This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
San Mateo County, CA November 7, 2006 Election
Measure L
Land Use Measure
City of Pacifica

Majority Approval Required

Fail: 7,180 / 48.3% Yes votes ...... 7,689 / 51.7% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jan 4 9:41am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (30/30)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Shall the Initiative authorizing the City of Pacifica City Council to approve a mixed-use residential and commercial development on the Rockaway Quarry, subject to specified conditions, be adopted?

Impartial Analysis
The Initiative to Authorize the City Council to Approve a Mixed-Use Residential and Commercial Development on the Rockaway Quarry ("Measure L") is a voter-sponsored initiative that seeks to authorize the Pacifica City Council to permit residential development on the Rockaway Quarry ("Quarry"), subject to certain specified conditions. If adopted by the voters, Measure L would permit, but not require, the City Council to enter into a development agreement for a mixed use residential and commercial development on the Quarry. If rejected by the voters, the City Council could not permit residential development on the Quarry.

Existing Law: Pacifica Ordinance No. 391 C.S., adopted by City voters on November 8, 1983, specifies that "any residential development of the [Quarry] . . . shall require a vote of the people." The City's General Plan designates the Quarry as a "Special Area," and contemplates a mixture of commercial, residential, and civic uses for this site and the surrounding area. Likewise, the Rockaway Beach Specific Plan, adopted by the City in 1986, states that "residential uses may be appropriate for portions of the Quarry if an initiative measure is approved permitting such use. The density, location and other elements relative to residential use of the Quarry would be determined by evaluation of those specific residential project proposals which are consistent with and permitted by a future initiative measure."

Effect of Measure L: If adopted, Measure L would satisfy the requirements of Ordinance No. 391-C.S., and would grant the City Council the discretionary authority to enter into a development agreement approving a mixed use residential and commercial development, so long as that agreement does all of the following:

  • complies with all land use regulations in effect at the time and is subject to complete environmental review;

  • preserves and protects at least 45% of the land as publicly accessible open space;

  • preserves public access to privately owned open space;

  • includes a luxury hotel of up to 350 rooms and restaurant, retail, and commercial space;

  • consists of up to 355 residential units of varying types; and

  • includes a commitment from the developer that all of the elements of the project will be built, conditioned on receipt of all applicable regulatory approvals.

Thus, if Measure L passes and the City Council decides to approve a development agreement including a residential component, the development must include all of the above components.

Measure L does not require approval of any development. Nor does it propose any specific mix of residential housing types or, with the exception of the luxury hotel and restaurant, any specific commercial or retail uses. Likewise, while Measure L specifies minimum requirements for protection of open space, it does not specify minimum requirements for the number of residential units or luxury hotel rooms.

To be adopted, Measure L must receive "yes" votes from a majority of the voters voting on it.

  Partisan Information

In Favor of Measure L:

Against Measure L:
This election is archived. Any links to sources outside of Smart Voter may no longer be active. No further links will be added to this page.
Links to sources outside of Smart Voter are provided for information only and do not imply endorsement.

Arguments For Measure L Arguments Against Measure L
Today we have the opportunity to realize a better future for Pacifica. We choose to live here because of the sense of community and the beautiful land. Yet, Pacifica is not what it once was + we are losing what we once enjoyed. We have the opportunity to make this one of the most special small towns in California.

The Rockaway Quarry is a blighted, environmentally scarred property. In 1983, we chose to make the Quarry the cornerstone of the city's economic future. It is clear that the Quarry will be developed. Right now we have the opportunity to realize the benefits of what is best for our future.

Envision a vibrant town center with parks and trails and at least 45% open space, a place for a new city hall and a library. Imagine a gathering spot with small shops, stores and restaurants. Picture a luxury hotel that will attract visitors and businesses. And, visualize a residential neighborhood where our children can play outside and we can walk to the town center.

This vision, created over a year and at the charrette, means we can realize more than $17 million each year in new tax revenue. Compare that with the city's current annual budget of $24 million. And compared to what could be legally built there today, reliable studies show this vision reduces traffic to one-eighth. In addition, they show 1,697 jobs will be created during the construction phase and 2,068 once the project is complete. All this measure asks is to allow the land owner to submit an application for this vision and for the city with independent experts to study it.

Let's create a better future for our city + let's make this the special small town our families can enjoy for generations.

Please vote YES on Measure L.

/s/ James A. Heldberg August 16, 2006 1996 Rockaway Quarry Steering Committee

/s/ James C. Wagner August 16, 2006 Former Planning Commissioner, Pacifica

/s/ Paul Strom August 17, 2006 Past President, Chamber of Commerce

/s/ Michelle Keaney August 17, 2006 Teacher, Cabrillo School

/s/ Hal Ash August 17,2006

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Don't be misled by the developer's deceptive sales pitch. Measure L is about 355 HOUSING UNITS and the TRAFFIC NIGHTMARE that will result from overdevelopment of the Rockaway Quarry.

There is NO PLAN on the ballot, even though there could and should have been. The developer's pretty pictures are not real and are not on the ballot. The South Florida developer is asking Pacificans to blindly trust him. Measure L contains nothing that forces the developer to deliver on his empty promises of a town center, library, city hall, arts center, or aquatic center. That's why the proponents' argument uses words like "envision," "imagine," "picture," and "visualize."

Ask yourself:

1. Why doesn't the proponents' argument even mention 355 HOUSING UNITS, with the tremendous increase in COMMUTE TRAFFIC?

2. Why are Pacificans being denied the opportunity to vote on a FINISHED PLAN that shows exactly what would be built and what the ENVIRONMENTAL and TRAFFIC impacts would be?

3. Why are we being asked to approve 355 housing units without a binding Development Agreement?

4. Why believe that the defeat of Measure L must result in a bad development? Don't buy the developer's threats. It's not true that we have to choose between a 355-unit housing development or a big box store. Pacifica deserves better! Measure L doesn't make Pacifica a better place. It makes it far worse.

Don't let Pacifica go to "L"



Vote NO on Measure L

For more information, visit

/s/ Stella M. Pilgrim Vice Chair, 1996 Quarry Steering Committee

/s/ Andrew Leone Co-Chair, Pacificans for Sustainable Development

/s/ Noel Blincoe Concerned Manor Residents, Chair

/s/ Victor Carmichael Chair, Committee to Save the Fish & Bowl

/s/ Ken Restivo Co-Chair, Pacifica Today & Tomorrow

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE L Don't be fooled! You are NOT voting on a "new urbanism" town center. The plan dangled before Pacificans is NOT on the ballot. The only reason for Measure L is to allow 355 housing units. VOTE NO on 355 HOUSING UNITS
  • A HUGE 355-unit HOUSING DEVELOPMENT would add a whole new neighborhood between Vallemar and Rockaway Beach. VOTE NO on TRAFFIC JAMS
  • 355 HOUSING UNITS would create A COMMUTE HOUR NIGHTMARE. Pouring more traffic onto already-congested Highway 1 is a recipe for gridlock. The developer has no real solution to the traffic problems. VOTE NO on EMPTY PROMISES
  • Some Pacificans have been led to believe that Measure L will somehow result in a city hall, library, town square, aquatic center and arts center. There is no binding agreement that commits the developer to any of these things.
  • There is no assurance that Measure L will provide significant money that is needed for our schools. VOTE NO on NO GUARANTEES
  • Measure L does not guarantee that a significant amount of retail/commercial or a major "luxury hotel" will be built. VOTE NO on AN ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER
  • The Coastal Commission and California Fish and Game staffs are extremely critical of the proposal because it could imperil endangered species.
  • The proposed "open space" is mostly steep hillsides that cannot be developed anyway. Measure L does not include any real parks or playfields for children and youth. VOTE NO on A BLANK CHECK

  • There is no approved plan. Measure L is not about a project. It's about 355 housing units.

  • Don't believe the South Florida developer's idle threats about what could be built if Measure L fails. Any proposal must be approved by the City and other regulatory agencies.


/s/ Karen Rosenstein August 15, 2006 Co-Chair, Pacifica Today & Tomorrow

/s/ Peter Loeb August 15, 2006 Former Pacifica Mayor

/s/ Dinah Verby August 17, 2006 Pacificans for Sustainable Development

/s/ Lennie Roberts August 15, 2006 Committee for Green Foothills

/s/ Mark Massara August 15, 2006 Director, Sierra Club Coastal Programs

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
It is seldom that what is best for a developer is best for a community. With L it is.

Those opposed are willing to gamble nothing will ever be built here if L fails.

Make no mistake within environmental realities this property will be developed. It is not a question of if, it is what will be built.

Twenty-three years ago we chose this location as the economic engine by creating a redevelopment area + meaning we get to keep more of the taxes than the state takes. Today, without a YES vote, Don Peebles, as a property owner could apply for a big box, resulting in much more traffic and less tax revenue. We are unwilling to take that chance + are you?

YES ON L means Don Peebles can apply for a project to dramatically increase benefits over what is allowed today while drastically reducing impacts.

YES ON L guarantees with not more than 355 residences there must be:

At least 45% open space,

Not more than a 350 suite luxury hotel,

A town center with shops,

A variety of homes - single family, live work, town homes, and apartments.

YES ON L means:

Land for a new city hall and public library,

Double the tax revenue - $17,000,000/year,

Needed funding for our schools,

Funding to fix our pier, sewage plant, and for police, fire and affordable homes.

YES ON L gives us 1,697 construction - 2,068 permanent jobs.

YES ON L gives us a better Pacifica.

/s/ James C. Wagner August 22, 2006

/s/ Michelle Keaney August 23, 2006

/s/ Hal Ash August 23, 2006

/s/ James A. (Jim) Heldberg August 24, 2006

/s/ Paul Strom August 27, 2006

Full Text of Measure L

To the Honorable City Clerk for the City of Pacifica:

We, the undersigned, registered and qualified voters of the City of Pacifica hereby propose an initiative measure as follows. We petition you to submit this initiative measure to the City Council of Pacifica for submission of the measure to the voters of the City of Pacifica at the next general election on November 7, 2006, or if the initiative does not qualify by the required date, a future special election as provided by law.


Whereas the parcel of land, A.P. #018-150-100, 018-150-120, and 018-150-150, commonly known as the Rockaway Quarry, is currently zoned under a C-3x designation, authorized for up to 2.1 million square feet of commerical development and could be developed without any residential component pursuant to current City of Pacifica Codes;

Whereas Ordinance No, 391-C.S., passed and approved by the voters of the City of Pacifica at the General Municipal Election held on November 8, 1983, requires a vote of the people to approve any residential development on the parcel;

Whereas the purpose of this initiative measure is to fully comply with Ordinance No. 391-C.S. in regard to the authorization of residential development, as well as require that any development of the Rockaway Quarry that includes a residential component also provides additional benefits for the residents and City of Pacifica to be detailed in a development agreement evidencing a commitment from the developer.


In accordance with Ordinance No. 391-C.S. the City Council is authorized to approve a mixed use residential and commerical development on the parcel known as the Rockaway Quarry, so long as the development plan complies with all land use regulations in effect at the time and is subject to complete environmental review and certification, preserves and protects at least 45% of the land as publicly accessible open space, preserves public access to privately owned open space, includes a luxury hotel of up to 350 rooms and restaurant, retail and commerical space, and consists of up to 355 residential units of varying types and includes a commitment from the developer that all of the elements of the development will be built and completed, conditioned on the receipt of all applicable regulatory approvals.


If any provision of this intitiative of the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invald, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this initiative that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this initiative are severable.

Application of Initiative

The provisions of this initiative do not address, are not intended to, and shall not be applied to conflict in any way with state or federal law, or local administrative actions required by state or federal law.

San Mateo Home Page || Statewide Links || About Smart Voter || Feedback
Created: January 4, 2007 09:42 PST
Smart Voter <>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.