April 23, 2009
Editorial: Measure A will inject energy into downtown; vote yes May 19
People living downtown can only help
Measure A, which would allow 500 residential units to be built in the downtown area, deserves your vote May 19.
Measure H, now revised as Measure A, failed in November by just 10 votes, and those who supported it say they were complacent and took for granted that there would be no opposition. This time they’ve organized a Political Action Committee to support the measure and have raised more than $10,000. It is endorsed by the Greenbelt Alliance, Sierra Club and League of Women Voters.
Let’s set the record straight
Passage of Measure A will not circumvent the city’s growth control measure.
Residents may have thought the 500 units were above and beyond the system’s 48,000 population cap by 2020, it’s not; developers thought it would take housing allocations away from them, and it doesn’t; and others thought the 500 units would be low-income, and, while they’ll be smaller units and therefore affordable to first-home buyers and young professionals, they’re not subsidized.
What it will do is lessen the number of homes built near the city’s greenbelt between San Jose to the north and San Martin to the south, allowing for sustainable land-use policies. We can have the best of both worlds: a bustling downtown and plenty of open space surrounding the city, unlike our neighbors to the north.
It makes sense
Adding about 1,000 residents to the downtown makes sense. Measure A is the linchpin of the city’s Downtown Specific Plan, the vision of a bustling downtown that includes mixed-use housing with retail or offices on the ground floor, residences above. It is a model that has proven successful in many other cities. Downtowns are healthier when diverse. After Measure A’s passage, Morgan Hill should seek support from county and state officials to keep up with revitalization. New residents will need parking spaces. Caltrain will need to add more trains to accommodate those who want to live downtown but commute north, or south, to work. And, moving housing downtown will help reduce the number of units built on the city’s fringe and preserve open space. And, the infrastructure is already in place. No need to build more roads or connect another 500 units to water and sewer systems. They’re already there.
Measure A does not raise taxes, it protects farmland, lowers greenhouse gases and will create a vibrant downtown core. Vote yes on Measure A.
Dennis Kennedy is a member of the editorial board and on the committee in support of Measure A. He recused himself from discussions regarding this topic.
For questions regarding your ballot or polling place, visit the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters at www.sccvote.org.