Letter: Measure Q will have Negative Consequences

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Measure Q is a substantial legislative end run, and if passed, will result in significant and almost certain negative consequences. The proponents would have you believe that it will only affect “major projects” and that they want to curtail “overdevelopment”, but if you read the Byzantine measure, you will understand that it casts a very broad net, much broader than most people would define as a major project.

 

If a project is caught in this broad net, not only will it have to be approved by Planning Commission and City Council and all the public hearings associated, but also obtain the approval by a vote of a majority of the electorate of the city. The electorate. That means the majority of all the residents entitled to vote, not the majority of the votes cast. I question whether the Measure’s drafters intended this, or if it was a drafting error, but once this law is passed, it requires further legislative action to correct such an error (as stated in the Measure itself, in Section7). Therefore, it matters not what the intention was, if passed, we are stuck with it until it is corrected by further legislative action, so it should be voted down on this basis alone.

It will also result in far fewer redevelopment and rehabilitation projects attempted so the inventory of vacant and unusable buildings and properties on Coast Hwy will increase from the already unsightly and untenable quantity. Is that preserving the character of our town? What will it mean for the future of the St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School campus recently acquired by the City? Very difficult to tell as it would have to be approved by a majority of everyone entitled to vote in the City, which given voter turnout, would likely be over 80% of all the votes cast, so I expect nothing will happen for years, perhaps decades, until this Measure is unwound.

We have an excellent City staff, dedicated and extremely well-qualified friends and neighbors on our Council and Design Review. Measure Q solves no immediate need but would cause many undesired consequences.

Measure Q is an attempt by a few well-intended but misguided individuals to end the run of the fine system of governance we have in place and usurp it with their own near-zero growth plan.

Garfield Logan, Laguna Beach 

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