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Where Else Could Big Wave Be Built on the Coast?

If Big Wave is not happening on the Princeton property, then where on the Coast do you think a live/work community for developmentally disabled could be built? Tell us in the comments.

It’s been well over a month now since the California Coastal Commission put a kibosh on the Big Wave Project, the office park and housing complex for the developmentally disabled that would include 225,000-square-feet of office space and housing for about 50 developmentally disabled adults in separate buildings.

The Coastal Commission’s decision was based on concerns over how to provide water and wastewater treatment, environmental worries, the potential for traffic and a host of other problems they cited.

Many opponents maintained the Princeton plot behind the Half Moon Bay Airport was not the right place. Big Wave proponents say the Commissioners ignored the six-year County process that led to unanimous approval, a 6,000-page environmental impact report, and overwhelming community support.

“We own no other land for this project. The future residents live on the Coastside now, this is their home, and they want to stay here. This land is zoned for development, which is why we purchased it,” said Big Wave president Jeff Peck, who asserts that the Big Wave team, made up of community members and a Board of Directors chosen from a cross section of financial, business, professional and educational leaders, is not considering any other piece of property to build the live/work community for developmentally disabled adults.

Although if somebody donated five acres on the Coastside for the Wellness Center and 15 acres for an adjacent business park “that will provide jobs and funding for the Wellness Center in perpetuity as the present project will provide, we would listen,” he said.

So does such a piece of property on the Coastside exist? If so, where and who would have the means to donate it? If the Coastal Commission maintains that the Princeton plot behind the Half Moon Bay Airport is not the right place, then where is?

One Half Moon Bay Patch reader suggested the property that POST now owns behind Stone Pine and the Half Moon Bay Post Office along Highway 92:

“The infamous ‘weed’ lot / pseudo-park, 20 or so acre property,” he wrote in to Patch. “Someone should try to do something other than having that ugly lot sit there for years and years at the entrance to town. There’s a creek there that POST wants to protect. If someone agreed to develop part of the property, within reason, they would need to rehabilitate the creek buffer, provide some commercial space back there — well-situated, like the existing space is between Stone Pine and the post office. Maybe the wellness center with office would work there. Close to downtown and ‘services.’”

What do you think? Or do you have another location in mind?

Given the need for housing for the developmentally disabled, the Coastal Commission’s decision to nix the Princeton plans, and the Coast’s limited access to available property, where do you think the Big Wave project should be built?

Tell us in the comments.

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Deb Wong October 03, 2012 at 01:38 PM
I agree with the Patch reader in the above article. Anywhere within walking distance of downtown shopping and services is preferable to a spot out in the boonies in a tsunami zone (Princeton/Moss Beach), with restricted, narrow evacuation access. My brother is autistic, and lives in a well-supported community in Sonoma. As his sister & Conservator, I have been through much in this regard, so I do understand the Pecks' and others' concerns for a home for their developmentally-disabled loved ones close by. I hesitated even responding to this question, however, as I might have been seen as having an agenda - I live in the Pillar Ridge community in Moss Beach, down the road from the site slated for the Big Wave project, and might have been accused of not wanting "them" in my neighborhood. With the high cost of property on the coast (& in the Bay Area), I do understand that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a desireable alternative to the present spot, but if there were something closer to downtown HMB (where I work, & spend most of my hours), Big Wave would be in a better place for the disabled, their families, and their offices (in my opinion).
Bob Roberts October 03, 2012 at 08:15 PM
The city of Half Moon Bay has 35 acres of available property along HWY 1. That seems like a great spot. Not sure why they didn't look there sooner.
George Muteff October 03, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Probably because when the owners of the BW property in Princeton were buyers of that property, Beachwood was already well on its way with the owner's intention of building almost 90 residential units there. It was not for sale at that time - but it might be now!?! Hope that answers your question. You are not the first to raise that point, and doubtful you'll be the last, but it was not an oversight. It's like choosing one of the two Presidential candidates come election day: either you choose from what's available, or you don't vote (or at least your vote won't count).
Dee October 04, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Where do we think the Big Wave project should be built? Why in the very Princeton lot where it was intended to be built!! I still just can't believe it wasn't approved. The Princeton location is the ideal place for this and has been a well thought out project by many since the very beginning. Seems there were many reasons why it was nixed but I hope it wasn't discriminatory because that would be a sad shame. I hope Big Wave team and supporters move ahead with a lawsuit against the CA Coastal Commission on this one.
Vern October 04, 2012 at 11:48 PM
I agree with Dee. Massive resources have already been devoted to planning, design and permits for the Princeton site. A change at this point would only endanger the future of this important project. Environmental questions have been dealt with thoroughly, showing that the project would help restore--not damage-- surrounding ecosystems. In my view, the truculence of the Coastal Commission is founded on false promises and constitutes a de facto case of discrimination against one of the most neglected and vulnerable segments of our community. Stick to Princeton, Big Wave! You're on the right side of this thing. -Vern
Steve J. October 16, 2012 at 04:26 AM
I agree with Vern. After investing what, 8 years and how much money on the purchase & planning of the development, getting it approved by the county, then to have a handful of folks with questionable motives jump up and attempt to block it? Very unfortunate. Where's the compassion for the many kids who have been looking forward to having a place of their own? The parents involved with Big Wave should be supported and praised as heroes, and everyone, including the Coastal Commission, should be clambering to help out. Instead they want to suggest a new location. What happens then? Another 4 or 5 years of investment and planning, just to get to a point where the CCC to oppose it again, for another reason? The Big Wave families are too smart for that, and see this for what it truly is, discrimination against Californians with special needs.
Dan Blick October 16, 2012 at 08:41 AM
Instead of accusing the CCC of discrimination, I suggest that you read their Staff Report on Big Wave's application (http://documents.coastal.ca.gov/reports/2012/8/W16a-8-2012.pdf). They denied the application because the office complex doesn't conform to the LCP. Commissioner Steve Blank told developers that the size of the business park precluded approving the development. “It’s not the wellness center we’re denying,” he said. “The developer decided to tie these projects together.” Reading between the lines, it seems that the CCC would be willing to approve the Wellness Center (WC) alone, even with the airport, the fault, and the tsunami inundation zone. But the developer tied the WC to the huge office complex (HOC), and is now crying discrimination over the rejection of the HOC. I have to wonder: Why not just build the WC alone? For what's already been spent on the HOC, the WC could probably be sustained for a couple years. If it was just the WC, it probably wouldn't have been appealed to the CCC, and even if it was, the CCC would probably have approved it. The CCC even says quite clearly, at the end of their summary, that if the specific issues of non-compliance with the LCP are addressed, the project can be approved. The CCC's rejection of BW is all about the office complex and its non-compliance with the LCP. And they said that if specific issues are corrected, it can be approved. So where's the discrimination? Good luck with that appeal.

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