Few definitive trends emerged in the handful of local land use ballot measures that were decided across the state yesterday. Voters in Costa Mesa, Mission Viejo, Pleasanton, Sutter Creek, and Brentwood maintained status quo with votes that either limited development or rejected new land use provisions. Meanwhile, Redlands voted to allow new big-box stores, Eastvale voted to exist as a city, and Santa Clara voted to allow and partially fund a football stadium that, when full, will add the population of a small city to the heart of Silicon Valley.
Read on for complete results, with links to CP&DR's preview coverage:
Update: Sutter Creek Voters Approve Mega-Resort
Measure N: 657 Yes, 641 No
A massive golf resort outside the Amador County town of Sutter Creek was defeated by eight votes in the initial count last week, but a recount and a tally of absentee ballots but Measure N over the top by 16 votes out of 1,298 cast. Measure N's passage allows for the development of Gold Rush Ranch and Golf Restort, a 935-acre development that will nearly double the population and land area of Sutter Creek.It is expected to be built over a span of 20 years.
Football Coming to Silicon Valley
Measure J: 14,338 (58.17 percent) Yes, 10,310 (41.83 percent) No
The San Francisco 49ers can only hope that all of this wins are this decisive. Passing with over 59 percent of the vote, Santa Clara's Measure J all but clears the way for the 49ers to relocate from Candlestick Park to a new $937 million stadium in the Silicon Valley City. Measure J includes a complex financing deal in which the city will contribute $114 million -- from redevelopment funds, utilities funds, and a new hotel tax -- and over $300 million in bonds will be raised by a public stadium authority. The 49ers will cover the rest of construction costs. The stadium will be built on a parking lot for Great America Theme Park, which is in the middle of the city's industrial and office district; city officials insist that the area's infrastructure can handle the 20,000 vehicles expected on game days. Supporters contend that the stadium will generate considerable direct revenues to the city's general fund and boost the local economy. Santa Clara Mayor Patricia Mahan said that the stadium "really is the culmination of 30 years of planning. It (realizes) a vision of what this area would become when it was just marshlands." If development proceeds according to schedule, construction will begin in 2012 and the stadium will be ready for the 2010 NFL season. Officials in San Francisco say they are ready to build a stadium at Hunters Point if the Santa Clara deal falls apart.
Big Box Stores Welcome in Redlands
Bucking a trend of opposition towards big box stores, Redlands voters rejected rejected Measure O, which would have banned retail developments with over 100,000 square feet of retail space. The measure was aimed directly at "big box" stores and specifically at a proposed Walmart Supercenter which, Measure O supporters said, would harm local businesses and quality of life in the Riverside County city. The campaign to reject Measure O, buoyed by a large financial contribution from Walmart, contended that the new development would bring jobs and tax revenue to the city. 55 percent of the roughly 11,000 votes cast were against the measure.
Mission Viejo Rejects "Right to Vote" Amendment
Measure D: 7,795 (37.6 percent) Yes, 12,954 (62.4 percent) No
Bucking a modest trend in Orange County, 61 percent of Mission Viejo voters voted against Measure D, which would have put almost all major projects in the city to a popular vote. Proponents of Measure D hoped to ensure that any projects that would deviate from the city's master plan would be put to public scrutiny. Business groups contended that the measure would chill development in the city, harm businesses, and subject developers to undue expenses. The measure would have required proposed projects to go through the city's traditional planning and approvals process and then finance a ballot measure.
Brentwood Rejects Expansion
Measure F: 4,115 (42.66 percent) Yes, 5,532 (57.34 percent) No
Brentwood, the booming exurb that marks the eastern edge of the Bay Area, will be booming a little bit less in the coming years. With all precincts reporting, 57 percent of Brentwood voters rejected Measure F, which would have expanded the city's urban limit line. The expansion would have set the stage for annexation of and development in an area of open space that buffers Brentwood (pop. 51,000) from the neighboring city of Antioch. The area to which Measure F referred has a developer agreement for the construction of 1,300 units of housing and would have included infrastructure improvements, open space, and other amenities. This is the third vote since 2005 in which Brentwood residents have voted against growth.
Costa Mesa: Fairgrounds to Stay As-Is
Measure C: 12,806 (87.7 percent) Yes, 1,790 (12.3 percent) No
An overwhelming majority of voters in Costa Mesa have voted to maintain the existing general plan designation for the Orange County Fair and Event Center. The fairgrounds are currently owned by the state, but an imminent sale means that the land will soon revert to local control and will be governed by the city's general plan. Measure C, which was approved with 87 percent of the vote, requires that any major changes to the property must be approved by popular vote. Update: as it turns out, the state may be backing away from its plan to sell the Orange County fairgrounds and ten other properties.
Eastvale Votes to Incorporate
Measure A: 2,679 (65.94 percent) Yes, 1,384 (34.06 percent) No
Despite opponents' fears that incorporating in the midst of the recession would create a perennial financial burden for Riverside County's 27th city, a majority of voters in the enclave of Eastvale have voted in favor of incorporation. The new city lies between Norco and Ontario along Interstate 15 and has experienced a boom in population the past decade. The area was previously home to dairy farms.
Pleasanton Rejects Development, Open Space
Measure D: 7,710 (46.30 percent) Yes, 8,941 (53.70 percent) No
With a mere handful homes at stake in the latest version of a drama that has unfolded in the East Bay city of Pleasanton over the past decade, 54 percent of voters rejected Measure D. The measure would have approved the development of 51 luxury homes in the city's southeastern hills while preserving over 500 acres as open space. Opponents contended that the homes would impinge on the city's ridgelines, which gained formal protection through the approval of 2008's Measure PP.