February 13, 2003


Set Time:

9:30 a.m.


Hearing Date:

March 4, 2003



Honorable Board of Supervisors



Marcia Raines, Director of Environmental Services



Consideration of an appeal of Planning Commission's decision to approve a Coastal Development Permit for an expansion to Barbara's Fishtrap Restaurant that would allow development of a new enclosed deck and increase indoor seating capacity by from 63 to 95. The project is located at 281 Capistrano Road, in the unincorporated Princeton area of San Mateo County. This project is appealable to the California Coastal Commission.


County File Number:

PLN 1999-00758 (Formerly USE 91-0008) (Walsh/Pedley)




Deny the appeal and uphold Planning Commission's decision to approve the Coastal Development Permit, County File No. PLN 1999-00758 (Formerly USE 91-0008), by making the required findings and adopting the conditions of approval listed in Attachment A.




The applicant is proposing an expansion to the existing restaurant by constructing a new enclosed deck that will allow for 32 additional indoor seats. The proposed development of 917.6 sq. ft. includes a new walk-up window, new restrooms and a bar. This new development will increase the indoor seating capacity from 63 to 95 and the total allowable restaurant seating capacity (including outdoor seating) from 108 to 129.




Report Prepared By: Miroo Desai Brewer, Project Planner, Telephone 650/363-1853


Appellant: Keet Neerhan


Applicant/Owner: Rick Pedley/Barbara Walsh


Location: 281 Capistrano Road, Princeton


APN: 047-082-010


Size: 11,761 sq. ft.


Existing Zoning: CCR/DR/CD (Coastside Commercial Recreation/Design Review/Coastal District)


General Plan Designation: Commercial Recreation


Sphere-of-Influence: Half Moon Bay


Existing Land Use: Barbara's Fishtrap Restaurant


Water Supply: County Coastside Water District


Sewage Disposal: Granada Sanitary District


Flood Zone: Zone C (Area of Minimal Flooding)


Environmental Evaluation: Exempt; CEQA Section 15303 (Class 3, Construction of Small Structures)


Setting: The subject site is located between Capistrano Road, Princeton Harbor, and the Harbor District's parking lot. The subject site has 425 linear feet of harbor frontage. The existing restaurant building sits partially on land and partially on piers extending over the high water line. This building covers 66 feet of the harbor frontage and is visible from Pillar Point Harbor and the Johnston Pier. A 10-foot wide recorded access easement bisects the property east of the restaurant building. This easement was granted to the Harbor District to provide public access from Capistrano Road to the Harbor District's public fishing pier and harbor trail.


Directly across Capistrano Road from the Fishtrap Restaurant is the Pillar Point Inn Bed and Breakfast and the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company Restaurant.








May 1991


Coastal Development Permit and Use Permit, County File No. USE 91-0008 and CDP 91-0017, approved by the Board of Supervisors to legalize existing deck seating and storage shed and allow for additional indoor seats.


June 1995


Use Permit Amendment and Coastal Development Permit approved by the Planning Commission to allow development of outdoor picnic tables and increase outdoor seating capacity to 39.


September 1999


Application filed for a Use Permit Amendment and Coastal Development Permit to construct a new enclosed deck.


January 2000


California Coastal Commission submits documentation to show that the area of the proposed expansion lies within the Commission's permit jurisdiction. Therefore, the Coastal Development Permit to be issued by the Coastal Commission.


April 20, 2000


Use Permit Amendment approved by the Zoning Hearing Officer Public Hearing.


August 14, 2002


California Coastal Commission states that on further review, the proposed development is not within their jurisdiction and advises applicant to obtain Coastal Development Permit from the County.


October 23, 2002


Coastal Development Permit approved by the Planning Commission at a public hearing.


October 30, 2002


Appeal filed at the Planning Division.


March 4, 2003


Board of Supervisors Public Hearing.







On October 23, 2002, the Planning Commission considered the project. Based on staff analysis and the testimony presented, the Commission approved the project (3-0, Commissioners Bomberger and Nobles absent) by making all the relevant findings and adopting a set of conditions. This decision has been appealed by Keet Neerhan. Please see Section D of the staff report for discussion of the key issues of the appeal.





In September 1991, the applicant filed for a Use Permit Amendment and the Coastal Development Permit for the proposed project. As part of permit processing, the project was referred to the Coastal Commission. The Commission determined that the area of the proposed expansion of the restaurant lay within their jurisdiction. Therefore, the County processed only the Use Permit Amendment. At the April 20, 2000 public hearing, the Zoning Hearing Officer found the project in compliance with the applicable General Plan policies and Zoning regulations and approved the Use Permit Amendment. No appeals were filed. In a letter dated August 14, 2002, the Coastal Commission informed the applicant that upon further review, it was determined that the area of the proposed expansion did not fall within their jurisdiction and advised that a Coastal Development Permit be obtained from the County Planning Division.


The applicant requested that the County process and issue a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for the proposed expansion. The Planning Commission approved the CDP on October 23, 2003. Their decision has been appealed.






Compliance with General Plan and the Zoning Regulations


Regarding the project's compliance with the General Plan and the Zoning Regulations staff notes the following:



Planning and Locating New Development. Local Coastal Program (LCP) Policy 1.18 sets out criteria for the location of new development along the coast. These criteria include the directive to concentrate new development in existing urban areas and revitalize existing developed areas. This project would be constructed in the existing mixed-use commercial area of Princeton Harbor. The proposed expansion of an existing restaurant is compatible with the adjacent land uses of a restaurant, a bed and breakfast and the harbor. It will also add to the vitality of the area.



Visual Resources. LCP Policy 8.13 (Special Design Guidelines for Coastal Communities; Princeton-by-the-Sea) for commercial development requires buildings be designed which reflect the nautical character of the harbor setting, are of wood or shingle siding, employ natural or sea colors, and use pitched roofs.


The design of the proposed new addition is contemporary in style with materials that complement the appearance of the surrounding commercial style development. The materials and color of the proposed addition will match that of the existing structure. The applicant has proposed a gray shingle roof and color of crab-shells-orange wood lap siding for exterior walls. It may be noted that the crab-shells-orange color is a color approved for the facility in prior permit approvals.



Shoreline Access. LCP Policy 10.1 requires that all development located between the sea and the first through road make some provision for shoreline access. The applicant was required to dedicate a 10-foot wide, handicap accessible, access trail that connects Capistrano Road with the Harbor District's Fishing Pier and Harbor Access Trail as part of a previous permit approval. The Harbor District is responsible for maintaining the access trail.


In conformance with LCP Policy 10.22(d), the applicant has proposed designation and posting of nine parking spaces in the existing parking lot across from the restaurant as "Beach User Parking between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily." This designation constitutes 20 percent of the project's total parking spaces.





The appeal addresses certain conditions of approval regarding the project's parking provisions. Key issues are highlighted in bold, followed by staff's response. Please see Attachment I for a copy of the entire appeal letter and Attachment J for applicant's response to the appeal.


The appellant contends that proposed parking of 43 spaces is inaccurate. The applicant has a right to use the parking lot for only 28 spaces and not 35. Second, 9 spaces are required to be reserved for "Beach User Parking," and therefore at lunch time the restaurant would not be able to support 43 spaces. Third, 8 spaces are shown in an area that is partially Harbor district land and partially the applicant's property. The appellant contends that he has easement rights over this area. Fourth, per condition of approval, the 8-space parking area on the Harbor district is reserved for the employees' of the facility and therefore unavailable for patrons.


Staff's Response: The owner has a recorded easement for 28 parking spaces across the project site (APN 047-081-030). In 1998 with the permission of the former owner, Charles Van Linge, the parking lot was restriped and the number of parking spaces increased to 35. The appellant, who is the current owner of the parking lot, has a disagreement with this arrangement. This issue was raised during the Planning Commission public hearing. It was determined that this is a civil dispute and not subject to resolution at the County level.


LCP Policy 10.22(d) requires that new commercial facilities designate and post 20 percent of the total spaces for beach user parking between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The policy does not state that the 20 percent be in addition to the total spaces required by the facility.


The appellant claims that he has easement rights over the 8-space parking area. At the time of writing this report, no document was provided to substantiate this claim.


Finally, a condition of approval does reserve the 8-space parking area to the restaurant's employees. However, calculation of parking requirements does not differentiate between parking for patrons and parking for employees. Total parking spaces required by any facility incorporates parking needs of both the expected users of the facility as well as employees.


The appellant questions the legitimacy of the enclosed garbage area on the 35-space parking lot, stating that the easement is exclusively for parking of 28 vehicles only. "Ms. Walsh has constructed a 4-side enclosed garbage/refuse area of wood fence and full-side paneling. I have never been provided a copy of any permit obtained to build this structure, let alone use it, as is being done. Further, I believe such use constitutes a health and safety hazard. Since the easement does not allow for such use anyway, a condition of this permit approval should be the immediate removal of that enclosure, prohibition of refuse or garbage storage on that site and an explanation of how those matters will be handled in the alternative to the use of that structure."


Staff's Response: A review of past records shows that enclosed garbage area has the necessary permits (BLD 98-1069 and UP 91-0008) and that the owner at that time, Charles Van Linge, fully participated and was closely consulted in the decision-making process that led to its installation. The project was referred to Half Moon Bay Fire District and the Environmental Health Division. The referral to these agencies yielded no objection or concern about the garbage enclosure. Again, any dispute regarding easement rights is considered a civil issue and not subject to resolution at the County level.





This proposed development is exempt from environmental review under Section 15303, Class 3 of the California Environmental Quality Act, New Construction of Small Structures. This office filed a notice of exemption on April 14, 2000.





The Midcoast Community Council (MCCC) as well as Princeton Citizens' Advisory Committee (PCAC) reviewed the proposed project at the time of processing the use permit amendment. The PCAC approved the project with no recommended conditions of approval. MCCC had a question regarding whether parking was provided and whether it was adequate. The parking issue was addressed in the staff report in the use permit amendment submitted to and approved by the ZHO on April 20, 2000. The MCCC also had a question regarding whether the proposed expansion had required sewer capacity. The Granada Sanitation District reviewed this project and their conditions of approval were included in the conditions of approval for the use permit amendment.




The proposal to expand an existing restaurant keeps the commitment to redesign our urban environment to increase vitality, expand variety and reduce congestion and Goal Number 12: Land use decisions consider transportation and other infrastructure needs as well as impacts on the environment and on surrounding communities. This proposal contributes to this commitment and goal by expanding on an existing facility and having marginal impact on the environment and on surrounding neighborhoods.





Recommended Findings and Conditions of Approval


Location Map


Site Plan


Floor Plan




Parking Plan


LCP Checklist


Appellant's Letter


Applicant's Response to Appellant's Letter


Attachment A







Permit or Project File Number: PLN 1999-00758

Hearing Date: March 4, 2003


Prepared By: Miroo Desai Brewer

For Adoption By: Board of Supervisors




The Planning Commission finds:


Regarding the Coastal Development Permit



That the project, as described in the application and accompanying materials required by Zoning Regulations Section 6328.7 and as conditioned in accordance with Section 6328.14, conforms with the plans, policies, requirements and standards of the San Mateo County Local Coastal Program.



That the project conforms to the specific findings required by applicable policies of the San Mateo County Local Coastal Program.


Regarding the Environmental Review



That the project is Categorically Exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act pursuant to Section 15303, Class 3 related to construction of small structures.




Planning Division



This approval applies only to the proposal, documents and plans described in this report and submitted to and approved by the Board of Supervisors on March 4, 2003. The Planning Director may approve minor revisions or modifications to the project if they are consistent with the intent of and in substantial conformance with this approval.



Board of Supervisors action on the application for the use specified and contained within this staff report and for the parcel listed in no way authorizes approval of any other uses. In addition, any approval does not authorize this same use on any other parcel(s).



This CDP is for the project as proposed in this report. Indoor seating capacity will remain at the existing 38 seats. Deck seating will be limited to 25 seats in the existing deck and 32 seats in the new deck. The outdoor seating will be reduced from 45 to 34 seats. Maximum site occupancy will not exceed 129.



The applicant shall submit a plan for outdoor seating arrangements that show total number of existing tables and associated seats. The plan shall show which tables will be removed. Planning staff shall verify the removal of tables prior to building inspection final. The total number of retained seats shall not exceed 34.



The current and future owners and lessors of the restaurant will ensure that restaurant patrons waiting for seating at the restaurant do not wait on Capistrano Avenue.



The proposed bar area shall comply with the provisions of Division 9 of the County's Business and Professions Code.



The current and future owners and lessors of the subject property shall comply with the performance standards of the Coastside Commercial Recreation (CCR) zoning district outlined in Section 6270 of the County Zoning Regulations at all times.



The Coastal Development Permit shall be valid for one year from the date of approval in which time the applicant shall be issued a building permit. Any extension of this permit shall require submittal of a request for permit extension and payment of applicable extension fees no less than thirty (30) days prior to expiration.



The applicant shall apply for and be issued a building permit prior to the start of construction.



The colors and materials of exterior walls and roof of the proposed addition shall match those of the existing restaurant.



The applicant shall install signage "Parking for Barbara's Fishtrap Patrons" in the front of the main parking lot. The sign shall be no larger than 30 in. by 12 in. The applicant shall submit a plan showing location, size and color of the proposed sign for approval by the Planning Director.



All employees of Barbara's Fishtrap shall park at the parking spaces designated for the restaurant in the Harbor area. The applicant shall install signage "Parking of Barbara's Fishtrap Employees" near the reserved parking spaces in the Harbor area. The sign shall be no larger than 30 in. by 12 in. The applicant shall submit a plan showing location, size and color of the proposed sign for review and approval by the Planning Director.



Any other signage for the proposed building shall be submitted for review by the Planning Division to ensure conformance with General Plan and LCP policies regarding signs prior to any placement/construction of signage on the project site.



The applicant shall post nine parking spaces as "Beach User Parking between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily."


The applicant shall, pursuant to Section 5021 of the County Ordinance Code, keep the parking lot as clean as practical by using appropriate methods including, not limited to, sweeping and litter control.



All new utility lines shall be installed underground, from an existing utility pole/connection.



During project construction, the applicant shall, pursuant to Section 5022 of the San Mateo County Ordinance Code, minimize the transport and discharge of stormwater runoff from the construction site into storm drain systems and water bodies by:



Using filtration materials on storm drain covers to remove sediment from dewatering effluent.



Stabilizing all denuded areas and maintaining erosion control measures continuously between October 15 and April 15.



Removing spoils promptly, and avoiding stockpiling of fill materials, when rain is forecast. If rain threatens, stockpiled soils and other materials shall be covered with a tarp or other waterproof material.



Storing, handling, and disposing of construction materials and wastes so as to avoid their entry to the storm drain system or water body.



Avoiding cleaning, fueling or maintaining vehicles on-site, except in an area designated to contain and treat runoff.



Limiting and timing applications of pesticides and fertilizer to avoid polluting runoff.



During the construction phase of the project, the applicant shall use appropriate erosion/stormwater control methods to keep exposed soils from being washed into the drainage channel on Capistrano Avenue. This may include silt fencing, hay bales, or other appropriate methods. This grading/erosion control plan shall be submitted, reviewed and approved by the Planning staff prior to issuance of a building permit.



Noise levels produced by the proposed construction activity shall not exceed the 80 dBA level at any one moment. Construction activities shall be limited to the hours from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. Construction operations shall be prohibited on Sunday and any national holiday.


Building Inspection Section



The proposed expansion work will require all work to be done within the existing property lines.


Department of Public Works



Prior to the issuance of the building permit, the applicant will be required to provide payment of "roadway mitigation fees" based on the square footage (assessable space) of the proposed addition per Ordinance #3277.



No construction work (including landscaping) within the County of right-of-way shall begin until Public Works requirements for the issuance of an encroachment permit, including review of applicable plans, have been met and an encroachment permit issued by the Public Works Department.


Environment Health Division



The applicant shall submit construction plans to the Environmental Health Division for review and approval prior to the construction of the addition to the restaurant.



The applicant shall maintain its annual health permit to operate the restaurant.


Coastside County Water District



The applicant shall provide detail of plumbing fixtures in existing and proposed addition for analysis of adequate capacity of existing water meter. If additional capacity is required, the applicant shall demonstrate proof of purchase of additional capacity prior to issuance of a building permit. Priority capacity is available for purchase.


Granada Sanitation District



The project is eligible for priority sewer. Granada Sanitary District currently has limited amount of priority capacity available. Applicant's use of expanded treatment capacity would require the applicant to purchase Non-contingent Assessments and to pay Contingent Assessment if permit is granted.


Half Moon Bay Fire District



Any existing detection and alarm system shall be extended to the addition and maintained in serviceable condition.



The Uniform Building Code requires smoke detectors on every level of a building, in every bedroom and at a point centrally located in the corridor or area giving access to each separate sleeping area. This requirement is for new construction and requires detectors to be interconnected, hardwired into the building power with battery back-up. Smoke detectors meeting these standards are required in residential portions of commercial buildings.



Any existing fire extinguishing systems shall be extended to the addition area and maintained in serviceable condition.



Sprinkler systems shall be installed per San Mateo County and Half Moon Bay Fire District Ordinance. Overhead installation and hydrostatic test will be inspected as well as a final operating test. In addition to the external alarm flow bell, an internal audible device will be required in a normally occupied area. Commercial buildings with residential areas will have residential quick response heads installed in those areas. Underground fire sprinkler supply lines will be inspected and flushed prior to connection. Underground fire sprinkler or hydrant service shall be left uncovered in the area of the thrust blocks for inspection. Welded pipe will be inspected by the Fire Marshal before placement into the system.



The County of San Mateo and Half Moon Bay Fire District ordinance requires a Class "B" or better roof covering or roof covering assembly.



Building identification shall be conspicuously posted and visible from the street. Temporary address numbers shall be posted prior to combustibles being placed on the site. The letters and numerals for permanent address numbers shall be a minimum of four inch stroke for residential. Such letters and numbers shall be internally illuminated and facing the direction of access.



Plans submitted will be checked upon receipt of fees required by the Half Moon Bay Fire District.


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