November 2012 Voter Guide
Each election year brings a plethora of ballot measures and initiatives for Bay Area voters to evaluate. Greenbelt Alliance is recommending a YES position on four local measures for the November 2012 election:
YES on Alameda County Measure B1
Measure B1 would double the existing transportation sales tax in Alameda County, extend it in perpetuity, and approve a $7.8 billion plan for the next 30 years of spending.
This measure would provide an unprecedented infusion of resources for transit, street repair, walking and biking infrastructureA general term for public (and quasi-public) services and facilities, such as sewage-disposal systems, water-supply systems, other utility systems, and roads., and transit-oriented developmentA system of regularly scheduled buses and/or trains available to the public on a fee-per-ride basis. Also called mass transit.. These investments are critical to encourage the type of development that will strengthen the quality of lifeQuality of life is not a tangible thing, and so cannot be measured directly. It consists of both physical and psychological components. The physical includes such aspects as health, diet, and protection against pain and disease. The psychological includes stress, worry, pleasure, and other positive or negative emotional states. for residents of all income levels, reduce carbon emissions, and minimize the pressure on our region’s natural landscapes.
While the measure does include some projects that would create more auto-dependency and incentives for sprawlThe process in which the spread of development across the landscape far outpaces population growth. The landscape sprawl creates has four characteristics: a population that is widely dispersed in low-density development; rigid separation of uses, so that homes, commerce and workplaces are segregated from one another; a network of roads laid out to separate land into huge blocks and offering poor access; and a lack of well-defined, thriving activity centers, such as downtowns and town centers. Most of the other features usually associated with sprawl – a lack of transportation choices, relative uniformity of housing options, and difficulty walking from place to place – result from these conditions., on balance, Measure B1 points Alameda County solidly in the right direction. Vote YES on B1.
YES on Marin County Measure A
Measure A is a temporary ¼-cent sales tax increase and would generate approximately $10 million annually for nine years to protect Marin parks, open spaceAny parcelA lot, or contiguous group of lots, in single ownership or under single control, usually considered a unit for purposes of development. or area of land or water that is essentially unimproved and devoted to an open space use for the purposes of (1) the preservation of natural resources, (2) the managed production of resources, (3) outdoor recreation, or (4) public health and safety., and farmland:
- 65% of the funds would be available to Marin County Parks to restore natural resources, maintain county parks and open spaceAny parcelA lot, or contiguous group of lots, in single ownership or under single control, usually considered a unit for purposes of development. or area of land or water that is essentially unimproved and devoted to an open space use for the purposes of (1) the preservation of natural resources, (2) the managed production of resources, (3) outdoor recreation, or (4) public health and safety. preserves, restore and improve public access, and protect natural lands
- 20% would be dedicated to saving family farms and ranches
- 15% would be available to cities, towns, and special districts to manage their parks, nature preserves, recreation programs, and vegetation to reduce the risk of wildfire
Marin’s natural and working landscapes provide locally grown food, protect our water supply, and allow for outdoor recreation. Parks, farms, and ranches are an integral part of the culture and economic well-being of Marin County — investing in their maintenance and long-term viability is critical for preserving these landscapes for future generations. Vote YES on A.
YES on San Francisco Measure C
Measure C would create a Housing Trust Fund in San Francisco—a long-term, local, funding source for affordable housingHousing that can be purchased or rented by a household with moderate, low, or very low income, based on a household's ability to make monthly payments necessary to obtain housing. Housing is considered affordable when a household pays less than 30 percent of its gross monthly income (GMI) for housing, including utilities. which would:
- Generate $1.2 billion over the next 30 years and help create up to 30,000 new, permanently affordable homes for low-income San Francisco households
- Double the existing homebuyer assistance program to $30 million to help first-time moderate-income homebuyers
- Create a $15 million home stabilization program to help residents facing foreclosure stay in their homes
Capital for the Fund would come from a portion of the hotel tax that has traditionally been dedicated to affordable housingHousing that can be purchased or rented by a household with moderate, low, or very low income, based on a household's ability to make monthly payments necessary to obtain housing. Housing is considered affordable when a household pays less than 30 percent of its gross monthly income (GMI) for housing, including utilities., revenue from the proposed gross receipts tax on business revenues (also on the November ballot), and future revenues from property tax increments that were previously used by the former RedevelopmentThe renewal and improvement of older commercialA land use classification that permits facilities for the buying and selling of commodities and services. and residentialLand designated in the city or county general plan and zoning ordinance for buildings consisting only of dwelling units. May be improved, vacant, or unimproved. areas through actions or programs that encourage and facilitate private and public investment. This investment can include activities and programs designed to improve neighborhoods; strengthen existing businesses; encourage quality renovation and new construction; enhance public spaces and pedestrian amenities; ensure safe, efficient, and convenient traffic flow; attract new businesses; and contribute to the social and economic vitality of the area. Agency to produce affordable housingHousing that can be purchased or rented by a household with moderate, low, or very low income, based on a household's ability to make monthly payments necessary to obtain housing. Housing is considered affordable when a household pays less than 30 percent of its gross monthly income (GMI) for housing, including utilities..
Availability of homes affordable to all residents in cities throughout the region is essential for the Bay Area to remain a thriving, dynamic place to live and work. Vote YES on C.
Yes on Healdsburg Measure W
Urban Growth Boundaries are one of the strongest tools for protecting our natural landscapes and creating thriving neighborhoods. Every city in Sonoma County has an urban growth boundaryAn urban growth boundary defines where development should and should not happen. The line circumscribes an entire urbanized area and is used by local governments to guide land-use decisions. ensuring that lands beyond these boundaries remain for rural uses. Measure W, added to the November 2012 ballot via unanimous vote by the Healdsburg City CouncilA city's legislative body. The popularly elected city council is responsible for enacting ordinances, imposing taxes, making appropriations, establish¬ing city policy, and hiring some city officials. The council adopts the general planA statement of policies, including text and diagrams setting forth objectives, principles, standards and plan proposals, for the long-term future physical development of the city or county. The general plan is a legal document required of each local jurisdiction by the State of California Government Code section 653o1 and adopted by the city council or board of supervi¬sors. In California, the general plan has seven mandatory elements (circulation, conservation, housing, land use, noise, open space, safety and seismic safety) and may include any number of optional elements (such as air quality, economic development, hazardous waste, and parks and recreation). The general plan may also be called a city plan, compre¬hensive plan, or master plan., zoningThe division of a city or county by legislative regulations into areas, or zones, which specify allowable uses for real property and size restrictions for buildings within these areas; a program that implements policies of the general plan., and subdivisionThe division of a tract of land into defined lots, either improved or unimproved, which can be separately sold or leased, and which can be altered or developed. ordinance., will extend the timeframe past the existing December 31, 2016 expiration date to December 31, 2030.
Vote YES on W.Tags: affordable housing, ballot measures, election, farmland, funding, housing, Measure A, measure b1, Measure C, Measure W, November 2012, open space, parks, TOD, transit, transportation