Developer digs up Pacifica quarry issues — again

The would-be developer of the Pacifica Rockaway Quarry, the subject of a failed ballot measure last fall, is breaking the silence and talking to a group of concerned citizens about the project Tuesday.

The quarry project was one of the most contentious issues in the city last year, culminating in the November defeat of Measure L, a ballot measure that, if approved, would have allowed a mixed-use development on 83 acres of the vacant limestone quarry in the southern part of town. The measure was rejected 52 percent to 48 percent.

Developer R. Don Peebles hoped to develop the quarry into a mixed-use village that would have included some 355 housing units, retail space, public open space and a new hotel, something officials in Pacifica have been very keen to have near the waterfront.

The project drew criticism about a number of issues, including the environmental ramifications of developing the quarry — which would have destroyed some animal habitats — a perception that the project was too big and fears that traffic would be made worse by such a large development.

Because the quarry is zoned for commercial development, any changes in its zoning designation would require approval by a majority of voters. Last year’s defeat marked the second attempt at winning approval for a project there since 2001.

Pacifica Business for Responsible Government member Jim Wagner said there have been rumors around town for months that Peebles still has some plans up his sleeve for a compromise development of the quarry. There have even been rumblings about the quarry being a campaign issue once again in November, Wagner said.

Therefore, at the group’s request, Wagner said the developer and representatives are going to meet.

“Rumors abound in this town, and we invited them out to talk about what has been going on for the last eight months,” Wagner said.

Peebles promised a number of amenities to the city during last year’s campaign season, including donations of space and money toward citywide improvements, including a new library. He estimated then that the project would bring $17 million annually in revenue to the city.

tramroop@examiner.com


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