Pacificans receive "Wal-Mart Letter" from Peebles

Today, Pacificans received a sales letter from South Florida Developer R. Donahue Peebles.

The letter specifically mentions "Wal-mart"(sic) four separate times. It is unclear whether the Wal*Mart corporation of Bentonville, Arkansas has endorsed this use of their name, or indeed if they've had any contact with Peebles at all.

The sales letter repeats the "mushroom cloud" threat of:

"a large scale commercial development such as a big box or a business/industrial complex"

This particular threat has already been debunked by both the City's Election Code 9212 report, and by local writers.

Many of the claims mentioned in the sales letter are false.

The reality is:

  • Measure L makes no mention of any of the amenities enumerated in this sales letter. For example, we will not be voting in November on any "library" or "town hall", because neither is mentioned in Measure L, and neither is there any plan or project.
  • The "concept" displayed at the "Charrettes" in May will not be on the ballot in November. No map, plan, or project is included in Measure L. Measure L is a "blank check" for up to 355 houses, tied to some items (a 350-room hotel and an unspecified amount of commercial) which are already permitted by existing zoning, and others (open space) required by regulatory agencies.
  • The breakdown of houses provided in the sales letter is not included in Measure L, and is pure conjecture. Measure L specifies up to 355 houses "of varying types"-- any developer and their financiers would be able to propose whatever mix they wished... and Measure L would provide them a "mandate from the voters" Trump Card to demand from regulatory agencies the full 355 houses authorized in Measure L.
  • The threat of a "Wal-mart"(sic) is completely detached from the economic reality that "big box" retailers do not site their stores on a two-lane (each direction) coastal road with traffic lights, when more advantageous sites exist just a few miles away along major arteries such as highways 280, 380, and 101 in Colma, San Bruno, and Daly City.
  • The letter repeats the developer's wild and unsubstantiated claims of revenue enhancement. The City's Elections Code 9212 report correctly points out that, since there is no project, and no plan, any claims of revenue for the City are completely unverifiable.
  • The quantity of commercial claimed in the letter is wrong. The calculation of square footage from the Specific Plan is for a 117 acre property. The previous Quarry owner sold off a portion of the property in 1995 for use as a wastewater treatment plant, and the remaining space purchased by Peebles is 87 acres-- providing a maximum of 1.6 million square feet of commercial, and then only in case of zoning approval and economic practicality.

Finally, in the version directed to those who had attended the "Charrette" meetings in May, the sales letter claims:

For more than a year, we have started a conversation. Because you attended the charrette, you have been involved in creating this vision from the start.

However, the developer laid out his "vision" for the Quarry immediately after purchasing it, over a year ago, and well in advance of the "Charrette" process or even his first meeting with the community.

The sales letter included a business-reply card soliciting a signature of committment and help with volunteering for house parties and letter-writing.

The sales letter was sent by "The Rockaway Quarry Committee, with major funding by an affilliate of The Peebles Corporation".