Coalition of Pacificans for an Updated Plan and Responsible Planning (CPUP)
CPUP is a coalition of Pacificans from across the city who care about safe, responsible planning. CPUP's goal is to build community through resource and information sharing, technical assistance, and support for community members who are dealing with environmental and safety concerns about projects in their neighborhoods. We are not NIMBYs - we support sustainable projects that benefit all Pacificans and participate as community members in the General Plan update process.
CPUP will be fundraising to support the litigation challenging the Vista Mar project on CEQA and General Plan violations. In this way, CPUP will be helping to protect the environment by bringing a city’s most fundamental planning document up to current environmental standards, raising awareness of environmental issues, and inspiring community.
What is a General Plan?
A General Plan and its elements are the guiding standards on which a city must base its land use and development decisions.
Pacifica’s general plan is woefully out of date, with some elements dating to the 1980’s and some in conflict with each other. The Safety element, which determines whether a development or land-use decision is safe in case of fire, flooding, and earthquakes, has not been updated since 1983 when landslides across Pacifica resulted in extensive destruction and loss of life.
What are the goals of CPUP’s General Plan legal challenge?
There are development decisions currently being made in Pacifica that are inconsistent with the Municipal Code, in conflict with other regulatory agencies, or that disregard environmental law. The lack of update makes it impossible to apply current data, city resources, and planning standards to a proposed development. Given the state mandate for significantly increased housing, the outdated General Plan puts the City and the safety and well-being of its residents in jeopardy.
Until the General Plan is updated to comply with legal requirements, the City may not approve the Vista Mar Project. A ruling in CPUP’s favor would be "collateral estoppel" or legal precedence for other projects that raise the same issues relating to the Safety and Conservation elements of the General Plan. See San Remo Hotel v. San Francisco 545 U.S. 323 (2005). With Pacifica compelled to come into compliance with laws regarding the General Plan, they will have to commit to a process that results in the amendment and adoption of a new plan, recirculated for citizen participation, revision and eventual approval. The new General Plan would reflect the current state of climate change, city resources, environmental laws, and more effectively direct the expansion of genuinely beneficial affordable housing.
As the City Planning Commission and City Council have ignored our appeals, litigation is the only avenue to hold the City accountable. Community members contribute to the CPUP legal fund to review and challenge city decisions. CPUP is asking you to donate and be a critical part of this important work. Per state law and indemnity agreements with the project sponsor, the City of Pacifica will not be responsible for these legal fees.