Pacifica, Brisbane split on quarry measures

Pacifica — The two quarry ballot measures in northern San Mateo County appeared headed for different fates Tuesday.

Pacifica’s Measure L, developer Don Peebles’ ballot initiative seeking permission to redevelop Rockaway Quarry, held a slight lead as votes were counted last night.

Brisbane’s Measure B — which would have allowed 173 residential units, a community facility, a public park and open space to be built at the Guadalupe Valley Quarry site — appeared to be failing by a wide margin.

Both campaigns saw small local groups fighting the deep pockets of developers in David vs. Goliath battles against projects they felt would harm their city’s respective culture and environment.

Former Pacifica Mayor Peter Loeb said that if Measure L, which would allow up to 355 residential units on the 87-acre quarry site, passes, then developer R. Don Peebles could “absolutely count on the fact” that opponents would watch the project step by step through the design and approval process.

Peebles was unavailable for comment, and he has not submitted a specific plan for the site, unlike the California Rock & Asphalt Co. in Brisbane, which has made a project proposal for GuadalupeValley. The Brisbane City Council will probably follow the people’s will after Election Day, either voting down or moving forward with the project.

Michele Salmon, a leading opponent of Measure B, said that if the measure failed she and others would then try to close the quarry for good. “It’s time for them to clean up their mess and stop digging out the heart of the mountain,” Salmon said.

Advocates of the measure said that win or lose they’d be OK with the outcome because they have plans for the site regardless, project applicant Owen Poole said.

A 2001 Brisbane ordinance requires voters to approve any redevelopment of the Guadalupe Valley Quarry, which is still in active use. The project now heads to the City Council.

In Pacifica, a 1983 ordinance requires voter approval for residential housing at Rockaway Quarry. The City Council there has not yet voted on a project, because Peebles held a signature-gathering campaign to put the question on the ballot before he’d submitted a specific plan. The council is not required to approve a project on the site even if the measure is approved.

Peebles wants to build a “town center” with commercial, retail, restaurants, a small cinema, a town hall, a library, housing and a luxury resort hotel with 350 rooms.

dsmith@examiner.com

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