Tuesday, October 31, 2006
A man stopped me on the sidewalk.
"What's that sign about?"
"It's supporting Measure A in Santa Clara County, which protects rural areas outside of cities by limiting the amount of new development that can happen there."
He paused a moment.
"That's a good thing to do. They shouldn't be putting lots of houses up in the hills."
It's a pretty straightforward message - I just wish we had a chance to have a similar conversation with every voter in the County.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
October 24, 2006
Re: Sunnyvale General Plan Policies that support taking an official position endorsing Measure A, the Land Conservation Initiative
Dear Members of the City Council;
We understand that you have already heard a great deal about Measure A, the Land Conservation Initiative, enough to convince six council members to endorse it individually. Rather than repeat the many reasons why Measure A is a good idea, we wish to address the recommendation by City staff to not take a position on the Measure.
Staff does not make this recommendation based on whether Measure A is a good or bad idea, but rather on the assertion “Generally, staff only recommends a position on a ballot measure if there is an existing City policy on the issue or significant impact on the City.”
In fact, multiple General Plan policies address the issue, and protecting the City from Los Angeles-style sprawl is a significant beneficial impact on the City.
A cursory review of Sunnyvale General Plan policies shows several relevant provisions:
Policy Goal R1: “PROTECT AND SUSTAIN A HIGH QUALITY OF LIFE IN
Policy Goal R1 references specific goals and action statements that clearly apply to Measure A:
Policy R1.1 Advocate the City’s interests to regional agencies that make land use and transportation system decisions that affect
Policy R1.2 Support coordinated regional transportation system planning and improvements.
Policy R1.3 Promote integrated and coordinated local land use and transportation planning.
R1.3.1 Participate in intergovernmental activities related to regional and sub-regional land use and transportation planning in order to advance the City’s interests.
R1.3.2 Promote shorter commute trips and ease congestion by advocating that all communities provide housing and employment opportunities.
R1.3.3 Monitor significant land use and transportation decisions pending in other communities to ensure that
Because Measure A stops sprawl that could adversely affect
Other City policies also apply:
Policy 3.1A.1c. Support legislation which would enhance the availability of adequate water from
Water conservation 3.1B.2d. Coordinate planning with local, state and federal agencies.
And policies on creek protection:
Surface Runoff Sub-Element
Goals and Policies
Protect Beneficial Uses of Creeks and
Goal 3.4A. Assure the reasonable protection of beneficial uses of creeks and
Policy 3.4A.2 Comply with regulatory requirements and participate in processes which may result in modifications to regulatory requirements.
3.4A.2c. Review proposed changes in regulatory requirements and comment as appropriate.
Measure A protects water quality and water quantity.
For all these reasons, and the general beneficial impact Measure A will have on County land use that is crucial for keeping Sunnyvale part of an area that does not resemble Southern California, we urge the City to endorse Measure A.
Please contact us if you have any questions.
Brian A. Schmidt
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
To see what they're planning, go to their website.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
What struck me was how even the Farm Bureau stated they oppose Proposition 90, something CGF also opposes. In retrospect, it makes sense - Prop. 90 will likely block "Right to Farm" ordinances if it passes.
Proposition 90 is an under-the-radar disaster that has very little to do with the eminent domain issue it pretends to be about. The concern is that people won't see the trap, and will pass it. We certainly hope that won't happen.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The stated reason to build
Coyote Valleyis to bring needed jobs to San Josewhile providing some housing for people employed in . Currently the Bay Area has massive office vacancies, so there is no demand for new office construction. However, if all the office space planned for development there were actually built, there wouldn’t be enough housing. Developing new office space this far south of the city central just serves to exacerbate sprawl south through Coyote Valley Gilroy, San BenitoCounty and the Central Valley.
Now to get that understanding through to the decision-makers....
Monday, October 9, 2006
CGF has a long history of working on San Francisco Bay protection issues, most recently concerning Bayfront Park in San Mateo County. It's great that Bay protection will get the attention it deserves, and kudos to the Water District for making that possible.