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Congresswoman Speier Announces Funding for Four Month Beach Blvd, Esplanade, and Milagra Outfall Studies:

Wednesday Jan 25, 2017

Congresswoman Jackie Speier announced this afternoon that the Army Corps of Engineers would be performing four month Federal Interest Termination Studies on Beach Blvd, Esplanade Ave & Milagra Outfall.

The three projects were funded for up to $150,000 total after which they would be considered as possible candidates for a full blown federal interest study including CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) and NEQA (Natl Environmental Quality Act).

Should the city be approved for either of these three projects by the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal government would fund 65% of the cost and the City of Pacifica would have to fund 35% of the project, which would likely be through state or county grants.

ELECTION 2016: Library, Quarry Fail, Vaterlaus & Martin Prevail!

Saturday Nov 12, 2016

Pacifica's $58M Measure N Library Tax fell 13% short of the required vote on Saturday despite no formal opposition.

The Measure W Pacifica Quarry ballot initiative fell by 28% with strong formal opposition.

Finally Sue Vaterlaus and Deirdre Martin emerged victorious in the Pacifica City Council race.

Pacifica suffered long lines for voters in several locations resulting in paper ballots being handed out at several polling locations causing an initial county backlog of counted votes.

TRIBUNE: Op-ed by Dan Stegink: Vote No on Measure "N"-- it's the wrong library in the wrong place!

Thursday Oct 06, 2016

Thanks to all our users and the Pacifica Tribune for making our "No on Measure N" article one of the most popular articles on for the third straight week!

"Vote No on Measure "N"-- it's the wrong library in the wrong place! Due to cost and location, Measure "N" is an especially bad deal for seniors, children, Linda Mar, Manor and Fairmont residents.

Sanchez Library serves nearly half of Pacifica's residents. The City's own evaluation shows that it can easily be renovated. It's "mostly accessible... qualifies as a Benchmark Building... is structurally Life-Safe, and in general good condition."

One consequence of Measure N is that our beloved Sanchez Library in Linda Mar would be permanently shut down, destroying convenient neighborhood libraries forever. The proceeds from selling Sanchez and Sharp Park libraries would not go towards paying off the bond. How would car-less kids, seniors and disabled get to a distant central library miles away with the our infrequent bus service? A roundtrip to the library on SAMTRANS at the wrong time could take three hours.

A large group of seniors opposed to Measure "N" called "Citizens United to Defeat the Library Tax" meets every Monday at 6pm at Casa Pacifica.

Measure N means $58 MILLION plus in more borrowing, principal and interest! Pacifica homeowners would pay an average of $3000 each. There's no exemption for seniors or fixed/low income. Measure N would make living in Pacifica even more expensive.

Fairmont residents, already neglected by the City, won't be driving miles out of their way to pick up a library book on Beach Blvd. The Daly City library is more convenient. Why construct an expensive library in harm's way? Remember this year's giant sinkholes and collapses on Beach Boulevard less than 500 feet away from the site of the proposed library? The California Coastal Commission wrote, "... It's not accurate to say that the library's been vetted as safe from flooding at this point, ...", and further denied that they had even evaluated the project for coastal hazards like flooding. We witnessed the future in last winter's storm damage. Government maps show the proposed library location vulnerable to coastal erosion and flooding. We taxpayers would have to spend tens of millions to protect it.

City Hall makes some ridiculous promises about the new library - private bathrooms for staff... it will be open until 11PM on weekends, and it will even lend fishing equipment! What they don't say is they are raising your taxes to build City Hall a new Council Chambers!

Each election, City Council tries to raise our taxes, and each election the voters say "NO." Instead of a library at the beach, let a private hotel assume the risks and costs of sea level rise and provide tax revenue for Pacifica. Locate libraries where people can easily access them. Vote No on Measure "N" -- it's the wrong library in the wrong place! "

TRIBUNE: Vote No on Measure N – it’s the wrong library in the wrong place

Grass Roots Opposition to the $66M Beach Blvd Library Pops Up All Over Town

Friday Aug 12, 2016

Peninsula Clean Energy Meeting Jul 27 2016 7:00PM Sharp Park Library

Sunday Jul 24, 2016

$33.5M City Library Bond Passes Unanimously

Friday Jul 22, 2016

In a 4-0 vote at a special session last night, the Pacifica City Council unanimously passed their approval of a Nov 2016 library bond.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Dan Stegink on $33.5M Library Bond

Wednesday Jul 20, 2016

"I strongly urge the public to attend this Thursday's (July 21 at 7:00pm) $33.5M 2212 Beach Blvd library bond reconsideration meeting at Council Chambers and propose instead a smaller bond that would improve library services, protect the neighborhood library system and Save Our Sanchez Library.

In the last six months, the World has seen Beach Blvd torn apart by coastal erosion, and I support either renovations of both libraries, or a two thirds smaller $10-$12M new library at a much safer location (the city-owned parking lot on Francisco between San Jose & Salada) combined with the repair and staffing of the beautiful Sanchez library, not the $33.5M Taj Mahal we're being force-fed.

Anyone who mailed a letter or bought a stamp at our single open post office last year knows that neighborhood distribution systems like neighborhood post offices and neighborhood libraries are what works best and are most accessible.

Kudos to council member John Keener for being a capable watchdog of the public's stretched bank accounts. City Manager Lorie Tinfow was curiously unable to answers his questions on how much interest the public would pay on the $33.5M bond (the real answer is at least $50M) or what the Sharp Park and Sanchez Parcels are currently appraised at. The fractional loan offered from San Mateo County was mistakenly heralded as "someone else's money".

The Walnut Creek firm FM3's survey results showed a likely election day bond debacle - 67% of likely Pacifica voters near the Sanchez Library were opposed, 66% believed the bond hurts senior, and 67% near the Sanchez Library were opposed, and 71% believed Coastal Erosion was the most serious problem facing Pacifica.

The City should Save Our Sanchez Library while restoring staffing to 2015 levels of 74 hours per week, slice the size of the new library bond by two-thirds, and require any matching ballot initiative to mandate sale proceeds from the existing Sharp Park library pay back the bond.

It's never too late for the City of Pacifica to be a good steward of its voter's money.

-Dan Stegink
LInda Mar resident"

Pacifica City Council to hear Library Reconsideration Thursday Night 7pm at Council Chambers, 2212 Beach Blvd 2nd Floor 2

Wednesday Jul 20, 2016

Tonight's Pacifica City Council Session will solely address the proposed $33.5M ($60M with interest) Pacifica Public Library Bond.

Surprisingly, no mention is made of the legal mistake that occurred on July 11 when the City Attorney and Staff mistakenly announced the bond had passed.

CITY COUNCIL AGENDA: Thurs July 21, 2016 Library Bond Special Session Agenda

2016 Pacifica Library Issues Survey from Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates of Walnut Creek

Friday Jul 15, 2016

1. 67% of voters near the Sanchez Library are opposed.
2. 66% of responders believe it hurts Seniors
3. 72% stated in the past year or so no one else in their household has been to the library
4. 71% believe Coastal Erosion is the most serious problem facing Pacifica
5. More people think the City of Pacifica’s finances are NOT generally well-managed than well managed.
6. "While housing, coastal erosion and the drought are voters’ top concerns, the condition of the Library is not seen as nearly as pressing."

SURVEY: Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates 2016 Library Issues Survey


Thursday Jul 14, 2016

JULY 14 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Pacifica, CA) 14 July 2016-

At its July 11, 2016 meeting, the Pacifica city Council considered a resolution to place a bond measure on the November 2016 ballot to fund construction of a new public Pacifica Library. On July 12, 2016, the City Attorney's Office became aware that the Assistant City Attorney had not advised the Council that the resolution failed to receive the four votes required to pass. State statutes require a two-thirds affirmative vote of all Council members to place a bond measure on a ballot. In the case of the five member Pacifica City Council the requirement is four (4) affirmative votes regardless of the number of Council members participating in the meeting.

The Council's decision on the bond measure received a 3-1 vote, with three votes in favor and one oppposed; one Council member recused herself. (Elected officials who own property within 500 feet of a City project must recuse themselves from voting on the project.) The Assistant City Attorney did not advise the Council that a majority of three out of four votes in favor of the measure was insufficient to meet the statutory requirements needed to place the measure on the ballot.

"I apologize on behalf of my office for failing to advise the Council at the meeting that the votes cast were not sufficient," said City Attorney Michelle Kenyon of the firm Burke, Williams & Sorensen. "I want to acknowledge the mistake, and take any and a11 steps necessary to assist the City Council with its ability to properly consider the decision of whether or not to place the library bond measure on teh November 2016 ballot."

Under State law, the City Council may hold a special meeting to reconsider this matter and will do so on July 21, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 2212 Beach Blvd. The agenda packet for the special meeting will be available on the City's website by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 15, 2016. For more information, please contact City Attorney Michelle Kenyon, at (650) 738-7409 or via email at


Average Pacifica Homeowner will Pay $2790 for New Library Plan, Median Home Buyer this Month will Pay $5451.00

Thursday Jun 16, 2016

We asked San Mateo County what the average home in Pacifica was assessed at and the answer for 2015 was $403,044.

That means the average homeowner in Pacifica would pay approximately $2790 over thirty years under the proposed Library general obligation bond plan.

It's likely 6% more due to the 2016 turnover but for now we'll keep it simple.

Homeowner costs will be significantly higher for homes with more valuable assessments and the median new homeowner will be asked to vote to tax themselves an additional $5451.00 each over the likely thirty year lifespan of the bond.

New Library Survey: Would your household vote to pay $5451.00 in new taxes for a new $35.5M Pacifica Library?

Saturday Jun 04, 2016

The new 30 minute Pacifica Library Bond survey reveals the median new homeowner will likely be asked to vote to tax themselves an additional $5451.00 each.

$790,000 = Median home sale price (per Trulia)
$23 per $100,000 of assessed property valuation
$35.5 million = Cost of new Library
30 Years = Term of Bond

Read all 83 questions on the Jun 3 2016 GlobalTestMarket Pacifica Library Survey without taking survey:

The most common question on the thirty minute, 83 question survey (repeated three times):

"the PACIFICA PUBLIC LIBRARY EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE AND SAFETY UPGRADE MEASURE, which would build a new Pacifica Public Library to better serve residents by issuing $35,500,000 in bonds at legal rates, requiring financial audits, citizens' oversight, all funds for the Library. If the election were held today, please indicate how you would vote: Select one [Yes, No, Don't Know]"

Read all 83 Questions on the 30 Minute Pacifica Library Questions WITHOUT Taking the Survey

See all our "Underwater Library" stories about the New Pacifica Library

Planning Commission, Economic Development Committee & Library Committee Appointed Replacements

Tuesday Apr 12, 2016

At the April 11, 2016 Pacifica City Council meeting, the following commissioners and committee members were appointed.

Rich Campbell
Jack Baringer
Tom Clifford

Tonia Boykin

Trish Sholl
Vanessa Powers
Jerry Crow
Barbara Eikenberry

Ginny Jaquith

Compromise? Is this the New Library Location Developers, Environmentalists, Realtors and Highway 1 Crowd Can All Agree on?

Wednesday Mar 23, 2016

UPDATE: 32/35 in favor, and thanks to the Pacifica Tribune and Riptide's John Mayburry for the link.

Sometime in the last week we sat down with a prominent, very pro- development realtor who laid out his plan for the City.

Half the conversation topics were non-starters, but one idea was very good:

Placing the new Pacifica Public Library in the empty city-owned parking lot on Francisco between San Jose & Salada just N of Pacifica Thai Cuisine.

We ran the idea by twenty three different regular contributors to, both far left far right, and right down the middle. Shockingly, twenty one of them agreed on the location only.

Cost, payment terms, whether to kill Sanchez library, and bond or county funding were all potential deal-breakers for various parties, but the location seems to enjoy rare bipartisan support.

San Mateo County Ocean Side North Maps Show New Library, Palmetto Streetscape as Only Pacifica Areas Underwater

Thursday Mar 17, 2016

San Mateo County showed these maps briefly at their Sea Level Rise forum, but only posted them online in the last few weeks.

Download the full size PDF, and take a look at how Pacifica's planned new downtown could be underwater... according to San Mateo County, that is.

San Mateo County Sea Level Rise Maps

County Loans Half Moon Bay Another $6M to Build Library

Thursday Mar 10, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a potential way the City of Pacifica might attempt to pay for a new public library that might not enjoy the necessary support to pass the planned November 2016 bond vote.

Unlike Pacifica, San Mateo County offered to pay for half of HMB's new library because it served citizens from outside HMB in unincorporated area of San Mateo County.

HMB suffered both a Nov 2014 defeat of a half cent sales tax Measure O "...To provide additional funding exclusively for the City of Half Moon Bay that can be used to substantially fund our new Library", before the Taxpayer Protection Act last December sought to prevent "...the issuance of Lease Revenue Bonds for the purpose of building a new library..."

The $1046 per square foot cost of the HMB library would suggest a $35.6M cost for the 34,000 square foot new Pacifica Library.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday morning to provide the city of Half Moon Bay with a $6 million advance to cover costs associated with the Half Moon Bay library project...

While the county has pledged the money, the funding source won’t be clear until after the coming budget process

The loan is in addition to the county’s pledge to pay 50 percent of the bill for the project. In 2004, it entered in a joint powers agreement with the city, agreeing to cover half of any costs associated with a replacement or remodel...

The cost for the new 22,000-square-foot building is estimated at $23 million.

HMB REVIEW: County gives Half Moon Bay $6 million advance for downtown library

Sinkhole #4 Reported Weds 6:04pm 50 Feet inland from Beach Blvd at Carmel

Saturday Mar 05, 2016

6:04pm PST (Case 1603020226) Public Works Call , Carmel Ave & Beach Blvd (50 feet East of Beach Blvd, sinkhole forming, respondent placed a barrier in the area. Disposition: Log Note Only

SMC will Vote to Loan Half Moon Bay $6M More of its New Library Costs

Friday Mar 04, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: Perhaps a window into the future if the new Pacifica Library bond does not pass in November.

"The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on whether to provide the city of Half Moon Bay with as much as $6 million as a loan to cover costs associated with the Half Moon Bay library project.

The board will take a formal vote on the action at its regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting, but board members have long-signaled their approval for the project...

The county has already agreed to foot 50 percent of the bill for the project. In 2004, it entered in a joint powers agreement with the city, agreeing to cover half of any costs associated with a replacement or remodel. That agreement acknowledged that roughly half of the library’s users come from unincorporated cities governed by the county. The cost for the new 22,000-square-foot building is estimated at $23 million. According to a San Mateo County Board of Supervisors staff report, Half Moon Bay has $6 million saved up toward its portion of the payment.

...Through its resources from Measure A, Kowalczyk said the county will be able to provide the money in the form of a zero-interest loan. The city will work on paying it back through its revenue streams."

HMB REVIEW: featured County Supes to vote on $6 million loan to city

$20M to Replace Seawall as 14' x 10' Sinkhole Opens 428 Feet from New Library Project

Thursday Mar 03, 2016

"Yet another sinkhole has opened up along Beach Boulevard. A snapshot shows the depression in the sidewalk of the Beach Boulevard Promenade that was reported to the city’s Department of Public Works on Saturday afternoon...

It was 14 feet by 10 feet, and 8 feet deep, according to Van Ocampo from the public works department....

The long-term solution could involve replacing the entire seawall.

Crews don’t have a timeframe for that project, and they don’t know where they are going to find the money.

The price tag is estimated to be somewhere around $20 million."

KRON 4: Another sinkhole opens in Pacifica along Beach Boulevard

Saturday Sinkhole Sealed - At foot of Pacifica Municipal Pier

Tuesday Mar 01, 2016

About noon this morning Public Works patched a third in a series of sinkholes that have been inching nearer the site of the new Public library.

Workers bolted a plywood patch on the face of the seawall, before pouring concrete into the empty hole, and placing a plywood cover over the top.

This specific location was the site of a previous seawall failure about ten years ago.

Three of Three Higher Authorities Say the New Pacifica Library Plan is Underwater

Wednesday Feb 24, 2016

UPDATE:We've gotten some requests to bump this up based on a related Pacifica Tribune article. Enjoy!

Three out of three higher authorities say new Public Library Plan is underwater.

1. San Mateo County's Coastal Storm Modeling System shows New Library Site Flooded at 150cm

2. Arcadis City Asset Vulnerability Maps show the library site flooded at no sea level rise, 3.3 feet of sea level rise.

3. State of California GIS Tsunami Inundation Maps show the library property flooded.

The library project is likely to be a 30 year bond paid for by an increase in property taxes to be determined by the November 2016 election.

Group 4 Architecture has recently been chosen to design the library.

Perhaps a more appropriate location is in order.

SAN MATEO COUNTY: Sea Level Rise Initiative

How far is the new Pacifica Library from the sinkhole?

Another Day, Another Giant Beach Boulevard Seawall Sinkhole 15' x 4' at Paloma

Thursday Feb 04, 2016

UPDATE: By nightfall the Mercury Tribune reported the new sinkhole had grown to 25' long x 3' wide x 4' deep.

The new sinkhole is about 1,350 feet from the site of the new Pacifica Library.

Around 4:00AM this morning, a dog walker at Beach Blvd just south of Paloma noticed 2" depression in the concrete next to the seawall.

An hour later the concrete had formed a 12" depression and by 7:30AM the whole 15' x 4' section had dropped out, and police were called.

At 1:30PM concrete mixer truck from GraniteRock poured concrete into the hole under the watchful eye of Van Ocampo and Ray Biagini of Pacifica Public Works

Beach Boulevard's Stormy Past

Tuesday Feb 02, 2016

In an old shingled house on Beach Boulevard, salt water sprays the living room windows above the garage. Pam Raymond looks out to see 20-foot gray waves cannonading the underside of the town's fishing pier. When a bigger one thumps a quarter-mile out, she can feel a faint rumble in her floorboards.

Whitewash hits the sea wall across her street and spews sand, rocks and bits of seaweed into her neighborhood. In her front garden, only succulents can survive these deluges of brine.

Raymond's house is not far from a Safeway and a Taco Bell, but on winter days like this, the town feels like a remote outpost against the ocean.

Waves gnashed out a section of the sea wall last week and are threatening to eat parts of the street it protects. Since December, storm surf has damaged the end of the concrete pier and carved away sandy cliffs. Officials condemned one apartment building — next to two others that had been evacuated in 2010 — and at least two homes.

LA TIMES: A coastal town's long and stormy relationship with El Niño

Beach Boulvevard Blowout! Seawall Slumps to the Sea!

Friday Jan 22, 2016

Last week's repair of the Beach Blvd at Santa Monica sidewalk was short-lived, and last night a large portion of the seawall broke off and plunged into the sea.

As of 11:30AM this morning, a lone public works employee guarded the scene.

FLASHBACK Sept 2015: How the Coastal Commission Decision on El Granada Fire Station Could Affect the New Pacifica Library

Thursday Jan 21, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: We originally printed this article on Sept 05 2015 and are escalating it due to it's relevance on the new library at 2212 Beach Blvd.

On Nov 4 2015 we asked the Coastal Commission for clarity on this decision as it related to 2212 Beach Blvd property, and the Coastal Commission subsequently wrote the City of Pacifica a letter of support regarding a new library at 2212 Beach Blvd on Nov 20 2015, but several other agency’s involvement in sea level rise may also affect that site.

The California Coastal Commission's recent letter stating the law does not allow public buildings to be built in the Tsunami inundation zone could mean trouble for Pacifica.

Eventually municipalities with more rainy day legal dollars than SMC or Pacifica will probably litigate this significant decision on a case by case basis, but for Pacifica it could affect several pending public building projects.

If denied, City of Pacifica may make an argument that renovating or re-purposing a public building is not prohibited construction, particularly if the renovations contribute to making the property more natural-disaster-resistant.

Another option available to the city would be to hire a civil engineering consultant who would further research the issues and provide supports indicating the property was unlikely to be affected by tsunami inundation possibly based on Pacifica's undersea profile.

HMB REVIEW: Coastal Commission pours cold water on fire station plans

What the HMB Library Tells us About the Pacifica Library

Tuesday Jan 19, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: Pacifica's population of 39,088 indicates a size estimate of 23,453 sq ft ($21.1M) of total library needs at the Group 4 Estimates and 39,088 sq ft( $35.1M) at the Anderson Breuel Architects estimates.

Our currrent libraries total 11,211 sq ft with Sanchez Library at 4,129 sq ft and the Sharp Park Library at 7,082 sq ft. If either was saved the total size needs and costs would be reduced by those square footages.

Both Anderson Breule Architects and Group 4 Architects are or have been Pacifica Vendors on the new library project.

"But there may be a difference of opinion about the ideal size. At a cost (already approved) at well over $900 per square foot, the size matters a lot to the cost. To appreciate the importance, it works out to more than $2,500 for each Half Moon Bay household. That is the biggest project ever for Half Moon Bay. Only the Beachwood lawsuit mistake cost more....

But, we have a diverse population with many other kinds of needs. In the plan already considered by City Council, about 40 percent of the space is devoted to various group activities. Public libraries can be sites for literacy programs, child story time and teaching opportunities, teen activities, civic group and local business meetings, and even homeless needs have been mentioned. That 40 percent for “group space,” by itself, would be more than the size of our current library, which is well over 7,800 square feet.

...If you live in an urban, densely populated community, the best-practice number might be 1 square foot of library for each resident. That was the number used by our Half Moon Bay Library consultant (Group 4 Architects) at the beginning of the “Needs Assessment” planning.

However, if you live in a spread out or rural community, the number is smaller because people need to travel distances (from Pescadero and Montara and Kings Mountain) to get to the library. People won’t travel as often, or they can go to another closer library. The best-practice number for more rural communities can be 0.6 square feet per resident. That was the number used by the library consultant (Anderson Brule Architects) for Pacifica, in its recent new library planning. The difference that makes is that, instead of creating a 25,000-square-foot library, using the 0.6 best practice calculation you find that about 15,600 square feet of library will actually be used. It indicates that we should double the size of our current library — but not triple it."

HMB REVIEW: What’s the big deal over library size?What’s the big deal over library size?

Flashback 2006: Walnut Creek- When Library Bonds Fail but Libraries Prevail

Friday Jan 15, 2016

Undaunted by three failed attempts to get bond money, Walnut Creek is plowing forward with plans for a $42 million, state-of-the-art library in Civic Park.

With the failure of Proposition 81, a state library bond on the June 6 ballot, Walnut Creek lost $18.2 million it was counting on to fund the project...

Now officials must scour the city's $66 million annual budget for extra cash, and have vowed not to raise taxes or cut services to find the money, said Gary Pokorny...

Instead, they plan to dip further into reserve funds, raise more from donors and possibly, for the first time in years, go into debt.


Final vote tallies released early Wednesday showed 61 percent of voters approved the $21 million Measure R, a bond issue that fell just short of the two-thirds vote needed for approval.

Despite their loss, supporters of the plan to demolish the 44-year-old library and replace it with one four times larger called the results a mandate to proceed with plans for the library, and they said they would continue to push for it.

SFGATE: WALNUT CREEK / City with a mission: $42 million library / Despite 3 failed bond attempts, plans proceeding

SFGATE: Walnut Creek library bond falls short

Pacifica Economic Development Committee Agenda Sat Jan 16 2016 10am-3pm Police Station

Friday Jan 15, 2016

The Pacifica EDC will meet tomorrow Sat Jan 16 at 10am at the Police Station in a marathon five hour workshop with Laree Kiely of KiehlyGroup, an organizational effectiveness and crisis management consultant.

The two functional agenda items appear to be:

9. Recommend Representative for Library Advisory Committee (LAC), and

10. Approve Ad Hoc Committees as necessary for EDC Projects

The LAC will be one of the largest committees in Pacifica history with fourteen members, while the EDC has nine members and nine different ad hoc committees.

Pacifica Economic Development Committee Agenda Sat Jan 16 2016 10am