California Voters Like Jobs But Not Housing

In a dozen local land use measures Tuesday in California, voters approved jobs-oriented projects but not housing-oriented projects. Split decision on downtown plans.
November 9, 2012, 10am PST | Bill
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If skepticism about growth is an indication that the economy is on the rebound, then Tuesday's land use elections throughout California might be called good news. About a dozen land use measures were on the ballot Tuesday and most cases the anti-growth forces won. Most of those that did win were focused on job creation. Several measures focused on downtown development in small cities, with mixed results.

Although the land use ballot measures were -- as usual -- random and scattered, they suggest that voters were in a more anti-growth mood than you'd expect, given the lengthy slump in real estate development around the state.

In only a couple of places did the pro-growth forces win, and some of those victories were sold as job creators. In Escondido in North San Diego County, Measure N passed, rezoning hundreds of acres of land to commercial use. In Berkeley, an update to the West Berkeley Plan -- also intended to create jobs -- is hanging on by 50.2%. Voters in rural, conservative Yuba County rejected a SOAR-style ballot measure that would have subjected changes in agricultural zoning to a vote.

On the other side of the ledger, voters in Fullerton turned down a major project, the West Coyote Hills plan. Major projects were also turned down in Del Mar and Napa County.

Thanks to Bill Fulton

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Published on Thursday, November 8, 2012 in California Planning & Development Report
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