Letters to the Editor

Pacifica Union Roofer says NO ON L

I am a 22-year resident of Pacifica, and I have been a Union Roofer for over 30 years. I cannot support the Residential Development in the Quarry, due to the fact that Mr. Peebles has decided to circumvent the process in which development is approved.

Clearing the confusion

The debate about Measure L has become excessively confusing, perhaps by design. My perspective is there are four main points to consider; housing, open space, traffic, and Mr. Peebles' vision.

The burden of proof

So far as I can see, Measure L offers us 355 living units in an area where there should be no living units and the threat that if we don't allow the living units, we will get big box stores there.

Long history of litigation

In Pacificans for Sustainable Development's public No on L statement we said that "Measure L makes our city vulnerable to this developer's lawsuits." History tends to repeat itself if people are not informed. Now Pacificans are doing their own research, resulting in many concerned references to his litigious history in articles and letters to the editor.

Get a binding contract first

My late grandfather rose from doing menial farm work to the Board of Directors of a Fortune 500 corporation. I was fortunate enough to be able to ask him in retirement to summarize some of his hard-won business expertise.

Divide and Conquer

Caesar's rule was "Divide and Conquer" and Peebles and his associates are pursuing the same strategy: Divide the citizens of Pacifica and reap the spoils. Many well-intentioned and well-meaning citizens jumped on the Yes on L bandwagon. They see Measure L as an opportunity to bring needed tax revenue to Pacifica. They also have become emotionally invested in the process to the point where reasoned opposition to Measure L is seen and felt as a personal attack.

Trust actions, not words

The quarry is one of the last large developable oceanfront properties, not only in Pacifica, but in all of the Bay Area, so it is up to us to enact the right plan. Here's how I made my decision on Measure L:

We get it! Vote NO on L.

Oh wow, I get it now. The intense spending to pass Measure L is not just about huge profits at our expense and Mr. Peebles reputation as a salesman and developer. He also has a book coming out -- The Peebles Principle (John Wiley & Sons, $24.95, out in April). This book seems to be at least partially about, are you ready, how to pummel small communities into submission so they vote for your development. How timely!

Pacifica deserves better

As a homeowner who has been actively involved in this community for 25 years (3-time PB&R Commission Chair, Pacificans Care, Family Fun Fest and Fog Fest Board member, Alternative Class Parent, etc.), I too want a quality project in the Quarry. I was willing to keep an open mind on Measure L but the negatives kept piling up. My vote is based upon integrity, due diligence, trust, fair play, and civility. Would I buy a used car from this company without looking under the hood? No. Do past negative actions and tactics speak louder than words and promises when evaluating future choices? Yes. In addition to the ballot arguments, here are 13 things that have triggered my No vote:

Seven reasons to vote NO on L

With November 7th drawing near, now's the time to summarize why Measure L is bad for Pacifica.

  1. Measure L exists only to allow 355 housing units in the Quarry. It's not a straw poll or a survey. It's a permanent change to allow 355 housing units in a C-3 commercial zone.
  2. More houses mean more cars. Measure L's high-density housing "vision" would merge hundreds more commuters directly in between the two worst-rated intersections on Highway 1 in Pacifica. Miami high-rise developer R. Donahue Peebles has claimed he'll build multi-million-dollar, 4,500-square-foot houses there. The residents of those "Tract Villas" will almost certainly own and drive multiple cars, and commute to big-city jobs to pay their mortgages.
  3. Peebles has repeatedly threatened us with a mushroom cloud of "big-box" retail if we don't give him his 355 housing units. But that "choice" ignores the vast middle ground between those extremes. Peebles deliberately chose an "all-or-nothing" approach, instead of negotiating a development agreement first.
  4. Measure L asks Pacificans to forfeit our right to vote on the specifics. Why authorize 355 housing units and a dramatic change to the character of Pacifica, without assuring anything in exchange? Measure L puts the cart before the horse. It would give away those lucrative houses before negotiation even begins. That's not a negotiation, it's a fold.
  5. Attempting to get Pacificans to fold is big money politics, straight from Miami and D.C. The "yes on L" campaign has spent $1,310,384 so far to try to push Measure L past Pacifica voters. It's an extravagant sum for an election in a quiet coastal town.
  6. Peebles has claimed that Measure L will solve all our problems and fulfill nearly every wish. We've been told that it'll give us a sports complex, a library, a movie theater, a new City Hall, an aquatic center, affordable housing, a performing arts center, loans to the City, and more. Those would have to be built, maintained, and staffed with taxpayer's money, and it's unclear where exactly that's going to come from. Without a development agreement, the promises are meaningless anyway.
  7. Finally, there is no "town center" in Measure L. The words don't even appear in the ballot language. There's no specific number of houses other than 355. There's no specific amount of commercial. There's no specific amount of space for any public buildings, parks, or amenities. It's just not there.

Measure L is an attempted end-run around the public process. It has been sold through:

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