The Big Wave Group and Big Wave, LLC filed complaints against the California Coastal Commission (CCC) today.
The suit is related to the Coastal Commission’s decision to revoke the Coastal Development Permit issued by the County of San Mateo to create the Big Wave Project, a privately funded project designed around the needs of adults with special needs.
Devon Yoshimine, as a representative of developmentally disabled persons, also filed complaints with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) for violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) by the California Coastal Commission for its denial of Big Wave’s Permit.
“Our organization is dedicated to providing housing and work opportunities, in a sheltered environment, for developmentally disabled adults,” said Big Wave nonprofit founder, Jeff Peck. “Typically, as parents of these adults age and become unable to care for them, the developmentally delayed become a burden to the public. By developing this program, with both housing and work opportunities, we create a system where they are able to give back to their community. After seven years of working tirelessly to vet the program through a grueling and thorough permit process, we’ve been forced to take legal action.”
It is Peck’s hope that the courts will see the benefits of the project, “and prevent this ongoing discrimination by the Coastal Commission,” he said.
The complaints filed today include a Petition for Writ of Administrative Mandamus and for Declaratory Relief challenging the Coastal Commissions actions in San Mateo County Superior Court.
Yoshimine’s complaints allege that the CCC’s denial results in illegal discrimination against developmentally disabled persons as it denies them equal access to housing and employment. In response to a public records request the CCC could not identify any housing project it had approved for affordable housing for the developmentally disabled in its 40-year history.
The Big Wave Project is two synergistic developments zoned for commercial use west of the Half Moon Bay Airport. A five-acre parcel on the southern portion of the property, the Wellness Center, will provide 57 condominium units exclusively for the developmentally disabled.
Big Wave has been vetted during a six-year permit process within San Mateo County, after an extensive review which generated a 5,000 page Final Environmental Impact Report. The Planning Commission approved the project and issued a Coastal Development Permit (CDP).
After opponents appealed, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors held additional hearings on the project and unanimously determined that the Planning Commission acted properly and sustained the CDP. During the appeal, the Supervisors commended the project for using private resources to address a public social responsibility and for addressing the need for commercial office space on the San Mateo coast.
The writ of mandamus filed today contends that the Coastal Commission acted illegally in revoking the CDP granted by the County of San Mateo and in so doing violated The California Coastal Act.
Founded in 2000 by Steve and Jamie Barber and Jeff and Valerie Peck, the Big Wave Project will provide a place where individuals with developmental disabilities are able to reach their full potential while providing local coast-side businesses with the commercial space to thrive and grow. Big Wave Group is a non-profit group, led by a Board of Directors chosen from a cross section of community leaders. For more information, please visit www.bigwaveproject.org.