Quarry housing supporters spend $1.3M on campaign

Opponents are outspent by hundreds of thousands in heated Measure L campaign

PACIFICA — The committee backing developer R. Don Peebles’ campaign for a measure to allow up to 355 units of residential housing at Rockaway quarry has spent more than $1.3 million this year, while opponents trail far behind in spending.

With just one week before residents go to the polls to vote on Measure L, campaign finance statements show two sides locked in an uneven battle for the 87-acre quarry site’s future.

The “Yes on Measure L” committee had spent $1.31 million this year as of Oct. 21, including $415,247 between Oct. 1-21.

The committee’s numbers continue to dwarf that of their primary opposition, Pacifica Today and Tomorrow, who began October with $586 in the bank but finished with $977.

“This is the first time we’ve ever been hit with someone who really threw money around like candy,” said Stella Pilgrim, an opponent to Measure L. A previous 2002 measure, backed by developer Trammell-Crow, proposed 315 residential units at the quarry as part of a mixed-use development, but was defeated 66 percent to 34 percent.

The $1.3 million the proponents reported spending on Measure L is not solely campaign costs, said Peebles’ spokeswoman, Sara Costin. Additional costs like attorney and engineer fees were added in to finance statements out of caution, contributing to the overall number, she said.

Pacifica Today and Tomorrow raised $5,088 during October and spent $6,096 on campaign paraphernalia and literature. For 2006, they have raised $6,857 and spent $7,289. They also have nearly $1,000 in debt.

All of the $409,577 raised by Peebles committee between Oct. 1 and 21 came from the business entity Rockaway Quarry, Ltd. out of Coral Gables, Fla. To date, Rockaway Quarry, Ltd. has given $773,504 to the “Yes on Measure L” campaign.

Entering into the final week of the campaign, the committee has $48,233 in cash on hand and $584,947 in debt — a shade more than the $526,000 they began the month with.

“We are the largest private property owner in Pacifica and we are dedicated to investing more than $500,000,000 into the community,” Peebles said.

His committee also spent $4,581 on polling and surveys by San Diego-based Competitive Edge Research and Communication, as well as $25,000 on polling done by Fabrizio, Mclaughlin & Associates, a Washington, D.C.-area polling firm.

The poll numbers would not be released because they were done for marketing strategies, said Costin.

dsmith@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocal

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