labuda to do Sam’s Chowder House up by Surfer’s Beach. Labuda also, believe it or not, abutted Grady’s property on the west end of Miramontes. I don’t believe there’s any love lost between the two. Of course, we all know that Ferreira was Planning Commission Chair in 2000, and was friends with Grady, a current Council member. Grady’s 4000+ sq’, 3 story housw stands on the end of Miramontes; Labuda’s does not. Enough said on that.

This part is choice: “However, Commissioner Heinz voted to approve a permit for the home proposed by Therese Ambrosi-Smith, Half Moon Bay public works director.”

”During the meeting, Heinz didn't offer any explanation as to why his vote on the Smith proposal differed from the Pera and Labuda proposals.”

Heinz said simply "I have no choice."

”After the meeting, however, Heinz said that his vote was unintentional.

"I felt like I was going to be really ill," he said about feeling sick with the flu during the hearing.

"I don't know why I did it. I didn't know what I was doing."

”Heinz said he plans on sending a letter to the city to let them know the reasons for his mistaken vote.”

“The Smith home is the smallest of the three proposed homes, totaling 1,515 square feet and is located on an infill lot nestled between homes on the east and west.” Ironic, huh? Smith did not get her home and sold the parcel to the City for $500,000. The address of the proposed home? 144 Kelly Avenue. Nestled between homes on the east and west? Abuts Grady’s home to the northwest. What did the City Council do with this $½ Million of our money? Placed a Conservation Easement (no building – ever) on it at 12:15 AM, 11-15-05. Benefit? Ask Grady. Smith also quit as a City employee. She got sick of it. I don’t blame her.

“Commissioners John Sullivan, Bob Hansen and Robin King voted to approve the Smith proposal and voiced strong support for granting all three Coastal Development Permits.”

“Given the contentious nature of the proposals all three are likely to be appealed to the City Council and the California Coastal Commission, and may wind up in court. Representatives of both supporters and opponents have promised to fight the issue to the end.” Why?

”In other matters, the commission unanimously appointed Ferreira as chairman after a motion by King to reappoint Bob Hansen failed by three to four vote.”

”Taylor, Ferreira, Benjamin and Heinz voted against Hansen's reappointment.”

”Benjamin was appointed Vice Chairman by a six to one vote. Hansen voted against the appointment.”

We need to remove that Easement, ASAP.


Yesterday we covered the Planning Commission’s last meeting in January, 2000. I didn’t have to go far to find another observation. Debra Godshall, the Review’s Publisher, was at that packed and lengthy meeting and was so disgusted she wrote a piece titled “Hypocrasy on display at Planning Commission hearing on Railroad Avenue homes” which was published in the same February 2, 2000 Review. Godshall doesn’t publish pieces very often; only when she feels a strong need, for whatever reason.

Here’s the link: Web Link

Here’s how her piece started out:

“After attending the Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, I walked away wondering if I was the only one in the room who could see through the veiled hypocrisy of the Alsace Lorraine neighbors who opposed the building of three new homes off Railroad Avenue. The bottom line is that the neighbors most opposed to the project are the ones who sit farthest west on the bluff tops and are at risk of losing that status.”

This is a very valid point. She continues with;

”How very lucky for them that the possible wetlands they are crying about and the sensitive habitat just brimming with endangered species stops right at their doorstep. One neighbor actually said he looks right outside his window every day and sees endangered species. If these neighbors really believe the area they live in is such a sensitive habitat, they should consider bulldozing their homes and giving the little critters more room.”

“How ridiculous is it that the very people trying to stop any building and save the bluff tops for the rest of us live there themselves?” That’s an excellent question. Over the years, I’ve asked myself that same question many times. It’s so blatant; so obvious. A great example, as an end result, would be what I noted above; none of the three applicants got their plans for a home past this Planning Commission crew, yet Grady, who is close friends with Ferreira (2000 PC Chair), got his house through while bending a few rules in the process, the least of which was skirting the illegally imposed (on everyone else, by that very Planning Commission) Net/Gross Lot Rule. He even got the City to give him part of a City easement, and avoided sprinklers and installing a fire hydrant. Nice.

Godshall continues with; “Another neighbor cried that allowing a house to be built west of his own home on Miramontes Avenue, which currently looks right across the bluff tops, was somehow a travesty to the rest of the community. Try parking your car in Alsace Lorraine. It's permit parking only. If you want access to the Coastal Trail, even as a member of the community, you're not allowed to park near his house.”

“These same opponents wail about the three new homes inhibiting their foot-trail access to the beach. According to their own argument, aren't they trampling through environmentally sensitive habitat? Maybe it's really not wetlands when they walk through it, just when the rest of us do.”

“What rules are these people playing by? Not the same ones as the rest of us, I assure you. Truth be told, these neighbors are hiding behind the apron strings of protecting the environment, when in reality it has never been about saving the bluff tops, but about personal agendas and protecting their own unobstructed views.”

There you go. She said it; what most of us have been saying all along. They never have played by the rules, not even the ones they set during their 10 year reign of terror. They don’t even try to hide it. They just spin it – like the illegal ‘park’ purchase (plenty on that above). That’s what makes them so dangerous, and their actions so agregious.

Godshall continues; “I looked at a house on Railroad Avenue two years ago and barely made it through the door before the real estate agent advised me that the strip of land across the street was buildable and not open space. Checking with the two major real estate companies in town, I found out that local, knowledgeable real estate agents have disclosed to buyers the zoning and buildability of the Railroad property for at least the past six years.” Well of course they’re buildable. Grady got his.

“The Pera property has been in the family for more than 100 years. They'd simply like to retire and live in a home on their own land. Property owners shouldn't have to jump through these kinds of hoops just because a couple of disgruntled neighbors think they have rights to property that doesn't belong to them.” That’s the whole point. Fast forward to 11-28-07, and Walker made the same point in his Findings of Fact. ( Web Link )

Godshall continue; “How did the Planning Commission react? Robert Hansen, John Sullivan and Robin King seemed to be able to see through the hypocrisy. Don Heinz and Jimmy Benjamin not only added to it, but also fueled it. Mike Ferreira and Toni Taylor seemed aware of the serious implications and how difficult the vote would be. But when the time came to vote they ignored the assistant city attorney's urging to consider the property legally zoned R1 and the fact that the City of Half Moon Bay approved a Certificate of Compliance in 1993.” Ignore our City Attorney’s advice? Why then did we have one? I guess, when you are appointed by an elected official you’re immune to legal action. Why else would Ferreira and Taylor ignore the very attorney that’s there to cover our butts? Over time, a very consistant pattern of behavior emerged from this No Growth at any cost bunch. This is but one example. Look at who they hurt in the process. We’re lucky we weren’t sued by all three applicants, particularly as Grady’s house went through the process ignoring all the “evidence” demonstrated by the vociferous neighbors and opponents.

Godshall concludes with; “It is a sad state of affairs to have the city faced with so many possible lawsuits, but at least a court of law will weed out the hypocrisy. The propaganda thrown out as testimony during the public hearing made a mockery of our system. Let's hope when this goes before the city for a vote, the council will play by its own rules - the rules the three property owners hoping to build had to play by - and believe their own maps and previous approvals.” She’s right; it’s sad – way beyond sad. She was also right about a court “weeding out the hypocrasy” (EX: Beachwood). She was wrong, however, in pinning her hopes on the Council playing by its own rules. They only did that when it satified their personal agendas and goals. One need look no further than this thread to see.

It passed sad long ago. Words like immoral, illegal, reprehensible, arrogant, and full of it come to mind. It’s past time for Accountability, but it’s coming.

Thank you, Ms. Godshall, for your observations and expressing them.


What's interesting about the land west of railroad avenue is that half of the land you see from railroad to the ocean are small privately owned lots, several of which are for sale today. The Railroad Ave Conservation Easement was a further attempt to restrict property rights by limiting access to private property.

The City rezoned many parcels here as Planned Unit Developments (PUD's) with the main intention of making development harder. Some of the restrictions are borderline illegal.

In the past few years, I have sold 5-6 lots here. I would venture to say that over the next few years as more of these properties change hands, the pressure to build will increase which will lead to another costly lawsuit for the City.

As a side note, PUD's would make another interesting topic.


On January 12, 2000, prior to the PC decision we just went over, this piece, titled “Railroad Avenue: a state or local interest?” and written by Deirdre Pettit was published in the Review. Here’s the link: Web Link

It called attention to just how much ‘interest’ there was in the three homes on the upcoming PC meeting – all three denied.

The piece opens with; “Will permitting property owners to develop homes on the old Ocean Shore Railroad right of way serve the public good?”

”This is the real question the Half Moon Bay Planning Commission will have to answer when it decides on Jan. 27 whether or not to grant Coastal Development Permits to three property owners, according to Lee Otter, California Coastal Commission Central Coast Office district chief planner.”

Although again, this looks fairly benign, it is not. Remember, we had Beachwood, Ailanto (Pacific Ridge), and Wavecrest Village all very active at this time. All three were either in litigation or would be (shortly). It was Faust, a Commission attorney, that ‘helped’ the City butcher our Wetland definition’s interpretation (his written input included in the staff reports for the Council meetings of 3-21-00 & 5-02-00), which resulted in a “Taking” of Keenan’s property, without compensation, violating our country’s Constitution which resulted in a $41 Million Judgment against us. I guess it’s OK to violate the US Constituton so long as we don’t violate the Coastal Commission’s interpretation of our LCP, and their interpretation of the Coastal Act.

The relationship between our City’s No Growthers was getting more and more intimate. It was common practice for Council members, some City staff, Planning Commission members, and CCWD Board members to pick up the phone or email the Coastal Commission staff to discuss matters of interest to them. Those matters of interest were always geared toward how to STOP something. Although the Coastal Commission staff have always cried about how under funded and under staffed they are, our little buddies were always able to get through immediately and ‘accomplish’ whatever it was they set out to stop. Furthermore, Jack Liebster was a Coastal Commission staffer for over 30 years – until Ferreira hired him to be our Planning Director. It was during this period that those relationships flourished. That’s how they would receive emails of direction on specific issues at 4:55 PM, just before the close of business, offering desired Commission input to stop a project – often the day of the Council or PC Meeting. It’s been very effective, and they used that tool all the time. They also established and maintained the same with Fish and Game (Federal), and US Fish and Wildlife (State). Between the bunch, they were able to lock us down – not to mention all the Resolutions, Ordinances, and rules they came up with. But Grady’s house is up!

The piece continues with; “This is the gist of a letter sent by Otter to Rosanna Garrison, an opponent of the controversial proposal, and to City Manager Blair King last week. Otter was for many years the commission's staff person overseeing the review of Half Moon Bay projects until jurisdiction over the city was shifted to a different office.”

"It's a discretionary decision to approve a Coastal Development Permit," Otter explained in a telephone interview. "The city is expected to act as a trustee on behalf of the people of the state. It's a broad decision, rather than a neighborhood decision."

Wow, what a heavy load for the shoulders of our little HMB. So, are we kind of like Deputies of the Coastal Commission, in charge of the whole State? Whew, heavy stuff.

Continuing on, “The majority of planning commissioners agreed with Otter when they voted last month to deny a Coastal Development Permit to one of the three Railroad Avenue property owners, Don and Roxanne Pera.”

”The four commissioners who voted against granting the permit doubted the accuracy of zoning maps that showed the Railroad Avenue right of way lying within the residentially zoned area. They also doubted Half Moon Bay city staff's interpretation of the Local Coastal Plan and the consultant's analysis of how the development will impact environmentally sensitive habitat areas.” That is, conveniently, a lot of doubt.

”But commissioners also questioned whether developing homes in a historically significant area as well as on coastal blufftops would serve the public interest. The Ocean Shore Railroad operated between 1908 and 1920 and opened up the coast for much of its subsequent development.”

“In an unusual turn of events, the Planning Commission convened in closed session with City Attorney John Truxaw on Dec. 9. It then voted to delay its decision on the Peras' permit until the open session on Jan. 27. It also put off making a decision on two other proposed Railroad Avenue home developments.” Gee, I wonder what they discussed? Remember, Truxaw spoke during the PC meeting denying those CDP’s, to advise the PC members, but they ‘ignored’ him.

“Speaking in general terms, Truxaw said that the city has the difficult job of balancing the public good with the financial risks a lawsuit could pose to the city.”

“San Mateo County, the California Coastal Commission and city records show that the Railroad Avenue right of way lies within a residentially zoned area. If the Planning Commission denies a Coastal Development Permit on this basis, it will have to defend its decision in light of those records.”

“But, according to Otter, city decision makers are obliged to follow the city's Local Coastal Program and its Land Use Plan, even the California Coastal Commission described the right of way in 1994 as being zoned for single-family residential development.”

But they were denied. Grady was not.


Adding to the above post, the closing comment from the piece discussed above should have been included.

Here it is: " This is an easier question for Coastal Commission staff like Otter to answer:”

"We tell (people who threaten lawsuits) to get in line," Otter said.

Boy, would Otter fit in with the 2000-2005 Council, or what?

To your point, Steve, you are correct regarding the PUD zoning. In fact, discussion to that is also in the Review piece link above.

Hit the link for more.


As I’ve noted and documented numerous times, the No Growthers had a stranglehold on us. That included the water district, CCWD.

There are five Board members. The Board members in 2000 were:

Carol Cupp (No Growther/President)

Eleanor Wittrup (No Growth activist George Carman’s wife – both staunch Ailanto and Beachwood opponents)

Eva Coleman (No Growth Mayor Dennis Coleman’s wife)

Major Gates

Ken Coverdale

I’m simply reminding readers for this next piece. Titled “CCWD Board suspends water transfers”, written by Deirdre Pettit and published in the December 29, 1999 Review. Here’s the link: “Web Link

This one starts out: “In a 3-2 vote at the first meeting of the new board of the Coastside County Water District Dec. 14, the new directors decided to suspend applications for new non-priority transfer water connections.”

”The last nonpriority, residential water connections from the district were sold earlier this year making new nonpriority connections available only through transfers.”

“Directors Carol Cupp, Eleanor Wittrup and Eva Coleman said they want more information on the policies governing nonpriority transfers before deciding on future applications. However, in a nod to people who have invested in plans for a new home and could be caught by surprise by the change in policy, directors voted 3-1 to approve five nonpriority transfers that are already in the works and were on the night's agenda. Cupp sided with Directors M.F. Gates and Ken Coverdell in approving the five transfers, while Coleman voted no and Wittrup abstained.”

“The board also called for a special meeting, which was scheduled for Tuesday night, to discuss district infrastructure and the proposed, controversial 3.5-mile-long water pipeline replacement and expansion project.”

”Cupp is appealing to the California Coastal Commission a permit granted by the City of Half Moon Bay for the first phase of the project, which is a 2,200-foot-long pipeline in the Casa Del Mar area in the northern part of the city. Cupp's appeal asserts that the pipeline expansion will induce growth.”

What are we to make of this? Cupp, a Water Board member (President), appeals a CCWD project approval to the Coastal Commission calling it – “Growth Inducing”?!

That little gem of a No Growth move cost us all yet again. It’s (fiscal cost of the appeal) included in our bi-monthly water bill, in terms of dollars. That project was finally completed a couple of months ago, as opposed to years ago as it should have been; so there was a cost in time. That cost in time is also in our water bills as a result of the increase in present fiscal cost for labor and materials versus the lower costs for the same in 2000. Thanks, again.

This is classic; “In addition to Cupp’s objections, Coleman and Wittrup have also questioned the need to increase the size of the pipeline that will be replaced from 10 to 16 inches.” Stay with me here. This next clip should make you scratch your head.

“However, the new majority has also questioned whether or not the existing pipeline can handle additional water connections.”

"Can we grant additional connections and maintain an adequate water supply," Coleman asked. "Right now, I am terrified that we don't have an adequate water supply."

Say What? Let me see if I’ve got this right;

You stop non priority water connections saying you want control.

You appeal your own pipeline project.

Then you say, using fear as your tool (Coleman - “terrified”), that the current system is so woefully lacking that it can’t take another hook-up; while appealing the very remedy. I’ve heard people talk out of both sides of their mouth, but this is too much. Just another No Growth at any cost move, and we pay.

Kind of difficult to build a house without water. Just one more nail in our coffin.

Judy Taylor, a local realtor, concluded this piece;

“This concern was also expressed during the meeting by El Granada resident and local real estate agent Judy Taylor.”

"The (CCWD district) engineer has been saying for some time that we need to do something, and we may now be heading into a drought year, and as you know I live in El Granada," Taylor said. "My health and safety is going to be put at risk because of a political agenda. That is a concern." You’re not alone Judy.

There was a time when this type of behavior would result in a party around an old oak tree, complete with strong rope and a thick branch that hung not too high, with less people leaving than had arrived.

As I’ve demonstrated many times, the No Growther’s had complete control of the City.

Here’s one example: Web Link


Here’s one more piece on the three CDP applications that we covered above that were ultimately denied; but not yet. This piece, titled “Planning Commission puts off denial of Railroad Avenue home”, and written by Deirdre Pettit, was in the December 29, 1999, Review. Here’s the link: Web Link

Here’s how it starts out: “The contentious nature of proposed development along Railroad Avenue and the potential for a lawsuit prompted the Half Moon Bay Planning Commission to go into an unusual closed session before its Dec. 9 regular meeting.”

”Although City Attorney John Truxaw said no lawsuit had been filed or even threatened, he said the he needed to advise commissioners on how to avoid a decision later that night that could expose the city to litigation.”

”After the closed session, the commission convened in open session and voted unanimously to postpone a decision on a Coastal Development Permit for a proposed residential development northeast of Railroad Avenue.”

“Land-use decisions are the most frequent cause of litigation against the city, according to Truxaw.”

We’ve covered this already. For those interested, there's more. Simply hit the link.


Another telling piece, titled “New CCWD Board off to terrible start” published in the December 29, 1999 Review, speaks to the contentious relationship of No Growthers and the rest of us, and their arrogance. Here’s the link: Web Link

The piece opens with; “The newly constituted Board of Directors for the Coastside County Water District, comprised of three newcomers and two continuing members, got off to a terrible start when the three new directors were sworn in last week.”

”Prior to the meeting, the outgoing board, which included three directors ousted in the November election, held a specially scheduled meeting and didn't bother to tell the incoming directors. That was either petty or deceptive. To make matters worse, one director, Major Gates, who is still on the board, insulted the incoming directors behind their backs.”

Now I’m not saying that this specially scheduled meeting was the smartest thing to do, but get past it. Is retaliation the right thing? Does the District somehow benefit?

In continuation; “The incoming directors, Carol Cupp, Eva Coleman and Eleanor Wittrup, wasted no time in getting even. After being sworn in and listening to a lofty statement from Half Moon Bay resident and administrative law judge Marcus "Max" Gunkel about the solemn duties of elected office, the three new directors evened the score and then some. They stripped Board President Ken Coverdell of his chairmanship, even though it was due to be reassigned at the next meeting in January. This despite the fact that Coverdell has usually been friendlier toward the new board majority and its Neighbor's Alliance supporters than other directors who were really the targets of the retribution.”

“Then, when an unrepentant Gates refused to apologize for his insults at the special meeting, Coleman apologized to the public for him and urged that he be censured.”

“As if that wasn't enough for the first hour of business, Cupp, Coleman and Wittrup then did something that does not bode well at all for a trio that soared into office on the claim that the old board was not telling the public everything it needed to know. The trio voted to remove from the public record Gates' remarks made at the previous meeting. Not to object to them, but strike them completely. Erase them from history because, according to Coleman, they were "offensive."

Alright, lets pause and reflect. What do we have here? We have three people that ran for CCWD seats and won. All three were No Growthers (Neighbor’s Alliance, which morphed into League for Coastside Protection shortly hereafter – No Growthers).

They should be happy. On the night they were to be sworn in, the outgoing defeated candidates hold a pre party and neglect to tell them. Not nice. Then, one of the remaining Board members speaks his mind. So what? What does any of that have to do with Water?

They strip the outgoing President in a no confidence vote, then censure another. Talk about nasty, vindictive behavior. It’s no wonder people were scared to speak their minds during the No Growth reign of terror.

Continuing with the piece: “What happens if members of the public say something offensive? Are their comments and criticisms going to be excised from history? Who is withholding a full accounting from the public now?” Very Good questions. The No Growthers, no matter what Board they sat/sit on, constantly act(ed) behind closed doors, yet they scream transparency. Ironic, huh? I guess, when one does something repeatedly and often, they just figure everyone else does the same.

“The idea that Wittrup, a professor of philosophy who has touted herself as willing to listen to all sides before making up her mind, would not object such a blatant attempt to manage public comment is startling.”

“Is this what CCWD customers can expect for the next four years, instead of doing the job they were elected to do, managing the coast's water needs?”

Public servants, or executioners? You decide. This bunch cost us plenty. We’ll be paying for many, many years to come.

By the way, Cupp, Wittrup and Coleman moved on, leaving their mess for us.


“City Council debates enacting Measure D” is the title of a piece in the 12-15-1999 Review. Eric Rice was the author. Here’s the link: Web Link

Every single candidate for City Council has promised, as one of their top three prioritues, the implementation of Measure D. Not one of those elected has done it. Sad.

The piece starts out; “Half Moon Bay Measure D is the prevailing wind, but for now at least, Measure A is the law.”

”On Tuesday afternoon, the Half Moon Bay City Council met for a special two-hour workshop at the Miramar Lodge to begin the process of implementing Measure D. That is the growth-control initiative approved by voters last month that limits the city's annual residential growth to 1 percent.”

“Prior to Dec. 31, the council must decide how many development certificates it will allow next year. It can stick with Measure A's 3 percent, or approximately 120 certificates, or cut it to Measure D's 1 percent, or 40. If it chooses 1 percent, the city must adopt an emergency finding declaring that the city cannot handle more new homes than that due to limits upon either sewers, water or roads.”

Well, down Main Street, at the CCWD building, the Mayor’s wife was getting ready to

do her part. The piece above explains, but two weeks after this piece was published, the Mayor’s wife, Eva Coleman, along with her two No Growth compadres, were seated as newly elected Board members and promptly suspended water transfers.

”Tuesday's meeting hinted at the contentiousness between landowners and the city that is likely to surface in coming weeks and years.”

We still have these issues. Measure A, which restricted growth in HMB to 3%, was certified by the Coastal Commission. Measure D, which tightened that restriction from 3% to 1% has yet to be implemented. In today’s terms, Ailanto needs them, Carnoustie needs them, and single family residents need them. Without a Certificate, application for a Coastal Development Permit is not accepted. The competition between the two has caused consternation for years.

That issue was raised. Coleman responded.

Continuing the piece; “Coleman said that Wavecrest Village's developers had bought their place at the front of the line through negotiations with its developer that netted the city substantial benefits.”

"The quid pro quo for (the guaranteed Measure A certificates) was almost $30 million in land," Coleman said frankly. "Mom and pop (landowners) can't play on that field.

Yet Coleman opposed Wavecrest, as did all the No Growthers, which included, among other things, a brand new middle school, the Boys and Girls club, parks, residential units, retail units and much more. We let them take that from us.

Coleman continued; "Depending on what we decide later, we may be cutting out mom and pop for Mr. Big, if you want to simplify it," he added.

Coleman, Taylor, Ruddock, Ferreira, Benjamin, Ream, Heinz, Cupp, Wittrup and Eva Coleman were all busy stopping everything they could, behind the skirt of our environment, talking out of both sides of their mouths. Mayor Coleman, for example, talks of Wavecrest buying their way to the front of the line, then opposes the project. His wife, over at the Water Board is doing her part to “suspend” water hook-ups and appealing the CCWD El Granada Pipeline while telling us she’s “terrified” with the water system. All these people opposed a new school, infrastructure improvements, property rights and more.

Today, instead of what could have been, POST owns Wavecrest, Beachwood won a $41 Million Judgment in Federal Court, Ailanto went from over 200 units with the

Foothill/Bayview bypass to 63 McMansions (on the Coastal Commission Agenda for tomorrow, in Ventura), using Terrace Avenue as sole access for construction and the residential byproduct, we have no new school, we have no new Police Station, all the money for City services was spent in legal fees, we ‘own’ an illegaly purchased piece of ground they call a park (on 92) that we owe $3.1 Million for (that was worth maybe $2 Million at the time of the transaction) and haven’t paid a dime for since the October 2004 ‘purchase’, and more. How did we let this happen?

You know, it’s been my experience that just when I think it can’t get worse – it does. We allowed this to happen.


I might add a comment here. Chad Hooker, Steve Hyman, Debra Godshall, and several others sounded the alarms. We didn't listen.


On 12-15-1999, the Review published a piece titled “Caught between a rock crusher and a hard place”. Eric Rice wrote it. Here’s the link: Web Link

This is a story about a local businessman that saw a need and tried to fill it. Recycling is a fairly common phrase these days. It can be cans, water, clothes and more. The idea is to be as efficient with our resources as possible.

Ox Mountain is a dump, literally. Everyday trucks come from all over loaded with ‘stuff’ to dump there. It all costs money and takes space. Check out how our No Growth alleged environmentalists handled this one.

The piece starts with; “What do you do when you can't win?”

”More and more these days, problems seem to be no-win situations. Take Andreini Bros. rock-crushing operation.”

“Last week, the Half Moon Bay City Council was asked to approve a permit to allow Andreini Bros. to recycle rock at its yard at 151 Main St. By almost all accounts the work that Andreini Bros. was doing there until it was ordered by the city to stop is laudable. It takes used rock from building sites that would otherwise wind up at the dump and crushes it into gravel and powder so it can be reused in other building sites. Every 1,000 tons of rocks recycled translates to 40 fewer semi-trucks loaded with rocks trundling up Highway 92 at slow speeds angering commuters. The company's application estimates it would divert 7,000 tons. That's 280 fewer commute headaches.”

“Beyond that, recycling is something that everybody can - and as of Dec. 31, 2000 - must get behind. That is when new state mandated recycling requirements take effect that require the city to divert half the materials going to the Ox Mountain Landfill.”

“Andreini's recycling accounts for 61 percent of the total material the city is currently diverting. Half Moon Bay residents aren't helping a lot, either. According to Browning-Ferris Industries, only 42 percent of the city's residents use its garbage service, and by extension, its curbside recycling service.”

”Andreini's operation appears crucial if the city is going to even come close to meeting the state mandates (which carry possible, though unlikely, fines of $10,000 a day for delinquent cities). As Public Works Director Therese Ambrosi Smith noted: "Construction (and) demolition waste weighs a lot more than aluminum cans!"

Andreini was denied multiple times, over a period of eight years, spending tens of thousands of dollars for studies and more, jumping through all kinds of hoops only to be denied, repeatedly. No Growth Planning Commissions and Councils, finding a way NOT to get things done cost us all again. Andreini finally got the approval – this year. There was much spleen let on this, but in the end nobody hears his rock crusher at work, no “particulate matter” has been documented, and everyone’s lives move on.

I wonder; How much construction debris was dumped at Ox Mountain from 1999-2008? How much fuel was burned by all the trucks delivering it? How many truck trips transpired during that period, adding to traffic on our already clogged roads? How much money was spent to continue what always was?

And these people call themselves ‘environmentalists’. Now that’s funny. They use the ‘enviro card’ when it suits their purpose, as a tool; just like an electrician uses a screw driver, or a carpenter a hammer, and so on.

The game these people play is weak. His request passed this year, with Grady grumbling the whole night. He stalled, questioned, tried to come up with reasons it couldn’t happen, questioned again (same questions), and just flat out stalled, until discussion was terminated by the Mayor and a vote was in order. If he could stop it he would. Nevermind that with it, everybody wins.


Even though we’ve hit this matter before, there’s additional data here that helps fill in the blanks, while at the same time lends itself to a common demonstration of the time and effort put in by property owners to accomplish building a home in HMB.

The piece is titled, “Planning Commission axes proposed house in Railroad Avenue right-of-way”, written by Deirdre Pettit, and published in the Review on 12-01-1999.

Here’s the link: Web Link

This is, by the way, the same PC that denied Beachwood, and pretty much everything else.

It starts out with: “In a contentious 4-3 vote, the Half Moon Bay Planning Commission denied a Coastal Development Permit for a proposed home west of Railroad Avenue Thursday.”

”Commissioners Toni Taylor, Mike Ferreira, Jimmy Benjamin and Don Heinz voted to deny the permit. Chairman Bob Hansen and Commissioners John Sullivan and Robin King voted against the denial.”

Right away we see the 4 No Growth members versus the other 3, demonstrating the No Growth majority on the Commission.

In continuation, “The decision was preceded by several hours of public comment and discussion by the commission and close to 60 people who filled the community center to debate the issue. Don and Roxanne Pera applied to the city for a permit in March, the same day they received a coveted Measure A building allocation. The property has been in the Pera family since the late 1800s, according to Roxanne Pera.”

Here we are beginning December, and the permit request was submitted in March. That was already nine months of Hell for the applicants, but as we know, it wasn’t over yet. Also, bear in mind how long the property had been in the family.

Continuing, “But the family has been prevented from developing the land since its first attempt in the 1960s by water and sewer moratoriums and growth-control limitations.”

“The property's latest roadblock involves wetlands nearby and has again landed the Pera's proposal in controversial territory.”

”Concern over wetland protection, proper zoning and property boundaries, and cumulative impact led neighbors and local environmentalists to ask the commission to deny a permit for the proposed 3,849 square-foot, two-story development in the first public hearing held in July.”

Each attempt met with government imposed road blocks; water & sewer moratoriums, then growth limitations. Sound familiar? It should; this is the exact pattern established that resulted in the $41 Million Judgment aginst us in favor of Keenan, the Beachwood property owner.

“In order to address these concerns, the commission continued a hearing on the permit three times to give city staff and the landowner time to conduct biological surveys on the property, erect story poles and mark property boundaries.”

”But concerns continued to linger at last week's hearing.”

I wonder how much the Pera’s had invested in their simple dream to this point. It would get worse.

This, after all, was the PC that redefined “wetlands” in HMB (without authorization). Here it comes.

“The majority of the commission argued that they couldn't approve a Coastal Development Permit because the development lies within 15 feet of a wetland.”

”The Local Coastal Plan requires a 100 to 200 foot buffer zone between residential development and a wetland.”

“The commission rejected the arguments made by city staff and the Peras that the proposed development would meet a special circumstance exemption for the buffer zone that would allow the city to decrease the buffer zone to 20 feet.”

“The Pera's attorney, Bill McClure, who is also the attorney for City of Menlo Park, said the special circumstance is that the entire property could not be developed if the 100-foot buffer zone was used.”

"It's special because you can't build on it if we don't find special circumstance," said Benjamin, rhetorically.

How ‘bout that Jimmy Benjamin. What a guy. What a sense of humor – so long as it’s at someone else’s expense. Public servant? Professional approach? Sensitive to the public he ‘serves’?

To the piece; “McClure also said another special circumstance is that the property is private, and the owners wouldn't consent to additional biological reports. This would make it difficult for the city to find other wetlands in the area and create the required buffer zones.”

“But Ferriera countered that the LCP requires the city look for environmentally sensitive habitat areas on properties adjacent to proposed developments.”

Good old Ferreira; never at a loss for words (except on TalkAbout, of course).

“Commissioners also requested additional information on the zoning of the property and its boundaries that they said weren't included in the records.”

“Commissions questioned why no evidence that the City Council voted to change the zoning was included in the documents.”

"It begs the question of why it hasn't been developed on since 1963," said Fereirra, referring to a map presented by city staff that shows it was zoned residential at this time.

My family has also owned property in HMB well in excess of 100 years. I wasn’t aware, in all that time, that an accounting of why we’ve never asked to develop it was a requirement for a Measured Certificate &/or a CDP. Perhaps it’s just another one of Mike’s rules.

“Roxanne Garrison, an opponent of the development and resident of Railroad Avenue, said before 1994 the area was zoned as open space.” I knew Roxanne, and her attorney husband Greg. They are another example of short timers. They came from Texas, stayed here a few years, then moved on.

”Ferriera added that the LCP requires property be planned as a unit, and that the Railroad Avenue property hasn't been.”

We already know, from City Attorney Truxaw, that the correct zoning was/is R-1 (Residential) from our previous postings. This is simply redirection specifically designed to STOP anything. I have a similar situation here. Since the City’s inception and subsequent zoning, this property was zoned R1-B2 (Residential-7500 sq’ or larger). In 1995, with Wavecrest Village coming down the pipe and the City anxious to get their LCP Certified by the Coastal Commission (which required maps), some fool rezoned us into the Ocean Colony Planned Unit Development (OC PUD) with a line on a map. It was clearly an error, but when the City sent everything to the Commission, they included the mistaken maps. I spent three years (2004-2007) fighting with the City to fix it. They wanted me to apply for a rezone, at an initial cost of over $7,000. Not going to happen. Finally, I managed to get the matter in front of the Council for an admission and corrective vote at the first meeting in July, 2007. The admission and corresponding vote came in my favor. To this moment, that’s as far as it’s gotten! Fourteen years, and still it’s not right!

Back to the piece; “Some commissioners also balked at the notion that the development should be considered infill, But Roxanne Pera said she couldn't understand the basis for the commissioners decision.”

"I am still trying to figure out why they are denying it," she said.

"I thought the meeting was a witchhunt," she added. "They are looking for an excuse to turn us down."

She was absolutely correct, however their first goal was to get you to quit. If, after gobs of time, money, dancing and stress, you don’t quit – they’d deny the project.

”They are planning to appeal the planning commission's decision to the Half Moon Bay City Council, she said.” We know how that turned out – Denied! But Grady got his!

Then, as if to rub salt in the Pera’s gapping wounds, we have this: “In a related matter, earlier this week, the City Council denied a Coastal Development Permit to expand the size of a sewer pipeline west of Railroad Avenue.”

”The engineers on the citywide sewer replacement project had recommended expanding and elevating the section of pipeline located between Careas and Garcia Streets.”

“The project became controversial when neighbors contended that the work would have required trenching, which could have disrupted possible wetlands in the area.”

“The council voted to replace the pipe at its current size using construction methods that would be low-impact.”

I see; I guess a smaller size pipe (non growth inducing) doesn’t require the same trenching as a larger pipe (growth inducing). I’ve always understood that one, two, three or ten feet below the ground surface is the same, regardless of the pipe size one places in it. So, how do you justify pipe size with depth of setting? And what’s this amazing “low-impact” method? Do we use “The Force”, or what? It would appear that these were the same neighbors Godshall was referring to in her piece (above, Web Link ).


This next Review piece, titled “Coastal Commissioners tour HMB”, written by Deirdre Pettit, is interesting. With all that was going on at the time, in terms of high profile, contraversial local projects, the Commission decided to take a field trip here. Here’s the link: Web Link

Here’s the lead: “Nearly 40 community activists, developers and city officials joined California Coastal Commissioners and their staff Tuesday on a four-hour bus tour of controversial proposed sites for development on the San Mateo County coast.”

“Although the commission rarely gets the opportunity to tour sites for proposed developments on appeal, Commission Chair Sara Wan said that the Wavecrest Village project in Half Moon Bay caught their attention.”

For more, please hit the link.


The next piece, published in the Review November 3, 1999, titled “Cupp leads challenger’ onto water board, was written by David Gorn. Here’s the link: Web Link

Remember Gorn? Apparently he worked for the Review before he was hand picked by his friends Ferreira, Taylor, and Grady (No Growthers) to fill the empty Council seat vacated by Sid McCausland (No Growther) in 2004. McCausland was elected to the Council in November, 2003. He resigned that position in 2004 saying he couldn’t afford to live here and moved to Alaska. Gorn was picked by his Council friends to fill that seat, with over ½ the term still to serve.

The McCausland seat term was 2003-2007. He lasted one year. Gorn lasted about as long before he too resigned. With a new Council majority established in November 2005, Gorn quit shortly thereafter. His open seat, with less than two years left on the seat, was then filled by John Muller, who went through the 2007 election unopposed and is currently Vice Mayor. He was chosen by the 2006 Council.

Gorn has demonstrated himself as a very strong League for Coastside Protection (LCP) supporter. The LCP is the political umbrella for the No Growthers. That support landed him the Council seat that he then vacated. Gorn was an integral part of the LCP slate (Ferreira, Grady, and Skinner) in the 2005 City election. He worked tirelessly on behalf of his No Growth friends. One out of the three slate candidates won; Grady. Let’s see how Gorn ‘reports’.

The piece starts with: “It was a bright and happy night at the San Benito House. That's where supporters of the winning members of the City Council, Granada Sanitary District and Measure D all gathered and celebrated.”

”And it's where the biggest surprise winners of the election also met: It's where Carol Cupp, Eva Coleman and Eleanor Wittrup all toasted their new seats on the Coastside County Water District Board of Directors.”

All I can say is it must have been one heck-of-a party because the No Growth crowd, with this victory, secured our lockdown. That was a defining moment in HMB history. That set the stage for the obstruction of anything most would term as productive, and took us down a path that leaves the very place we call home on the brink of bankruptcy.

From the piece, “The election shifts the balance of power on the five-member water board toward the three newcomers.”

"We have a lot to learn, first of all," Cupp said. "I don't want to underestimate the job - we want to get as much information as we can. We certainly intend to keep the water flowing."

That's welcome news to the three incumbents. "I hope they use common sense," Miller said. "The water board is supposed to provide water, it's not a growth issue."

But it was, at least to the three newly elected candidates. Their actions and comments clearly demonstrated that.

“Coleman, wife of incumbent City Councilman Dennis Coleman, who was himself re-elected Tuesday, said that the across-the-slate win was not surprising.”

"You know why not?" she asked, and then answered. "Because in the election two years ago, when Shirley Brey and Jimmy Benjamin and Don Heinz ran for the water board, they opened up the board for this. They allowed us to win."

“Cupp said that the hours in front of the El Granada post office and in front of the grocery stores, meeting people, is what turned this election.

"The number one thing is face-to-face contact," she said. "People want to know who you are and that they can trust you."

Trust? Yes, that’s exactly what we offer when we vote; our trust. That’s what we’re really saying with our choices. We trust those we vote for to do the right thing; support us with life quality improvements, protect us and our families, protect our property rights and make our City a better place for all. Things like roads, water, schools, Police, and libraries can always be improved. Open discussion, without preconceived personal goals and personal agendas, for the benefit of the residents and property owners in HMB, not just a few, is what we want and need. It’s what we expect. This election offered none of what we needed, wanted or expected. This election offered pain to us all, at the expense of us all, for the benefit of a few. Just look at the first actions taken by Cupp and crew (CCWD) we saw above; vindictive and wrong. Those three are now gone, but the damage they did still lives with us in numerous ways. We were betrayed.

Perhaps Gorn should have stuck with reporting.


This next piece, titled “Coleman, Ruddock retain HMB Council seats” and written by Deirdre Pettit, was also in the November 3, 1999 Review. It covered the Council election.

Here’s the link: Web Link

Here’s the lead-in: “Half Moon Bay voters sent a strong message to city decision-makers in Tuesday's election, ushering in a stringent growth-control measure and two City Council incumbents who supported it.”

”Measure D, the growth-control initiative that will reduce the annual growth rate in the city from the current 3 percent to 1 percent, passed with 63 percent of the vote.”

Ah, yes, Measure D. Every single candidate for Council has promised to implement Measure D (1% growth) since it passed in November 1999. It has not been implemented.

“I think the message to the City Council and the (San Mateo County) Board of Supervisors is that if we don't go where the voters want us to go in terms of a destination, then voters will bring the love boat to a halt," Coleman said. "If we were going to a good place, then voters wouldn't mind how fast we got there."

The love boat sunk in November 2005. We were sunk when these election results came in.


The July 7, 1999 Review published this piece titled “Wavecrest Village, new middle scholl, teen club, 271 homes, gets City approval”. It was written by Eric Rice. Here’s the link: Web Link

Although we all now know how this turned out, I thought I’d post what could have been, possibly with different City leadership. Some say it was the best project ever introduced in HMB. Have a look.

In the same July 7, 1999 Review edition, Eric Rice wrote another piece titled “The sum of Wavecrest’s parts equal a pretty big whole.

Here’s the link: Web Link

Both these pieces are worthwhile reads, if for no other reason than to see and think about what could have been.

It all belongs to POST now.


Finally, I’ve reached the end, or the beginning, depending on one’s view. When I started this thread, I wanted to make sure the 1999 Planning Commission denial of the Beachwood CDP was included. That decision was made March 11, 1999. That decision, coupled with the following appeal to the HMB City Council and their denial on May 2, 2000, set the stage for the November 28, 2007, Federal Court Decision and the resulting $41 Million Judgment against us. I hope, for anyone interested, that this thread has been helpful and enlightening. It took a lot of time and effort, but this part is done.

On March 17, 1999, a piece titled “Development Bills come due”, and written by Eric Rice, was published in the Review. Here’s the link: Web Link

The piece opens with: “Thursday night was like old home night at the Half Moon Bay Planning Commission.”

”Back for yet another round in a seemingly endless public debate were two familiar faces - the two Bills of Coastside development, Barrett and Crowell - still seeking approval for projects that each has been working on for more than 10 years.”

“This time, however, previous commitments by the city mean that both their developments are likely to finally move forward in one form or another. Nevertheless, both developers, no strangers to controversy, are wary of bumps in the road to breaking ground.”

Ironic thing for Rice’s reporting; both projects moved forward for the attorneys, but neither one will be built. POST now owns Wavecrest, and Keenan will be paid $18 Million on or before June 1, 2009, now that legislative efforts to build have died (from the Settlement Agreement).

Rice separates the two Bills, and starts with Barrett on the Wavecrest Village project as his was first.

Rice then moves on to Crowell and the Beachwood project.

“Crowell's reception before the commission was not quite as amiable as Barrett's. Crowell represents developer Charles "Chop" Keenan, who is currently suing the city for the right to build 83 homes in the Beachwood subdivision east of Highway 1, between Terrace and Grandview avenues. Development proposals have been before the city for the property dating back to 1976.”

“Crowell was again denied a final go-ahead last week when the commission voted 6-0 to deny the project a Coastal Development Permit because it felt enough environmental study had not been done.”

There it is.

For those interested in more of this piece, hit the link above.

For those interested, here’s the link to Federal Court Judge Walker’s Decision (again):

Web Link

Anyone interested can cross reference between this Review piece, or any of the pieces posted here regarding Beachwood against Judge Walker’s Decision.


Can Mike come out and play? There seems to be an awful lot of toys in this sandbox.

Whatta you say, Mike?


Why would "Mike" want to butt into George's fantasy blog?


You had your chance np. You brought nothing, as always. In your defense, it's hard to argue with facts, so we understand. You should probably go to the dugout, or just go shower and leave.

The invitation is for Mike. He's qualified to speak for himself. He never had a problem talking when he did all these things to us. He doesn't seem to have a problem talking on his buddy's site. He shouldn't have any trouble talking here.

Hey Mike, can you come out and play?


Aw, gee, the kiddies are cutting and pasting their plaintive taunts from one thread to another. Play with one another, if enough of your little compatriots are left after the boring, repetitive recitals in this thread.


The invitation is for Mike. He's qualified to speak for himself. He never had a problem talking when he did all these things to us. He doesn't seem to have a problem talking on his buddy's site. He shouldn't have any trouble talking here.


My money's on NP being Mike. Why else would he respond?


Hey NP, what you going to do when baseball is done? Are you going to hibernate till spring or morph into Now Pucking? Keep practicing on your playground because you keep pitching balls.


Is NP Mike? Who knows and who cares.

Anyone hiding behind anonymity attacking character rather than issues is a coward.

So who cares who np is? It doesn’t matter.

What does matter is the information this thread lays out. What does matter is the accuracy and detail going back to 1999.

What this thread demonstrates is clear and indisputable.

We get an up close and personal chronological look at what Ferreira, Grady, Coleman, Taylor, and company repeatedly did to us, and not one of them has the courage to step up and engage.

That tells us all we need to know.


Now there's how you throw a strike!Hey NP take notice and keep practicing on your little league playground.Why doesn't Mike come out here and play?


You children have me all wrong. I'm happy you and George have what amounts to a virtual blog in the form of this thread on TalkAbout as an outlet. It helps divert your haphazard energies away from messing in the business of genuine, responsible adults.


Another one of your trademark balls.Go play in another playground


Ah, the familiar delusions of authority.


I see there's been some exchange here since my last posting. It seems that there's always one in every crowd, but the point of this piece, along with “What We Know”, and “Let's Look at the Personnel” was/is to expose what some (including myself) feel is corruption through chronological documentation using reliable, verifiable sources. I feel comfortable that I’ve done that.

As to anonymous critics – who cares? As to encouraging one of the principles to engage here in discussion of the issues; I wholeheartedly encourage it.

Frankly, even though Ferreira is no longer an elected official (thank goodness), I believe it’s his obligation and duty, as a previously elected/appointed individual that is repeatedly recognized in these pieces over a period of many years, to explain to us his ‘side’. I do believe it appropriate for him to use this forum, or start his own here on TA, to answer to the voters and burden bearers of his actions.

I would think he would jump at the opportunity, and I encourage it. We’ll see.


And the delusions of influence and hegemony over what others should do to oblige one's own trivial personal dictates go hand in hand with the weird assumptions of authority.


Ah, the need for the last word, insignificant as yours is, np, is so unnecessary and empty.

We’d love to see something of substance, which leaves you out, from someone responsible for these actions – which again leaves you out.

If you feel the need to continue your juvenile ways, however, it’s OK. We do appreciate the continued exposure. The more people that read this, the better – so thank you for your ‘contributions’.


Don't worry, Geo, nobody except your loyal few are reading. That's the beauty of having you on your own little "blog." You are easy to skip over when choosing threads to read.

Have you read Clay's new rule about cutting and pasting into messages? Won't this hamper your dreary, eye-deadening approach to messages if you take it to heart?


"You are easy to skip over when choosing threads to read."

As NP makes his 25th or so post to this topic alone. I guess skipping is just too hard, huh?


Jes' doin' my job, which should be pretty clear to even you by now. At least the job of this "Now Pitching."


Thank you again, np, for keeping this thread active with your 'contributions'.

I've noticed, however, that although you discuss and describe things like; “delusions”, “Walker's highly appealable screwball ruling”, “above slog”, “fallacy monger”, “Well, it is all about you, Steven--and those commissions”, “changing psychics”, “I think it is great Anonymous George has this outlet for his "unique" fantasy world”, “shills”, “childish playground games”, and one of my personal favorites “defamation and innuendo”, you offer no facts to base and support your comments.

Although I’m sure it’s merely an oversight on your part, perhaps you’d be so kind as to bring something with teeth; something called substance. Go look it up. Depending on the dictionary you use, you might find illustrations to help your learning curve.

You are amusing, but this thread and what it documents is not at all amusing. It’s disgusting and sad. What we could use here is adult discussion. You seem to be lacking in that area. Perhaps you may be able to contribute, but I’ve seen no evidence of that to date.

What I do see is a disturbed individual that is terribly upset that someone took the time and energy to document most of the misdeeds of the bunch featured here and bring it all out, in a reasonable format, for all to see.

I suppose any attention is good attention to some, kind of like elementary school. Reminds me of the story of the ship at sea with no rudder.

Is it possible for you to: Stay on topic? Bring substance? Back up your pertinent comments with verifiable data?

Truth be told, I’d much prefer to hear from Ferreira. I hope he’s big enough to step up.

We’ll see, and thank you again.


For anyone that wants to know how HMB got so screwed up, they ought to read this chronicle by George.


Well, at least it indicates how George is screwed up.


NP,

Time will tell for George, but we already know how you turned out. George is front and center speaking his mind, NP you will always be sneaking through the weeds and willows and wetlands sniping at non-nimbies with uncivil proclamations.


As I re-read this topic, I would like to thank George for a detailed summary of how HMB got into a very bad situation, with an exact chronology and with a list of the characters responsible.


I thought I would also add a weblink Web Link

From this email, it appears that the Sierra Club was behind the opposition to the city of HMB when our council tried to mitigate the damages from Beachwood. Just read the emails, and look at the distribution. Amazing.

It is also amazing who the Sierra club is endorsing for HMB council (not really)


Hmmmmmm Its amazing how alike Bill Pat George are

Amazing-(Not really)


Our past HMB Council was really bad, Just how bad were they?

How are we paying for their mistakes today?


We'll be doing that for a long time.

Glad you hit this one, B Frank. I never saw the comment just above yours. Seems someone thinks/thought I posted with my name and the names bill and pat. Wish I'd seen this a little closer to that post. I would have denied it because it simply isn't so. Oh, well.

I'm starting to get the impression that there's (another) a conspiracy afoot. Seems a few out there are giving me credit I don't deserve. I keep telling them that I'm just not that smart - when will they believe?

Of course it comes from folks that don't know me. Those that do would never make that mistake.


Add a comment

Please login to comment on this topic.

Login Here

Create a Login

Powered by Podium