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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
San Mateo County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Measure P
City of San Mateo

Majority Approval Required

17,151 / 68.7% Yes votes ...... 7,826 / 31.3% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 15 1:37pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (65/65)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall an ordinance be adopted to amend the City of San Mateo's General Plan to maintain policies on building heights, residential densities, commerical and office square footage, and affordable housing originally adopted by city voters in 1991, subject to certain specified revisions?

Impartial Analysis from Shawn M. Mason, City Attorney - City of San Mateo
In 1991, San Mateo voters enacted Measure H, an initative amending the City's general plan. Measure H changed standards concering allowable height and density for development and added requirements for affordable housing in new residential projects. California law prohibits the City Council from modifying these standards, because they were established by the voters. Measure H will expire on December 31, 2005. Measure P proposes to extend the standards established by Measure H (with certain specified modifications) for another 15 years. This analysis explains the effect of Measure H and the effect of the adoption of Measure P.

Measure H reduced allowable heights for commerical and multi-family residential structures. Before Measure H, buildings as high as 120 feet were allowed. Measure H established a 55 foot height limit for most areas zoned for commerical and multi-family projects. Measure H allows buildings up to 75 feet in certain areas with the provision of special "public benefits."

Measure H reduced allowable building density. The prior general plan allaowed for floor area ratios in the Downtown up to 8.0 and for multi-family densities up to 124 units per acre. Measure H reduced maximum Downtown ratio to 3.0 and reduced maximum multi-family density to 50 units per acre. Measure H allows for densities up to 75 units per acre in limited acres with special public benefits.

Measure H required residential projects with more than 10 units to restrict 10% of the units for affordable housing.

Measure P proposes to extend policies established by Measure H with certain modifications.

Measure P would clarify issues that have arisen in implementing Measure H. After Measure H was adopted, the question arose as to whether the height map described in the measure would prevent the City Council from changing a property's planned land use to a land use that would allow a range of heights greater than those designated on the map. The City's past practice has been to allow such changes. Measure P would sanction this past practice if certain findings supporting the reclassification are made. Another clarification would authorize the City Council to establish an inclusionary requirement higher than the current 10%, and to authorize the Council to establish a requirement that developers pay a fee in lieu of units for fractional affordable unit requirements.

Measure P would also make limited modifications to the policies established in Measure H. For example, Measure H limited remodels at the Hillsdale Shopping Center to 55 feet, even though some existing buildings are 60 feet high. Measure P would authorize building heights up to 60 feet at the center. Measure P would also authorize the City Council to establish new land use classifications in the general plan but would limit the building heights in such areas to no more than 55 feet.

The proposed measure would extend the policies established in Measure H, as modified, for another 15 years. If adopted, the City Council would be unable to modify those policies without voter approval through the end of 2020.

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San Mateo County Times

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Yes on Measure P

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Arguments For Measure P
Vote YES on Measure P to preserve the character of our community.

In 1991, because they wanted to guide San Mateo's future development, voters adopted Measure H to amend the City's General Plan. Measure H placed restrictions on the height and density of new developments in our community and provided for affordable housing in many developments. As originally adopted, these protections expire at the end of 2005. Without extension by the voters, there is no guarantee that these protections will remain.

Last year the City began a series of study sessions on the future of Measure H. It became clear that the people wanted the opportunity to vote to keep Measure H's protections in our General Plan. Working with a citywide coalition of San Mateans on the issue, the City Council voted to place Measure P on the ballot.

If approved by the voters, Measure P will continue the maximum 55 feet height and 50 units per acre density limits through 2020. As with the original Measure H, there are a limited number of designated areas where heights can go up to 75 feet in exchange for public benefit. Measure P will also provide flexibility for the City to require a greater share of affordable housing in new developments.

The provisions of Measure P have served San Mateo well. They have helped maintain the suburban character of our neighborhoods while allowing for the continued growth of our local economy. Our City's future will benefit from another 15 years when we vote to extend these provisions.

The authors of Measure H, neighborhood associations, and the City Council all agree that the passage of Measure P is good for San Mateo!

Please join us in voting YES on Measure P.

/s/ Carole Groom mayor

/s/ Karen Herrel former City Planning Commissioner

/s/ Rick Karp San Mateans for REsponsive Government

/s/ Dorothy Chow President, San Mateo United Homeowners Assn

/s/ Jerry Hill San Mateo County Supervisor

(No arguments against Measure P were submitted)

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Created: December 15, 2004 13:37 PST
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