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May 04, 2016


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You'd think the city would be holding public meetings, not the developer, who is trying to sell the community on putting 206 houses, a 200-room hotel, conference center, amphitheater, trails, roads, and presumably parking for what is essentially a mini-city in the old quarry site.

This developer-ballot initiative is for a public vote to approve 206 houses in the quarry, and removal of the public's right to vote on the issue ever again.

All other language about giving voters control, "restoring" the quarry, not taking away the public's right to vote on the issue, etc., is a smokescreen, window-dressing designed to redirect and misinform the public to the valuable property entailment (build housing without having to submit to a public vote) needed by the developer to sell the property quickly for a huge profit.

The public bears the costs:
loss of open space, more traffic, infrastructure costs for roads, sewer, communications, added crime, etc.

The developer reaps quick profits
when the property is entailed with a housing element.

In answer to "...I'm not sure how voting on whether to allow housing in the quarry is taking away our right to vote on housing in the quarry..."

Section 3B of the developer's ballot initiative explicitly deletes the requirement for public vote on housing in the quarry.

Download a PDF of the initiative here:

It's just another out-of-state guy who's hired a SoCal law firm that saw him coming. I think we should rename the quarry El Dorado. It's that funny.

Todd, how about we change the name to Spin City? Never watched the television show, but if the shoe fits, wear it.

If the developer who bought the quarry was based in the San Francisco Bay Area, would he still be considered an "out-of-town developer"?

For pointing out the implied threat in the Quarry FAQ, which reads as follows:

"If this proposal does not get put on the ballot or approved by the voters, then the current zoning of the Pacifica General Plan and Rockaway Beach Specific Plan would still be in place, which would allow over two million square feet of commercial development on the site with no voter approval needed. Furthermore, there would be no mechanism for creating permanent open space, restoring the wetlands and hillsides, and creating and improving the trail system."

What a crock of poop. As you observed in your post -- if it was economically viable to build out the quarry without the housing element, it would have been done a long time ago.

As for the rest of that hogwash, if the current owner is truly concerned about creating permanent open space, improving the trail, etc., he could apply to do that now, and he could insert deed restrictions to ensure that future quarry owners abide by this one's purported deep love of nature.

Query: If this plan is really so wonderful, why does the quarry owner need to resort to misleading, deceptive tactics to get his initiative on the ballot?

BTW, in the FAQ section regarding if the housing is NOT approved, these clowns like Peebles Co. threaten to develop 1.5 million square feet of commercial. BS if that EVER happens.

Lionel, of interest is the number of trips per day, well over 1,000, which the proposed idea would generate if built. In effect, the Michigan-based developer and his L.A. law team would be making an entirely new neighborhood in West Rockaway, putting enough cars on the road to negate any promised benefit to capacity that the highway-widening Project Development Team says it has to offer.

It's just another out-of-state guy who's hired a SoCal law firm that saw him coming. I think we should rename the quarry area to El Dorado. It's that funny.

No, there will be a vote, and it will be as fast as possible, with lots of vague promises that don't have to be kept the morning after the election. I'm sure the new owner wants it on this November's ballot. I would imagine the public will reject it, as traffic drives everything for commuters, and there's no way this won't create a significant increase along that stretch of highway.

Thanks, Margaret, for pointing out the size of the bungalows; that's a big bungalow! Kinda like a giant midget.

And Laurie, I'm not sure how voting on whether to allow housing in the quarry is taking away our right to vote on housing in the quarry.

The kicker is the part where no further public vote would be needed for future rezoning.

Yes, this is cohesive legalese designed to strip Pacifica residents of their right to vote on housing in the quarry, rezone the property, and supersede any other quarry legislation that appears on the same ballot.

Although there's a description of the micro-city the developer plans to shiv into Rockaway, the real value is REMOVING CITIZENS' RIGHT TO VOTE ON HOUSING IN THE QUARRY, and other relevant rights.

12 "bungalows" each the size of two-and-a-half Linda Mar ranchers, no height or footprint specified up there on the ridge.
The "hotel" -- 188 rooms, but no footprint size or height specified.
Separate "conference center" -- the size of 13 Linda Mar ranchers, no height or footprint specified.
Retail, restaurant, and office space -- 2 stories, so maybe just the footprint of 35 Linda Mar ranchers. 206 multifamily housing -- 4 stories tall, no square footage specified, but if 1,000 square feet each, they would require the space of 50 Linda Mar ranchers.

There's too much missing information. The kicker is the part where no further public vote would be needed for future rezoning.

Thanks for checking that out, Ian.

In response to Carl May's concern about the quarry road: On the map it is referred to as "Hwy 1 emergency access," which is vague wording, to say the least. I asked what that meant and was told that it would be open to the public at all times; they are calling it that mostly for marketing reasons.

Larry, the land, all 88 acres, is considered an environmentally sensitive habitat area (ESHA). I just don't get why reducing that to a wetland is a good thing for anybody.

A large part of the open space is dedicated to mitigation wetlands, which the developer is using to help pay for the project. It's a reasonable idea, since it means the development is smaller, but it also means that those areas will be off-limits to people and pets. Also, with a smaller development, the potential tax revenue to the city will be smaller. My back-of-the-envelope guess is that it would be $1.5 million to $2 million, most of which comes from the 200 hotel rooms.

I would hope the developer doesn't try for the November ballot. The deadline for submitting initiatives is only about four months away, which isn't enough time to nail down more of the details and do any kind of environmental studies.

Housing in the quarry is subject to public vote.

If the public is OK with losing open space, gentle sea breezes, scenic coastal views, and uncrowded coastal walks pretty much any time of day -- in return for high-density population impacts of 318 to perhaps as many as 1,000 more cars on the road in the Rockaway neighborhood -- they'll approve the housing.

The developer wants the housing units; it's a gold mine for him.

If the Quarry Road north to Vallemar is for emergency use only, doesn't that mean all the new vehicle traffic for the hotel, restaurant, amphitheater, shopping and offices, and apartments will be routed through Rockaway?

This is already public open space. ALL of it.

Development is for two-thirds of that space, adding 318 to 1,000 residents and their cars. That's a lot more traffic.

PR taking the place of community involvement once again. I guess the Zentner et al. group doesn't know that we citizens know or recognize where the quarry is. Interesting, expensively produced hubris.

The timeline on the developer website ignores Native American history.

Draw up some fake plans, rope in naive politicans, promise an environmental and tax windfall in exchange for permit variances, fund this dog-and-pony show with other people's money, and then sell it to the greater fool for a tidy profit. Where have I heard this before? Trust me, people, we will make The Quarry great again!!!!

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