Smart Voter
Alameda County, CA November 2, 1999 Election
Measure B
Urban Growth
City of Livermore

5449 / 38.4% Yes votes ...... 8712 / 61.5% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Infomation shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |
Shall the people of the City of Livermore enact an ordinance amending the General Plan to create a new urban growth boundary, establish a new residential growth rate between 0 and 1,000 people per year, and require voter approval of certain residential housing developments of 20 units or more, certain conversions of open space land and all increases in residential density and requiring the City to withdraw from the joint planning process for North Livermore?
Impartial Analysis from the City Attroney
The Livermore Public Planning Initiative, an initiative measure submitted to the voters, would amend the City's General Plan in several specified areas and obligate the City to withdraw from a settlement agreement requiring joint planning by the City and Alameda County for certain land north of I-580 not currently within the City.

Changes to the City's General Plan: The City of Livermore General Plan establishes permissible land uses within the City limits as well as a broader planning area around the City. Development projects within the City limits must be consistent with the General Plan. This initiative would amend the General Plan as follows:

  • Urban Growth Boundary: The current General Plan includes an urban growth boundary along the City's southern edge beyond which urban development is not permitted. The initiative would amend the General Plan to add a new urban growth boundary policy and revise the boundary itself. The City would be prohibited from granting any new land use approvals outside of this boundary except for schools, public parks, public facilities and open space fully accessible to the public. The City would also be prohibited from providing water, sewer or other services to uses outside of this boundary, with limited exceptions.

  • Voter Approval: The initiative would require voter approval of all City legislative actions authorizing:

    (1) development of 20 or more dwelling units;

    (2) conversion of more than two acres of contiguous open space on land designated as agricultural and grazing, rural density residential, parks and recreation, or public health and safety to a non-open space use; and

    (3) any increase in residential density. The initiative would impose a two-year development moratorium on any class of development as to which the voter approval requirement is declared invalid by a court. The voter approval requirements would replace a General Plan policy relating to in-fill development.

  • Annual Growth Limit: The initiative would amend the General Plan to establish a residential growth rate of between zero and 1,000 people per year. Projects consisting entirely of low or moderate income housing would be exempt from voter approval but would be counted in determining the total growth rate. The current General Plan policies provide for residential population growth averaging between 1.5% and 3.5% annually.

Withdrawal from Settlement Agreement: The initiative would obligate the City to withdraw from an agreement which settled litigation between the City, the County of Alameda and certain North Livermore landowners. This agreement required a joint planning process by the City and Alameda County resulting in limited urban land uses and permanent protection of open space in this area. Under the initiative most of this North Livermore area would be outside the urban growth boundary.

Effective Period: The initiative would remain in effect for a period of 20 years with a potential renewal of an additional 20 years.

A "yes" vote is a vote to adopt the measure. A "no" vote is a vote not to adopt the measure.

s/THOMAS R. CURRY City Attorney

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Arguments For Measure B Arguments Against Measure B
Voting YES on Measure B, the CAPP initiative, will give Livermore residents, not developers, the power to control our residential growth and stop sprawl.

Voting YES on Measure B will stop a massive North Livermore development of 12,500 more houses, 37,000 more residents, 25,000 more cars, and more gridlock. Without Measure B, Livermore will grow from 72,000 to more than 120,000 people.

Measure B allows reasonable growth: it (1) puts a rational urban growth boundary around the entire city; (2) sets a sensible growth rate of 1000 people (340 houses) per year; and (3) allows developers who observe existing zoning rules to go ahead without voter approval.

Measure B intends that all City planning procedures take place first. Elections, paid for by developers, occur on: (1) zoning-density increases, (2) developments of twenty units or more when developers refuse to follow current zoning laws, or (3) converting open space/agricultural land to other uses. Measure B gives us quality development under citizen control.

Don't believe scare tactics about schools and our downtown. We can have quality schools, a vital downtown, and a performing arts theater without massive developments. Pleasanton has accomplished this; so can Livermore.

Developers threaten to develop North Livermore in the County. Such County development will be difficult because we have legal and environmental tools to fight it. For example, passing the current Countywide initiative will uphold urban growth boundaries and require that development occur only in cities.

However, if Measure B fails, there is one irreversible certainty: 37,000 more people and 25,000 more cars in North Livermore alone. Measure B opponents may have the money, slick newsletters, political influence, and some politicians,but WE have the vote. Vote YES on Measure B to give us, Livermore residents, the power to protect our quality of life.

s/MICHAEL FERRUCCI, Downtown Merchant
s/DON MILLER, Former Mayor
s/MARGARET TRACY, Former Zone 7 Boardmember
s/PEGGY BEAM, West Side Activist

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Measure B is a poorly-conceived gigantic giveaway. It asks Livermore citizens to surrender control of North Livermore to Alameda County. Their adopted plan allows for 62,000 people in North Livermore. Developers will bypass Livermore and go directly to Alameda County. Decisions will be made by East Bay politicians elected by voters living miles away - NOT by our City Council, NOT by Livermore voters.

Measure B sponsors talk about a countywide initiative: there is NO county initiative on the ballot. Measure B sponsors don't understand their initiative: developers WILL have to go to the ballot for most 20 unit or more developments. Measure B means:

Surrendering control to Alameda County. Divisive elections every 6 months over remaining development within city limits. (North Livermore is outside city limits.)

Stacks of environmental and economic impact reports, and political propaganda mailed to every voter. Unpredictability and piecemeal planning that prevent solutions to traffic,school and park issues. Loss of the $50 million that would secure 80% open space in North Livermore. Measure B was written by a Berkeley-Oakland activist. United in opposition to this divisive measure is a grass-roots coalition of community members, from police officers to vintners, from scientists to homemakers. They realize that solutions to problems such as traffic congestion or loss of open space come from community participation, consensus-building and valleywide cooperation, not from simplistic initiatives.

KEEP LIVERMORE IN CONTROL Vote NO on County sprawl Vote NO on Measure B

s/MARK D. WEISS, Committee Chair, Citizens for Common Sense
s/STEVE HOWARD, Owner, Livermore Cyclery
s/BARBARA M. BAILEY, Resource Conservationist/Planning Commissioner
s/G. B. DRUMMOND, Local Historian/Consultant

Vote NO on Measure B. Measure B destroys local control over growth in the North Livermore area. It forces our City to withdraw from the planning process and returns control to Alameda County, which would then be free to implement its 1994 approved plan. For over 20 years we fought Alameda County to get planning authority for this area. Don't throw away what it took us so long to get. With Measure B, Livermore's future would be decided in Oakland by Alameda County.

We now have an agreement that permanently protects 80% of the land in open space and agriculture, limiting development to only 20%. This prevents sprawl all the way up to the Contra Costa County line. Over $50 million is committed to preserving this major open space. Measure B throws this away.

Measure B is not simple and has many flaws, including:

Inevitable legal challenges to Measure B will keep lawyers busy for years- at Livermore taxpayer's expense.

Repeated elections for every 20 houses, except for low-cost housing, is piecemeal planning. This will not give us needed parks, schools and roads. Measure B makes it impossible to plan for our future.

Measure B will make our traffic even worse as houses will be built out-side of Livermore's control.

Past growth controversies have torn our city apart - stalling shopping and restaurants and downtown revitalization, and dividing Livermore into warring factions. Don't let Measure B divide our community again. Don't let Measure B take us backwards.Vote NO on losing $50 million for open space.

Vote NO on expensive lawsuits.Vote NO on piecemeal planning. KEEP LIVERMORE IN CONTROL VOTE NO ON COUNTY SPRAWL VOTE NO ON MEASURE B.

s/MARK D. WEISS, Committee Chair, Citizens for Common Sense
s/JOHN SHIRLEY, Veterinarian
s/BARBARA MERTES, College Administrator
s/JOHN MARCHAND, Zone 7 Boardmember

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Measure B is a POSITIVE way to SLOW GROWTH in Livermore. Opponents of this measure are trying to frighten you with the bogeyman of "County development of North Livermore," "loss of open space," and "piecemeal planning."

County development is unlikely because (1) the County has no infrastructure to support it, and (2) the Countywide initiative will prohibit it.

The City's "open-space plan" has 12,500 houses covering most of the North valley floor, obliterating open space and agricultural use there. Developer-driven, piecemeal planning is a feature of the City's current planning process, not of Measure B. Examples: leapfrog developments near Las Positas College and Vasco Road, and a 350-unit subdivision near Alden Lane with NO PARK.

Already-approved projects will drive our population from 72,000 to 90,000, even with Measure B. Without Measure B, our population soars to 120,000 with North Livermore, and could spiral even higher with future development east of Greenville Road!

Our opponents include supporters of the Auto Auction, the megadump, and the second sewer pipeline (Measure Q), all of which were rejected by citizen action or at the polls.

Worse, City officials DO NOT TRUST VOTERS to make intelligent decisions. Measure B DOES trust us to decide when, where, and how we grow.

Measure B gives us the right to vote FOR developments that benefit our community with parks, schools, and open space - and to REJECT those that don't. If you want SLOWER, SMARTER GROWTH, vote YES on Measure B.

s/MICHAEL FERRUCCI, Downtown Merchant
s/WILLIAM ZAGOTTA, Former Planning Commissioner
s/HERMAN LEIDER, Scientist
s/JAMES DAY, Former Schoolboard Member

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Created: November 18, 1999 14:57
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