Ballot Box Planning

An overhead image of a large wooden building as it's being constructed.

Ballot Initiative Could Overturn California's Zoning Reforms

The "mother of all NIMBY initiatives" is seeking signatures to qualify for the statewide ballot in California.

February 15, 2022 - James Brasuell


Ballot Box Planning: Letting Voters Decide

Land use planning decisions are mostly made by city councils and planning commissions. But there are times when the people decide, as exemplified by the city of Monterey Park's recently approved Measure JJ.

November 16, 2020 - Ballotpedia

Transamerica Pyramid

Linking Office Construction to Affordable Housing—S.F. Ballot Initiative Would Try

Proposition E, a ballot initiative up for vote in San Francisco in May, is one of the most radical planning positions in recent years, attempting to reduce housing costs by limiting housing demand.

January 15, 2020 - Mission Local

Poway, California

San Diego Residents Could Vote to Expand Ballot Box Planning Powers

The March ballot in San Diego County will ask voters to make big decisions about planning and development on the fringes of the developed parts of the county.

December 23, 2019 - Voice of San Diego

Valley Metro Rail

Light Rail Plans Survive Election Challenge in Phoenix

An election to decide the fate of public transit planning in the city of Phoenix captured national attention as a bellwether for public opinion. Unofficial results have public transit winning with plenty of votes to spare.

August 28, 2019 - Arizona Republic

Valley Metro Rail

Court: Phoenix Transit Spending Initiative Stays on the Ballot

The whole idea of public transit will be up for reconsideration in Phoenix on August 27.

July 29, 2019 - AP via ABC 15

Suburban Community

Strict Growth Limits Set By Colorado's Fifth-Largest City

Residents of the city of Lakewood have approved a ballot measure that caps annual residential development and requires City Council approval of all developments over 40 units.

July 8, 2019 - The Denver Post

Seattle skyline

Seattle's Regrettable 'Never Built' History

Knute Berger catalogues Seattle voters' history of rejecting civic projects.

October 27, 2018 - Crosscut

The Embarcadero

Trial Over San Francisco Waterfront Development Height Limits Begins

The State Lands Commission filed suit shortly after San Francisco voters approved Prop. B in June 2014, requiring waterfront developments exceeding height limits to obtain voter approval rather than go through the Planning Commission process.

January 15, 2018 - San Francisco Examiner

Wilshire Grand

Measure S Is Just Bad Policy

Measure S gives city leaders a moderately satisfying smack across the face. As satisfying as that may be, Measure S is remarkably bad planning and development policy at the expense of the vast majority of Angelinos.

February 21, 2017 - Reuben Duarte

A Legislative Challenge to Ballot-Box Planning in California

On March 7, Angelenos will vote on Measure S, which would enact a two-year moratorium on denser development. State legislation introduced on Feb. 16 would require a two-thirds vote for these types of slow growth ballot measures.

February 21, 2017 - Los Angeles Times

Beverly Hills

When City Planning Fails: Taking a Single Hotel Development to the Ballot

What Happens When A Beverly Hills Developer Decides A Ballot Initiative Is Easier than the Planning Process?

November 3, 2016 - The Planning Report

Lake Perris

Why It Makes Sense for Developers to Go to the Ballot Box in California

It may seem understandable for developers to resort to the ballot box after encountering difficulty with a planning commission or city council, but in California it makes sense even for cities like Moreno Valley that are friendly to new development.

June 14, 2016 - The New York Times

Golden Gate

Bay Area Election Roundup: Wetlands, Housing, Ballot-Box Planning, Sales Tax

A regional measure to tax all property owners in the 9-county Bay Area to adapt to sea level rise passes; S.F. voters support raising the affordable housing bar; Richmond voters reject ballot-box planning; San José approves sales tax increase.

June 9, 2016 - Planetizen

East Brother Light Station

Developer's Ballot Box Planning Would Allow Suburban Development at Ferry Terminal

A June 7 ballot measure in Richmond, California would permit 59 single family homes to be built on a 5-acre bayfront lot within walking distance to a future ferry landing for San Francisco service. The site is zoned for high-density housing.

June 4, 2016 - San Francisco Chronicle

The Story Behind the 'Most Vetted Soccer Field in U.S. History'

A simple proposal to replace grass soccer fields with artificial turf, thus doubling the amount of time the fields could be used, has been frozen by the litigation and ballot initiatives of the San Francisco planning process.

September 26, 2014 - New York Times

Stahl House Los Angeles

The Fall of Planning Expertise

With increasing skepticism and conflict towards planners and planning projects, we must ask ourselves: Is the power and politics now vested in "community participation" undermining the planning profession?

June 10, 2014 - Reuben Duarte

Florida Anti-Growth Amendment to Put Land Use Decisions in Voter's Hands

Amendment 4 would require city and county comprehensive plans to go in front of the voters to be approved. It has been approved for a 2010 ballot.

June 24, 2009 - The Orlando Sentinel

Judge To City: Stop The Manhattanization Of Downtown!

In a huge blow to a city already polarized by a ballot-box planning initiative affecting open space on the November ballot, a judge has halted downtown redevelopment by rejecting the Environmental Impact Report in part because of the 'shadow effect'.

September 25, 2008 - San Mateo County Times

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Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

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