The Vanguard is launching its weekly question series that will go from today to the election with 11 questions. Unlike previous years, the Vanguard has a hard cut off both for length (250 words) and time received.
Question 1: Do you support renewal or repeal of Measure R when it expires in 2020? If you support renewal, what if any modifications would you seek?
As I have said publicly for years, I support the existing requirement for approval by Davis voters of proposals to annex agricultural and open space lands to the city for new housing or commercial development. I voted “yes” for both Measure J and Measure R.
I am hopeful that voters will approve annexation proposals that benefit the city and respect our shared Davis values favoring smart and sustainable development. I also believe there are further opportunities to provide additional housing and commercial space within the city limits through smart and sustainable infill projects.
Finally, while I personally do not have any specific proposals to amend the existing language of Measure J/R, I welcome any suggestions that may come forward from Davis citizens to improve the measure.
I also will assess how the update to the General Plan that the city will soon begin informs future decisions about renewal of Measure J/R. A measure as important as this one to the future of our city warrants an inclusive and collaborative discussion before it is sent back to the voters for renewal.
I have been a long time supporter of Measure R. I voted to renew it in 2010. I would, however, support amendments which would serve to strengthen it by ensuring even greater public participation in the proposed project. If amending Measure R is not the best means to ensure greater public participation, I fully support renewing Measure R in 2020 as it is currently written.
After attending numerous commission and council meetings, I’ve been especially struck by the lack of information provided to city commissioners who are asked to weigh in on many projects brought forward. I’ve also seen the real frustration from our volunteer commissioners that their respective efforts and time have been for naught due to their inability to truly weigh in on proposals.
Either through amendment of Measure R, or through some other appropriate means, I support adding provisions which would serve to strengthen the process for reviewing future projects by ensuring even greater public participation in the proposed project. Let’s look at an amendment requiring more specificity as to the details of the proposed project before it can be presented to the city Commissions and/or an amendment requiring that the Commissions be given the opportunity to review the proposed project again if it has gone through major revisions after the Commission had initially reviewed it.
Strengthening the review process assures our voice is heard and enables all residents to be a part of creating the kind of Davis we want to have in the future.
I support the goals of Measure R, to provide for controlled, measured growth to meet our internal needs and to protect farmland. Unfortunately, in the 17 years since it was first enacted, we have not seen any new annexation of land by the City for either residential or economic development, resulting in both a severe housing shortage and an equally severe fiscal crisis. This artificial scarcity has increased rents and the cost of living in town, while also resulted in sprawling leapfrog developments in both Woodland and at West Village, with the consequent destruction of valuable farmland.
I believe that Measure R is a serious impediment to our ability to address our housing and fiscal challenges. If our goal is to meet the needs of our residents while protecting farmland, then we should do so by being careful about which lands we use for expansion, and by being efficient in how well we utilize those lands. Smart, measured growth is our best approach to addressing our housing and economic development needs. Measure R, as currently implemented, has not allowed for smart, measured growth. Consequently, I do not support the renewal of Measure R in its present form, nor do I have any proposed modifications for improving its implementation.
Mary Jo Bryan
Measure J, the Citizens’ Right to Vote on Future Use of Open Space and Agricultural Lands, was passed by Davis voters in 2000, and became part of our Municipal Code.
In 2010 Measure R extended the sunset date to December 31, 2020.
The City of Davis’ existing General Plan was adopted in 2001, amended in 2007, and in January 2017, a citywide General Plan update began with a series of public meetings and workshops that broadly represent the diversity of interests in the Davis community at large.
For me the General Plan Update and the 2020 voter decision about Measure R share similar timelines, and also should share a similar future. They both need broad citizen input through public meetings and workshops.
We are updating our General Plan because our society and community are very different now than they were in 2000-2001. What our citizens feel about those differences must inform both the General Plan Update and the future of Measure R.
We need to actively and thoroughly collect that will of the community so that Davis’ future reflects a well-informed consensus both in its General Plan and in its Municipal Code … the current legal location of the Citizens’ Right to Vote on Future Use of Open Space and Agricultural Lands.
That collective will of the community will inform the Council regarding how to put the future of Measure R on the 2020 ballot.
Measure R has been a double edged sword for the city of Davis. It has defended the city from rampant growth, sprawl and poorly envisioned design.
At the same time it has driven housing prices up and changed the whole character of who is able to live in Davis. No longer can generations of Davisites grow legacies of future homeowners. No longer can UCD students stay as young adults or return with families. Like many measures enacted in response to a problem it is in need of a revision. However just the suggestion of such a thing sends people into a panic with visions of paved acreage and a looming Hollywood sign erected on the closest thing we have to a hill. The fear sadly is real.
Without growth control cities grow often poorly. Especially when driven by a leviathan of innovation, progress, and magnet for people seeking opportunity and higher degrees. Measure R for many is the last strand of control they have on a vision of Mayberry RFD.
What people do not realize is that displeasure works both ways. A dissatisfied, frustrated and energized student base along with young middle class families and those generations of children that call Davis home but cannot live here have a chance to vote Measure R down in 2020.
It is time to offer an alternative. I see a modification where we give people a vote on where and how much growth we accept provided the growth is fully planned and vetted.
I support Measure R and – if elected – will vote to put it on the ballot. If amendments are proposed I will look at them, but I will not vote for any change that weakens the intent of the measure. People say that Measure R is causing the housing crisis. I disagree. I believe Measure J/R votes have failed because the proposed projects were not perceived by voters as sufficiently improving the city. If we are going to develop on open space/ag land, the bar needs to be high: ideally, proposals would be dense, fiscally positive for the city, reduce reliance on the automobile, and integrated into the City’s transit system.
Urban Growth Boundaries are good for towns like Davis. They’re one of the many factors that go into our high quality of life. But the Davis dream that we’ve all come to love is becoming available to fewer and fewer people. We need to take a look at this process and make a couple small changes to reduce the uncertainty involved and take some pressure off of the housing market without sprawling outward and paving over our prized open spaces.
I think we should consider placing hard parameters on projects proposed on Davis’ periphery or a similar mechanism to increase transparency and awareness of each project’s various features. These parameters will ensure that only a certain caliber of project can make it to the ballot in Davis and voters can make their decision knowing that every project that comes before them meets a certain standard.
In the past, that was CEQA (or the California Environmental Quality Act), a review process that few voters are familiar with. But it’s obviously not enough, considering a Measure J/R project has never been approved by the voters to move forward. What the new specific parameters are, we should determine the best way Davis knows: an open dialogue of engaged citizenry.
We may end up seeing fewer proposals, but of those we do see, we will know they will have a higher chance of satisfying our community’s values.
With those caveats, I support renewing Measure R on the ballot again in 2020.
I am a strong supporter of Measure J/R and support its renewal. This measure ensures that developers craft projects that meet the Davis community’s high standards for things like housing needs, affordability, open spaces and sustainability. Whether a project is subject to a measure R/J vote or not, the City should be engaging in community-driven planning processes.