Anyone know a good fix for crossed eyes from reading too much? If you are like me and didn’t know what a “9212” report was before this Quarry rezone flap started, it basically is the citys’ effort to directly address and present a supposedly unbiased opinion on what an initiative does and does not accomplish. Concerned citizens ask questions and the City Attorney states the city opinion. In the case of the Quarry rezone initiative, there are many more questions than answers.
The report is buried way back in minutes of the City Council meeting of July 25. The report itself in turn is 304 pages long and can be downloaded from here. A follower of this blog pointed me at it and I am trying to digest it all…and in addition to eye stain, it gives some heartburn, just how large the disparity between what is actually being voted on, and what has been represented.
I read through about 60 pages of it, then, when my eyes got tired, I played like a nerd and applied a little frequency counting to the article, basically seeing how often some of the key points were repeated.
“The Initiative does not approve a specific project” appears 127 times in the body of the report. If that is not clear enough, let me break it down further – All of the promised benefits – hotels, new signs for the Rockaway merchants, uplift in TOT (Transient Occupancy Tax) for the city, “Preservation” efforts, purple unicorns flying through the sky to disrupt the flight path from SFO so we can get some sleep…none of that has any guarantee of happening if this mess passes.
We are not being to asked to vote on a project – in fact, we are being asked to do the opposite. We are asked to forever yield the quarry to whatever schemer blows into town. Some have argued that if the measure passes, Eenhorne could easily “Flip” the property to another developer. The 9212 does confirm that if the measure passes, the change to the Rockaway Beach plan and authorization to rezone would survive any change of ownership of the quarry land.
I personally do not believe he would flip it. I wouldn’t. The potential gross revenue flowing out of Pacifica into his Michigan coffers will be well over a half million dollars a month just in apartment rents. The report does state repeatedly that not only does the initiative not approve this specific plan, but the city has no way to compel or order the developer to complete any phase of the project in any particular order. Given the aforementioned beaucoup dinero from rents, I think I can guarantee the only component sure to be built – those 206 “Multi Family Housing Units”
That is another, very troublesome little factoid. Both the initiative and the 9212 consistenly refer to 206 “Multi Family housing units”. If you dig into the report, You will find that a “Multi Family housing Unit” is a structure that houses three or more families….or, what are normally refered to as “Apartment buildings“. This may just be paranoia on my part, but the initiative explicitly limits all square footage for commercial development, but only uses broadly or ill defined terms like “Multi Family Unit” and “Four Story”for the residential component. How big is a “Story” exactly? Is it 10′ high, or 20′ high? Are we talking Anna Karena or Hop on Pop? There no limit on square footage for the residential component as there is for the commercial and hotel components.
This is beyond insane. This initiative restricts how much land can be purposed for the activities that will generated the highest tax yield to the city while not limiting the square footage for the tax revenue neutral-to-loss residential component? Even if you are pro development (as I am), this particular initiative is just a sucker bet for the city.
I’ll probably rant some more on this 9212 thing as I continue to fight through it. If you feel like reading some of the thing and spot any steaming nuggets of Dutch absentee landlord chicanery, please feel to drop a comment.