CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Training is offered in Montara at Farallone View Elementary School on four consecutive Thursday evenings, 6-10pm, from March 24 through April 14, 2016, with a final exercise on Saturday April 16 from 8-4. The free classes provide 20+ hours of FEMA-designed training for citizens to assist First Responders during disasters. Class size is limited to the first 30 applicants. To register for the course, contact OES Coastside District Coordinator Nick Gottuso at 650-726-4069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Coastal blufftop access and spectacular rocky shoreline views have been restored to the public at the west end of 7th St in Montara. Since the MCC first asked in Oct 2012 for public access to the coast at 5th, Seacliff, and 7th Streets, there have been presentations, meetings, an online petition with over 400 signatures, and public hearings at the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. The fence blocking coastal views at the end of Seacliff was no problem and DPW (Dept of Public Works) removed it in June 2013 with no neighbor objections.
7th St was another story.
Supervisor Horsley committed to getting the 7th St fence removed in summer 2013, but it has taken ever since for County staff to work out a compromise with the adjacent property owner where a prior owner had closed off the public right-of-way for private use, with an encroachment permit from DPW(!), over 40 years ago.
To complete the transformation we hope to persuade DPW to remove the view-blocking hedge on the south side of the end of 7th St behind the bollards.
As for 5th St, a paper street leading to Montara State Beach blufftop parcels, there is currently no one at County government willing to stand up for pedestrian coastal access there, and the neighboring property owner has taken over the entire right-of-way. See Montara Coastal Access page for more details.
Following a long and inspiring day of compelling public testimony from hundreds of attendees from all over the state in support of retaining Executive Director Charles Lester, CA Coastal Commissioners went into closed session and voted 7-5 to fire him. Commissioners with the most anti-conservation voting record (Diaz, Howell, Mitchell, Turnbull-Sanders, Vargas, McClure, Uranga) voted to fire Lester, giving no compelling reason to do so. Commissioners with the most pro-conservation voting record (Shallenberger, Groom, chair Kinsey, vice chair Bochco, Luevano) voted to retain Lester.
Commissioner Carole Groom, who is also a San Mateo County Supervisor, spoke in open session saying Lester leads by accomplishment and that the proposal to replace him is absolutely wrong. She also said Supervisor Don Horsley is very pleased with CCC staff that covers SMC coast and fully supports Lester. SMC Community Development Director Steve Monowitz was among the speakers at the hearing and gave a powerful endorsement of Lester. State Senator Jerry Hill was a signer on a letter from 16 state legislators in support of Lester.
Senior deputy director Jack Ainsworth will lead the agency until a replacement director is selected.
The integrity and independence of the Coastal Commission are under attack. There is a behind-the-scenes effort by developer-friendly Coastal Commissioners to fire Executive Director Dr. Charles Lester. Rather than quietly resign, Dr. Lester has asked for a public hearing, which will be held February 10 at the Coastal Commission’s meeting in Morro Bay.
The coast belongs to all the people. All Californians need to speak up for the coast, and defend the Coastal Act and the Coastal Commission’s independent staff. As Peter Douglas, the former Executive Director of the Coastal Commission said, “The Coast is never saved, it is always being saved.”
The MCC supports the continuation of Dr. Charles Lester as the California Coastal Commission’s Executive Director.
What you can do:
2. Email the Coastal Commissioners: (StatusOfExecutiveDirector@coastal.ca.gov)
3. Attend the Coastal Commission meeting Wednesday, Feb. 10, 10am
Agenda item #8 links to comments received & media coverage
Executive Director Charles Lester memo
Group letter from 153 current Coastal Commission staff
Act Coastal has help with logistics in traveling to the meeting
As of Feb 5: over 20,000 letters/emails support retaining executive director.
Group letter from 35 former Coastal Commissioners
Group letter from 16 State Legislators
Group letter from 93 environmental organizations
Group letter from 5 marine/estuary sanctuary foundations
Letter from Committee for Green Foothills
OpEd by Huey D. Johnson, former Secretary for Natural Resources
OpEd by Steve Blank, former Coastal Commissioner
Sierra Club page "Don't Let Developers Control The Coastal Commission"
Coastal Commission: MCC letter (approved)
Capitol Weekly: CCC executive director under fire
LA Times: CCC considers firing executive director
OpEd by former Coastal Commssioner Steve Blank
Coastal Commission Vote Summary
The annual MCC Administrative and Planning Retreat will be held Saturday, January 23, 2016, starting at 10:00 AM at Granada Community Services District, 504 Alhambra, third floor, El Granada. The public is welcome. Supervisor Horsley will attend during the first hour to discuss his 2016 priorities for the Midcoast. AGENDA
2015 MCC Issues & Projects
Treasurer Procedures 2016
Folding chair brochure, quote -- County Parks benches
MCC Policies & Procedures (1/28/15)
Rosenberg's Rules of Order -- Rosenberg Rules at a Glance
The Planning Commission has denied, 5-0, a Use Permit amendment which was a necessary first step in legalizing the Montara restaurant's outdoor patios constructed in 2008 without Coastal Development Permit. Given the many long-standing and repeated code violations, the Commissioners said they had no assurance the owner would comply with current or new conditions of approval. Despite assurances that the 189-seat capacity would not be exceeded, the Commissioners saw the patios as an intensification of use which has significant impact on public beach access and nearby residential neighborhoods. [MCC comments 8/26/15, 11/1/15, 1/12/16]
The same entrenched code compliance issues caused the Sept 2014 Planning Commission action to unanimously deny a more extensive Use Permit amendment which included allowing daytime hours. That decision is pending appeal to the Board of Supervisors.
The restaurant was permitted by the Coastal Commission in 1977 as a dinner house, open 5pm to normal closing time, in order to accommodate a shared parking arrangement with beach users in the former First St right-of-way, since the restaurant had nowhere near enough onsite parking space. One of the many violations has been the repeated installation of customer-parking tow-away signs at the shared lot and even at the unimproved State Parks lot to keep out the beach-going public.
Another overdue issue the property owner must address is the deteriorating riprap installed in 1983 to protect the new restaurant from seacliff erosion.
UPDATE 3/30/16: Additional Citation for violation of hours of operations on 3/13/16.
Visit 7 Midcoast properties that demonstrate sustainable landscaping practices:
Saturday, January 23, 2016, 10AM - 2PM - flyer
Free - to reserve your spot contact the Resource Conservation District at 650-712-7765 x104, or Brittani@sanmateorcd.org
With some simple changes to a lawn or garden, landowners can protect the environment while improving their property. Planting natives, harvesting rainwater, landscaping to filter storm water, and limiting the use of pesticides in lawns and gardens can improve the water quality in our local creeks, beaches, and ocean.