One of the Peebles/Davies arguments is that the midcoast south of the slide is planning to double their population, and supposedly that means we should be happy to shoot ourselves in the foot by adding 355 houses to the two most congested intersections in Pacifica.
John Maybury serves it up straight in his Wandering and Wondering column of September 13th, 2006:
[Peebles] is a businessman with a huge investment to recoup, and an even bigger loan to pay off. He is not a charity. He is not here to rescue us from our fiscal dilemma. He is here to play high-stakes poker, win big, and cash in his chips. Don't fall for the sweet talk.
After much thought and analysis, including meetings and many conversations with Quarry owner/developer R. Donahue Peebles, Pacificans for Sustainable Development (PSD) steering committee has decided to oppose Measure L.
"Normal" (no accidents or other tie-ups) rush hour traffic on Higway 1 at 5:30PM, 9/11/06, backed up from the Reina del Mar traffic light all the way to Fairway Park.
Measure L would add 355 housing units right along Highway 1 between Reina del Mar and Fassler, and could back up Highway 1 all the way to Sharp Park or beyond.
Don't be fooled! You are not voting on a "new urbanism" town center. The plan dangled before Pacificans is not on the ballot. The only reason for Measure L is to allow 355 housing units.
Sadly, it is a longstanding tradition in this country for the electorate to begrudgingly apply "the lesser of two evils" strategy when casting its vote either for candidates or on important issues. In his recent letter to Pacifica residents Don Peebles is relying heavily on this regrettable convention. What he fails to realize when demonizing chain developments like Wal-Mart is that his ilk too is a controversial and often deservedly disdained euphemism. His letter truly could not be more misleading, manipulative and one-sided. And in his attempt to veil his true intentions and objectives he quite clearly reveals that his interest is purely economics such as when he indicates that while the Quarry remains "vacant" it "generates no benefits for the community". To the contrary, I, along with many who enjoy that open space for a variety of reasons feel the Quarry to be a benefit simply because it is "vacant" or more suitably stated natural and undeveloped open space. I would caution Pacifica voters to think long and hard about Mr. Peeble's deceptive proposition. I was born and raised in an area of California once known for its orange groves and open space. Drive through the heart of Orange County CA today and the only open space you will find is in a parking lot that supports and endless stream of commercialized development. The notion of developing Rockaway Quarry is not something that simply either equates to traffic concerns or economic benefits. This issue is about a veteran developer thinking he can do what no one has succeeded in doing before him; developing an area of Pacifica that he sees as defenseless and a formidable money maker. Not only does his plan deserve to be declined by Pacifica voters, through their vote those same voters should designate the quarry once and for all an area that will never be developed so that it may remain a sanctuary and a symbol of Pacifica's appreciation and respect for the natural setting that makes it unique among Peninsula communities.
I would like to say thank you to our city attorney Cecilia Quick and city staff for preparing this report under such short notice.
As expected, the City has confirmed that there is no plan, there is no project, there are no tangible benefits to the City nor to us, its citizens, in this ballot measure, nor any way to determine prior to the November 7th election what damage 355 houses in the Quarry would cause to our traffic or our environment.
It is no secret that we have better air than our smog-filled neighbors to the north and east. However, it is a misconception that smog doesn't exist here on the coast. The main ingredient in smog is Nitrogen Oxide. These toxic gases are released mostly from the fuel-burning engines in cars and trucks. I've read that 17,500 additional car trips a day will be added from the Peebles Corporation proposal. Does this number include the massive number of delivery trucks for the hotel and all of those stores or is this just the total result from the 355 housing units? The more that traffic clogs our roads and highways the worse our air will be.
There's a very interesting story going 'round town:
"...Pacificans heavily disputed what was known as "the Big Cut," which would have allowed an extension of Interstate 380 west of Highway 1." (Pacifica Tribune- Dorsetta Hale 6-21-06)