What do the cities of Pacifica, Singapore and Barcelona have in common? Or Honolulu, Miami Beach, and Rio de Janeiro? Or Hong Kong, Vancouver, and Cannes? Well, the simple reply is a beautiful coastal shoreline. But the comparison pretty much stops right there. These are great world cities that provide fine hotels and residential, high-rise apartment homes with views of oceans and harbors, sunrises and sunsets.
Pacifica’s coastline, on the other hand, is lined with trailer parks, self-storage facilities, wrecking yards, a little beach bungalow community, and a fast-food restaurant next to a water treatment plant. Residents complain of poorly paved streets, utility infrastructure failures, and the inevitable encroachment of the sea itself. My wife and I moved to Pacifica in 1988 and, of course, subscribed to the Pacifica Tribune. Oh, the moaning: budget shortfalls, cuts and higher taxes. The tune has been the same over the years with no results for the general population.
So, I offer the beginning of a solution and a rendering of a future that catapults Pacifica to the greatness of the grand cities of the world. I took a Google Earth shot of Beach Boulevard and superimposed a high-rise building complex on the old wastewater site. Voila! Instant resort, conference center, commercial shops, hotel, condos and apartments. (I have mine already picked out.)
Imagine the income bonus! Imagine if there were a string of these structures lining Beach Boulevard like in Honolulu or Barcelona. Tourists would flock to Pacifica from around the world. Families from our burning, freezing country would move into the tall buildings in search of a pristine ocean view.
Pacifica would become a destination place. Cash would no longer be a problem. Our seawalls could be constructed. Our streets could then be paved … in gold!
Tom Ekkens lives in Sharp Park.