Resist Density, a nonprofit advocacy organization formed to fight development plans in Moss Beach, has filed suit against San Mateo County, alleging it was unresponsive after a Public Records Act request for documents related to two MidPen Housing developments.
The organization’s mission and vision statements say it “advocates for the conservation of coastal land and sensible development.” Board member Karen deMoor said Resist Density aims to keep the community informed about the effects of big developments.
MidPen submitted the project proposal, called Cypress Point, last year. The project application indicates the development would have 71 affordable housing units and estimates about 210 people would live there. In April, MidPen resubmitted the application to the county following comments from state and local agencies.
Resist Density says it submitted a Public Records Act request to the county for documents on Aug. 23. It sought documents related to Moonridge housing projects in Half Moon Bay. A few days later, the organization submitted a request for documents related to the Cypress Point parcel.
In the lawsuit, Resist Density says the county did not respond to either request in the time frame dictated by law. After months of contacting the county to ask about the records, the organization filed suit.
County officials deny the allegations.
“We are aware of the lawsuit,” said deputy county counsel Tim Fox. “It is disappointing because we’ve made every effort to make documents available to ... Resist Density. We thought we had been proactive about making documents available.”
“Our most important point for this is to provide transparency for the process of any kind of big project like this that’s going to have major impacts on the community,” deMoor said. “And to make sure the community understands what’s going on.”
Since MidPen resubmitted its application to the county, deMoor said there’s been little information released about the project’s progress. Resist Density hasn’t filed suit in the past to acquire records from the county, deMoor said.
The lawsuit asks the county to release the records and pay for the nonprofit’s attorney fees, according to court documents.