VIDEO. From the 5/19/2020 San Mateo County Supervisor’s Meeting. History buffs and land use geeks will enjoy this fascinating meeting item immensely.
GO TO >>>> 8. 20-305 Public hearing to consider an appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision to deny a Planned Agricultural District Permit, Coastal Development Permit, and Use Permit to legalize unpermitted development including installation of wooden ramps, main. STARTS @ 3:24:06 minutes
Edward Bixby, a certified green burial and cemetery land use expert explains at 3:41:33 minutes.
He owns 5 cemeteries nationally. He is also President of the Green Burial Council.
According to Ed:
The Purissima cemetery was created was 1868, to serve the now disappeared town of Purissima and its land use and operations have been in good standing with the State of California the whole time. It is still owned by The Purissima Association and the original deed is still in full effect. It has not changed in size or purpose, either. Further, the State of California has recognized that the cemetery is operating legally. State of California Cemetary Board did an investigation and found the 5 acre cemetery was legal. The State told the County.
Why did Community Development Director, Steve Monowitz, leave out this important piece of information when presenting the agenda item to the Board of Supervisors?
In fact, San Mateo County has no jurisdiction over the operation of the Purissima cemetery.
Everyone who owns plots in the cemetery have the right to be buried there, according to Bixby.
Might you want to be buried in a green, coastal cemetery?
Public hearing to consider an appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision to deny a Planned Agricultural District Permit, Coastal Development Permit, and Use Permit to legalize unpermitted development including installation of wooden ramps, maintenance shed, gate, bench, and signs; change in the intensity of use of land, and removal or harvesting of major vegetation other than for agricultural purposes; and enlargement of a non-conforming use at Historic Purissima Cemetery, 1165 Verde Road, Half Moon Bay: A) Open public hearing B) Close public hearing C) Deny the appeal and uphold the Planning Commission’s decision to deny the requested Planned Agricultural District (PAD) Permit, Coastal Development Permit (CDP), and Use Permit to legalize unpermitted development, by making the findings identified in Attachment A.
RECOMMENDED FINDINGS OF DENIAL
Permit or Project File Number: PLN 2019-00023 Hearing Date: May 19, 2020 Prepared By: Planning Staff For Adoption By: Board of Supervisors
Regarding the Environmental Review:
1. That the proposed project is exempt from environmental review pursuant to Section 15270 (Projects Which are Disapproved) of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines which exempts projects denied by the Lead Agency.
Regarding the Coastal Development and Planned Agricultural Permit, Find:
- That the proposed project has been reviewed for compliance with all applicable plans, policies, requirements and standards of the San Mateo County Local Coastal Program (LCP). The proposed project has been deemed non-compliant with these policies and requirements, as detailed by this staff report.
- That the project is inconsistent with the plans, policies, requirements and standards of the LCP and Chapter 3 of the Coastal Act of 1976, including but not limited to LCP policies regarding Locating and Planning Development, Agriculture, Sensitive Habitats, Visual Resources, and Shoreline Access.
Regarding the Use Permit Find:
- That the applicant has not demonstrated that the re-establishment and maintenance of the non-conforming use will not, under the circumstances of this particular case, result in a significant adverse impact to coastal resources, or be detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property or improvements in said neighborhood.
- That the applicant has not demonstrated that the proposed project is necessary for the public health, safety, convenience or welfare.
Regarding the General Plan, Find:
6. That the project is inconsistent with the applicable policies of the General Plan. The project does not comply with policies relating to the protection and enhancement of vegetative, water, fish, and wildlife resources, the protection of historical and archaeological resources, and the visual quality of the area.
VICINITY & LOCATION MAP
To: From: Subject:
Honorable Board of Supervisors
Steve Monowitz, Community Development Director
Consideration of an Appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision to deny a Planned Agricultural District Permit, Coastal Development Permit, and Use Permit to legalize unpermitted development including, but not limited to: erection of solid materials or structures (e.g., wooden ramps, maintenance shed, gate, bench, and signs), change in the intensity of use of land, and removal or harvesting of major vegetation other than for agricultural purposes; and enlargement of a non-conforming use at Historic Purissima Cemetery, 1165 Verde Road, unincorporated Half Moon Bay. The Coastal Development Permit is appealable to the California Coastal Commission if the appeal is granted and the permit is approved.
County File Number: PLN 2019-00023 (Purissima Cemetery/Bixby)
Board Meeting Date: Special Notice / Hearing: Vote Required:
May19, 2020 None Majority
That the Board of Supervisors:
Deny the appeal and uphold the Planning Commission’s decision to deny the requested Planned Agricultural District (PAD) Permit, Coastal Development Permit (CDP), and Use Permit to legalize unpermitted development, by making the findings identified in Attachment A.
This is an appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision to deny a PAD Permit, CDP, and Use Permit to legalize unpermitted development (see Attachment C) at the Historic Purissima Cemetery. Staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors uphold the Planning Commission’s decision (see Attachment E) to deny the requested permits based upon the incompleteness of the application. Additionally, the unpermitted burials, construction, and use of the property have and will continue to cause adverse environmental impacts to sensitive habitats and agricultural resources, and is therefore inconsistent with the County’s General Plan, Local Coastal Program, and grading requirements.
Edward Bixby, the “Appellant/Applicant,” proposes to re-establish the operation of the historic cemetery and legalize the unpermitted development that has occurred without the required permits. The unpermitted development is the subject of an open County Code Violation case (VIO 2017-00320).
The County issued a Notice of Violation in March 2018 for development conducted on the parcel without the necessary permits. The Zoning Hearing Officer (ZHO) issued an Administrative Order in a Letter of Decision upholding the County’s Administrative Citations (Nos. VIO 2017-00320-001 and VIO 2017-000320-002) issued in May 2018 and September 2018. The Order requires the applicant to: (1) immediately cease the unpermitted use, including, but not limited to conducting burials, land clearing, construction and posting signs; and (2) apply for the required Coastal Development Permit (CDP) and Use Permit within 60 days of the Administrative Hearing.
The Appellant/Applicant failed to meet the 60-day application deadline, and the applications that were subsequently submitted were deemed incomplete due to the lack of required information. The applications were scheduled for hearing before the Planning Commission in November 2019, despite their incomplete status. Staff recommended that the Planning Commission deny the Appellant’s/Applicant’s permit request due to the incompleteness of the applications, and because the request to legalize unpermitted development and continue the unpermitted use: (1) does not conform to specific findings required by Local Coastal Program (LCP) policies; (2) does not comply with General Plan policies; (3) does not meet the requirements for issuance of a Use Permit; and (4) does not meet the requirements for a PAD permit. The Planning Commission denied the requested permits per staff’s recommendation.
On November 26, 2019, the Appellant/Applicant submitted an Application for Appeal to the Board of Supervisors (Attachment E to the staff report). The Appellant/Applicant, in summary contends that: (1) he “would like further clarification as to what exactly is needed to put improvements application forth once more”, (2) the “Board County has requested information from Applicant that may not be required for Improvement Review”, (3) he is “… not unwilling to proceed forward with further requirements” and “… does not want to proceed with any further costly reviews if they are not required”, and (4) the “use of property as a cemetery is not in question” and asks for advice on “how we might be able to proceed further to an amicable solution and resolution.” As detailed by the staff report, staff is recommending that the appeal be denied because the Appellant/Applicant has not made a good faith effort to address the regulatory requirements and associated information needs that have been clearly communicated by staff; has not submitted the application materials required to support the findings that must be made in order to approve the requested permits; and has continued to ignore and violate County requirements despite multiple warnings and the issuance of an Order.
If the Board of Supervisor upholds the Planning Commission’s denial of the requested permits, the Code Compliance Section will continue to take the enforcement actions required to remove unpermitted development, remediate the site, and ensure no additional unpermitted development takes place. The Planning and Building Department will also continue to coordinate with the Office of County Counsel to escalate the enforcement actions as necessary to obtain compliance.