Everyone in town seems to have been mailed a packet from Pacifica Residents for Preserving the Quarry. Whether or not you're in favor of having 206 apartments built right next to the Rockaway Beach area, the information that accompanies the enclosed petition is misleading.
Pacifica Residents for Preserving the Quarry is not a local environmental organization. Rather, it is funded by the people wishing to develop the quarry. They also fund astroturf-type solicitors who have been appearing at major grocery stores seeking signatures for the petition.
If you sign the petition, you're calling for an initiative on the November ballot that would allow up to 206 residential units (apartments) near the Rockaway end of the quarry property.
A vote of the people to approve housing in the quarry was democratically established years ago, hence a ballot measure is required to proceed. There have been several attempts in the past to develop the area with housing, but all of them were rejected by the voters of Pacifica.
The initiative also mentions a hotel with a conference center, and retail/commercial space, both of which would generate tax revenue for the city, although there is no commitment to build them, and the initiative is not required. The 206 apartments are the chief money-makers for the developer, and if the initiative passes, they are almost certain to be built. At least 36 apartments would be affordable to persons making less than about $99,000 a year.
The initiative provides that at least 75% of the quarry will be open space, but much of the area must already be protected or restored by the developer, with or without housing.
The most unusual provision says that no further public vote would ever be required to build housing in the quarry, so long as the development is consistent with what is laid out in the initiative. This would seem to allow a sale of the development rights for housing.
Among the objections to the initiative are traffic. Residents and customers of the apartments, hotel, and retail establishments would enter and exit either by a new quarry road that parallels the creek, or by surface streets in Rockaway Beach, which are poorly equipped to handle additional traffic. They would then access Highway 1 at either the Fassler/Rockaway or Vallemar intersections. This would add significantly to the congestion during commute times.
Another objection to the initiative concerns recreation. The quarry is a very popular space for walking, running, biking, and dog walking. Most of those folks would be traveling beside the new road through the quarry. With the hotel, housing, and retail establishments in the area, dogs would seem to be especially unwelcome.
If you have already signed the petition, but didn't realize it was for housing in the quarry, you can withdraw your signature. You must file a written request with City Clerk Kathy O'Connell, including your name, address, and signature. No reason is necessary, but you may wish to note that you found the materials or people circulating the petition to be misleading. Drop it off in person at City Hall, or mail it to Kathy O'Connell, City Clerk, 170 Santa Maria Avenue, Pacifica, CA 94044.
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•The People vs. Ana Reepen (case number NF437696): Pretrial hearing continued to Tuesday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. in Superior Court, Redwood City. Jury trial scheduled for June 20. Reepen faces three felony charges, including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, resulting from the Highway 1 head-on collision that killed Pacifican Bruce Ross Bernor. Reepen remains free on $250,000 bail.
•Vanessa Edmundson vs. City of Pacifica (CIV537576): Case management conference set for May 26 during which the judge may set trial date. Edmundson seeks monetary damages for injuries claimed from tripping over a cement bicycle rack at Pacifica pier.
•John Straight vs. City of Pacifica (CIV535685): Mediation session set for June 23; estimated five-day jury trial set for September 26. Straight seeks monetary damages for injuries claimed from falling into a Hickey Boulevard manhole when its cover gave way. Attorney Gregg Thornton represents City of Pacifica.
"Mind-blowing fact of the day: The total cost of the U.S. military’s F-35 program, $1.45 trillion, could provide free college education to every student in the U.S. for 20 years. Oh, and by the way, the program has been a total disaster. Nine years into development, the F-35 fighter jets (the most expensive American weapons ever built) are still not ready for combat, and their software is so flawed that they may never be ready. Great." (Sources: Military Times, Motherboard; cited in The Hustle online, April 28)
Poster on Rockaway Beach kiosk. Meanwhile, at various locations around Pacifica, several uninformed, out-of-town "volunteers" are circulating petitions favoring quarry development, as locals challenge their facts and tactics. (Please scroll down to read and comment on our three related quarry stories posted April 20. Also, head on over to Pacifica.city to see "Fact-Checking the New Quarry Website," April 27. It's an eye-opening list of Eenhoorn housing projects from around the country.)
Rain, sleet, snow, and graupel fall on Donner Lake, April 24 Folsom Lake, April 24
Folsom Lake, April 29
Alpine Meadows, April 29 Alpine Meadows, April 29
MOUNT SHASTA (KCBS) — A network of weather stations ranging from Mt. Shasta to Highway 50 has passed its normal precipitation total for the entire July 1st-to-June 30th weather season, which is good news for Northern California’s water situation. The eight-station “Northern Sierra Nevada Index” has reached almost 56 inches of precipitation, which includes rainfall, plus the moisture content of the snowpack. Meteorologist Jan Null with Golden Gate Weather Service said the remaining two-plus months of the season generally deliver another 4 inches of moisture to the Northern Sierra. The picture isn’t quite as bright in the Central and Southern Sierra. Precipitation reports in the San Joaquin and Tulare River basins are 3-to-4 inches below average for the full rainfall season.
The People vs. Ana Reepen (case number NF437696): The pretrial hearing is continued to Tuesday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. in Superior Court, Redwood City. Jury trial is scheduled for June 20. Reepen faces three felony charges, including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, resulting from the Highway 1 head-on collision that killed Pacifican Bruce Ross Bernor. Pretrial hearing is scheduled for April 27 and a jury trial is set to begin June 20. Reepen has pleaded not guilty and remains free on $250,000 bail. The two counts of felony DUI relate to Reepen having a blood alcohol level of more than 0.15 and inflicting great bodily injury or death in the commission of the offense. Her blood alcohol level was reported to be 0.21. Turning the wrong way from Sea Bowl Lane, Reepen drove southbound in the northbound lanes of Highway 1 on July 25. Reepen's car and Bernor's car collided there. Stay tuned here for more details as we get them, and follow this thread at the Comments link below.
Pacifica.city and Big Banker both report that Gorilla Barbeque has expanded next door into the former Vintage at Heart thrift store on Highway 1. Pacifica palindrome lover Roger Wilco wishes them well: "All I, Roger, ever nosh, son -- revere Gorilla!"