By Jacob Bourne
When mining ended at the Pacifica Quarry in 1987, legislation was passed shortly thereafter requiring voter approval for residential development on the land. Within the last 15 years two attempts to build housing there failed to gain the necessary votes. Paul Heule, president and co-founder of Eenhoorn, LLC based in Michigan, is gearing up to submit a formal entitlement application to the City of Pacifica’s Planning Department by mid-June for a housing and commercial development project on the former quarry land. Eenhoorn, LLC is the property management company representing quarry land owner, Preserve@Pacifica, LLC, also in Michigan.
Jeff Flint, spokesperson for the development team, says that they’ve gained the necessary number of supporter signatures to qualify for the ballot and the City is currently verifying them. In addition to garnering planning entitlements and votes, the project will also have to be approved by the California Coastal Commission.[contextly_sidebar id=”Aq6BR7LAN7kH3z78RuR671v1fyGbj8vP”]Relative to the Bay Area, Pacifica is small and close-knit at under 40,000 people, which has historically slowed development trends. The proposed site is high-profile geographically, being right off of US Highway 1 and between the scenic coastal areas of Rockaway Beach and Mori Point.
Vicky Flores, CEO of the Pacifica Chamber of Commerce has been working with both the community and developers to ensure that all perspectives are presented regarding the proposed development.
“The quarry project has been a historical battle for 10 to 15 years. It’s a small community that’s concerned about traffic. Another group feels that it’s time to develop the land. The City would also like to see an additional hotel, and housing is a problem everywhere,” Flores offered.
She also explained that some in the community were upset about the recent petition issued by the development team, described as six to seven pages in length with confusing content. A notable difference between this development and the previous ones, according to Flores, is that it’s much smaller in scale, preserving a fair amount of natural space.
“There’s tons of public opportunity to weigh in on this project,” Flint commented. “We’re campaigning for this approval. We’ll overshare details to make sure people have a chance to weigh in. We understand from the research and feedback we’ve gotten that the quarry site is very near and dear to residents.”
Community members will have another opportunity to share feedback soon, as the traffic consultant is preparing a congestion mitigation plan, including circulation and parking details that should be ready for presentation in two weeks. The plan is required by City Council.
The total parcel is 86 acres, of which 75 percent will be preserved as open space under the current proposal. Right now the land is marked by precarious slopes, invasive and non-native plant species and unauthorized footpaths. Reclamation project efforts, as required by state law, would involve restoring the Calera Creek wetland, grading slopes for safety and building a scenic trail system connecting to other parts of the parcel and Golden Gate National Recreation Area tracts.
The development itself is proposing an office over retail building situated next to an apartment complex, a 188-room hotel, a 13,000 square foot conference center and a 12-unit hotel bungalow complex near the coastline. The 60,000 square foot office over retail building is envisioned to feature Rockaway neighborhood-serving restaurants and shops. The Quarry Village housing is proposed as 181 apartment units and 25 live-work units. About 20 percent of the regular one and two-bedroom units will be set aside as affordable housing.