Ballot Initiatives

Row of white Spanish Revival-style homes in Torrance, California.

California Cities Continue Fight Against State Preemption

Lafayette City Council Member Susan Candell penned an op-ed in support of a lawsuit to invalidate Senate Bill 9 by four Southern California cities, highlighting a recent supportive court filing by UCLA economic geographer Michael Storper.

September 11, 2023 - The Mercury News

California

A Vacancy Tax for San Francisco? Voters Might Have a Say.

A San Francisco politician is pushing for a vacant home tax to appear on the November ballot.

February 16, 2022 - San Francisco Chronicle

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

Tacoma Washington

Election 2019: Devastating Transportation Funding Loss in Pacific Northwest

Washington voters' approval of Initiative 976, which put a limit on car tab increases as well as repealing many motor vehicle fees, will have far-reaching consequences for funding road maintenance, transit, and bike and pedestrian projects.

November 9, 2019 - The Seattle Times

Oil and Gas Extraction

Another State Rejects a 10-Cents per Gallon Gas Tax Hike

It was not your basic fuel tax hike. Utah voters were told that raising the tax would help education by redirecting revenue from the General Fund to schools that currently goes to transportation. Yet voters also passed decidedly liberal initiatives.

November 14, 2018 - Deseret News

Welcome Sign

Another Major Statewide Transportation Funding Loss on Election Day

Similar to Missouri voters, who rejected a 10-cents per gallon tax hike placed on the ballot by the state legislature, Colorado voters rejected two competing initiatives to finance transportation improvements placed on the ballot by citizen groups.

November 13, 2018 - Denver Business Journal

Solar and Wind Energy

Mixed Results on Renewable Energy Initiatives

Two western states had very similar renewable energy initiatives on the ballot sponsored by NextGen America requiring utilities to get 50 percent of electricity by 2030. It passed in Nevada but was rejected in Arizona.

November 8, 2018 - The Arizona Republic

San Francisco Homeless

Will More Money Solve San Francisco's Homelessness Problem?

San Francisco voters will decide on Proposition C, a business tax based on gross receipts levied on large employers, the most contentious of five local measures.

October 31, 2018 - Curbed SF

Climate CHange

IPCC Report Sways Microsoft to Endorse Carbon Fee Initiative on Washington Ballot

A dire report on climate change issued by a United Nations panel influenced Washington-based Microsoft to take a position on a controversial state carbon fee, Initiative 1631. Oil companies are fighting back, citing wide exemptions from the fee.

October 22, 2018 - Climatewire

Rooftop Solar

Arizona and Nevada to Vote on Renewable Energy Initiatives

Voters in two Western states next month will determine whether to require energy utilities to increase their share of electricity from renewable sources to 50 percent by 2030. In Arizona, the campaign has become the costliest in state history.

October 19, 2018 - The Arizona Republic

Portland, Oregon Library

The 3 E's of Sustainability in Local Climate Action: The Portland Clean Energy Initiative

Urban sustainability efforts have historically failed to advance all three E’s of sustainability: environmental action, economic development, and equity. However, a movement is underway to put equity—the oft-ignored E—at the forefront.

September 24, 2018 - Megan Horst

Downtown Denver

Colorado Voters to Decide How to Fund Roads on Election Day

Two transportation bonding initiatives will appear on the ballot on Nov. 6: A $3.5 billion measure would have debt repayments come from the general fund, while a $6 billion initiative would create a revenue stream by hiking sales taxes.

September 6, 2018 - The Denver Post

Oil Drill

Oil and Gas Drilling Issues Loom Large in Colorado on Election Day

Unlike prior initiatives that sought drilling bans, Prop. 112 would greatly increase setbacks from buildings to such an extent that it could doom much of the industry. A competing initiative would make the change a "taking" and require compensation.

September 6, 2018 - Colorado Public Radio

Marquam Bridge

Tolling of Portland Interstates Could Be Decided by Voters in 2020

Should plans to toll Interstates 5 and 205 in Portland get the go-ahead from the Oregon Transportation Commission and the Federal Highway Administration, they would still be subject to a state referendum.

July 26, 2018 - Portland Tribune

San Francisco City Hall

San Francisco Voters to Decide on Employer Tax to House the Homeless

It started in Seattle with the Amazon Tax to pay for transportation and housing needs exacerbated by the city's largest employers. Last month, a Google Tax was placed on the November ballot in Silicon Valley. A landlord tax in Oakland could be next.

July 18, 2018 - Bloomberg News

California Gas Tax Repeal Update: And Then There Was One

One of two initiatives to repeal last November's 12-cents per gallon gas tax increase failed to attract enough signatures by the Jan. 8 deadline. However, the other initiative has major backing and will likely appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.

January 23, 2018 - Los Angeles Times

facades of victorian style residences in San Francisco

The Landlord's Case for Stronger Rent Control

A small San Francisco landlord argues for repealing state restrictions on rent control.

January 2, 2018 - San Francisco Chronicle

Repeal of Gas Tax Increase Possible in California

After several years, Sen. Jim Beall's persistent efforts to address the state's $130 billion road and bridge shortfall finally passed the legislature, but Assemblyman Travis Allen hopes to repeal the 12-cent tax hike through the initiative process.

May 11, 2017 - The Sacramento Bee - Capitol Alert

Seattle Light Rail Construction

Details of the Seattle's Big ST3 Light Rail Plan

The $54 billion ST3 plan would add 62 miles of light rail over 25 years.

August 5, 2016 - Seattle Transit Blog

Citizen's Carbon Tax Initiative Goes Before Washington State Senate

A group that calls itself Carbon Washington could be at the helm of a new environmental movement to address climate change. They have proposed a $25-per-ton, revenue-neutral carbon tax.

February 22, 2016 - Seattle Weekly

City Planner I

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner II

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner Supervisor

Department of Housing and Community Development

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

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.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.