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May 27, 2008


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What is Mr. Bray talking about? The only "two Realtor advocacy groups" I personally belong to are the California Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. The citizen action groups I belong to are interested in the health of the City of Pacifica and its economic growth.

Mr. Bray needs to be reminded that the only "Realtor Advocacy" group in Pacifica is SAMCAR, which did endorse Jim Vreeland and Julie Lancelle during the last election.

Peebles Corp. has not had any direct involvement with any local group, except maybe Nancy Hall, by her own admission.

Mr. Emde, you seem to misunderstand the State Mining Board's position. Its position is that the site needs to be properly reclaimed; it does not matter to the board if it is reclaimed during construction or not. All that matters to the board is that the reclamation happens.

As any construction professional would tell you, it would be more cost-effective to perform the reclamation work during the clearing and grading phase of any development of the quarry. But because Peebles Corp. was required to post a bond to ensure the reclamation does occur, it appears that this is a moot point.

The issue at hand is whether or not the City of Pacifica will complete its previously stated contractual obligations, which would then allow the reclamation to occur.

Peebles lied from the very first charette. Not everything he said was false or misleading, but he is a real estate developer, not a savior.

Peebles' little army of local real estate workers should be given a medal for the misguided passion they have shown since Peebles Corp. disowned them when questioned directly about the company's involvement in the two Realtor advocacy groups. I was shocked by that, not surprised but shocked.

So go on waving the Peebles Corp. flag, but when push comes to shove, Peebles Corp. will not be there for you: That has been made clear.

It should be obvious that pretty much nobody has easy access to the Tribune letter Lionel refers to, so he'll have to refresh our memories as to what kind of lies Peebles is guilty of. Otherwise, we have to assume that Lionel has no evidence.

Seems to me like "355 houses in the quarry" was the lie, since there was never a plan to build 355 "houses" in the quarry. (I think it was something like 120-130 houses, and a mix of other housing types.) It's pretty easy to accuse the "No on L" people of being liars, too.

Mister Emde,

Which state mining board employees are you referring to? My understanding is that Peebles Corp. has worked exhaustively and cooperatively with every applicable state agency.

Also, please elaborate on Mister Peebles' "lies" at that debate, because I was in attendance, too, and had an entirely different impression.

Let's follow Jim Strong's lead: Keep it substantive! (To Mr. Strong: I have often joked that Pacifica is the pretty girl at the dance who turns away all suitors, then laments that no one will dance with her. Of course, I have a teen and a tween stepdaughter, so I live with this daily.)

The State Bd. of Mining & Geology staffers were clear in their disdain of the pressure that Peebles' lawyers put on them to "develop first and reclaim at the same time."

Peebles himself had no problem lying repeatedly during the "debate" with Peter Loeb in Aug. 2006. I noted three falsehoods in a letter to the Tribune in which I quoted the news story on the debate.

You can dislike it all you want: Peebles and his people are liars.

Peebles' claim relies on the legal theory of a "latent defect," which is a "defect not discoverable by ordinary diligence." (Black's Law Dictionary). Generally, claimants are forced to rely on the "latent defect" theory when their claim is otherwise time-barred, i.e., they waited too long to bring their claim. When a lawyer sees a claim that relies on a "latent defect," as Larry Rosenstein rightly points out in his comment above, that is a major red flag signaling to the other side that (1) the claimant failed to bring his claim within the time period allotted by law (i.e., the "statute of limitations"), and (2) the claimant is hoping/praying he can show the court that there is a good reason why he didn't discover the defect sooner.

Here the defect appears to be ponding and drainage problems in certain areas of the quarry (I'm still not clear exactly where). Because timeliness will be one of the major points of contention (along with other issues), I would love to hear other folks comment on whether Peebles should have known about the drainage issues earlier.

I also have to give humor kudos to Jeff Simons' comment as I picture poor but pretty Lady Pacifica "batting her eyelashes" at Peebles to get him to pay for the project.

And finally, let's avoid personal attacks and keep it substantive! JS

Wow, Mr. Emde. Please remember those cranky pants come off one leg at a time and you should probably remove them gently. I wouldn't want you to hurt yourself. The information I received actually came from an old college friend who works for the State Mining Board and another who works for the City of Pacifica.

I'll be sure to let them know that you speak so highly of them and your accusations of their complicity in spreading falsehoods. I appreciate what Mr. Maybury is doing by allowing a free flow of information and for various sides to air their opinions, but I must resign myself that this board will continue to be co-opted by bullies.

How sad for Pacifica.

Talk, talk all you want, but nothing will ever get accomplished. We are a bedroom community and we have no say in anything that goes on in this city. S.F. Mayor Gavin Newsom has more say than our mayor and council. San Francisco is the bread and butter of many people here in Pacifica. What happens in S.F. affects us more than what isn't happening in Pacifica. S.F. came up with money in a rainy day account for its schools. Why does Pacifica not have a rainy day account? I am sad and frustrated like the rest of everyone that Pacifica really cannot speak for itself, without outside influences. Good luck to all!

Is there any more overused insult these days than to call people liars?

Umm, Lionel, I think you're grasping at straws there.

Once the claim went public, so did the tolling agreement.

It doesn't befit anyone to hurl accusations of lying without reasonable evidence.

"Mr. Emde, I did not get this information from anyone at the Peebles Corp. I did get this information from friends from college who now work for several different government agencies."

Ms. Montanez, that's not what you said in your original post in which you asserted inside information:

"Apparently, the city and Peebles Corp. agreed to a tolling agreement (meaning no one could talk about anything to do with this) while they attempted to come to a mutually beneficial agreement."

Maybe you should more properly name it a "trolling" agreement, as it is apparent that the liars in the Peebles camp are feeding you information.

"It is totally incorrect that the city intentionally or otherwise hid the biodiesel project from Peebles Co. I'd met with Peebles and Grimm in San Francisco a few weeks before their letter and spoke to them about the biodiesel project, updating them on our progress; they were, are, and have been aware of it in its fundamentals and some details for a long time, and we have discussed it repeatedly."

Inquiring minds want to know..

Is Nancy Hall an ambassador for the City Council, a paid employee, a paid consultant, biodiesel fuel representative, biodiesel fuel entrepreneur??? In her meetings with Peebles, is she negotiating with him on behalf of the City and making deals?

With the imminent backlash of Pacificans against developers like Peebles and his committee sure to result from the the Walgreens and Connemara development and the traffic mess sure to follow in the Manor area and beyond, the Peebles committee seems to be grasping at last straws.

The development-at-all-costs acolytes of Peebles should be reminded that Peebles has the right to develop the land in the quarry according to the plan he signed on to when he bought the Quarry property, and he should have learned by now to abide by that.

Pacificans would do well to remember the story of the Pied Piper.

Lois said that Nancy said that Todd said that Lionel said that Peter said—. One person's perception of a conversation can be totally different from someone else's. I think it is what is in writing that counts.

Here's a big flaw in Peebles' argument. If the city failed to uphold its end of the purchase contract or somehow damaged the property from 1998-2001, then why wasn't this raised in 2002 when Trammell Crow was proposing its project? It seems hard to believe that Peebles Corp. didn't catch this before buying the property, and doubly hard to believe that another notable real estate development company would not have caught it either.

Moreover, an EIR was prepared and filed with the state in 2002. The final EIR document contains comments from that Coastal Commission that reference wetlands on the eastern edge of the property near Highway 1. The 2002 project called for those wetlands to be filled by Trammell Crow, and it's hard to imagine they would do that if it was actually the city's responsibility. This shows that the existence of the wetlands was known at that time (i.e., they did not develop more recently), and therefore Peebles Corp. should have known about them at the time it purchased the property. This is important if Peebles plans to file a lawsuit claiming a taking by the city, because the statute of limitations on that is three years.

Any type of purchase agreement, whether it be a piece of property or even an in-store credit application (check the terms of any of your credit cards and tell me you "understand all the terms and conditions," LOL!), is fairly complex.

It is entirely feasible and legally permissible to sell a piece of property and make a condition of that sale involve another piece of property the seller owns. I could own a home in Pacifica and a home in South San Francisco and sell my home in Pacifica with the condition that the buyer agree to paint my home in SSF every weekend for a year. As long as both parties agree to that condition of the sale. I have seen far more wordy and eyebrow-raising conditions of sale than this.

It does seem pretty straightforward that the city agreed to take an action as a condition of the purchase of certain parcels from the Bottoms estate. It does appear that satisfying those conditions precludes any reclamation effort on the rest of the quarry property that Peebles Corp. owns.

I am confused, though, how some people seem adamant that no development can occur on the quarry since it IS designated as a redevelopment district AND zoned for commercial use??

I have no problem with the city spending money to perform duties they were contractually obligated to perform. If they were smart, they'd bat their eyelashes and ask Peebles to pay for it since it is holding up the reclamation effort and the Coastal Commission permits, a process I am certain we are all eager to move forward.

Cynthia, the state considers the flat area of the quarry to be reclaimed. If you journey to Sacramento and look through the quarry files in the Conservation Department, you will clearly see this. The area that still requires work is the amphitheater area near the water. That is a project that still requires a CCC permit.

The city has agreed to a request by Peebles Co. to make the remaining reclamation part of any development project that comes forward.

Currently the state requires the reclamation be completed before any development application is submitted, but as Lead Agency the city can and intends to alter that so the reclamation is part of any project in the quarry. The city is required to give 30 days' notice to the state for state review.

I didn't get this from friends or relatives or college students but from department heads and public records in Sacramento.

1. Why would Pacificans want the entire flatlands of the Quarry area to do a sheet drain over our new Quarry walking path on its way to the creek?

2. By doing the above, wouldn't the city as the downhill neighbor be forced to pay for any and all problems caused by arranging the drainage pattern of private property to drain this way?

2. Why isn't PFRG upset over taxpayer dollars being used to pay for this grading of private property and the potential problems this would cause?

3. Peebles Corp. is just "discovering" all this now?

4. Peebles Corp. bought the property knowing there were wetlands and endangered-species habitat there.

5. I am glad that Ms. Montanez stated that this is her "opinion." Unless she is a lawyer or expert in this area, I am taking her comments, along with everyone else's, including my own, to be "a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge."

Lionel, regarding Peebles and Peebles Corporation being liars, I've heard that statement and other remarks badmouthing Peebles and his corporation ever since they came to Pacifica. I've watched and researched all I can, yet have not seen anything to confirm those accusations. If anyone is making statements such as this, back it up. We are all interested in keeping everything aboveboard.


It is totally incorrect that the city intentionally or otherwise hid the biodiesel project from Peebles Co. I'd met with Peebles and Grimm in San Francisco a few weeks before their letter and spoke to them about the biodiesel project, updating them on our progress; they were, are, and have been aware of it in its fundamentals and some details for a long time, and we have discussed it repeatedly. Peebles has always reacted favorably to the idea, probably because he figured it would bode well for approval of any development he might want to do, a dubious assumption.

Back when Don was promising the moon to and any all Pacificans in exchange for their support/vote
for Measure L, he even said, "Let's put a biodiesel pump station in the quarry," in response to my having run the project by him even way back then.

So, respond in whatever way you choose to this predictable turn of events, but please do not make up history that is inaccurate.

Mr. Emde, I did not get this information from anyone at the Peebles Corp. I did get this information from friends from college who now work for several different government agencies.

What you have missed from the reporting I did earlier is that the city failed in its contractual obligations and the reclamation cannot be done until the grading is completed. So forcing Bill Bottoms or anyone to complete the reclamation without the city first completing its work is pointless.

As for whether or not Peebles Corp. is lying, that may be your opinion, but the more I learn the less I trust what our city leadership has to say. Maybe it's just because I grew up with the Nixon scandal and know that government is not to be trusted. As the sewer spill and biodiesel debacle have shown, it would appear that no one really knows what's going on and no one is willing to step up to the plate and be accountable.

If the argument is that the city was required to grade land not in its possesion or control, then good luck with that one. If this latest move by Peebles Co. is due to how a few words are interpreted to include land the city doesn't now or never did own so the land could be exempt from state and federal laws, good luck with that one, too.

For a bunch of real estate workers, P4P and PBRG sure don't know much about or understand the complexities of land ownership. It's not just about commissions.

I thank Ms. Montanez for the information on the process of negotiations between the city and the Peebles Corp.
If only there were a reliable source for such information:
"Pacifica has spent the past decade or so claiming that Bottoms never did the reclamation work, which in my opinion is much like putting the cart before the horse because you really couldn’t properly reclaim the site until the regrading had been performed."
In fact, it was much longer ago than 1998 that Mr. Bottoms failed to perform his obligations to reclaim the quarry site. The city was remiss in not taking legal action against him to force compliance, and the State Board of Mining and Geology seized lead agency status from the city and required a bond toward reclamation. This bond wasn't paid until Mr. Peebles bought the property in 2005.
As to the other claims of city nonperformance: Prove it.
The Peebles Corp. is among the biggest (if not the biggest) liars we've ever seen in this town. Its self-interest trumps the truth.

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