City Hall

Pacifica City Hall, plagued by mold and other problems, is set for an overhaul. Adam Pardee / Tribune

Pacifica City Manager Kevin Woodhouse said the city is working to keep costs for renovating City Hall and the civic center to within a $10 million budget and says the final cost will be dependent on competitive bidding and the inclusion of any alternatives the city might consider.

The city will renovate the City Hall building at 170 Santa Maria Ave. to add a new stairway and elevator core on the south side, said Deputy Planning Director Christian Murdock. City Hall’s exterior stucco siding will be removed and the original redwood siding beneath it restored and painted because it is an historical element of the building. City Hall will have new restrooms and new finishes, and a new floor plan with first floor staff-only spaces and a second-floor customer lobby. City Hall will have conference rooms and a collaboration area, lactation room and new kitchen and break room.

The adjacent Planning Department and Parks, Beaches and Recreation building at 1800-1810 Francisco Blvd. will have a full interior and exterior renovation. An addition in the northwest corner will be removed. The building will have a reconfigured floor plan with fewer enclosed offices and more open workspaces, conference rooms and a collaboration area. It will also have a kitchen and break room and a mail and copy room, Murdock said.

There will be a new pocket park between the two buildings. Parking will be reconfigured with new pedestrian walkways, new landscaping and lighting. The pocket park will have concrete stairs and paving, Murdock said.

The Planning Commission unanimously passed the renovations on Nov.15 after a presentation from Group 4 Architecture, which completed the designs, and hearing from Sam Bautista, deputy director of Public Works.

The project will be bid in winter 2022, which would be an optimum time to receive favorable bids, said Bautista. The project will take 12 months until it is substantially completed.

The old police annex building will be demolished and replaced with off-street parking and a stormwater treatment area, trash enclosures, hardscape and landscape improvements, new bicycle parking areas and an ADA parking adjacent to a new lane for drivers to navigate the parking area. The building is currently used for storage and houses communication equipment for the police department, Murdock said.

There will be several new signs to direct people to the buildings, he said.

The site is bounded by Santa Maria Avenue to the north, Francisco Boulevard to the east, Salada Avenue to the south and single family residences to the west.

City Hall will house the city manager, city clerk, Finance, Human Resources and information technology. The Planning Department and Parks, Beaches and Recreation building will hold the city’s one-stop shop for permitting with planning, building and engineering there, Murdock said. The building will hold the code enforcement division of the Planning Department as well.

The Planning Department and Parks, Beaches and Recreation Department building lobby, located on the southeast corner of the site with high visibility on Francisco Boulevard, will be open to the public and will have meeting spaces.

Vehicle circulation will change, Murdock said. There will be a one-way 15-foot driveway allowing for entry from Francisco Boulevard and another driveway on Salada Avenue. The current vehicular entrances will be converted to softscape and pedestrian access, Murdock said.

The parking area will include six electrical vehicle charging spaces. There are 55 off-street parking and six bicycle spaces, Murdock said.

The project site will feature a small outdoor event space and lounge seating on the south side between the parking lot and the Little Brown Church, Murdock said.

There will be new landscaping with flowering plans, shrubs and eight new trees screening the area between City Hall and the Planning and Parks, Beaches and Recreation building, Murdock said. The southern side of the lane through parking will be lined with five-foot shrubs and six new trees, screening it from the Little Brown Church. The western edge will be lined with five-foot shrubs. Two new trees will be planted there alongside City Hall. Smallershrubs will surround City Hall and the Planning and the Parks, Beaches and Recreation building. All five existing trees will remain and tree protection fencing will be installed during construction.

There will be two drainage management areas for stormwater treatment.

There will be a spot for the historic Ocean Shore Railroad car in the new design, but the final location, design or construction hasn’t been set. The conceptual design places it at the northeast corner of the city-owned parking lot at Salada Avenue and Francisco Boulevard.

Commissioner George Domerat asked if there will be solar panels.

“Those were discussed. There is a requirement that it be solar ready,” said Murdock.

Commissioner David Leal asked where the new ballot box is going to be for voters to drop off their ballots at City Hall. Murdock said City Clerk Sarah Coffey is working on that.

Leal asked about public art on the new campus. Bautista said he will ask the Beautification Advisory Committee. Commissioner Domerat suggested a place in the park where students could provide art.

Jane Northrop has covered Pacifica for the Pacifica Tribune since 1996. She has won first place John Swett Awards from the California Teachers Association for her coverage of education.

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