Pacifica project lauded as ‘green’ gem 

Residents turned out en masse at a Planning Commission meeting Monday to throw in their two cents on a project heralded for being the most environmentally "green" project in years.

The Prospects, a proposed project expected to include 34 condominium units at 801 Fassler Ave., came before the Planning Commission for a review of its environmental impact report, which spells out the impacts the project would have on the surrounding area. The 11.2-acre site is currently empty and overlooks the quarry and the ocean less than half a mile away.

The project, which would develop less than half of the lot, would create its own energy using photovoltaic panels and a system that would allow the development to capture rainwater for landscaping use in the summer, developer Rick Lee said.

There has been some criticism of the project, including concerns that the development would erase valuable open space, contribute to more traffic on Highway 1 and block views of the nearby Pacific Ocean, city planner Michael Crabtree said.

Commissioners spent much time hashing out traffic issues Monday, asking questions about the impact on surrounding neighborhoods and roadways.

"Traffic is one of the major concerns of this project and we think it’s important to get it right," Commission Chairman Christopher Ranken said.

The commission had not reached the public comment stage before press time, but the audience did applaud a project developer’s presentation.

Resident Jim Wagner said before the meeting that he is a big fan of the project’s environmentally friendly attributes. Such details include the solar panels and completely energy efficient appliances in all the units, according to a promotional brochure from Lee’s company, Pacifica-based Home Pride Construction Inc.

Wagner said that the "green" nature of the project, along with its providing below-market rate units, would be an asset to the community.

"I would hate to see [the project] delayed due to ‘NIMBY’ attitudes," Wagner said.

Lee said that his team was more than willing to comply with any recommendations that would allow the project to happen.

"Some concerns came up [in the environmental document], but I think those are all things we can work on," Lee said.

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