The Peebles Invitational at Pedro Point Firehouse on June 19 was hosted by PBRG (Pacifica Business for Responsible Government: Better Pacifica). Peebles V.P. Daniel Grimm and his land use attorney Tim Tosta presented an update on the status of the Rockaway Quarry property. Tosta, known for successfully guiding development projects through the Coastal Commission, presented a slide show of historical data, topographical maps, and photos.
The gist of his message was that the Quarry has been greatly disturbed over the years by quarrying activities, and no longer resembles its original "natural" state. He also said that the State will require substantial portions of the property to be reclaimed, necessitating removal of mega-quantities of earth.
Tosta told the audience that his research on the site will take at least another three months. He is beginning preliminary meetings with Coastal Commission staff to understand the regulatory constraints (something many of us in the environmental community advised Peebles to do more than a year ago, before going to the ballot.)
Tosta also said it will be three years before permits could be obtained for any project. He emphasized that this is a "work in progress" and that it is premature to discuss what type of project can be built until all the issues are thoroughly analyzed, and he has a better understanding of which portions of the site can be developed.
When asked about the results of the habitat and endangered-species study that Peebles commissioned last year, Tosta was a bit cagey, saying only that the report wasn't as elaborate as he wanted and was rather "skinny" in certain respects.
Tosta gave the audience another message: Everyone needs to "think outside the box" and make some compromises, or it is unlikely there will ever be a project built in the Quarry. Time will tell.