Proposal for Dunes Beach
Developers have offered this illustration of what they envision for land near Dunes Beach. The proposal has brought intense opposition from local residents.

Dunes Beach wasn’t on the agenda for Tuesday night’s Half Moon Bay City Council meeting, but it was all that many in the standing-room only crowd wanted to talk about.

More than 150 people packed into the Ted Adcock Community Center for the first City Council meeting of the year. Some turned out on an inclement night to talk about a rent control measure, but most wore either blue or green to show their distaste for a proposed development at Dunes Beach.

The development plans have been coming together for months and, as presented in 2018, include a 206-room hotel and parking for 173 recreational vehicles. It would sit roughly across from Frenchmans Creek on agricultural land. Developers have characterized the proposal as “luxury” accommodations.

It was clear on Tuesday, however, that many local residents consider the existing open space far more luxurious.

Helen Wolter, a legislative advocate for Committee for Green Foothills, which helped organize the turnout, told the council she has never seen so much opposition to a project in her 20-plus years of advocacy. The environmental group turned over a 297-page petition against development that she said included the names of one in 10 Half Moon Bay residents.

The opposition spread north of the Half Moon Bay border. Many in the audience, like former Mayor Mike Ferreira, were residents of the unincorporated areas north of the city who are appalled by the prospect of a new hotel and RV park on the property.

“I now live in the Midcoast and I want to say the opposition in the Midcoast is even stronger than in the city of Half Moon Bay,” he told the council. “That is because they look at that section of the Highway 1 corridor and say, ‘You can’t do that there.’”

San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Ed Larenas was even more succinct.

“This is what happens when a developer proposes a project that just has no redeeming qualities,” he said.

The council was mum after the better part of an hour of public commentary. It has yet to formally consider the project.

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