Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Which rules do you play by?



When it comes to his proposed subdivision in Manila, it looks like Scott Riley has done everything right, played by the rules, and should have expected smooth sailing. He worked with an architect, worked with County staff to work out a PUD, a Planned Unit Development that designates wetlands, provides open space, stays within the density allowed by zoning ordinances, and he went beyond that to include building "green," with photovoltaic shingles, low-e glazing, thermal mass, recycled materials, and more. And. as you can see by the model above, the homes are designed to fit into the beach environment.

He's gone through the process, jumped through the hurdles, and his project is now - or was - before the Planning Commission. County staff had a favorable recommendation. But Reggae on the River took up the bulk of the May 3rd meeting, and so his project was ordered continued until June 7th.

So what happened between that meeting and now?

Riley has now been told that his project will not be heard on June 7th, and that: "Per Kirk Girard: We need to meet with the applicant and, if he agrees, his agent, Jesse and design consultant, John Ash. The Planning Commission will NOT approve the project as designed and neither will The Coastal Commission."

Really?

Who decided that? And when?

Wouldn't there be Brown Act violations if there was some sort of back-door meeting or negotiation, held out of the view of the public on a project that is already part of a public process?

The email trails show not a meeting, and not the Planning Commissioners, but correspondence (initiated May 14, AFTER the Planning Commission meeting) between John Woolley, Michael Fennel, and county staff.

19 comments:

  1. * note: This was from the agenda of the May 3rd meeting - STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS:Open the Public Hearing; receive the staff report, supplemental information, & public testimony; and adopt the Mitigated Negative Declaration and make all of the required findings, based on evidence in the staff report and public testimony, and to approve the project as described in the Agenda Item Transmittal, subject to the recommended conditions of approval.

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  2. Rose,

    What's your source for the architectural renderings above?

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  3. This is nothing new for Woolley or his "pep's". Just buisness as usually as they embrace the Hugo Chavez style of democracy. Thet know what's right.just get out of their way.

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  4. Those are kinda nice looking places.

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  5. Good,anon.R.,then talk with Riley about putting the project in your neighborhood.These people don't want it,I think that's lame and I like the development,but I don't live in Manilla and if those residents don't want it,then Riley shouldn't shove it down their throats,and he should stick it to them by going elsewhere and selling his proposal to a community which would welcome it with open arms.

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  6. Rose: Don't you think it is funny when members of the BOS hide behind the Brown Act to keep information from the public such as the Falor debacle, then violate the Act all over the place? Just ironic.

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  7. Violating the Brown Act is a totally different story though.If Manilla residents weren't given a chance to voice their opinions,and a backdoor was made,then that's a big issue.Rose,do you have evidence that a meeting may have taken place,other than those e-mails?

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  8. Actually what I was pointing out was that though it could be inferred that there was some sort of meeting, it certainly doesn't seem to have been the Planning Commission - rather, it appears that pressure was exerted, and everything changed.

    There's no Brown Act Violation that I see, but implied pressure from one Supervisor. There are alot of questions that need to be asked - and answered. I don't have the answers. It just seems grotesquely unfair to me.

    What's the point of all these General Plan meetings and zoning ordinances if they just get tossed on a whim.

    And, mresquan - sure, but how does he "take his project and move it somewhere else"? He owns property in Manila. He can't just move into someone else's property.

    And it is normal for neighbors to have concerns. People like Jennifer Savage voice reasonable and normal concerns.

    Then you have the guys who tried to buy the property at a lowball price, who didn't get the property and never got over it, who have harassed this guy for years, who keep harping about some trees being cut, who refuse to accept the determination of the County, and apparently two other agencies that there was no violation, and who, in at least the case of Michael Fennel, have your own subdivisions with variances....

    And then there's the "oh the charm of the neighborhood will be lost" argument. Geez. Go drive Peninsula Drive. There's charm in Samoa in the little row houses, but Manila?

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  9. FYI - I updated the post to reflect this statement - to avoid confusion - The email trails show not a meeting, and not the Planning Commissioners...

    It is fair for Riley to ask, though - was there a meeting? When and where was this decsion made, adn by whom? And why?

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  10. mresquan, Riley owns his property and his project fits the area just fine. Why don't you buy his property if you think it should be something different. As far as the witch hunt or as you put it the community not wanting it,thats not exactly correct. By the way they don't necessarily have absolute rights to dictate the issue. I had a property once that Cal Trans wanted for a roadway. Guess what? Cal Trans got the property and the neighborhood didn't fall apart. The real false hood is that the neighbor Fennel tried to buy the property with the same development goal in mind. This is sour grapes,political manipulation,and very dirty. Woolley is hip deep in it.

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  11. Riley is a Manila res. Woolley has never tried to talk to him and look at the property with him as far as anyone can tell. Woolley has attended meetings about this issue with the project opponents for several years. Doesn't that raise some conflict questions?

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  12. mresquan said...

    Good,anon.R.,then talk with Riley about putting the project in your neighborhood.These people don't want it,I think that's lame and I like the development,but I don't live in Manilla and if those residents don't want it,then Riley shouldn't shove it down their throats,and he should stick it to them by going elsewhere and selling his proposal to a community which would welcome it with open arms.

    5/31/2007 9:14 AM


    I'd love to have that put up in my 'hood.

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  13. 9:14. get a partner buy some land and call Ash then you can do it.

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  14. That's the question, 11:14. can you? If you follow the rules and procedures, work with the County as you go along to make sure your project doesn't have any glaring offenses, then - can you? Or do the rules get changed in mid-stream? With no warning. And outside of the established procedure.

    In this case, perhaps the Planning Commission would have approved it. Then it would go before the Coastal Commission, and perhaps they would raise concerns that resulted in modifications, and he could adjust or appeal...

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  15. THe coastal conservancy is the political action arm of the coastal commission. The Ca. public as usual were dupped into support their fraud. The conservancy competes with all legitimate property owners,people looking to move up and anyone imterested in any type of developement,no matter what the size. If you are a part of the eco-groovey-club they will give you the green light . If not you'll roll out the check book and likely be shut down. It dosen't matter what the situation is as the concept is that the conservancy wants control of all coastal property. In the case of Riley's property they refused to entertain buying it at any price. They said it was insignificant. So why at the 11th hr. are they raising questions of habitat conserns,etc.? Because they don't want it, don't want Riley to do anything with it,and so they will do any type of shananagence necessary to retain their iron clad control. They will use any means necessary, manipulation,undue political pressure,out right lies,or most often rediculous staff imposed slow downs or unanswereable questions that are designed to wear down or bankrupt the applicant so they just can't proceed. Lets hope Riley can continue this fight. He is right and"they" are wrong.

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  16. Wooley is as dirty as it gets. No morals. Girard knows that he only has a job because of Wooley and Neely and the fact that Jimmy Smith doesn't have squat for a backbone.

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  17. Incidentally, Riley provided me with hard-copies of the emails. I will transcribe them. But if anyone has them in email form and can just send 'em to me, you'd save me alot of time.

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  18. So has Woolley sucK-ceas-fully closed down the public process? Is the planning hearing on the 7th for Riley on or off? Are the planning staff such cowards they cannot stand up to the party politic? Do we work in a Republic or by mANILA mOB rULE dEMOCRACY?

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