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We're now Midcoast ECO!

We renamed our organization from Resist Density to Midcoast ECO! Our new name and website reflect our evolution as a community-focused, educational and advocacy non-profit group dedicated to the conservation of the San Mateo County Midcoast.


From the root Ecology, ECO represents the relationships of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. Also, ECO expresses the concepts of:




Our New Logo includes the shape of the California State Route sign because Highway 1 features prominently in our focus on sensible planning for the Midcoast. We also include the symbols of water, sun and tree to represent the importance of protecting our coastal environment.

June 07, 2020

Local professional forager, naturalist and plant identification expert, Bryan Jessop reviewed the Vegetation section of MidPen’s Biological Resources Assessment. He documents his own findings in the area and concludes that the Vegetation Assessment is clearly incomplete and unreliable.

June 08, 2020

We engaged the services of Civil Engineer Robert W. Emerick, Ph.D., P.E. who prepared a Wastewater Impact Analysis for the proposed MidPen Cypress Point project. He reviewed numerous documents to provide his detailed assessment.

June 05, 2020

Peer review of MidPen’s Biological Resources Assessment (BRA) was done by biologist Steve Powell of BioMaAS Inc. His review finds the BRA to be inadequate in describing the project as well as all actions associated with it. In addition, the BRA fails to analyze if the project will potentially violate the federal Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act along with various other regulations. Its omissions result in an inadequate discussion of mitigation measures.

We engaged the services of Pang Engineers, Inc to peer review reports and traffic studies related to MidPen Housing's proposed Cypress Point project in Moss Beach. In their report, Pang reviewed:

• The Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) submitted in MidPen’s application

• Caltrans response letters

• San Mateo County Civil engineer Traffic Comments

• Connect the Coastside Executive Summary


The 14 page peer review by Pang Engineers reveals “potentially significant deficiencies, omissions and inaccuracies.” It calls for additional clarifications regarding mitigations.

April 08, 2020

We engaged the services of SWAPE's Matthew Hagemann, a California-licensed hydrogeologist and the former Senior Science Policy Advisor with the U.S. EPA. He raises serious concerns about lead contamination in soil in excess of the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) Environmental Screening Level (ESL) and concludes that MidPen Housing's various preliminary environmental evaluation reports fail to adequately evaluate the proposed Moss Beach project’s impacts regarding Hazards and Hazardous Materials and Hydrology and Water Quality.

June 04, 2020

Montara Water and Sanitary District recently sent a Notice of Public Hearing on Proposed Sewer Rate Increases to Moss Beach and Montara property owners. The proposed increases come just 2 years after a 47% increase occurred, and are 30% higher than today's rates and a whopping 90% more than the 2017 rate! The added annual reliability charge of $558.66 is yet an additional surprise. While we agree that infrastructure repairs and upgrades to our aging sewer system are needed, we do not think the timing for these increases is appropriate given the current financial crisis due to the COVID - 19 pandemic. We are asking key questions to MWSD - read our letter.

January 22, 2020

Resist Density's Attorney has submitted a comprehensive comment letter regarding MidPen Housing's project application, detailing 5 key legal concerns. The 18-page document was presented at the special meeting of the San Mateo County Planning Commission on January 22, 2020, where over 200 people attended to shared their concerns about the large-scale housing project proposed for Moss Beach.

Urgent Action! Please Attend SM County Planning Commission Meeting - this Wed 1/22/2020!

January 19, 2020

The San Mateo County Planning Commission will meet January 22 to consider recommending approval of the MidPen Housing’s oversized Cypress Point project proposed for Moss Beach. The time is now to show up and share your concerns!

The community has been misled - This isn’t just a zoning change, it’s to streamline approval of the entire project without adequate environmental review! We are alarmed by the low level of scrutiny and information provided on this proposal, particularly regarding the scope of what is really up for approval.

Resist Density recognizes the need for affordable housing, and urges the building of housing to be focused in urban centers where there is adequate infrastructure, and sufficient services, schools, shopping, local jobs, community offerings, public transit and walkability. Many questions the community has raised about these points with Midpen’s application are still unanswered. Plus, there are numerous comment letters by agencies, experts and individuals, including several submissions by Resist Density, that are not even included in the staff report to the Planning Commission.

New Urgent Concern - MidPen Housing's Moss Beach Project

January 08, 2020

Through Public Record Act requests, Resist Density uncovered new information raising major questions about the approval process surrounding MidPen Housing’s proposed Cypress Point project. An email exchange between MidPen’s hired land use consultant, McCabe & Company, and the California Coastal Commission (CCC) reveals that the Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for Cypress Point would not be appealable to the CCC once the zoning is changed and the Local Coastal Program is amended. If true, the significance of the Phase I zoning change is enormous and is being underplayed by the scant information publicly available to date.

• When will MidPen Housing be required to produce an Environmental Impact Report or CEQA equivalent addressing specific environmental, traffic and road safety concerns raised by Agencies, the MCC, the public and Resist Density?

• Will MidPen Housing be allowed to sidestep important procedures established to protect the Coastal community?

Resist Density Files Suit - SM County Fails to Comply with Public Records Act

November 20, 2019

On November 20, Resist Density filed suit under the California Public Records Act to require San Mateo County to search for and disclose the records we requested on August 23 and August 27. Receiving no response to multiple follow-up requests to the County through our attorney in September, October and November, our recourse was to file suit.

Our Public Records Act requests included any documentation, agency comments and correspondence regarding the large-scale housing project proposed for Moss Beach, as well as any other potential permitting, zoning, planning, project feasibility, technical reports, and environmental review. Since MidPen Housing refiled its project application to the County in April, we have received no further information from the County or the applicant. Our concerns about the project's traffic, environmental and infrastructure impacts have remained unaddressed. Information we obtain from government agencies is key to ensure that there is transparency in the process, that the public is informed, and that our community has adequate participation in the decisions that affect them.

RV Park Developer Submits "Negative Declaration" - Email your Comments by 10/18/2019!

September 17, 2019

The San Mateo County Planning Department is planning to move forward with a “Negative Declaration” on the proposed Harbor Village RV Park unless objections are raised. The County of San Mateo has determined that the environmental impact of the project is insignificant.

RD on the Radio with KHMB!

June 21, 2019

Resist Density has been in the news recently - check out the two interviews with KHMB Radio! Board Member JQ Oeswein was interviewed for the "Feature Story of the Week" on May 30. And Board Member Karen deMoor appeared on Coastal Windage "Shooting the Breeze" on June 21.

Please Attend the MCC Meeting 5/22/2019 - RD Pressing for Answers!

May 21, 2019

In a letter to the Midcoast Community Council (MCC), Resist Density is urging the MCC and County to press MidPen for answers following its re-submission for a 71 unit housing project in Moss Beach. Many concerns have still not been adequately addressed regarding environmental, traffic and safety impacts that such a major project would have on our limited community infrastructure.

Attend MCC Meeting! Please attend and share your concerns!
When: Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Time: 7:00 pm
Agenda: Download the agenda
Where: El Granada Community Services District, 504 Avenue Alhambra, 3rd Floor, El Granada

MidPen Resubmits Application - Issues Remain Unaddressed

May 06, 2019

MidPen has resubmitted its application to the County since it was deemed incomplete last Fall due to issues raised in agency comment letters. In a Cover Letter with its resubmission, MidPen highlights key questions that were raised by agencies. However, MidPen's responses remain inadequate and major concerns continue to be glossed over.

MidPen's application is calling for a Local Coastal Program (LCP) amendment to rezone the property to medium density for 71 units, 100% affordable, with an exception to build all 71 units at once versus the LCP limit of 40 units in a single year. This amendment will be subject to San Mateo County approval and CA Coastal Commission certification. We are continuing to call on Midpen and the County to adequately address environmental, traffic and safety concerns that such a massive project would have on our limited community infrastructure. To read the full applications:

Resist Density Releases Report on Emergency / Disaster Preparedness

April 30, 2019

Resist Density has released a new report revealing the unincorporated Midcoast of San Mateo County is unprepared for a major disaster. Recent devastating wildfires in California and the March 2019 HWY1 closure of the Lantos Tunnel at Devil’s Slide highlight the need to critically review and update our disaster preparedness systems and improve our readiness. With the threats of wildfires, earthquakes and tsunamis with mountains and ocean surrounding us and only one road in, through and out, it is imperative that we are able to respond and/or evacuate in the event of a major disaster.

Our report is intended to provide a brief overview of the significant risks of natural disasters on the Midcoast, as well as the readiness and ability of our responsible agencies and our community to respond. Information and resource links are provided for community members to better prepare for a disaster, as are recommendations for community input and involvement. Recommendations are also provided throughout the document for local, county and state agencies and are summarized at the end of the report.

CA Coastal Commission Staff weighs in on MidPen's Application

March 15, 2019

Through a Public Acts Request, we received the CA Coastal Commission's comments on MidPen's Application to the County. Dated October 1, 2018

RD Presses for Planning for Wildfire Preparedness and Evacuation

November 14, 2018

At Wednesday's Midcoast Community Council (MCC) meeting, Resist Density urged Council members and officials from Half Moon Bay and the County to initiate a coordinated and comprehensive plan for a potential wildfire on the San Mateo County coast. The recent devastating wildfires in Paradise and southern California raise serious questions about how to prepare for a coastal wildfire in San Mateo County. Currently no such plan exists, even though the entire coastal area is surrounded by Tier 2 (Elevated) and Tier 3 (Extreme) Fire Threat, according to the 2018 CPUC fire threat map.

October 01, 2018

Resist Density is urging the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors to withhold allocating $3 million additional funding ($1.9 million previously allocated) for the proposed MidPen Cypress Point project in Moss Beach until there is a clear understanding of the environmental issues, transportation plan, cost of clean up, and construction costs of this project. We are concerned that the County is creating a conflict of interest by providing additional funds to MidPen before there is a clear path for amending the Local Coastal Program and the County’s General Plan to allow for rezoning the subject parcel. If the amendments are not certified or the project does not occur, will the county be refunded for incurred costs? How much will it cost to clean up this site? What are the construction and grading costs? What are the risks and benefits to the community?

MidPen's application deemed incomplete - Will need to resubmit

September 26, 2018

MidPen will need to update its application - The County has determined MidPen's submittal is incomplete. Based on early comments from the MCC, DPW and Caltrans, the County informed us that they will be sending MidPen a letter of incomplete submittal. Other agencies are still in process of submitting early comments so other issues that need to be addressed are likely to arise. We will continue to add links to Agency comment letters here, as they become available.

MCC Letter - Click Here

Caltrans Letter - Click Here

DPW Letter - Click Here

Resist Density Presses for EIR

August 22, 2018

Resist Density is pressing for an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) before any consideration of a zoning change to accommodate MidPen's proposed multi-unit housing project in Moss Beach. MidPen’s reports and documents in its current proposal read more like advocacy pieces, rather than impartial environmental review. Amendments to the Local Coastal Plan (LCP) must comply with CEQA even though a technical EIR need not be prepared. MidPen still has not provided analysis that complies with CEQA.

MidPen Submits Request to County for Zoning Change! Time to Take Action!

July 24, 2018

MidPen has filed its application for the first phase required on their trek to build a massive housing project in Moss Beach. This zoning change would result in a new Planned Unit Development (PUD) for 71 units that are 100% restricted for MidPen's affordable housing as proposed. This property is ill-suited for a large cluster of housing units. It is isolated from any community-oriented services, lacks infrastructure, adequate transit and walkability and would overwhelm the small neighborhood community. Traffic safety alone is a huge issue!

Traffic Study Recommendations Would Severely Impact Neighborhood Road Safety

July 17, 2018

RD received an internal traffic study by Kittelson & Associates, MidPen’s traffic consultants. There are several alarming details and recommendations which would severely impact traffic and neighborhood safety. Some of these recommendations include:

  • Carlos Street at HWY1 to be CLOSED, except for emergency vehicles

  • RIGHT TURN ONLY during peak hours at intersections of HWY1 and Etheldore, Vallemar, and 16th Streets

  • STOP LIGHT or ROUNDABOUT at HWY1 & California Ave/Wienke Way


These changes will direct significantly more traffic through narrow neighborhood streets in Moss Beach AND Montara, as illustrated in our attached traffic flow map. Such drastic changes underscore how a large housing project at this location makes no sense, especially when considered with the approved Big Wave project and an added stoplight / roundabout at Cypress Avenue that has been proposed to mitigate its traffic projections! There will be hundreds of additional cars driving through narrow neighborhood roads and clogging access streets like California and HWY 1. Sunshine Valley Road and Montara backroads will most likely become burdened as a detour to try to avoid delays and traffic gridlock in Moss Beach and HWY 1.

Proposed Dunes Project to Urbanize Beachfront

May 31, 2018

The Dunes project is proposing a 200+ room hotel, 170+ space RV park, 15,000 sf conference center/spa and campgrounds. This project in particular highlights the building assault happening on the coast. The proposal covers 47 acres of mostly undeveloped, oceanfront land, comprised of prime agricultural soils, and the only beach area in the City of Half Moon Bay other than Surfer’s Beach with scenic ocean views from Highway 1. Opposition to this out-of-scale project is strong, with the realization that this habitat could be lost forever.

Resist Density questions proposed MWSD sewer rate increase of 47%

May 17, 2018

While we agree that infrastructure repairs and upgrades to our aging sewer system are needed, we are concerned about Montara Water & Sanitary District's (MWSD) inadequate communication and outreach to the community, and its proposed timeline for public review and comment period. We have submitted a letter to MWSD which includes some of the following points:

  • MWSD does not adequately justify the need for the substantial increase in rates

  • It gives no assurance that the upgrades are not being done solely or partially to support MidPen’s Cypress Point project or other proposed large-scale developments

  • It includes a numerical error in its calculations

  • It does not provide sufficient time for public comment


Read Resist Density's letter to MWSD:…/1b818a_363e94b130b1462ba99933f…

RD Releases Report on Coast Sewer Flow and Status

March 07, 2018

Read our new report which analyzes the problematic coastside sewer infrastructure and offers recommendations for improvements.

San Mateo County Releases Summary of MidPen's Pre-Application Comments

November 15, 2017

San Mateo County hosted a Pre-Application meeting on September 20 for MidPen to receive public comments about its proposed Moss Beach development in September 2017. Here is the released summary of comments received.

RD Submits Concerns to Board of Supervisors

October 30, 2017

Resist Density submitted concerns / questions to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors in advance of their decision to fund $1.5 million to the MidPen Moss Beach proposed housing development before any formal application, EIR, or comprehensive traffic study is submitted. Nor have any of the community's pre-application questions been addressed.

Please attend MidPen Pre-App Meeting - Wednesday 9/20!

September 20, 2017

Please attend the MidPen Pre-App meeting! MidPen needs to hear your concerns and answer questions about traffic and road safety, infrastructure, parking and other impacts of its large-scale project!

Date: Wednesday, September 20

Time: 6pm - 8pm

Location: El Granada Elementary School, 400 Santiago Road, El Granada

Failing Infrastructure: Sewage Overflows on the Coast

September 16, 2017

A total of 101 overflows were recorded from Half Moon Bay to Montara from 2011 to mid 2017, according to public records. Resist Density compiled some 10,000 pages of information. These findings raise significant questions as to whether the coast's infrastructure can accommodate any more large development.

Check Out our New Video!

September 09, 2017

Watch our video to get a visual explanation as to why Moss Beach does not have the road infrastructure to support a large-scale housing development.

CA Coastal Commission Staff Submits Comments re MidPen's Pre-Application

August 03, 2017

The CA Coastal Commission staff has submitted initial staff comments to the SM County Planning Dept, indicating some of the issues they'll be reviewing in MidPen's multi-unit development proposal. The Coastal Commission will also require a development permit and rezoning of the parcel. It is not giving MidPen a green light. However, it misses some very real concerns, including the dangerous blind curve at HWY 1 / Carlos Street, shown here

MidPen Submits Pre-Application - Traffic Assessment Lacks Solutions

June 26, 2017

MidPen has submitted a pre-application to the SM County for its multi-unit housing development on the Montara / Moss Beach border. It includes a traffic assessment by KAI consultants, which indicates there are no solutions to the dangerous blind curve on HW 1. Nor does it address the issue of the dangers of parallel roads.

SM County Votes to Amend Big Wave

June 06, 2017

Despite opposition from the MCC, the Sierra Club, the Committee for Green Foothills, Resist Density and members of the community, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted to amend the Big Wave agreement, erasing 12 years of a public process and turning their back on a long-fought agreement, in support of Big Wave developers.

"No" on Amendment to Big Wave Agreement

June 04, 2017

Resist Density is urging the County Board of Supervisors to deny Big Wave's efforts to amend the controversial agreement that was a long-fought battle and, even so, resulted in a decision that so many people on the coast oppose. Big Wave developers are now trying to leapfrog construction of commercial buildings before their core obligations are met.


This development will result in an estimated 1500 car trips per day through Moss Beach neighborhood roads, and have significant environmental, traffic and safety impacts.

Event at the Wine Room Raises Money for Legal Fund

March 09, 2017

Thank you to all of you who attended our fundraiser at the Wine Room. The meeting and fundraiser was a great success!

Please help support our work by making a donation today - your donation is 100% tax-deductible!

Resist Density Makes Public Statement to Supervisor Horsley

January 11, 2017

Resist Density delivered a public comment expressing our concerns to Supervisor Horsley at the MCC meeting on 1/11/2017 with approximately 50 members of the community joining us in agreement.

Resist Density Files Code Complaint Against MidPen

December 13, 2016

Resist Density filed a Code Complaint with the County of San Mateo for the destruction of habitat and the clearing of trees and shrubs without a permit on an 11 acre parcel of land in Moss Beach being sought-after by MidPen Housing to develop.

Over 200 People Say "NO" to MidPen's Large-Scale Development in Moss Beach

March 16, 2016

After a month of spreading the word, over 200 hundred people showed up to the MidPen Community Open House to say NO to this project. See the video of our public statement at this meeting. (Video courtesy Doug Laughlin)

Resist Density is Born!

February 10, 2016

MidPen announced its interest in purchasing the 11 acre parcel at 1 Sierra Street in Moss Beach. The Midcoast Community Council (MCC) held an informational public meeting for MidPen to introduce itself and its plans to develop the property. In response, members of the public spoke, all in opposition to the high density housing project. Public comments expressed respect and support for the work MidPen does, but that this is the wrong location for such a major project, far from jobs, shopping, and services, with limited transit and lacking adequate roads (highway congestion and narrow local streets without sidewalks). Members of the community expressed concern about the dangerous blind curve on HWY 1, where this development would intersect. Children play in the street and residents walk their dogs. Many would like the property to remain undeveloped, such as a park. Some expressed willingness to contribute time & money toward purchase and preservation, and/or to fight development.


Out of concern over this project, members of the community organized and created Resist Density.

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