NEWSLETTER/VIDEO. From the Midcoast Community Council Fall Newsletter and the MCC meeting on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022 at 7:00pm by Zoom.
San Mateo County Parks Assistant Director, Hannah Ormshaw, presents.
On Nov. 9th, the MCC was briefed by SMC Parks on the issue of CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) compliance for the Quarry Park (QP) Master Plan. Due to repeated resident concerns about flooding from QP, the Council agreed to hold a special meeting on Nov. 30th to consider a letter to the Board of Supervisors to be submitted before they vote on the Master Plan. Below is background for understanding the briefing, followed by a short summary of the briefing itself.
A master plan is a long-term planning document that establishes a vision and a conceptual layout based on community desires and legal, regulatory, or management obligations. It may include goals, policies, and specific projects, but need not have all of those things in it. Adoption of a master plan by a jurisdiction does not require that jurisdiction to execute every policy or complete every project in it; rather, the plan is used to advance priorities, develop projects, and inform policy. However, when considering the adoption of a master planning document, a jurisdiction must consider its obligations under CEQA to carry out an environmental review of anything in the document that meets the definition of a “project” under CEQA. A “project” under CEQA is defined as any activity which may cause either a direct physical change in the environment or a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment.
Several projects in Quarry County Park are not subject to CEQA environmental review at this time because they have already been completed, are already under construction, or are already currently under CEQA review. These projects include the following:
- Off-leash dog recreation pilot program
- South Ridge Fire Road connecting Coronado Avenue to the South Ridge Trail
- Bicycle pump track
- Multiple wildfire fuel management projects
- Minor Dam improvements and a new waterline for irrigation and fire suppression
- Multi-modal Trail on the east side of Highway 1 right-of-way connecting to the City of Half Moon Bay’s trail to the south and to both Granada Elementary School and Coronado Ave on the north
- A new single vault toilet adjacent to the new pump track
- Expansion of the existing parking lot
Ongoing park operations and maintenance are part of the existing conditions and are also not subject to CEQA review.
Planned actions in the Master Plan that have not yet been implemented and that qualify as a “project” under CEQA may be subject to future CEQA review. These include the following:
- Quarry County Park mountain bike design standards and formalization of mountain bike trails
- Trail system and signage actions regarding new trails, modifications, and connections
- Visitor facilities and amenities, including the overlook deck and playground
- Natural resource management actions, including implementing high and high-moderate priorities in the PWA report to address issues of erosion, runoff, infrastructure, and drainage improvements
The County Parks Department (“Department”) has two approaches to choose from in preparing CEQA analyses for the Quarry Park Master Plan, or for individual projects or actions identified within the plan. The first is a programmatic approach: the Department could prepare an Initial Study or Environmental Impact Report that covers all actions described in the Master Plan that are subject to CEQA. The benefit of this approach is that it potentially avoids duplicative reconsiderations of projects and reduces the need to do CEQA analyses in the future. The drawback is that if a project being analyzed is currently not well defined, it may still require CEQA analysis in the future, once the definition of the project is clear. The second approach is a project-specific approach: each proposed action in the Master Plan that is subject to CEQA would undergo CEQA analysis at the time it is proposed for implementation. The benefit of this approach is that it allows the Department to ensure that each project is well defined and that there is a strong understanding of potential environmental effects for the CEQA analysis to consider. The drawback is that a separate CEQA analysis will have to be done for every individual project.
As long as the Quarry Park Master Plan serves as a planning and policy guidance document only and does not commit the Department to approving or funding any of the future activities in the Master Plan, the adoption of the Plan would not cause direct or indirect environmental impacts, and its consideration by the Board of Supervisors falls under a statutory exemption under CEQA. In this case, the Department is not obligated to prepare a CEQA document on the Master Plan.
There is a seat available on the Midcoast Community Council!
This is your opportunity to help influence the direction of our community.
To serve on the MCC, you must be a resident of the unincorporated Midcoast, that is, living in El Granada, Princeton, Moss Beach, Montara or the part of Miramar that is NOT in the Half Moon Bay City limits.
The vacant seat(s) will be appointed by Supervisor Mueller based on recommendation of the current Council.
Interested residents should write the MCC at email@example.com. Information on screening interviews will follow.
- Attend a virtual Midcoast Community Council Meeting, scheduled on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month, or watch past meetings.
- Attend or live stream a virtual San Mateo County Board of Supervisors Meeting.
- Let us know how we can improve this newsletter by providing feedback and ideas here.
Thanks to exMCC’s Lisa Ketcham (now on the San Mateo County Planning Commission) for an incredibly well curated website archive on local planning issues.
Midcoast Community Council (MCC) is an elected Municipal Advisory Council to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, representing Montara, Moss Beach, El Granada, Princeton, and Miramar.
Regular MCC meetings are on the 2nd & 4th Wednesday of the month at 7:00 PM at Granada Community Services District (GCSD) meeting room, 504 Ave Alhambra, third floor, El Granada. All MCC meetings are open to the public, and are agendized and posted according to the requirements of the Brown Act.
Agenda item supporting documents are available 72 hours in advance of meetings on http://www.MidcoastCommunityCouncil.org.
Minutes from previous meetings on http://www.midcoastcommunitycouncil.org/2017-2018/
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Midcoast Community Council 2022
Claire Toutant, Chair – Term Ends: Dec. 2022
Gregg Dieguez, Vice Chair – Term Ends: Dec. 2024
Len Erickson, Secretary – Term Ends: Dec. 2022
Michelle Weil, Treasurer – Term Ends: Dec. 2022
Dave Olson, Member – Term Ends: Dec. 2022
Jill Grant, Member – Term Ends: Dec. 2024
Dan Haggerty, Member – Term Ends: Dec. 2024
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