Measure L just doesn't make any sense! Being involved in the business world for more than 20 years I have learned to trust in legally binding contracts and agreements especially in the construction and real estate field. I've heard all kinds of wonderful promises, all coming from friendly, likeable personalities, who promised the moon and more, and when they didn't get their way they resorted to ugly threats and lawsuits. I hope the "L" in this measure doesn't stand for "Litigation". Mr. Peebles has already threatened Pacifica with a big, box retail development if he doesn't get the "Yes on L" vote. How insulting to Pacificans who really care about their City. We are threatened because we want a legal agreement before we vote, to give a developer a valuable entitlement, worth millions of dollars, to build housing in the Quarry!
This change from Mr. Nice Guy Peebles to a Threatening Bully reveals his true commitment to Pacifica and is a huge eye-opener on how future negotiations may take place. Giving away free land for a library and town hall is chump change for a corporation that has millions to profit, and that has already spent close to a million dollars just promoting Peebles' statistics, Peebles' analysis, etc. This donation is a nice tax write-off and makes the developer appear so generous while Pacifica will spend millions to build and maintain the buildings, further enhancing Mr. Peebles' land.
What a great business move for the Peebles Corp! Pacifica will profit one penny on every dollar in sales tax. It's going to take a lot of traffic in and out of the Quarry to generate a million from sales tax. Are you ready for that kind of traffic? The property tax revenue on the housing units may not cover the actual expense of city services that Pacifica will have to provide.
Call the San Mateo Property Tax division and find out for yourself. Revenue from the fancy hotel, at 10% hotel tax for Pacifica is good, but isn't it odd that the hotel is designed so that it can easily convert into condos if the hotel business is not quite up to Peebles' projections? Peebles will be making millions, yet we will suffer traffic nightmares, overcrowded beaches, increased sewage, more pollution, as more and more people move into the quarry. This project is definitely a great deal for Peebles and a sad one for Pacifica. However, it is being promoted, by Peebles, to solve all of Pacific's' problems.
The problem is, without any study on revenue by the City of Pacifica, (because technically there is no legal quarry plan) Pacificans must trust that the revenue from this quarry development will enable Pacifica to hire more police and firemen, fix the pier, repair all roads, trim trees, build a Library, build a City Hall, fund schools, provide affordable housing, etc., and improve Peebles' land first ? because Quarry Income goes to Quarry Redevelopment. It is impossible to fund all these projects. We don't know what we are getting into because the vote is only to allow housing. How utterly ridiculous! Worst of all, Peebles tells me not to worry about my concerns if Measure L should pass. If "L" should pass I give up my right to vote on a plan, along with every other Pacifican, to the majority of three out of five City Council members. Three people will initially decide on a plan that should be voted on in the first place by ALL citizens of Pacifica. Will Peebles influence their judgment? A project this big demands unbiased studies on traffic & revenue. A Vote for the People, not Peebles: No on L!
The above was printed as a Letter to the Editor in the October 25th, 2006 Pacifica Tribune, and is republished here with the author's permission.