Friday, October 6, 2017

Sharp Park

I got off work a bit early yesterday and decided to drive the scenic route home up Highway One. It was a beautiful day. October in the Bay Area is lovely. -little fog, blue skies, mild to warm temperatures, and low humidity. I made a pit stop at a supermarket in my hometown of Pacifica, then drove to the beach in Sharp Park, one of about ten districts that make up the city.

When I was a kid, Sharp Park was known as the 'stinky' part of town because that was where the wastewater treatment plant, what we locals simply referred to as the 'sewage plant', was located. The treatment facility was just across the street from the beach in a residential neighborhood. Unable to contain its odorous output, on certain days of the week most of Sharp Park simply stank.

It's been at least 5 or 6 years since the wastewater treatment facility closed (couldn't find actual closure date), moving its operation elsewhere, but I still expect Sharp Park to smell everytime I visit. I am surprised that it doesn't, and, of course, glad. The old sewage plant was built in the style of what I might call 'California Mission' & its grounds took up one square block. I know that there has been talk to relocate the rather cosy Sharp Park library to this site, but nothing has yet come to pass. Behind the still-standing office building, what looks like a quarry/building site is fenced off to passersby.

Semi-permanent building site.

The old treatment structure collecting dust.

This is the beach at Sharp Park. These views are to be found directly across the street from the old treatment plant. I can imagine that the city is desperate for some mixed-use, tourist-friendly buildings to be erected on the old sewage plant site. The added revenue from a hotel, shops and what-not certainly couldn't hurt Pacifica's coffers.

There has already been a recent spate of posh condominums going up in Sharp Park near the ocean. They stand in sharp contrast to the sand-worn apartment complexes and wee wooden bungalows that still dominate the area.

Old Sharp Park

New Sharp Park

These condos don't appear to be lived in yet, but I assume they are already sold. I saw no signage to the contrary. Guess where they were built? Just across the street from the derelict sewage plant---

Nice view?

I'm glad that Sharp Park has outgrown its unappetizing reputation, but I wonder what the fresh, ocean air might bring to this area. I'd wager more 'grand designs' and Porsche SUVs are to come. And won't that, too, be 'stinky', but in a different way?


  1. Yes, I bet it will fill up before too long.

  2. Water Treatment Plants were known as sewage farms here too. Gentrification is a very mixed bag isn't it? Saving some areas from decay, and too often putting them out of most people's price range.

    1. 'Sewage farm' has a funky ring to it. :D Yeah, the face of the area will change.

  3. Sounds like they're looking to gentrify. Which is good and bad. Great views, so it'll be popular eventually I'm sure.

    1. I'd imagine the area will become posh. Hopefully, everyone from crusty fishermen to Euro-AirBnB folk will feel welcome there.


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