PACIFICA (CBS SF) — Developers want to build hundreds of homes and businesses on a quarry just west of U.S. Highway 1 near Pacifica’s Rockaway Beach. But say the words beach and development in the Bay Area and you’re sure to start a nasty fight.

And now the fight over some prime, beachfront real estate is heating up.

The picturesque shoreline is the battlefield for development in Pacifica. In November, voters will decide whether a mixed-use development will be allowed in the place of an old quarry.

John Vallaro is against the project and says, “this has always been here…to put something up would take away from the scenic part of it.”

The community is split, and in years past, two similar propositions failed by a narrow margin.

But with new property owners and a different plan that conserves 70 percent of the open space, there are many who are in favor of the new prospects the development would bring.

Chuch Gust, the owner of Nick’s Restaurant said, “We’ve been here for 90 years. I care about what goes in there, and I think it’s time the people who want to come to the coast have infrastructure, access and a place to go.”

Posted sign advocating for the rejection of a proposed waterfront development in Pacifica. (CBS)

A posted sign advocating for the rejection of a proposed waterfront development in Pacifica. (CBS)

The development would go along Highway 1 at Rockaway Beach and include a hotel, shopping center, apartments and open space.

It would also bring traffic, opponents argue. And while many in favor of the project agree that it would  indeed bring traffic, they say it’s exactly what the spot needs.

“I think it would take away from the city, but the main thing is the commute. It’s terrible now and to add something else would just add to the problem,” Vallero said.

But Gust disagrees, saying, “They want to protect every sage brush, every squirrel but I always thought it should be us we should be looking out for first.”

  1. The actual ballot initiative is not about the hotels or the rest, it is about rezoning that land for up to 204 Multi Family units up to 4 stories tall and removing the public vote requirement from any future residential development there. Most of the fight in Pacifica centers around the poorly worded ballot initiative that has raised a lot of questions about the developers acrual plans. The city had to issue a 9212 reoport on this measure to clarify that the initiative does not approve this or any project at all, the ballot initiative simply authorized the city council to rezone that commercial land for residential use.