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Smart Voter
Contra Costa County, CA November 3, 2009 Election
Measure I
Broadway Plaza Addition
City of Walnut Creek

Majority Approval Required

Pass: 16312 / 71.37% Yes votes ...... 6545 / 28.63% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 9 8:49am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (26/26)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

BROADWAY PLAZA ADDITION INITIATIVE. Shall the ordinance allowing a new two-story retail anchor building, such as a Neiman Marcus store, of approximately half the square footage of the Nordstrom building, in Broadway Plaza at South Main St. and Mt. Diablo Blvd.; increasing the site's floor-to-area ratio limit; and addressing parking and transportation issues by amending the Walnut Creek General Plan and Zoning Ordinance; and approving a Development Agreement, be adopted?

Impartial Analysis from City Attorney
Broadway Plaza Addition Initiative

This initiative would amend the Walnut Creek General Plan and Zoning Ordinance and adopt a Development Agreement, allowing a two-story retail anchor building, such as a Neiman Marcus store, at Broadway Plaza. It would amend the General Plan regarding a 1.59-acre portion of Broadway Plaza at the southeast corner of South Main and Mt. Diablo, to make clear that the maximum Floor-to-Area Ratio is 1.75. It would amend the Zoning Ordinance to make clear that building height on that site is limited to thirty-five feet (two stories). It would amend the Municipal Code to allow up to 20% of the City's parking requirements in the Pedestrian Retail District (which includes Broadway Plaza and other downtown retail areas) to be met with an employee-only attendant parking program that may include mechanical lifts, and stacked and tandem parking spaces. It would require a developer to provide certain listed benefits to Walnut Creek, including street and intersection improvements, and financial contributions towards transportation and parking improvement programs. It would also adopt a Development Agreement, which would vest rights to develop the site in accordance with local laws and policies (including those in the initiative) as they exist when the initiative is adopted, generally precluding the application of different, later-enacted laws and policies to the site during the 5- to 10-year term of the agreement. The initiative also contains severability clauses expressing an intent that valid parts of the initiative be upheld even if a court finds other parts invalid.

The above statement is an Impartial Analysis of Measure I. If you desire a copy of the Full Text of the Measure, please call the City of Walnut Creek's City Clerk's Office at (925) 943-5818 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you. You may also view the Full Text of Measure I at

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Arguments For Measure I Arguments Against Measure I
Your Yes vote on Measure I will help keep Walnut Creek a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family. We proposed this initiative to end the confusion and allow voters to approve changes that would allow a new building for Neiman Marcus at Broadway Plaza. This measure is strongly supported by both Broadway Plaza and Neiman Marcus.

Broadway Plaza has held dozens of public meetings to listen to the community and improve the earlier proposal. The new store is specially planned for Walnut Creek and would accommodate one of the smallest Neiman Marcus stores in the country (less than half the size of Nordstrom and the same height as Pottery Barn and Tiffany's across the street).

Please consider the following reasons to join downtown small business owners and thousands of local neighbors in voting Yes on Measure I:

  • Vital Revenue for City Services: The new store will bring the City of Walnut Creek additional annual sales tax revenue + without raising taxes. These funds are vital to strengthening our local economy and maintaining police, library, art and other city services.
  • Parking/Traffic Improvements: The owners of Broadway Plaza will spend over $1,000,000 to address customer parking and safety for drivers and pedestrians around downtown and Broadway Plaza.
  • Jobs for our Community: If Measure I passes, Walnut Creek stands to gain hundreds of new jobs, including up to 150 permanent positions with projected above average retail salaries. For over 25 years, Broadway Plaza has been a strong and supportive community partner. Nonprofit groups dedicated to the arts, education, senior programs, and open space depend on its support. Many small family-owned businesses that have served Walnut Creek for generations depend on the shoppers attracted by Broadway Plaza.

Vote Yes on Measure I to maintain a vibrant Walnut Creek. For more information, visit and

Gwen Regalia, Former Mayor & Councilmember, City of Walnut Creek

Dennis Bell, Retired Police Captain, City of Walnut Creek

David H. Smith, Yes for Walnut Creek

Carole Wynstra, Co-Chair, Rossmoor Community Leader

Nancy Rivara, Retired Principal, Walnut Creek School District

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Measure I is a developer-financed initiative that makes many promises, with no guarantees any of them will be kept.

However, the facts speak for themselves.

The developer promises to pay $1 million to mitigate the project's traffic and parking problems that will seriously impact Walnut Creek.

There's no mention of $1 million for traffic and parking anywhere in Measure I.

(Regardless, $1 million wouldn't buy much parking, considering that $15 million in taxes is being spent for the library parking to provide fewer spaces than what the Broadway Plaza developer should be building.)

Measure I proponents promise significant sales taxes. Look closer. Will these be "new" revenues, or will the project simply divert sales from other downtown merchants? That's taking from Peter to pay Paul.

The developer promises 150 new jobs. Based on what data? Would these jobs be held by Walnut Creek residents?

Many are voting NO on Measure I because they foresee worse traffic with insufficient customer parking, and because the developer's experimental parking lifts and valet parking schemes will now be allowed to spread throughout downtown. Others are voting NO on Measure I because they can't stomach giving away control of their city to an out-of-town, deep-pocket developer financing its own ballot initiative.

Walnut Creek citizens, let's determine our own future.

Read the language in Measure I. We did.

Measure I is a developer's dream and a Walnut Creek nightmare.

It promises everything, yet guarantees nothing, not even a Neiman Marcus store.

And that's a fact.

Ed Dimmick, Former Walnut Creek Mayor

Selma M. King, Former Walnut Creek Planning Commissioner

Ann Hinshaw, Retired City Govt Administrator

Clyde Rich, Rossmoor Community Leader

Patsy A. Smith, Former Secretary, Walnut Creek Homeowners Council

Measure I is an initiative written and sponsored by the developers of Broadway Plaza to avoid paying for standard traffic and parking mitigations designed to protect the public's interests.

What's worse, Measure I doesn't guarantee us a Neiman Marcus!

Measure I is a sweetheart deal that would eliminate requirements to provide adequate parking for a massive new building downtown while generating increased traffic.

Traffic is already near gridlock downtown. Parking is a mess. Why should the voters approve an initiative that will make it worse?

Measure I would allow the developer to save millions while we drive around looking for scarce parking. Meanwhile, the City is spending $15 million in taxes for parking at the new library. Why let a developer off the hook?

If we allow traffic and parking downtown to deteriorate further, we will jeopardize the viability of existing businesses while harming everyone's quality of life. This is both wrong and shortsighted.

And will our taxes be increased to provide parking that the developer should have built in the first place? We should subsidize them? Ridiculous!

We have been promised repeatedly that living with these negative impacts would be worthwhile because Neiman Marcus would come to town. Many of us would welcome a new high-end, quality retailer. The developer's promises sure sounded good.

However, Measure I does NOT bring us Neiman Marcus. All it does is give the developer the right to more than double their floor space and bring in ANY retailer they choose.

The developer could have guaranteed us both a Neiman Marcus and net additional tax revenues in Measure I. They did neither. Guess why?

Protect downtown. Maintain the integrity of Walnut Creek's traffic and parking requirements. Insist on responsible planning. Tell the developer NO thanks.

Vote NO on Measure I.

Ed Dimmick, Former Walnut Creek Mayor

Selma M. King, Former Walnut Creek Planning Commissioner

Ann Hinshaw, Retired City Govt Administrator

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
We support Measure I because the future of Walnut Creek is just too important to let it be endangered by scare tactics and unsubstantiated charges.

The argument against Measure I is misleading and deceptive. Please consider the following:

  • A Yes vote means that the owners of Broadway Plaza would pay over $1,000,000 for traffic and parking improvements in our downtown.

  • A Yes vote helps bring Neiman Marcus to Walnut Creek! Broadway Plaza's owners have executed a long-term lease that commits Neiman Marcus to Walnut Creek for decades. Measure I is required to make this store a reality.

  • The opponents mention "taxes" to try and lure voters into reaching the wrong conclusion. Measure I is NOT a tax increase and actually will lead to significant additional annual revenue for the City. Like every other city, Walnut Creek needs the additional sales tax revenue that a Neiman Marcus would generate to fund the programs and services upon which our quality of life depends.

We also need more local jobs; Measure I will pave the way for 150 new good-paying retail jobs, and support existing downtown businesses by helping maintain Downtown Walnut Creek and Broadway Plaza as viable, attractive places to shop and work.

Broadway Plaza is a vital piece of our community, and keeping Downtown fresh and attractive requires regular upkeep and renewal. Measure I, and bringing Neiman Marcus to our city, helps us do that.

For the future of Walnut Creek, please join us and vote Yes on Measure I.

Steve Lesher, Community Leader

Janet Abrams, Former Park, Rec & Open Space Commissioner, W.C. Soccer Board Member

Phyllis Ceaser, Former Arts Commissioner

Cindy M. Gershen, Business Owner, Sunrise Bistro

Ron Brown, Mt. Diablo Open Space Advocate, Founder, Wellness City Challenge

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Created: December 29, 2009 12:04 PST
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