Frequently Asked Questions

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Why do we need affordable housing in Moss Beach?

The Coastal region is not immune to the housing crisis facing the Bay Area. San Mateo County is the #1 most expensive housing market in the nation and hundreds of workers vital to the quality of life for coastal residents cannot afford to live here. This is precisely why the County has designated this site for affordable housing. Housing near jobs makes sense and there are more than 11,000 local jobs in the coastal region, 45% of which involve commutes of 10 miles or more to their work and 68% of which pay less than $40,000 per year. It is critical for the health of the region to provide a range of housing options close to the jobs needed for the vitality of the region. In order to encourage local employees to live at the development and limit long-distance commuting, MidPen is planning on implementing a local work preference that will allow people employed in the area to have an advantage when seeking housing at Cypress Point.

Why are you proposing housing on this site and not somewhere else?

There is currently no deed-restricted affordable housing in the Midcoast community. Per the Housing Component in the LCP, policies state that the Midcoast is obligated to create its fair share of housing. MidPen has affordable housing developments throughout San Mateo County, as we believe every community needs a range of housing options in order to support a local and diverse workforce. By implementing a local live and/or work preference upon lease up of the property, Cypress Point will help residents already in the community achieve stable, affordable rents and live closer to where they work.

This site is one of three priority sites for affordable housing designated in the County of San Mateo’s General Plan. It is also designated as Medium-High Density Residential in the Local Coastal Program (LCP). Furthermore, the LCP identifies this site as a priority for development and the water and sewer district has designated allocations to provide water and sewer capacity to the development.

In addition to this site, there is a site in South Moss Beach and a site in North El Granada designated for affordable housing in the LCP. However, neither of those sites are viable for development at this time, making the project site the best opportunity to develop affordable housing for those who need it in the Midcoast.

What does “affordable” really mean for this site and who will live here?

The term “affordable” is based on area median income (AMI) levels established by the California Department of Housing and Community Development for each county. MidPen is currently planning to restrict Cypress Point to those earning up to 80% of AMI. For 2019, 80% AMI is $128,960 for a family of four and 60% of AMI is $96,720 for a family of four. According to the Living Wage Calculator* the following job categories typically pay less than $60,000 annually in San Mateo County:

click here dataFarming, Fishing & Forestry: $22,858
Food Preparation and Serving Related: $24,323
Personal Care & Service: $24,938
Building & Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance: $28,454
Sales and Related: $30,115
Transportation & Material Moving: $31,047
Production: $31,580
Healthcare Support: $34,153
Office & Administrative Support: $38,479
Protective Service: $46,925
Installation, Maintenance & Repair: $48,954
Community & Social Service: $50,369
Construction & Extraction: $53,587
Education, Training & Library: $54,510
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports & Media: $59,706

*Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Why now?

The owner of the site put the land up for sale in 2015. With the need for housing in San Mateo County reaching crisis levels, the need for more housing, and affordable housing, in particular, is greater than ever. As a designated county site for affordable housing for the Midcoast area, the opportune time to develop this property is now.

What about traffic?

MidPen is committed to further study and work with the County, Caltrans, and SamTrans to mitigate traffic issues associated with our development, and in particular, entering and exiting Highway 1. We understand that traffic is an extremely sensitive and critical issue for residents in the neighborhood, and these issues will be a critical component of the planning process. Our goal is to provide solutions that will improve safety for pedestrians and drivers along this section of Highway 1 and impact local streets as minimally as possible.

We understand the existing challenges surrounding traffic flow and safety at the Highway 1/Carlos Street intersection, including poor site visibility south and conflicting left turn lanes on Highway 1. MidPen’s traffic consultant conducted a full analysis of the current conditions, potential project impacts, and the options to address some of the deficiencies. For any identified impacts, we’ve proposed mitigations, and our full draft traffic report can be viewed here.

We are fully committed to working closely with the County, SamTrans and Caltrans to identify traffic solutions.

Will there be enough parking on the site so residents do not park on neighborhood streets?

Our goal is to provide enough parking within the complex for all residents and their guests, to maximize public open space around the development, and to discourage on-street parking through signage and site design as well as communication with residents. Parking will be strictly enforced. Based on community input at the 2016 open houses, we have reduced the number of units from 80 to 71 and increased the parking ratio to 2 spaces per unit, or 142 total spaces.

How will you manage the property?

MidPen will have an onsite property manager living in the development as well as maintenance staff. MidPen also provides programming for residents, including after school care, help with homework, recreational and family activities, and computers for residents to use.

How is density defined and what is the density for this site?

The county defines low density as 0.3 to 2.3 units per acre, medium-low density as 2.4 to 6.0 units per acre, medium density as 6.1 to 8.7 units per acre, medium-high density as 8.8 to 17.4 units per acre, and high density as 17.5 units or more per acre. The Moss Beach site is designated for medium-high density, or 8.8 to 17.4 units per acre. A previous proposal for a Planned Use Development (PUD) on site, which was approved in 1986, called for the construction of up to 148 units. Our proposal 71 units on the 10.875-acre site equates to 6.53 homes per acre averaged over the entire site — less than the medium-high density designation and consistent with the existing medium-density single-family neighborhood. By clustering the buildings, we can retain a significant portion of the site for natural open space and trails.

Why attached homes instead of single-family?

A compact and clustered site design is more cost-efficient and better for the environment by using less water, energy, and materials, and maximizes undeveloped area.

Why isn’t retaining the site exclusively for open space an option?

The site is designated for affordable housing by the County and the landowner put the private property up for sale based on this designation. The purchase price of the site is based on the intent to develop it for the designated use. Therefore, retaining the site as exclusively open space is not a viable option. However, MidPen Housing is proposing to develop the site in a manner that retains about half the site for natural space.