On April 23, Green Foothills, Sierra Club Loma Prieta, and Surfrider sent a letter to the Half Moon Bay City Council requesting they decline to process the proposed “Dunes at Half Moon Bay” development application. We are optimistic that the Council will heed our letter as well as the many compelling voices of opposition that continue to come from the community.
At this time of unprecedented threats to public health, safety and the economic sustainability of our communities, it’s even more essential to preserve our local open spaces for the protection of open space, scenic views, and prime farmlands at Dunes Beach.
Council Should Respect Local Coastal Plan and Use its Authority to Reject Application
On April 21, the City Council was slated to consider approval of a contract for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed “Dunes at Half Moon Bay”. However, due to the difficulties accommodating the public under current COVID-19 strictures, the Council’s consideration of the EIR contract has been deferred indefinitely.
While this delay is excellent news, we want to be sure that the Council rejects moving forward with the EIR contract. The Council should also use its authority to reject this application because the project requires discretionary actions that include amending the city’s Local Coastal Program (LCP).
The LCP, which was adopted in 1993, concluded that large scale visitor serving facilities were not needed on this site, given provision for them in other areas of the city. Several major hotels have subsequently been built with accommodations ranging from the luxury Ritz Carlton to small intimate country inns, as well as four RV Parks, and two public campgrounds.
Adding a 212-room luxury hotel-conference center and a 177-space RV park and clubhouse would not only compete with these existing businesses, but would create unacceptable environmental impacts. The most glaring of these is exacerbation of the already untenable traffic jams on this stretch of Highway One. Other impacts include permanent loss of prime agricultural land, loss of open space, and impairment of scenic views to the ocean from Highway One.
Public Opposition Remains Strong
Most recently, even though public participation is greatly limited, eighteen eloquent letters from residents were read into the record under Public Comment at the Council’s Zoom meeting on May 5.
City leaders have a duty to listen to the thousands of citizens and visitors who have signed petitions, written letters, and even created an eloquent artistic protest on Earth Day – thank you to Mary Larenas for the beautiful Western Snowy Plovers!
Council members are fully aware of the public’s concerns and we are confident that they are sympathetic to these comments. Given the current health crisis and its impacts on our food system, we remain optimistic that the city will have a new perspective on the importance of preserving its undeveloped prime agricultural lands including Dunes Beach to help assure greater resilience in our food system as well as the many benefits of having local, fresh produce.
What You Can Do
We will be in close contact with city leaders and reminding them of the depth of public concern. If and when there are upcoming meetings to attend or opportunities to comment, we will let you know.
We are in this for the long haul and need your support. If you can, please make a tax-deductible donation to Green Foothills today.
Thanks for all you are doing, your voice does make a difference!