Big Wave Wellness Center and Office Park – CALPILOTS Response –

Read the letter to the  County of San Mateo, Planning and Building Department regarding the Big Wave Wellness Center and Office Park.

December 7, 2009

County of San Mateo, Planning and Building Department
Attn: Camille Leung
455 County Center, 2nd Floor
Redwood County CA 94063

Subject: Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Big Wave Wellness Center and Office Park

Dear Ms. Leung,

The California Pilots Association’s mission is to promote and preserve the State’s airports. As a statewide volunteer organization, we work to maintain the State’s airports in the best possible condition.

Last year we provided comments to the Notice of Preparation for the Environmental Impact Report.  We do not believe that any of the following concerns have been adequately addressed in the Draft Environmental Impact Report.

  1. The California Pilots Association commends the County of San Mateo for this worthwhile project. However, we are opposed to the project at its current location. It does a disservice to the low income, developmentally disabled (DD) children and adults the Big Wave Wellness Center hopes to serve, to be located approximately 300’ from Half Moon Bay Airport.  This site will subject more than 70 people to the impacts attendant to a location so close to an airport such as safety, noise, electromagnetic disturbance, dust, etc.
  1. The DEIR does not address the safety or other impacts of placing this project so near the Half Moon Bay Airport.  The site is inconsistent with the 2002 California Airport Land Use Handbook airport planning guidelines. These guidelines are a minimum.  It is inconsistent as well with the Deeds and Restrictions that came with the Federal Government’s allowance of County of San Mateo to operate and protect the airport from encroachment.  It is not advisable to allow housing, or a medical facility at this location.

The Half Moon Bay Airport is a vital link in the National Transportation System. It is eligible for and has accepted Grants from the Federal Aviation Administration. When the County of San Mateo last accepted a FAA Grant, the County signed Grant Assurances as part of the contract with the FAA.

The County thereby agreed to an obligation to maintain compatible land use zoning. This is Grant Assurance number 21.

Pg 2 CalPilots DEIR Comments

  1. 21. Compatible Land Use. It (the County, acting as the sponsor) will take appropriate action, to the extent reasonable, including the adoption of zoning laws, to restrict the use of land adjacent to or in the immediate vicinity of the airport to activities and purposes compatible with normal airport operations, including landing and takeoff of aircraft.  In addition, if the project is for noise compatibility program implementation, it will not cause or permit any change in land use, within its jurisdiction, that will reduce its compatibility with respect to the airport, of the noise compatibility program measures upon which federal funds have been expended.

As we have seen above, in the FAA Grant Assurance, it is incumbent upon the County of San Mateo to protect the airport with zoning which would prevent the development of an  project which is clearly incompatible to safe operation for Pilots at Half Moon Bay Airport as well as the residents, particularly low income, developmentally disabled (DD) children and adults on the ground.

Failure to comply with these Grant Assurances could likely result in the loss of millions of dollars in future Federal Grants to the County.

Thank you for this opportunity to comment on this important item.

Respectfully submitted,

Ed Rosiak

President California Pilots Association

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