The Chamber of Commerce is very aware of the challenges facing our city in these tough economic times. Pacific’s economy, in our opinion, could remain soft for the next five or six years. Our city services will need to continue through this trough and every nickel will have to be accounted for and allocated strategically.
There are perhaps ten or so underutilized parcels available at this time in Pacifica. Developed prudently, these parcels could be an excellent source of funding for the foreseeable future. If we fail to utilize these parcels to their highest and best uses, Pacifica will continue to struggle financially. The evolving General Plan must clearly delineate the highest and best use for these properties. The zoning also needs to be evaluated so that we attain the maximum reasonable revenue stream.
Our community has been encouraged to participate in the General Plan update. That is good government. We need to realize that there will be a lot of differing opinions concerning what is the best use of a particular parcel. Those suggestions need to be means tested to assure that we understand the impacts of changes in use and zoning have on our community as a whole.
Once we identify and evaluate the possible revenue each parcel is capable of generating, we as a community and the council can make informed decisions based on actual numbers and benefits to our city. If we decide to change parcels to a use less than what could be expected should full development take place, we will then know what loss in revenue we can expect and make adjustments to our level of city services.
An example of this process is not hard to imagine. Perhaps a large parcel, that if fully developed to generate maximum revenue by way of some mix of housing, retail, or office space, is designated public park, we will know what level of revenue will be impacted and what future costs associated with that parcel designation will be incurred. Intelligent, informed analysis can replace excited rhetoric.
The Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of our membership, urge our city leaders to make an economic analysis of our General Plan a priority. Unless we know what fiscal impacts result from our decisions we can not evaluate the highest and best use of our remaining parcels.
President, Pacifica Chamber of Commerce