The Economy

Peebles' Financial Fantasy

You've seen the signs and TV ads that promise $17 million in new tax revenue for Pacifica. It's always been a case of "If it seems too good to be true...," but until recently it wasn't possible to analyze where that number came from and see how believable it is. Now that Peebles has finally released an economic analysis, we can see that this number is 100% fantasy.

Peebles financial claims questionable

After only 5 months, Peebles' posted his financial analysis. It assumes:

  • an average sales price of $2.3 million per housing unit
  • an average assessed value for each hotel suite of $880,000
  • an average suite room rate of $595/night

Even with those inflated numbers, he still has to include $500,000 in sales tax (which at the charrette he said he couldn't estimate) and $100,000 in business improvement district fees in order to reach the promised $17 million. (Actually, $16.7 million.)

Peebles spends $1,310,384 (up from $895,137, up from $867,163) to buy Measure L election

Update 10/27/06: The current total spending by the Peebles-funded "Yes on L" campaign through 10/21/06 is $1,310,384.78 according to today's election report. That's $415,247.75 just over the last 21 days, or $19,773.70 per day. More details, and the full report, here.

Measure L could mean financial disaster for Pacifica taxpayers

State Proposition 90, "The Taxpayer Trap," Makes Quarry Rezoning a Costly, High-Risk Gamble

By Dinah Verby


Mr. Peebles claims that he can build in the Quarry a viable luxury hotel targeting corporate events. I don't doubt his expertise in the hotel business. Neither should he doubt mine: I am his customer.

Pacifica's "Miami Beach" covered in Bay Guardian

This week's San Francisco Bay Guardian includes an article by G.W. Schulz about Measure L. The very thorough, well-researched report contains too much good information to excerpt here; by all means, read the whole thing.

The Planning Process

PTT is fighting Measure L because we believe that Pacifica should have a say in how its future will be determined. Many of the problems Pacifica now has are a result of bad decisions made during the 40s and 50s by San Mateo County. Back then, there was no local planning commission or department familiar with Pacifica's unique geography. As a result, Pacifica was overbuilt in regards to Highway One's traffic capacity. Unfortunately, some undeveloped parts of Pacifica are zoned buildable. The Quarry is the largest and most centrally located. Several large parcels along Fassler Ave. have started the public planning process, while paper streets in Rockaway Canyon, Vallemar, and East Sharp Park are also being targeted for development.

Quarry Financing

When South Florida developer R. Donahue Peebles purchased the Quarry in 2005, he took out a $16.5 million "non-recourse" loan from North American Capital Advisors(NACA).

Hotel California

I must take gentle issue with my friend Gil Anda on two points in his last letter. He suggests as a source for information regarding redevelopment, and I agree that much is available from that source, including a link to the body of law that governs California Community Redevelopment. However, to suggest that they are not an advocacy group, i.e., "they don't have any agenda," is wishful thinking. The CRA web site states: "...California Redevelopment Association is comprised of over 340 Redevelopment Agencies and 260 private sector companies such as financial institutions, redevelopment consultants, developers and law firms..." This is not an impartial source of non-partisan analysis.

Avoiding The Development Trap

The attached Letter to the Editor was found in my father's papers (again) in a recent search of "treasure trove." I don't know if then-editor Bill Drake printed, although he may have. This fragment from the old man's files shows how little some things change. (Howard Edminster was on Pacifica's first Planning Commission, aside from his other contributions to the commonwealth.)

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