Pacifica Mixed Use Development in ESHA


April 1, 2021

An applicant proposed new mixed-use development on an empty lot on San Pedro Avenue in Pacifica. The development would consist of several buildings including a surf shop, office, storage and residential units, as well as a skate park and parking lot. The site is partially in the Coastal Commission’s original jurisdiction and the City of Pacifica issued a CDP for the portion of development in the City’s jurisdiction. The project site contains environmentally sensitive habitat area (ESHA) and there are wetlands immediately adjacent. The proposed development would also be subject to coastal hazards including shoreline retreat, sea level rise, wave runup and inundation over the expected life of the development and would impact public coastal views. For these reasons, Commissioners reluctantly denied the proposed development within the Coastal Commission’s jurisdiction. The City issued CDP for one mixed-use building on site remains in place.

Why You Should Care

Coastal development permitIt’s vital to protect California’s remaining sensitive habitat areas and wetlands that support threatened and endangered species. The site also likely serves as an important habitat corridor. Protection of ESHA is explicitly required in sections 30231, 30233 and 30240 of the Coastal Act.


Pro-Coast Vote

Anti-Coast Vote

While Commissioners lamented denial due to community support, particularly for the surf shop and skate park, they agreed that the sensitive habitat and hazard impacts warranted denial. Expert consultants determined that any development within the site would disrupt ESHA.

Organizations Opposed

Decision Type

Coastal development permit

Staff Recommendation


Coastal Act Policy