Say No to Development That Puts People, Property at Risk


Zmay photo
View from Parrott Drive – Skyline Ridge in background

Speak up to stop development on a hazardous site that will put people and property at risk! Please email the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors by 5:00 p.m., Monday July 11, opposing the “Zmay” subdivision.

Here’s What’s Happening

In July 2021, the San Mateo County Planning Commission unanimously denied the Zmay subdivision. The property is located on steep, landslide-prone slopes that are extremely challenging to develop and would expose future residents to extraordinary hazards from landslides and catastrophic wildfire.

This 60-acre parcel in the San Mateo Highlands-Baywood Park area is also designated as a “Very High Fire Severity Zone” – the state’s highest category of risk. The Resource Management zoning of this property prohibits development in areas deemed unsuitable for reason of exposure to fire, susceptibility to landslides, or other features harmful to the health, safety, and welfare of future residents, other property owners, or the community at large.

There are less hazardous areas at the bottom of the Zmay property where the owners/applicants have already built one home and could build others.

The Planning Commission determined that the proposed location of the three new home sites atop extremely steep slopes at greatest vulnerability to landslides and wildfire is inconsistent with the Resource Management zoning and County Subdivision regulations. The Planning Commission’s well-considered denial has been appealed by the project owners/applicant to the Board of Supervisors.

Why This is Important

Climate change will continue to bring more severe droughts, increased intensity of storm events, flooding, and landslides, as well as uncontrollable, devastating wildfires. All of these extremes are widely acknowledged as part of “California’s New Normal”. The 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Wildfire burned 86,000 acres and destroyed 911 homes in San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties.

The County Board of Supervisors has taken the lead to address increased risks from climate change. The Supervisors now have a golden opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to the county’s “climate ready strategies” in this real life, consequential land use decision. We can’t — and shouldn’t — go back to business as usual when it comes to safety of people and homes under California’s New Normal.

What You Can Do

By 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 11, send an email to the County Board of Supervisors, asking them to uphold the Planning Commission’s unanimous decision and not approve development on the most hazardous areas of the “Zmay” property.

Thank you for joining me in speaking up! Your voice does make a difference!

For more information, see my Op Ed in the San Mateo Daily Journal

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