Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Pacifica Quarry?
Located along Pacifica’s spectacular coast, the Quarry encompasses 86 privately owned acres within the City. It forms a “missing piece” of a larger coastal open space system, including Rockaway State Beach to the south and Mori Point to the north. It is located off of Highway 1, just north of San Marlo Way, and was formerly known as the Rockaway Quarry.
The Quarry consists of Calera Creek, wetlands, hillsides, and what is known as the Quarry Bowl. The site was commercially mined up until 1987, leaving the land in a degraded condition with unstable slopes, bare rocky bluffs, and disturbed soil vulnerable to invasive vegetation.
Though privately owned, the Quarry is open to the public and is a popular spot for hiking and enjoying ocean views.
What is the plan for the Quarry?
The proposed plan for the Quarry includes permanently preserving 75% of the land as open space. The degraded wetlands and hillsides would be restored. Enhanced, safer walking and biking trails would be created, funded by the owner. Rockaway Beach and Mori Point would be connected for public access. A Creekside Park, amphitheater and meadow would also be put in for public enjoyment.
The plan calls for limited residential, hotel and retail development on the remaining 25% of the land. The compact, mixed use “Quarry Village” would include retail and restaurant space with an oceanfront plaza. Residential development would be limited to no more than 206 units. At least 25 of the units must be live-work units, and at least 20% of the units must be designated for affordable housing. The height of residential buildings would be limited to minimize view impact.
The proposed hotel would be no larger than 188 rooms and 12 bungalows, and would provide substantial tax revenue to the city of Pacifica. The hotel would also contain a conference center for event space.
Overall, the proposal is significantly smaller, much more compact, and with much smaller traffic impacts, than the previous plan – the Peeple’s proposal, that was rejected by voters in 2006. It is also significantly smaller than both the current Pacifica General Plan and Rockaway Beach Specific Plan. Both the General Plan and Rockaway Beach Specific Plan are already in place and could be built without voter approval.
This is a well-balanced plan that has something for everyone. It would restore the land and permanently preserve 75% of it. Enhanced recreational opportunities would be available for the public, and it would bring millions of dollars of tax revenue, jobs, and affordable housing to Pacifica.
What effect will this proposal have on traffic?
Due to the limited development proposed on the land, traffic will be mitigated. All traffic fees will be paid by the owner. If the measure is approved by the voters, no building permit can be issued until the traffic mitigation plan is adopted by the Council and funded by the applicant.
What will the environmental impact be?
The majority of the property — including the Calera Creek corridor, hillside areas, the central wetlands, and the quarry bowl — will be maintained as open space. Overall, more than 75% of the property will be put into permanent open space. Any development on the Quarry would abide by the green building standards as designated by the Pacifica City Council, and would fully comply with federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations including the California Environmental Quality Act. The plan would also comply with Pacifica’s environmental and entitlement planning and review process to give residents further public input.
Strong creek setbacks are established to preserve sensitive habitat along Calera Creek. The restored landscape will provide habitat for wildlife, including threatened species such as the California red-legged frog and San Francisco garter snake. Wetlands will support nesting habitat for regionally important birds, such as marsh hawks and wood ducks.
Landscape restoration will reintroduce a diversity of native and site-adapted plants, including trees, shrubs, wildflowers and grasses. Santa Barbara sedge, creeping wild rye, field sedge and arroyo willow are among the natives that may be planted.
The restored Quarry would provide an opportunity for environmental education for the public. Rejuvenated wetlands and other natural areas offer enormous opportunities for environmental education. New interpretive walks and explanatory signs — even a small nature center — can enliven field trips for school children and others.
How will this benefit the community?
The proposed plan for the Quarry would offer residents and visitors a newly activated destination that complements Pacifica’s coastal, small town character. An oceanfront Quarry Hotel & Conference Center will host community events and help support costs of site restoration while sparking economic benefits for the City. A mixed use Quarry Village, with shops clustered around an oceanfront plaza, will extend the Rockaway Beach district. And a new internal roadway will provide a safe frontage road along Highway One.
Walking and biking paths would be restored, enhanced, and open to the public. Residents will also enjoy a new Creekside Park, amphitheater and meadow. The project would bring millions of dollars in tax revenue, new jobs and affordable housing to Pacifica.
What is the approval process for this project?
The land is currently zoned for commercial use, and any residential development must be approved by the voters. This is done by collecting signatures from registered Pacifica voters to place it on the ballot in November. Once 10% of the city’s registered voters sign the petition, it can be placed on the ballot for the public to vote on.
What will happen to the Quarry if the proposal does not get on the ballot, or if voters do not approve the project in November?
If this proposal does not get put on the ballot or approved by the voters, then the current zoning of the Pacifica General Plan and Rockaway Beach Specific Plan would still be in place, which would allow over two million square feet of commercial development on the site with no voter approval needed. Furthermore, there would be no mechanism for creating permanent open space, restoring the wetlands and hillsides, and creating and improving the trail system.