Where can I find lots more information
about the Build Our School Now initiative?
this website. You'll find the full
text of the initiative, histories of the Wavecrest project
and our efforts to get a middle school built, and much more.
What does the Build Our School
Now initiative actually do?
read the HMB City Attorney's official
summary of the initiative, or, better yet, read
the initiative itself. Briefly, the initiative says that a
vital civic goal for Half Moon Bay is to have a pedestrian-friendly,
centrally located downtown core, and that the middle school is
important for achieving that goal. It amends the Half Moon Bay
Local Coastal Plan (LCP) to prohibit the construction of any new
school of school facility west of Highway 1, and permit construction
of any new middle school in the centrally located downtown core
of the City. It goes on to amend the Wavecrest Village plan to
remove its proposed middle school.
Why can’t people from
the unincorporated areas vote on this issue? After all, our children
attend the Middle School and are affected.
This ballot initiative was not
our first choice. Originally, a year ago, a group of parents attended
a number of school board meetings and urged board members to reconsider
the Cunha site in light of the Wavecrest site's myriad troubles.
We were dismissed. We returned after five days of signature gathering
with nearly 1,400 signatures and again urged that the board put
a vote to the people. The board told us that our signatures had
been coerced, that we had "strong-armed" citizens to
sign the advisory petition. It was only after appeals to CUSD
and the subsequent defeat of three parcel tax measures that we
went forward with the only option we could find to affect forward
movement on the middle school issue. Citizens aren't allowed to
place an item on the CUSD ballot; only the school board can do
that. So, instead, we had to go through the city of Half Moon
Didn't we already vote on the
you're thinking of Measure K, the
bond measure that passed in 1996 to fund various improvements
to all the schools in our district. Measure
K did not specify where a middle school should be built. The
site selection committee didn't make its determination until after
Measure K passed, and even then ranked
Wavecrest third of five candidate sites.
I've read that Measure
K doesn't allow us to build a middle school at Cunha.
a common misconception. In fact, Measure
K says nothing about the location of any school. This question
can be argued at length, but the short answer is that Measure
K is more concerned with what we can do, not what we can't.
a complete discussion of Measure K
for your information purposes. Read it
Does this have anything to
do with the Cunha Store?
No, aside from the fact that both the Cunha Store and
the Cunha Middle School are important pieces of the
heritage of Half Moon Bay.
the current Cunha site were to be used for the new middle
school, and if the project took a year, where would
the kids go to school for that year?
As a community, we
haven't yet reached the point of discussing how a new
Cunha might be conceived, designed or configured. So
we can't be specific about construction logistics, except
to say that much of it takes place in the summer and
on weekends. We'd suggest you look at John
Bayless's May 2002 powerpoint presentation, which
explains how such a project could/would be phased in.
Much would depend
upon whether the school's main buildings were shifted,
say, to the south end of the campus (adjacent to the
library) or perhaps over toward the skateboard park.
If planners opted to keep the main buildings where they
are now, at the corner of Church and Kelly, then that
would require the use of temporary, mobile classrooms
(and more disruption to playing fields). We want to
emphasize that the proponents have not envisioned any
specific new school. That would evolve from school officials
and community input.
What we proponents
DO know -- and have researched thoroughly -- is that
middle schools are being entirely reconceived and rebuilt
right now all over the nation and around the Bay Area
-- including right now at Los Gatos, Saratoga, Hillsborough
and San Mateo. Pacifica re-did two middle schools last
year. Their school district passed its facilities bond
a year after our Measure K received approval. Their
middle school construction is done. Ours has yet to
Can we change our Local Coastal
Plan through an initiative?
Changes to our LCP must be approved
by the California Coastal Commission. Within reason, the Coastal
Commission takes its lead from local legislation. We believe that
they would be inclined to support this initiative. It's consistent
with our general plan, and it supports the recently adopted open
space element, which discourages construction in general west
of Highway One.
Can we change the Wavecrest
Specific Plan through an initiative?
There are several possible answers
to this question.
• The Wavecrest developers
have unilaterally changed the development plan, altering the
original proposed commercial space component and shrinking the
middle school site by three acres, relocating it next to Highway
• The city council has
found the Wavecrest project out of compliance and the development
deal's future is in question. Further, staff at the California
Coastal Commission have not yet received a revised project submission
nor are they satisfied with the biolgical analysis provided
• Even if the changes
to the Wavecrest plan were successfully challenged, the initiative's
severability clause provides that the rest of the initiative
would still stand, in which case, the remainder of the initiative
would guide the city in negotiating the revised development
agreement sought by the Wavecrest developers.