MCC Meetings                    

May 27, 2015, MCC meeting is canceled.
2nd & 4th Wednesdays, 7 PM, GCSD meeting room,
504 Ave Alhambra, Third Floor, El Granada.   Email Agendas.   
Broadcast on Channel 27, the following Thurs 8PM & Fri 10AM.
See Archives for past meetings with video links.

Focus Topics 

Vacancies - Get Involved
Coastside Design Review Committee
Midcoast Community Council

The County is developing a Comprehensive Transportation Management Plan (CTMP) to address cumulative traffic impacts of Midcoast development on Highway 1 & 92.                      Learn more: Highway 1 Page.


Midcoast At-Grade Crossings, Raised Medians, Left Turn Lanes
Design modifications will be available in June for public review and comment.
More info:  Highway 1 page.


Montara Coast - Public Access & Views
Private encroachments into the 7th St right-of-way diminish public coastal access & views - online petition.
Planning Commission approved 7th St fence removal & new encroaching fence; that decision was appealed to Board of Supervisors. Learn more.


Comprehensive planning update of Princeton area land use plans, development polices and zoning regulations. Project planner is Summer Burlison,
Preferred Plan & Policy Framework -- Miss the April workshop? Review the presentation boards here and share your ideas.
Project website  --  MCC Princeton page


Pillar Point Harbor Issues

RV Park: MCC 1/28/15 letter - images.
District Priorities: MCC 7/9/14 letter - Overview Presentation.
Dredging/Beach Replenishment:
MCC 9/10/13 letter.

 Midcoast Water Pollution Reduction Program

What’s in the water and what we can do to help protect our watershed and the marine reserve – Newsletter 2014.

















Blog Index
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Pillar Point Harbor

Harbor District website
Harbor History & District Priorities - MCC overview presentation  
2014 Grand Jury Report: "What is the price of dysfunction?
     The San Mateo County Harbor District."   
     District response - LAFCo response


Use of Harbor Dredged Material to Address Erosion
MCC 9/10/13 letter to Harbor Commission re dredging strategy 
MCC 6/12/13 slide presentation & letter to Harbor Commission

Overuse of inner harbor Perched Beach for dredge disposal has turned most of the former beach into an upland area.  This “pre-development dredge disposal” was done without Coastal Commission permission in 1998 and 2006. One more dredge event was authorized in 2013, but public comment (including Supervisor Horsley) urged that future harbor dredge material be used to restore and protect eroded shoreline areas.  Read more.


West Shoreline Trail erosion must be addressed before this popular access to Maverick's beach is lost. Read more.
MCC letters: 6/12/13, 9/10/13
Post 10/11/14: West Trail 3-yr emergency


Romeo Pier: Closed as unsafe ~1998, rotting neglected ever since, the picturesque old pier is a marine debris disaster waiting to happen. 9/10/13 MCC letter to Harbor Commission - more info


Pillar Point RV Park was developed in 1999 on a Harbor District parcel that had been used for many decades as public beach parking with restroom facilities.  The public restroom, a key amenity in this popular beach area, was closed.  Public coastal views and critically needed west-of-highway beach parking have been lost.  MCC 1/28/15 letter & images) to Harbor Commission.


Chronic harbor fecal pollution at Capistrano Beach: A study by San Mateo County Resource Conservation District (RCD) determined that the source of the bacteria is upland urban area runoff via creeks and culverts, not the harbor itself.
Presentation of results -- 2014 Final Report


Harbor History & Documents:
MCC overview presentation
Pillar Point Harbor history article by Barbara Vanderwerf
1933 Board of Supervisors Resolution forming the Harbor District
1933-1948 Harbor District inactive
1953 Grant Deed El Granada parcels
1960 Grant Deed State Tidelands
Pillar Point Harbor land parcel table
1959-61 U.S. Army Corps construction of outer breakwater
1960 Master Plan: only Phase 1 built (pier, bulkhead, fill, office, concession bldg) due to storm waves within harbor.

1966, 1970, 1977, 1991 attempts to dissolve Harbor District (1,2,3)
1976 Coastal Permit 133-76: inner harbor
1978 Nov: 133-76-A1: additional parking
1984 Feb: 133-76 A2: allow dredging/Perched Beach
1984 Oct: 133-76 A3: allow larger volume of dredging
1985 Feb: request to reconsider 133-76 A3: denied
1989 CCC comments on East Harbor Master Plan draft EIR
1989 EIR Summary of Mitigation -- East Harbor Master Plan
1990 Scenic Preservation Agreement west of Denniston Creek
1991 Pillar Point Harbor Master Plan:  text portion -- map Inner Harbor -- map highway area -- map West Shoreline

1996 Army Corps construct concrete wall tying west breakwater to Pillar Point
1998 RV Park Lease (Development has no CDP (CCC, HMB, lesseeHD)
1999, 2000, 2002 RV stay limit & day-use parking letters
2006 LAFCo Municipal Service Review
2007 Harbor Dredge Material Preliminary Evaluation: suitable for beach replenishment.
2012 implementation status report of 1991 PPH Master Plan.

2012 West Trail Erosion Study, via Public Records Request:
--Draft Condition Survey & Repair Alternatives
--Draft Coastal Engineering Analysis (9mb)
--Construction Cost Estimates
--Permitting Strategy Memo


Surfers' Beach Erosion

Construction of the Pillar Point Harbor breakwater by the Army Corps of Engineers 1959-61 dramatically increased the rate of erosion south of the jetty. Local grassroots lobbying motivated the Army Corps, with the Harbor District as local sponsor, to undertake the Northern Half Moon Bay Shoreline Improvement Project in 2009.  The project could consider a range of solutions, potentially including dredging sand from the harbor and creating openings in the jetty to create sand outflows.

The Army Corps process is lengthy as shown in this table. The Army Corps reported at public meeting 11/8/13 (presentationvideo) that even if they eventually approved a mitigation project, it would be modest in scope due to funding limitations, and would not happen before 2017 earliest. As reported in early 2015, over a million dollars had been spent so far on the incomplete analysis.

--Presentation on surf & sand dynamics at Pillar Point by local surfer and civil engineer Bob Battalio, Oct 2009
--“Grains of Hope: Dredging the Pillar Point Harbor Long Overdue” – comprehensive background article by Mike Wallace on Surfpulse, Dec. 2009
--Army Corps Initial Appraisal - Document & Presentation, 2009
--Army Corps Feasibility Cost Share Table & Work Plan, 2012
--Army Corps Pillar Point Harbor webpage
--Harbor District dredging webpage


Highway Protection at Surfers' Beach 
See Highway 1 page



Coastal Regional Sediment (sand) Management Plans (CRSMP) are being developed for specific portions of the coast (littoral cells).  The program seeks to present ways to restore and preserve beaches, reduce the proliferation of protective shoreline structures, sustain recreation and tourism, enhance public safety and access, restore coastal sandy habitats, and identify cost-effective solutions for restoration of areas impacted by excess sediment.

Santa Cruz Littoral Cell CRSMP includes the coast from Pillar Point to Moss Landing. The draft plan (80MB) was released for public review April 15, 2015. Comments requested by May 15 to Brad Damitz at


Princeton Shoreline Erosion & Armoring

See Plan Princeton page, and
5/29/13 Pillar Point Harbor Shoreline Erosion Presentation


Related Resources:

SMC Health System: Beach Water Quality Advisories
California Coastal Records Project, an aerial photographic survey
1943 aerial photo harbor area, pre-breakwater
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary brochure, Advisory Council, Members, Meetings
Gulf of Farallones NMS Advisory Council, Members, Meetings
Marine Protected Areas map - fishing regulations 2010
Tsunami Inundation Map - El Granada to Pacifica
Coastside Tsunami Preparedness Report June 2012
California Seafloor Mapping Program
International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO)
FEMA CA Coastal Analysis and Mapping Project (CCAMP)
Adapting to Rising Tides (ART)
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Coastal Web Cams - list of links
HMB Seafood Marketing Association