Sierra Club speaks out against Quarry "greenwashing"

Sierra Club isn't fooled by Peebles' "greenwashing"-- neither should you.

He has hired the founder of New Urbanism to create a veil of progressive, green thinking - what we call "greenwashing" - to conceal the true project.

Full text of an article by the Sierra Club is below the fold:

Pacifica Coastline Threatened by Miami-style Development

By Melissa Hippard, Chapter Director

Once again, the old quarry in Pacifica, just off highway 1 and north of Rockaway Beach is the object of a developer's fantasy and residents' nightmare. In 2002 the Sierra Club helped beat back a proposal by the Trammel Crow Company to build 300 homes, a convention center (possibly including a hotel), and an out-of-character strip mall. The Chapter's Coastal Protection Committee and Pacificans for Sustainable Development went into action and the residents of Pacifica soundly rejected it: the vote against Measure E was 6,867 (66.2%).

 

Since purchasing the quarry in June of 2005 the Peebles Development Corporation has been moving quickly. Mr. Peebles is interested in building a project that has only one significant difference between it and the one rejected in 2002. He has hired the founder of New Urbanism to create a veil of progressive, green thinking - what we call "greenwashing" - to conceal the true project. Relying on the limited public input from the charrete process conducted in May and disregarding the input he received from the Sierra Club, the Committee for Green Foothills and the Coastal Commission staff about the significant environmental hurdles the project faces he intends to bring the project before the voters this fall. The proposed ballot language if adopted would lock into place a project that would protect less than 50% the land as publicly accessible open space, include a luxury hotel of up to 350 rooms and restaurant, retail and commercial space, and up to 355 residential units of varying types.

He doesn't seem to realize that the community has already indicated their preference: NO large scale development in the quarry.

The idea of developing the quarry is like a bad penny, it keeps turning up. It is not suitable for urban, infill development which the Chapter supports. There is no proposed affordable housing component. There is nothing in the Peebles' plan that is consistent with the location or the needs of the community. In fact, the quarry is home to endangered species and vibrant wetlands. It is also offers an environmental and aesthetic buffer between the highway and the coast. Finally, its proximity to Mori Point presents a special opportunity to expand the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to protect rapidly disappearing coastal ecology.

According to a Coastal Commission staff report "significant regulatory constraints exist under the Coastal Act that severely limit the feasibility of any development of the quarry site." The quarry is located in the coastal zone and considered an environmentally sensitive habitat area (ESHA). ESHA's are protected by the Coastal Act as are wetlands. Furthermore, the redlegged frog and the San Francisco garter snake, federally listed endangered species, are known to live in the quarry.

Now is the time to let Peebles know that his plan is in the wrong place.

Please join us in our continuing effort to protect the quarry. Contact Melissa Hippard for more information about how you can help: Melissa.hippard@sierraclub.org or 650-390-8414.

Republished here with their permission.