It's safe to say that the City of Calistoga's Silver Rose Referendum will not be the most important question on the ballot in the this November. Nor will Escondido's general plan measure, nor even a preliminary vote on draining Hetch Hetchy reservoir.

Nonetheless, next month's election brings a diverse array of local land use measures on issues ranging from the provision of open space to the funding of affordable housing to a 60-year plan to invest tens of billions of dollars in transportation.

Herewith is CP&DR's roundup of ballot measures related to land use statewide.  


General Plans, Specific Plans & Growth


Napa County

Measure U

Angwin General Plan Amendment Initiative

Measure U would redesignate certain lands in Angwin from urban residential to "agricultural, watershed and open space (AWOS) or public institutional." It will permit modernization and expansion of a sewage treatment plant and prohibit further subdivision of "public institutional lands" anywhere in the county.


Del Mar (San Diego County)

Measure J

Village Specific Plan

"Shall Ordinance 869 approving the Village Specific Plan as approved by the Del Mar City Council, which, without raising taxes, implements the Del Mar Community Plan by: creating a pedestrian-oriented downtown with plazas, wider sidewalks and landscaping; improving the Village's appearance and economic viability; increasing public parking availability; improving traffic flow, bike and pedestrian safety; reducing air and water pollution; and providing development controls, and traffic and parking solutions to ensure neighborhood compatibility, be adopted?"


Escondido (San Diego County)

Measure N

Changes to General Plan

Measure N would ratify the changes to the city's general plan, approved by the City Council.


Simi Valley (Ventura County)

Measure N

Managed Growth Plan

Measure N would approve a new Managed Growth Plan, which will become effective January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2022, replacing a plan that expires December 31, 2012.


Zoning & Restrictions


Berkeley (Alameda County)

Measure T

Zoning for the West Berkeley Plan

Measure T would make zoning changes to large parcels in West Berkeley. It reads, "Shall the West Berkeley Plan and the Zoning Ordinance be amended to allow development flexibility on up to 6 large sites, each under the same ownership, during the next 10 years, allowing a maximum height of 75' with a site-wide average height of 50', and only if community and environmental benefits are provided to West Berkeley?"


Pacific Grove

Measure F

Building Height Restrictions

If Measure F is approved, it will regulate the height of buildings in the city's downtown district. Buildings in this area would be allowed "a maximum height of 75 feet and 100 percent site coverage.  


Parks & Open Space

Fullerton (Orange County)

Measure W

West Coyote Hills Development and Nature Preserve

The Fullerton City Council approved the "West Coyote Hills" development, a project that would cover 510 acres of former oil field; it would include 760 homes and 283 acres of open space . A "yes" on Measure W supports decision of the Fullerton City Council to allow the West Coyote Hills Project. A "no" vote would stop that development.


Laguna Beach (Orange County)

Measure CC

Parcel Tax for Open Space

Measure CC would approve a parcel tax of $120 per parcel per year, and the revenues from the tax will be used to purchase open space within the city. The tax will generate about $1 million a year, with the objective of increasing open space in the city by about 20%.


Yuba County

Measure T 

Open Space Initiative

Measure T's passage would mean that land use designation and building densities in the General Plan Natural Resources Land Use Element must be retained until the year 2030. A "no" vote means that the Yuba County Board of Supervisors will continue to decide on changes to land use designation and building densities in the General Plan Natural Resources Land Use Element, without a popular vote.


City of Alameda (Alameda County)

Measure D

Sale or Disposal of City Parks

The City of Alameda's charter requires voter approval for any "sale or alienation of any public parks or portion of public parks within the City." This provision has three exceptions that allow the city council to grant certain permits and licenses and sell park property, under certain circumstances, without first seeking voter approval. If Measure D is approved, that the city council would no longer have the authority to sell or dispose of park land without voter approval. The measure reads, "Shall the Charter of the City of Alameda be amended by amending Section 22-12 to eliminate language that allows the City Council to sell or dispose of public parks or any portion thereof if a new public park is designated, which means the sale or disposal of public parks must be approved by the electors?"


City and County of San Francisco

Proposition B

Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond Proposition

Proposition B would authorize the city to borrow $195 million for park, open space and recreation facilities.


City and County of San Francisco

Proposition F

Water Sustainability and Environmental Restoration/Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

Proposition F would allocate $8 million to require the City to prepare a plan that evaluates how to drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and identifies replacement water and power sources. Hetch Hetchy, in Yosemite National Park, is a reservoir that supplies San Francisco with much of its drinking water. It has long been considered a lost natural jewel.


Woodland Hills, Encino, and Tarzan Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (Los Angeles County)

Measure MM

Parcel Tax

Measure MM would levy a parcel tax of $19/year for ten years "to protect, maintain and conserve local open space, parklands and wildlife corridors; protect water quality in local creeks and reservoirs; improve fire prevention including brush clearing, acquire open space, and increase park ranger safety and security patrols."


Los Angeles County

Measure HH

Santa Monica Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority Parcel Tax         

Measure HH would "protect, maintain and conserve local open space, parklands and wildlife corridors; protect water quality in local creeks and reservoirs; improve fire prevention including brush clearing; acquire open space, and increase park ranger safety security patrols" through a special $24 tax assessed annually for ten years, with all funds spent locally in the Santa Monica Mountains east of the 405.


Housing & Redevelopment


City and County of San Francisco

Proposition C

Creation of a Housing Trust Fund

The measure would create a brand-new affordable housing trust fund for the City of San Francisco. "This measure (would set) aside general fund revenues beginning in Fiscal Year 2013-2014 and ending in Fiscal Year 2042-2043 to create, acquire and rehabilitate affordable housing and promote affordable home ownership programs in the City; and 2) lower and stabilize the impacts of affordable housing regulatory impositions on private residential projects; and to authorize the development of up to 30,000 affordable rental units."


Moorpark (Ventura County)

Measure O

Low-Rent Housing Development

Measure N would approve a new Managed Growth Plan, which will become effective January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2022, replacing a plan that expires December 31, 2012.


West Sacramento

Measure G

Redevelopment Agency Dissolution Revenues    

West Sacramento is attempting a novel approach to redevelopment dissolution, by explicitly directing remaining RDA revenue to community investments. The measure reads, "Should the City direct ongoing revenue it receives from the dissolution of its Redevelopment Agency to continue funding community investment projects such as streets, bridges, transportation, parks, and public infrastructure?"




Alameda County

Measure B1

Transportation Sales Tax Increase


Would raise the county transportation sales tax from 1/2 cent to a full cent for the purpose of road maintenance and other transportation projects. The measure could raise up to $8 billion over 30 years. Managed by a 22-member commission,  48% of Measure B1 funds would be spent on transit, 39% would be spent on roads and highways, and 8% would go toward bicycle and pedestrian programs. It requires a 2/3 supermajority.


Atherton (Santa Clara County)

Measure L

New Town Center


"Should the Town of Atherton use funds primarily from private donations to construct a new Town Center? Other funding sources might include funds derived from Building fees or future grant money, but would not use general fund or parcel tax money."


Calistoga (Napa County)

Measure B

Silver Rose Referendum


Measure B concerns an ordinance, approved by the Calistoga City Council in May 2012, which amended the city's overall zoning ordinance to allow the development of the Silver Rose project at 400 Silverado Trail. A yes vote support's the council's decision.



Measure J

City of Guadalupe Name Change to "Guadalupe Beach"        

If the measure is approved, the name of the city will be changed from "Guadalupe" to "Guadalupe Beach."


Huntington Beach (Orange County)

Measure AA

Equal Taxation and Assessments for Sunset Beach

Measure AA emerges from an acrimonious annexation of the formerly unincorporated community of Sunset Beach by the City of Huntington Beach. Sunset Beach residents feared that the larger city would raise taxes and fees on residents. If Measure AA is approved, the residents of Sunset Beach will pay the same assessments, taxes and property-related fees as do the residents of Huntington Beach.


Los Angeles County

Measure J

Sales Tax for Transportation

Measure J is the companion to Los Angeles County's Measure R, passed in 2010 to secure a 1/2-cent, 30-year sales tax to fund transportation improvements. Measure J would extend the Measure R tax for another 30 years, thus allowing the county to borrow against future revenues in order to fund a multitude of transportation improvements over the next two decades. The measure would accelerate light rail, subway, and freeway projects. As a tax, it requires 2/3 approval. 


Los Angeles (Downtown) (Los Angeles County)

Streetcar Measure


Residents in an area of downtown Los Angeles will vote on whether a proposed streetcar circulator will be developed in the area. The system is projected to cost $125 million, with roughly half coming from local landowners. The measure requires 2/3 approval.