This is in response to the article in your newspaper indicating eight Montara sites have been identified for use as possible homeless shelters.
I have lived in the Montara area for nearly 17 years and am quite familiar with the area proposed for construction sites for temporary housing for the coastal homeless. However, I have also practiced law for 40 years and have represented numerous persons who have suffered catastrophic work injuries resulting in lost employment, lost income and eventually lost housing. Some of my clients lost everything and ended up wandering the streets prior to my representation.
Anyone who claims the sites in Montara are pedestrian pockets and ideal for temporary housing evidently either has not visited the sites or fails to recognize the required elements necessary to construct housing.
The sites are defective and should not even be considered for any construction whatsoever because it would result in a total loss of funds better used for the homeless by investing in other areas that are more workable.
Firstly, the sites have no services in that there is no water, sewage and electricity. Hookups for these necessities would be extremely costly because piping would require hundreds of feet of networking.
Next, the sites are in heavily forested areas and would require the costly removal of numerous large trees in the immediate and surrounding vicinity.
The unites would need to be build on cliff-life sites requiring high costs of engineering to prevent landslides during rainy winters when the surrounding areas become extremely muddy.
The proposed Montara sites have no services with the closest transportation and grocery/gasoline business being on Highway 1 approximately one mile away. Some necessities of life items cost nearly twice the normal cost.
Finally, the nearest road to the sites is a windy, narrow road that almost turns into a single lane at the top. Since there is no electricity, there are no lights after dark and the whole area takes on a wilderness atmosphere therefore necessitating installation of additional costly lighting.
I am not a building contractor nor an expert in construction, but I do understand what are the basic requirements that must be met in order to make this a successful venture. They say not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but utilizing one of the Montara sites for any type of construction is a losing proposition due to its extreme location and total lack of services and therefore is economically prohibitive.
Hopefully, other sites will be made available where preliminary construction will not break the bank. Utilizing the Montara sites would create an initial major losing venture therefore preventing any future undertakings. I realize that we all would live to see some success in alleviating this civic problem.
Thomas E. Kazarian