image - dunes beach
Developers submitted a proposal for a hotel near Dunes Beach. The project has been met with resistance from groups of Coastsiders who oppose the space being developed. Photo courtesy The Dunes at Half Moon Bay

Despite a large public outcry earlier this year over potential development plans for the area near Dunes Beach in Half Moon Bay, the developer and majority property owner is continuing to move forward with a proposal to create a new hotel and RV park. 

On Sept. 6, developer Steve Weed submitted his proposals to build a 212-room hotel, a conference meeting space of about 15,000 square feet, a parking garage, general store, agricultural space, an RV park and campground, and a hostel. 

The project spreads across approximately 47 acres situated on agricultural land near the Frenchmans Creek neighborhood. 

Several aspects of the plan are designed to serve as low-cost visitor accommodations. This includes a hostel with capacity to fit up to 40 beds and an RV park offering 177 spaces equipped with an outdoor lounge area, bathrooms with showers, laundry facilities and a swimming pool. For higher-end coastal lodging, a hotel conference center is proposed. It would feature a restaurant, spa and fitness center, along with meeting rooms for non-hotel visitors. To allow for small-scale agricultural use, the project includes working farms that will serve as a way to sell fresh, site-grown produce. 

Other landowners, including the Coastside Land Trust, the city of Half Moon Bay and private property owners, own some of the lots within the proposed project site. In the project proposal, Weed outlines various opportunities these property owners have to be part of the project. 

While the project plans still need to go through a lengthy review process with the city, the California Coastal Commission, the Planning Commission and City Council, that has not stopped people from continuing to express their reactions to the project. 

Half Moon Bay resident Kathleen Shecter attended one of the City Council meetings last year protesting the plan. 

“The community is outraged by the thought of more developing on the coast (and) for good reason,” Shecter. “The city cannot possibly be that hard up for tax revenue. And the revenue could not possibly offset the negative effect. We will fight this every step of the way.” 

Longtime Miramar resident Jeff Rosen said he does not see how this project benefits the people who live on the Coastside. 

“All I see is it adding way more traffic, which is already horrible,” Rosen said. “I do not see any benefit.” 

Rosen said he believes the developer should be able do things with his property, but there must be consideration and thought for the impact it has to the community. 

Legislative advocate for the Committee for Green Foothills Lennie Roberts said she’d like to see the space where the project is proposed be sold to a land trust or public agency that can preserve the land as open space. 

“It’s going to be the start of a long process because of the opposition,” Roberts said. 

In 2018, the Committee for Green Foothills started a petition to “Save Dunes Beach” and collected about 5,000 signatures in six weeks, according to Roberts. 

Since receiving the application, city staff is conducting an initial review, and Weed is requesting consideration of an amendment to the city’s certified Local Coastal Program. He is also seeking a Coastal Development Permit and Tentative Subdivision Map. The project will require an Environmental Impact Report to assess the potential impacts of the proposed development.

The project application can be accessed on the city’s website, half-moon-bay.ca.us, and it’s also available at City Hall, Monday through Friday.

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