Letter: If I owned the Quarry


By on Wed, January 21, 2009

"If I owned the Quarry", a big if, but that was the headline of the Pacifica Tribune’s 12/3/08 article outlining my Pacifica Quarry suggestions and interests.

Today I’m encouraging community leaders to take proactive measures against another divisive land use fight. In my opinion, the best measure is to present the quarry owner, Mr. Peebles, with a citizen sponsored land use plan that is desirable, feasible and profitable. Here are three uses I believe meet these criteria.

Consider senior housing. Baby Boomer demand for better senior housing will grow for the next twenty years. Senior housing doesn’t impact schools and generates little traffic. This site is ten minutes from Seton Medical Center. A wide range of prices including below-market units can be provided. Local jobs will be created.

Next, there’s the three star conference oriented hotel. It will provide coastal conference facilities costing less than Half Moon Bay’s Ritz Carlton. It will meet inland summer demand for cool coastal weather. A city transit occupancy tax will benefit the community. Local jobs will be created.

A linksland style Golf Track (my invention) will be the catalyst for the project’s success. A combination of a golf course and a driving range, the Golf Track will provide a fast, affordable golf experience where everyone can improve their skills. For the quarry site it will need about 25 acres to duplicate the tees, greens, fairways and other features of regular golf courses. Players uses standard equipment to hit operator supplied balls to interior target fairways and greens from a perimeter teeing course. The teeing course is landscaped with natural lies consisting of slopes, level areas, long and short grass, sand and hardpan, etc. Virtually every golf shot can be duplicated including short game shots to putting greens interspersed along the teeing course. The Golf Track can accomodate players of all skills simultaneously learning, practicing and competing.

I envision extending the existing bike trail to loop around the Golf Track site. The linksland style landscaping-rather like the new Half Moon Bay golf course-will be aesthetically appealing to hikers and bikers, as the players never leave the teeing course to enter the interior area. The Golf Track will be a green facility using treated water from the nearby sewer plant. It will mitigate other project environmental issues. The Golf Track will appeal to seniors, their relatives and friends, to hotel guests and conference organizers, to the public and Pacifica residents, who will enjoy discounts. The Golf Track will become a community center for wholesome teenage and family recreation. Local jobs will be created.

Other suggestions have included a playground, some rental apartments for young people who work at the facilities and apartments for not-yet senior Boomers who want out of home ownership chores, repairs and taxes.

I’m a Half Moon Bay resident who has commuted through and shopped in Pacifica since 1976. Please contact me with your ideas and questions at 415 928 4400 or [email protected].

Dwight Pate