Letter to Editor: PUC and Council Concerns Expressed

South San Francisco, CA   February 8, 2019 by Cory David, SSF Resident

As I spend many sleepless nights trying to calculate a strategy for the residents of this community to fight back against the steamroller that is the PUC project, the obvious comes to mind.

 

If you have attended the two project workshops you will be aware that we were broken into groups after developer presentations. While this might offer a more fertile environment for discussion it also, in effect, allows us to be “divided and conquered.” We become a handful of quiet voices of the few as opposed to a loud representation of the “collective whole.”

 

At these meetings, we have yet to be allowed to have a public dialogue with the developer and more importantly with our city representatives who support this out sized project. I mean questions and answers people. If we were to be allowed this publicly interactive forum, I believe we would be enlightened to the nth degree. Just think of it, asking these individuals to explain and justify to us, the residents, how this project is going to benefit our quality of life. They might just find themselves “on the spot.” In a world of “alternative truths,” just opening one’s mouth is enough to show your true colors. With ease, we understand the developer’s position, it’s business. What seems to be a consensus among the residents is that we, as yet, do not fully understand the advocacy or motivation of our city officials who appear to so love this project.

 

Now, we have to acknowledge the risk in this interaction as it can become heated. I just experienced this in my interaction with Mr. Garbino at the last project meeting. I mitigated the situation by removing myself from the situation after stating my case. Those who know me know this is not my usual response. Still if resident attendees recall the vocal outrage they expressed at the first meeting when the developer rolled out the high rises, they will also remember that they were admonished by the council for their behavior. I find this to be the height of hypocrisy as approximately five years ago as I addressed the council to protest proposed fifteen story buildings I was attacked in a profanity laced tirade by the now sitting mayor. All this while a cowardly, then mayor, Kevin Mullin and two currently seated council members silently looked on. Just check the video archives if they haven’t destroyed them. Your council will cry for civility and yet they, themselves, “don’t walk the walk.”

 

So, I fear that the next project meeting will be the roll out of an initial project plan. We will be talked at but can we talk back? One city official trying to placate me with praise of public inclusiveness in the project planning phase fails to realize the little details we were allowed to discuss pale in comparison to our real concerns. We were allowed to participate in the trivial. They claim to listen. Did they really? Eight story buildings anyone? We need to demand live public interaction with both the developer and our city representatives at this next meeting, not just a presentation. We promise to be civil but those who will be sitting at the front of the room representing the other side of the argument better do the same. These individuals need a constant reminder that

 

THIS IS OUR CITY!

 

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For more information on the proposed development for the PUC site CLICK HERE

 

### Edit update 7:17pm

 

4 comments for “Letter to Editor: PUC and Council Concerns Expressed

  1. Cynthia Marcopulos
    February 12, 2019 at 2:17 am

    SSF Residents: Are you concerned about the traffic at El Camino Real/Chestnut/Hillside/Mission Road today? Well, there are plans to make traveling this area by the Sunshine Gardens Neighborhood more of a nightmare,

    There are the existing apartments on Antoinette Lane and Peninsula Pines that use the street parking; the former car wash is going to be 171 – 173 units (so if everyone has 2 cars, put another 80 cars fighting for parking on the streets) – and the car wash units will enter and exit Chestnut and ECR only; then, let’s add the Community Civic Campus which will house the Council Chambers, Park & Rec and the library with only 134 parking spaces and maybe 30 for ADA spaces making our $210 million dollar project barely usable due to no parking;

    Now, let’s add the PUC 5.9 acre Site that developer, AGI, has held community outreach meetings telling us it’s going to be eight (8) stories with 1.4 parking spaces (really? never seen a point 4 mode of transportation, unless it’s my skateboard)

    Our City Council assured us in May 2018 that it would be 2 – 3 stories on the outside and 4 – 5 stories on the inside.

    And, we have developers telling us what will be built in OUR CITY???

    Contact the City Council and tell them to keep their promise of no higher than 4 -5 stories: council@ssf.net

    Come to the City Council meetings and speak at the Public Comment portion.

    For the sake of our community, our quality of life, and trying to preserve South City as we know and love it, spread this posting widely, please.

  2. LG
    February 12, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    Let’s circulate a petition to put it b4 the voters for the 2020 election , to limit the PUC per the minimal State guidelines(not developers) and any future building not to exceed X amount of units. /stories. We need participation from the community. A think tank coming together. We can do this. Yes this is OUR city,
    We have done our fair share of building. We need to look out for ourselves, bcz THEY’RE not.

  3. Cory Alan David
    February 14, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    Forgive me for replying to my own post but I felt an update is in order. Last night, February 13, I attended the SSF City Council meeting to read a prepared statement for the record regarding a request for a special meeting about the PUC project. The significance here, this request will be on the record.
    Not a fan of public speaking but not a stranger to it either, I felt short of breath, misspoke a couple of times, and stammered my way through as I am withdrawing from a month of prescribed medication. Nonetheless I managed to deliver the statement in an coherent manner.

    For those of you not in attendance or not watching on the community access channel, here is the text of the statement:

    After the last PUC project workshop Eric, the AGI/KASA team leader left the attendees with the impression that at the next development meeting they would be rolling out a preliminary plan. I think AGI/KASA is getting ahead of themselves as elements of the workshop meeting indicated that they were not listening to the residents’ desires. In addition, anybody who supports a project reflecting the PUC property’s minimum compliance requirements would probably find plans reflecting that configuration helpful. We could compare the projects and their inherit benefits and negative consequences. I would also like to formally request a public meeting including the developer, the council members and city officials integral to this project. We, the community, want the opportunity to participate in a “back and forth” dialogue about the project as, to date, we have largely been talked at. This would also give each council member an opportunity to individually express their personal support or non-support for this project plan and the reasoning behind it. Community members could then ascertain whether they are being adequately represented by their elected officials. I would also request that this meeting be promoted and adequate efforts for public notification utilized. Thank you.

    THERE YOU HAVE IT. CONCERNED CITIZENS I URGE YOU TO GET INVOLVED IN THE ACTION TO SCALE BACK THIS “OUT SIZED” PROJECT SO THAT IT MORE REFLECTS THE VISIONS OF THE COMMUNITY NOT THE DEVELOPER’S. ONLY A HANDFUL OF RESIDENTS ARE INVOLVED IN THIS BATTLE AND WE CAN’T DO IT ALONE. THE FUTURE OF YOUR COMMUNITY AT STAKE. I WILL BE DEAD AND GONE BY THE TIME THE REAL NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES ARE REALIZED. STILL, I AM FIGHTING FOR YOU. THEREFORE, I ASK YOU TO GET INVOLVED WITH A SIMPLE PHONE CALL. CALL THE CITY MANAGER’S OFFICE OR THE CITY COUNCIL HOTLINE AND ASK THEM WHEN THEY PLANNING ON HAVING AN INTERACTIVE MEETING ON THE PUC PROJECT. THIS IS NOT TOO MUCH TO ASK. THANK YOU.

  4. Cynthia Marcopulos
    February 17, 2019 at 12:33 am

    Contact the City Council and tell them to keep their promise of no higher than 4 -5 stories: council@ssf.net

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