This proposal was designed to be fast-tracked, and to limit public opposition and formal technical evaluation.
The community was first alerted to this proposal when one of the immediate neighbors was surprised to see excavation equipment on the land and notified the Planning Commission. This was before anyone on the Planning Commission or in the City Council had any awareness of the possibility of a development.
This approach is suspect given the scale and scope of this project. There was (and still has not been) any attempt to engage with the community. This group isn’t interested in talking about the impacts to the community, the environment, or the adjacent property owners.
The project was first posted on the Seaside website on Thursday, August 26, 2021. A written package was sent out at some point about a week prior to that posting posting. Some people in the neighborhood did not receive the mailing.
The planning commission hearing to discuss this matter was announced to be held on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. It is worth noting that Labor Day was on Monday, September 6, 2021 and that the public had a total of 11 calendar days (only 6 business days) to read and prepare verbal and written comments for a 6-acre, 17 lot proposal. The developer had 90 days.
The community banded together and submitted letters in opposition and the hearing was so full (although socially-distant) that many folks were unable to provide testimony.
There was so much testimony that the planning commission decided to table their public discussion until the next meeting which is to be held on October 5th. However, they “closed the public comment period.” As we have learned, this was a very important detail – and one that the developer knew would improve their chances of slipping through the process.
*EDIT – The developer requested an extension to the hearing to December because they didn’t have their act together. In the meantime, the planning commission has re-opened the public comment process including accepting new written and verbal testimony.
This process, so far, has been stacked in favor of the developer and to ensure the fastest possible approval without true oversight or public involvement.