I wanted to start a community discussion by writing this piece for the Pacifica Tribune ("My Turn" op-ed, March 30). The Tribune had published several articles about the Quarry site development, but no one seemed to be responding to those articles. I would like the community to discuss why we keep having to have this election over and over.
(Editor's Note: Brian's Tribune op-ed notes that he is a Pacifica real estate appraiser. We consider that this makes him uniquely qualified to comment on the quarry proposal. We encourage constructive feedback at the Comments link below this post.)
How do you turn a sow's ear into a silk purse? Rezone a parcel from commercial to residential. Promise the hungry locals a bite of the money pie by way of PR magic to raise expectations into the Trumposhere, then flip it, baby, flip it!
Posted by: Linty Marr | April 20, 2016 at 07:29 PM
New York is suing Exxon. For one. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/06/science/exxon-mobil-under-investigation-in-new-york-over-climate-statements.html
The bigger lie is little coastal towns all over the country, "thinking" that the west Antarctic Ice Sheet is so far away it won't affect the coast. Yet, if it melts -- and NASA was surprised to learn in 2009 it is unstable -- our sea level rise will be increased by as much as 3 meters (9 feet).
In 2009 an additional 6 to 7 feet was expected: http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/25-higher-sea-level-rise-than-predicted-if-west-antarctic-ice-sheet-melts.html
Closer to this possible event, this year, the warning is as much as 9 feet of sea level rise. http://www.climatecentral.org/news/antarctica-at-risk-of-runaway-melting-20189
It would be nice enough if all the science was wrong, and there's no sea level rise. Until we find out otherwise, let's not commit our already stretched public monies to building on a rapidly eroding and disappearing coast.
Posted by: Jay Bird | April 16, 2016 at 07:20 AM
I don't miss sleep for things I cannot control.
That is why I have a great life =)
Posted by: big banker | April 15, 2016 at 05:02 PM
Who's suing Exxon?
Posted by: todd bray | April 15, 2016 at 04:25 PM
"... things that may or may not happen. Or happen 100 or 200 years from now. ..."
Deny, misdirect, confuse, redirect. Aren't they suing Exxon now for decades of misrepresenting the truth of climate change, which directly affects Pacifica's coastline and buildable land?
IT'S HERE, IT'S CLEAR, GET USED TO IT! Facts about climate change:
And then, do something about it. Like lower your own carbon footprint, ask City Council to update and implement an effective Climate Action Plan that exceeds previous goals.
Posted by: Jay Bird | April 15, 2016 at 07:50 AM
You keep worrying about things that may or may not happen. Or happen 100 or 200 years from now.
I will keep watching the Warriors!!
Posted by: big banker | April 14, 2016 at 08:45 AM
If the west Antarctic Ice Sheet melts, that represents 3 meters or 9 feet sea-level rise.
As NASA noted early on, it is surprisingly unstable.
"...present observations suggest that collapse is already underway ..."
While the time frame for this melting is not clear yet, almost all predictions about global warming are happening at faster rates than initially predicted, in a nonlinear progression.
Posted by: Jay Bird | April 13, 2016 at 07:59 PM
What is this "endgame" Jay Bird and Mr. Boyce talk about?
Is it something out of Mad Max with Mel Gibson and the bad ass cattle dog?
Posted by: big banker | April 13, 2016 at 05:05 PM
"The road (Highway 1) already points to the endgame."
It's too bad, but it's a race against the clock; if the West Antarctic Ice Sheet melts, sea-level rise is calculated to be somewhere around 6 feet by 2100.
Getting hung up on one foot by a certain date misses the point: If we do not immediately stop increasing carbon dioxide and methane pollution, an unstoppable process of melting of ice on the planet will start.
Perhaps the governor and state and federal representatives and senators could work together with municipal governments to get real Climate Action Plans in place throughout California.
Posted by: Jay Bird | April 13, 2016 at 12:35 AM
"First we don't have enough traffic to fix Highway 1. But now we have too much traffic to not allow more housing in the quarry. That's OK because many things confuse me in regards to Pacifica."
We've always had enough traffic, it's just that we have more than ever now. The huge influx of people to the Bay Area has everything to do with jobs, and not enough housing. A recent article in the Mercury News pointed to 200,000+ people coming here to work in the past five years versus maybe 50,000 housing units being built.
The coastside is a recreational place; people come here for the beach, dining, etc. To cram more folks in locally as residents is not really going to help anything as regards our quality of life.
So we will resist, to whatever extent that is possible. The road (Highway 1) already points to the endgame.
Posted by: Wm. Boyce | April 12, 2016 at 09:33 PM
OK, I am confused. First we don't have enough traffic to fix Highway 1. But now we have too much traffic to not allow more housing in the quarry. That's OK because many things confuse me in regards to Pacifica.
The developers who made it through 2008-2012 were doing something right. Capital has freed up a bit, but lenders, banks, and pension funds are not doing too many wildly speculative loans these days.
Harmony @ 1. Well, that one must have slipped through the cracks!
Posted by: big banker | April 12, 2016 at 05:47 AM
Pacifica needs revenue, not "industry": a glittering generality that means NOTHING. Housing (~property taxes) does not pay for itself, in terms of drain on city coffers. Hence, some revenue-generating business cluster that is appropriate for that area would be in order. Putting in houses first (even packaged as high-density) is not an integrated or well-conceived (or well-financed) plan. Peddling the housing portion in a ballot measure is (would appear to be) just a shoehorn.
Many (not all) developers are (1) less than scrupulous and (2) undercapitalized. Look at Harmony @ 1.
Posted by: Tom Edminster | April 11, 2016 at 09:40 PM
Sea-level rise and coastal erosion are going to be quite a bit worse than 3 feet by 2100, more like 5 or 6 feet.
SF Gate reports today that cooling by clouds was overestimated:
When the west Antarctic ice sheet melts: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/31/science/global-warming-antarctica-ice-sheet-sea-level-rise.html
San Mateo County is working to address this issue; learn more:
How will this affect proposed plans for development in the quarry? Will there be deep-sunk armored seawalls? How much would that cost, compared to total project costs? Will the city administration attempt to shift costs of seawalls, etc. to Pacifica taxpayers?
Posted by: Jay Bird | April 11, 2016 at 07:21 PM
Lots of good constructive dialogue here on Riptide (74 quarry comments posted already to date). I want to thank all of our commenters for sticking to discussion of facts and figures, plus honest personal opinions, without the name calling and personal attacks that you find elsewhere online.
Posted by: John Maybury | April 10, 2016 at 11:23 PM
Todd, nothing in our laws or Constitution makes it illegal to flip a property. It is a property right to sell, mortgage, pay down debt, etc. In fact, flipping properties can be quite lucrative =).
Peter, you and I will never ever agree on the issues in Pacifica. That is all I am going to say.
Posted by: big banker | April 10, 2016 at 07:25 PM
Big Banker, paying into a fund is not a solution. But the traffic engineer for the failed Measure L did recommend a roundabout, an alternative I'd be happy to see.
These new quarry folks, judging by the language in their L.A. law firm initiative, seem to want to just flip the property with zoning guarantees for future owners rather than actually build anything -- at all.
Posted by: todd bray | April 10, 2016 at 04:38 PM
Peebles promised a lot of things. He promised to build soccer fields even if he lost the election. Peebles' promises were worth the paper they were printed on.
Posted by: Peter Loeb | April 10, 2016 at 03:02 PM
Remember, Peebles wanted to pay into a mediation fund to fix Highway 1.
Posted by: big banker | April 10, 2016 at 11:15 AM
"Mr. Boyce: The nearest Wal-Mart is in Mountain View and it's an old, outdated store. The store in Oakland closed recently. People who can't afford Safeway, Whole Foods, Molly Stone, or any of the upscale grocers shop at Wal-Mart."
Mr. Big Banker: Access alone precludes a Walmart or any other warehouse operation. Highway 1 is so non-functional at commute time, school time, and the new tech-crunch weekend time, that no corporate type in their right mind would propose such a thing. I concede that you have inside info, but things are changing fast.
Posted by: Wm. Boyce | April 09, 2016 at 09:28 PM
Okay, folks, that's enough about Walmart. Let's get back to talking about the quarry.
Posted by: John Maybury | April 09, 2016 at 02:16 PM
Sam Walton built the company from one store. When the Walton family left the boardroom and cashed out, the new board took Wal-Mart in a new direction.
Posted by: Big banker | April 09, 2016 at 01:34 AM
"Sam Walton built a great company."
Posted by: Laurie Soca | April 08, 2016 at 03:15 PM
The basic premise of the op-ed in the Tribune is the marketing of this effort -- and it's spot on. I did not get the slick postcard discussed, but I did check out the http://thepacificaquarry.com website. As the op-ed says, it's a real "kumbaya" moment of soft-smelling eco-goodness. An uninformed voter would assume this whole measure is about the "revitalization" of the large pit in the ground. The fact that it is actually a rezoning attempt contrary to the general plan is well concealed.
Call me paranoid. It's fine, I get paid to be that way. I started looking for information on who registered the domain -- since this is a ballot initiative, I want to know where the money is coming from. All DNS information on that domain is obfuscated. Whoever is paying for the pretty slick marketing would prefer not to be identified. It's not exactly disinformation, but that campaign sticker of a website definitely tells only one side of the story.
Perhaps the newly registered http://thepacificaquarry.org can tell the other half of the story.
Posted by: John | April 08, 2016 at 01:26 PM
The nearest Wal-Mart is in Mountain View and it's an old, outdated store. The store in Oakland closed recently. People who can't afford Safeway, Whole Foods, Molly Stone, or any of the upscale grocers shop at Wal-Mart.
Posted by: big banker | April 08, 2016 at 11:52 AM
Sam Walton built a great company. When he left, the company's philosophy left the core basis. Not a fan or enemy of Wal-Mart.
I believe this quarry plan was rushed, not very well studied, and just not very well thought out.
Housing is the hot button. Look up the hill on Fassler at Harmony @ 1.
Posted by: Big banker | April 08, 2016 at 02:20 AM