Our Turn

The Pacifica Tribune published a column introducing the local organization that is opposing Measure W, and describing the many reasons why Pacifica voters should Vote No on W on November 8th.

Stop Quarry Rezone is a rapidly growing grassroots group of Pacifica residents concerned about the quarry development and its effect on our traffic, environment, and economy. Measure W, the quarry developer’s initiative, is on the November election ballot.

Measure W will eliminate your right to vote

The City’s official report says, “The principal effect of the initiative will be to eliminate the public vote requirement for any residential development on the Quarry Site,” except under specific circumstances. Why give up the only leverage voters have without knowing what the ultimate project will be?

Measure W is about 206 multi-family units up to 4 stories high near the ocean

That’s all we’re voting on, nothing else. We’re not voting on a specific project. If passed, Measure W would authorize the City to approve 206 multi-family units but doesn’t require the developer to build anything. As a result, we have no idea what future project might be built. And we are being asked to vote for this measure without any review of environmental or traffic impacts.

Traffic

If passed, Measure W will add a whole new neighborhood of 206 multi-family units to the already-congested intersection at Highway 1 and Fassler Ave. in Rockaway. There is no plan to handle additional traffic from these units, let alone a commercial area and a hotel if built.

How will the additional traffic enter and exit the quarry? Through a new intersection added to Highway 1? Or through the existing narrow streets and uncontrolled intersections in Rockaway Beach, which were not designed to handle this much traffic? How will access roads to and within the development impact the environment and public use of the area? Pacificans deserve answers to these questions regarding traffic before they are asked to approve 206 multi-family units in the Quarry.

Uncertain community benefits and certain negative impacts

The developer has promised significant economic benefits from his project. Those benefits rely on additional construction in the quarry, including a hotel and commercial district. There is no guarantee whatsoever this will occur.

Adding 206 multi-family units will increase the demand for City services, yet not provide sufficient property taxes to pay for the cost of these services. Pacificans know Coastside development is at risk from sea-level rise and coastal erosion. Recently, Pacifica taxpayers paid $200,000 to demolish a building on Esplanade because the owner shirked responsibility for damage caused by coastal erosion. Pacifica taxpayers should not be at risk for another such costly event.

Empty promises with no guarantees

Don’t be misled by empty promises of “community benefits” and “significant new tax revenue.” The City’s official report confirms that Measure W doesn’t guarantee that a hotel or commercial components will ever be built. Nor does it guarantee that what’s built will be a benefit to the City. The developer’s empty promises are unenforceable.

This out-of-state developer already has a track record of misleading Pacificans. Here’s just one example: he issued a press release saying that he had given the City a binding commitment to build a hotel. The City issued a press release denying that such a binding commitment had been given. All the City and the citizens have are mere words.

Another example: The Measure proponent’s campaign committee is called “Pacifica Residents, Taxpayers, and Small Businesses for Preserving the Quarry.” With “major funding [email protected],” a developer connected company. And who is the principal officer of that hometown sounding campaign committee? The developer Paul Heule. Who filed the required legal papers to set up this campaign committee? The developer’s law firm.

Vote No on Measure W

On November 8 we’ll be voting on whether to permit 206 multi-family 4-story units; nothing more. There’s no agreement regarding what will be built. There’s no environmental impact report, no traffic report, no project design.

Measure W’s “wish list” of amphitheater, trails, wetlands, hotel and commercial is being pitched by the developer to get your vote. Yet there’s no guarantee whatsoever that they’ll ever be built. The ballot measure is only about whether or not Pacificans want to add a new neighborhood of 4-story 206 multi-family units on the Coastside.

Manor resident Julie Starobin is treasurer and principal officer of the Committee to Oppose Rezoning the Pacifica Quarry. She and Karen Rosenstein are on the steering committee of Stop Quarry Rezone. Longtime Rockaway resident Karen Rosenstein is active in Pacifica’s art and environmental communities.

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