A political tactic employed by Measure I proponents was a legal challenge to quotation marks used and the wording in two statements in the Rebuttal Arguments in the Primary Election ballot.
Unlike Measure I, Measure H has been put on the ballot by thousands of Dana Point residents. Measure I is receiving huge funding from a Town Center developer and special interest groups outside Dana Point, such as $10,000 from the California Association of Realtors. By adopting the confusing Measure I rather than allowing voters a fair “up” or “down” vote on Measure H, our City Council is obviously representing their interests rather than the residents of Dana Point.
Why are these special interests fighting so hard against Measure H? They want to exploit the development of our city for their benefit and continue to use taxpayer money in the process. They have already benefited from $20,000,000 of city spending with developer fees to recoup those costs reduced by 85%. The City Council has approved a huge reduction in the parking requirements, saving developers millions more and transferring the burden to the taxpayers. They dislike the fact that Measure H eliminates their ability to influence the City Council; Measure H requires voter approval for changes in the development requirements for Town Center rather than three votes of the City Council.
Measure I is deceptive, misleading and an insult to the residents of Dana Point. Its sole purpose is to confuse voters. The City Council does not support the 2008 Town Center Plan. The Council’s new Lantern District version as outlined in the economic report (Keyser Marston) eliminates the intended parking requirements in Town Center needed for business success and promotes a residential district more profitable for developers. Public parking will not be improved but will be overwhelmed by the lack of sufficient parking due to the reduced parking requirements.
In the legal challenge, the court ruled in favor of Measure H and allowed the assertion in one statement that $20,000,000 was spent on Town Center. Measure I proponents alleged that significantly less was spent. One other statement was reworded and reaffirmed the fact that the City Council can continue to change the Plan.
Measure H proponents also felt that residents should know that the city’s attorney wrote the impartial analysis for both measures. The City Attorney helped write Measure I, with its only effect being to confuse voters and cancel Measure H, including eliminating voter approval of plan changes, if it manages to pass with more votes. The Court disallowed the statement including quotation marks around the title “Impartial Analysis”.
Vote YES on MEASURE H! NO on Measure I !
Following are the Rebuttal Arguments in full, showing the court’s changes. The vast majority of the statements were unchallenged:
Rebuttal to the Argument in Favor of Measure I
THE CITY COUNCIL DOES NOT CLEARLY DISCLOSE ANY DETAILS OR COST OF THEIR “LANTERN DISTRICT PLAN” FOR DEVELOPMENT, PARKING OR THEIR REDUCED REQUIREMENTS. The Council’s approval of denser residential buildings that exceed height and floor limits and the reduction of the parking requirements mean that Dana Point will no longer be the attractive coastal village envisioned by Dana Point residents and visitors, able to attract desirable businesses to Town Center.
(Ironically, the city’s attorney has written the “Impartial Analysis” for the Council’s measure.)
PASSAGE OF MEASURE I:
- CANCELS MEASURE H if it passes with more votes
- CAUSES PARKING SHORTAGES that will produce traffic congestion and overflow parking, knowingly turning our neighborhoods into parking lots with restricted or metered parking and discouraging business success
- CITES A FLAWED ECONOMIC REPORT blaming prohibitive parking standards, whereas a large project at PCH and Golden Lantern was approved on 2/22/2016 using the original standards; other developments have been approved including three buildings with 109 condos, a retail outlet and several restaurants
- ALLOWS THE CITY COUNCIL TO INCREASE THE HEIGHT AND FLOOR LIMITS for greater density to benefit developers and special interests
ELIMINATES VOTER APPROVAL for changes to the Town Center Plan;Council can continue to change the Plan at will
- EXPECTS TAXPAYERS TO PAY for an irresponsible parking plan; no debt was incurred for Town Center improvements but City
reserves were depleted by spendingspent approximately $20,000,000 of taxpayer money
Rebuttal to the Argument Against Measure H
Measure H promotes the original intent of the 2008 Town Center Plan. It provides for a pedestrian-friendly mixed-use district in a coastal village atmosphere with restaurants, shops, and other businesses on the first floor, residences or businesses on upper floors, and adequate, convenient public parking.
(The “Impartial Analysis” was written by the city’s attorney.)
PASSAGE OF MEASURE H:
- PROMOTES RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT with consistent rules for developers and city councils to follow
- REJECTS the flawed Keyser Marston report, which has already been proven false by approved projects using the City’s original parking standards, NOT the Council’s newly reduced requirements (including a mixed-use project just approved at PCH and Golden Lantern)
- CANCELS the COUNCIL’S IRRESPONSIBLE PARKING REDUCTIONS and ensures adequate parking with developers paying their fair share, not taxpayers
- INCREASES SALES TAX REVENUE AND JOBS with appealing shops, restaurants, and other businesses
- PREVENTS Town Center from becoming an OVERCROWDED RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT
- PRESERVES the QUALITY OF LIVING valued by Dana Point residents and enjoyed by visitors while limiting traffic congestion and parking shortages
- MANDATES VOTER APPROVAL for Plan changes, instead of Council majority’s whims or developers’ demands Council’s actions are not filling vacant lots and empty storefronts, but eliminating popular businesses and replacing existing buildings! Measure H STRENGTHENS the original Town Center Plan by closing loopholes to make developers follow the rules.
Ensure that Dana Point will belong to all of us, NOT just developers and the Council that caters to them.