Measure I hurts the small guy

Although Measure I will affect large developments, it also hurts the “small guy.” I own a house and a vacant lot that will be in this new “open space” zone. I don’t know why they included my house because my neighbors on both sides of me are not in it. But, that is a discussion for another day. As to my existing house, I will not be able to remodel if the remodel expands my house’s footprint onto this new “open space.” Clause f in Section 5 of Measure I allows my house to remain, but “such use may not be expanded.” I cannot add a bedroom. I cannot push out my kitchen wall 5 feet to make it bigger. I cannot add a pool, etc.. This is because that “expanded use” is prohibited in this new open space. Well, folks, my backyard is not open space in reality, but will be under Measure I. The bottom line is that the 550 private lots should have been excluded from this new open space.

Now, let’s look at the vacant lot I own. The measure says that I can build a house, BUT there is a hidden clause which says I cannot. Exhibit C, clause D of Measure I, says that, in order to build my one house, I need to “fully improve” the street. Well, in this part of Martinez, we have streets dating from the early 1900’s. My street has no storm drain, and it is only 20 or so feet wide. Therefore, under Clause D of Exhibit C, I must install a storm drain all the way to Alhambra Creek and widen the street to something like 50 feet wide. That’s millions of dollars! So, if Measure I passes, I technically can build on my vacant lot, but the cost will be prohibitive. That is how the proponents of Measure I can say one thing and accomplish the exact opposite. So much for my “protected rights.”

I have backed up my position with citations to the exact clauses in the initiative. The proponents of Measure I throw out assertions without citations to any exact clause in their initiative, state law, etc..

Am I worried about Measure I passing? You better believe it. I’ve worked two jobs to purchase my house and vacant lot, which I intended to be my retirement. Measure I will take that away from me!

– Kirsten Fischer

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