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No Trespassing Signs

Mr. Peebles says that he had to post "No Trespassing" signs on the Quarry property to limit is potential liability. According to the Pacifica Tribune:

Seven reasons to vote NO on L

With November 7th drawing near, now's the time to summarize why Measure L is bad for Pacifica.

  1. Measure L exists only to allow 355 housing units in the Quarry. It's not a straw poll or a survey. It's a permanent change to allow 355 housing units in a C-3 commercial zone.
  2. More houses mean more cars. Measure L's high-density housing "vision" would merge hundreds more commuters directly in between the two worst-rated intersections on Highway 1 in Pacifica. Miami high-rise developer R. Donahue Peebles has claimed he'll build multi-million-dollar, 4,500-square-foot houses there. The residents of those "Tract Villas" will almost certainly own and drive multiple cars, and commute to big-city jobs to pay their mortgages.
  3. Peebles has repeatedly threatened us with a mushroom cloud of "big-box" retail if we don't give him his 355 housing units. But that "choice" ignores the vast middle ground between those extremes. Peebles deliberately chose an "all-or-nothing" approach, instead of negotiating a development agreement first.
  4. Measure L asks Pacificans to forfeit our right to vote on the specifics. Why authorize 355 housing units and a dramatic change to the character of Pacifica, without assuring anything in exchange? Measure L puts the cart before the horse. It would give away those lucrative houses before negotiation even begins. That's not a negotiation, it's a fold.
  5. Attempting to get Pacificans to fold is big money politics, straight from Miami and D.C. The "yes on L" campaign has spent $1,310,384 so far to try to push Measure L past Pacifica voters. It's an extravagant sum for an election in a quiet coastal town.
  6. Peebles has claimed that Measure L will solve all our problems and fulfill nearly every wish. We've been told that it'll give us a sports complex, a library, a movie theater, a new City Hall, an aquatic center, affordable housing, a performing arts center, loans to the City, and more. Those would have to be built, maintained, and staffed with taxpayer's money, and it's unclear where exactly that's going to come from. Without a development agreement, the promises are meaningless anyway.
  7. Finally, there is no "town center" in Measure L. The words don't even appear in the ballot language. There's no specific number of houses other than 355. There's no specific amount of commercial. There's no specific amount of space for any public buildings, parks, or amenities. It's just not there.

Measure L is an attempted end-run around the public process. It has been sold through:

Over a million reasons to vote NO ON L

Update 10/27/06: It's actually $1,310,384. Wow, indeed.

867,187 more reasons to vote No on Measure L. Is Pacifica for sale to the highest bidder from Miami? From Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, the Yes campaign to build 355 housing units on the Rockaway Quarry reported spending 4867,187. Clearly, Mr. Peebles is trying to buy the election. Who knows how much more, well over $1 million, is to come.

The empty threats continue

South Florida developer R. Donahue Peebles keeps threatening in letters and mailers that he will build a "big box" store if voters reject Measure L's blank check for 355 houses. Then in public he apologizes for making the threat or denies that he made it. Then the next mailer repeats the threat.

"Perception is Reality"

I moved to Pacifica because it was a sleepy coastal community, which I really enjoy. I always hoped it would stay that way. It shocked me to read in the Pacifica Tribune in May that a Florida developer was going to have a series of Charrettes about the quarry. I could tell right off the bat that Peebles and the people that work for him were going to be using slick, deceptive politics, which don't work here in Pacifica.

Under Attack

Clearly, our community is under attack again. This is not the first time that an out-of-town developer has proffered a scheme for radical change through overdevelopment of open land. We seem to be a target for those characters, whose ideas are so far out of the well-established mainstream of Pacifica thought.

More Davies spin

The San Mateo Times' "Insider" also published a column about the Davies Communications insider who posed as Pacifica residents in favor of Measure L on the Pacifica-L mailing list. The details are basically the same as have been covered elsewhere (for example, here and here). The interesting part is the new spin by John Davies, CEO of Davies Communications:

Davies says list readers are "mostly negative thinkers"

Barry Parr, creator of Coastsider.com, published an article about "Jimmy/Susan" the person(s) who posted messages to the Pacifica-L mailing list, claiming to be long-time Pacifica residents, but who apparently were associated with Peebles' P.R. firm, Davies Communications.

"He's dead in the water"

On March 6th, 2005, Tribune Editor Chris Hunter is quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, warning:

"And if he [Peebles] comes here and says he wants to build 300 houses, he's dead in the water."

Waking from a dream

Have you ever had to wake someone, and found out later that they were in a particularly wonderful dream?

Initially, they may hardly respond. However, as you persist in trying to help them reconnect with a reality that does not include the cherished dream, one often discovers that they can become quite grumpy, even outright angry, in response to your well- intended efforts!

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