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Santa Monica ballot initiative proposes requiring voter approval for virtually all development

More on this lunatic nightmare from Santa Monica Next:

The conservative no-growth group, Residocracy, has begun gathering signatures to put an initiative on the November ballot that would require nearly all new projects taller than 32 feet to be approved by a popular vote.

The group, whose opposition to the Bergamot Transit Village project in 2014 brought us the suburban office park we will soon be getting at that site, launched its signature-gathering campaign this weekend with a party at Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station. However, even one-time allies of the group are concerned that the so-called “LUVE” (Land Use Voter Empowerment) initiative, with its extremely low thresholds and minimal exceptions, goes too far. The full text of the initiative is LINK REMOVED.


“[Residocracy’s initiative] also appears to give developers the ability to initiate special elections, where they can pour unlimited corporate financing into local low-turnout balloting. We need housing, and we don’t need more developer influence on our politics,” McKeown said.

The initiative requires that almost all development proposals for buildings over 32 feet be put on the ballot, which, as McKeown notes, would result in expensive political campaigns over each individual project, a process that would be cost-prohibitive to all but only the wealthiest developers.
Anyone have other ballot box planning horror stories to share?

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*Hink - Welcome. We don't permit people who haven't been around for a while to post links.
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A local community here, under the advice of the local planning commission and a study by no less than Andres Duany, recently decided to explore putting one of their main thoroughfares on a "road diet" from 4 lanes down to 1 lane in each direction and a center turn lane. Before the test period was even begun, residents in the neighborhoods around the stretch of road were up in arms with claims that traffic would be worse on the main thoroughfare and people would start cutting through the residential side streets. One resident got a petition drive going that would call for a change in the city's charter that would require the road in question remaining 4 lanes forever and forbid any changes to its layout. :r: He got more than enough signatures to get the initiative on the ballot.

In the time since he started the petition drive and when the vote was actually held, the test period got underway and low and behold the traffic on the stretch of road in question flows exponentially better (while handling more cars according to the traffic counts), there have been fewer accidents and the accidents that did occur were of less severity, and there has been no measurable change in traffic cutting through the neighboring residential areas. Most of the comments I have heard from residents in the area is that they like the changes.

The vote was finally held this past week and thankfully the initiative failed by nearly a 2:1 margin.



Arizona has a ratification statute for zoning. If you get enough signatures zoning goes to a vote. It's rare, but it happens. My favorite so far has been Phoenix with a gas station vote. It was a perfectly sane rezone to allow a gas station. A competitor down the road started the campaign. I remember the signs in my neighborhood miles (we're talking a 45 minute drive) from the place. "Don't pass gas on my neighborhood" and Prop 2 Stinks.

old article


The problem I get here is a local county commissioners who likes to use his authority as a county commissioners to collect signatures against city things to force them to a vote. Usually bond initiatives. Normally it's not a problem, but do it on your own time and don't use county influence to get votes. Just walk around and say your against something, not I'm Commissioner X and I think we need a better city government.