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Daily News editorial on Measure M

From: domainremoved <Heyward>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2014 11:48:51 -0700

I just read you Measure M oped.  You conclude with:

"If in a year or two the council is clearly letting developers call all the shots and ignoring residents’ wishes, we wouldn’t hesitate to support a measure like M and even call for some council members’ ouster.
But right now Measure M is a preemptive strike that doesn’t need to be delivered. The Daily News recommends a no vote on Measure M."
You realize, of course, that two years from now will too late.  Once Stanford and Greenheart's projects go forward, those buildings will be here in perpetuity.  We only have once chance to get this right.  Measure M may not fix every issue in the Downtown Plan, but its the only way we have to effect substantive changes in these projects. 

Your faith in the current Council is misplaced.  They have had numerous chances to make real changes to the Specific Plan and demonstrate that they can stand up to developers.  They have failed at every opportunity.  They have very little negotiating leverage and are reluctant to use what little they do have*.  They don't embrace or understand the Community's vision or goals for Downtown (developments whose jobs/housing ratio is 2.5 to 3.1 and whose office component is 90 to 100% of non-residential are far from what was envisioned).  Any changes that have been made to these projects are mostly cosmetic.  If you see the office component of these projects reduced, we will know that the Council is actually negotiating. Otherwise its just for show. 

Heyward Robinson

* When the Specific Plan passed in 2012, landowners like Stanford and Greenheart saw their development rights more than double without ANY required public benefit.  Stanford alone received a windfall between $250 to $300 million.  But because Council set the "by-right" development level so high, Stanford and other developers are able to propose projects that do not require development agreements and public benefit negotiations.  The three incumbents running for re-election, Kirsten Keith, Peter Ohtaki, and Rich Cline, have twice voted against lowering the by-right level.  Given this track record and that 50% or more of Keith, Ohtaki, and Cline's campaign donations come from real-estate and/or development interests, should we be giving them another chance?

Received on Wed Oct 29 2014 - 11:43:57 PDT

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