Yes on F – No on I: Why the East Bay Times Editorial completely misses the mark

| May 30, 2018 | 6 Comments

The May 29th editorial in the East Bay Times completely misses the mark on Measures F and I on the June ballot. In addition to being blatantly one-sided, the information presented by Dan Borenstein in the editorial was missing the facts. I am writing this letter to clear up some relevant issues.

Measure I is not the “citizen’s initiative.” It was circulated by a small group of residents who have, for years, tried to block a small residential development on the old Pine Meadow Golf Course – a business on private property, surrounded by a residential neighborhood, that includes a bar, restaurant and vehicle storage facility owned by my family.

We all know that Measure I is an attempt to take the Pine Meadow property. But instead of being honest about the intent, the proponents tried to mask their attempts at a land grab by creating a city-wide measure. By doing so, they have created so many more significant issues for City residents and the City Council.

Additionally, the Sierra Club has no opposition to the development of this land, and they confirmed it does not meet their definition or standard of the open space they work to protect.

When the Measure I supporters were trying to block all activity on my PRIVATE property, they called themselves the “Friends of Pine Meadow.” Then, they changed their name to “Thousand Friends of Martinez” (although on their Facebook Page they have only 87 likes, which is 913 friends short of 1,000). Now they call themselves the Martinez Open Space Committee.

Measure I is their attempt to control what happens on the Pine Meadows property and on over 550 other private properties throughout our City.

So if Measure I passes and your private property is affected, you will not be able to make decisions about your property unless they are specifically approved by the voters of Martinez at a special election.

Measure F was placed on the ballot by the City for two main reasons:

First, Measure F will protect public parks and open space areas from any future development.

And second, if passed, Measure F will protect PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNERS from having to go to the ballot box when they want to make legal changes on their property. Property owners will still have to go to the City, submit proper applications and be heard before the Planning Commission and the City Council. But their property will not be under the scrutiny and control of the 87 members of the Thousand Friends of Martinez or whatever they choose to call themselves at that time.

Measure F is the City’s promise that is will not, without a vote of the people, eliminate public open space or public park land.

The Times seems to have omitted this information from its editorial. I am including it here and good reasons Martinez citizens should join me in voting YES on F and NO on I.

– Christine Coward-Dean

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Category: Opinion

Comments (6)

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  1. Mike says:

    How many little people signed the petitions to put this initiative on the ballot that the Council & Mayor promptly legally challenged in court & lost.

  2. Tiny Tim says:

    “little people” who were lied to in exchange for their signature. Tsk, tsk.

  3. Mike says:

    I think the East Bay Times Editorial was totally correct in every way. I do believe there is plenty of lying going on it is just who you believe is doing it.

  4. Linda says:

    Here we go again, fomenting class warfare by intentionally changing the words (along with their perceived definitions) Small Group, to Little People.

    Last year I stood by and listened as Measure I proponent’s signature gatherer lied to those at the King of the County BBQ celebration.

    That same person was overheard by more than one community member on more than one occassion and the overarching takeaway was she lied. She lied about the urgent need for community members to take back control from a rogue council intent on converting every piece of parkland to residential development. She lied when she cited examples of where ‘parks’ had been converted. She just lied, and I will never again sign another petition as a result of this blatant deception.

    I highly recommend people listen to Craig Lazzereti’s comments at this past council meeting http://martinez.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=1500 at 1:29

    Craig’s comments perfectly encapsulate my views on this argument. “Do we have an open space crisis in Martinez, or do we have a housing crisis in Martinez?”

    As a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Craig makes a compelling public speaker.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hear say means nothing as it can be made up… and can not be used in court!

    • Linda says:

      Oh dear “anonymous” hearsay is one word. I would never rely on hearsay, I am merely relaying my experience.

      I’d much rather rely on case law:

      In Lesher Communications, Inc. v. City of Walnut Creek, (1990) 52 Cal. 3d 531, 540, the California
      Supreme Court addressed the importance of vertical consistency in the context of a land use initiative
      measure. In that case, a “Traffic Control Initiative” was placed on the ballot to establish a building
      moratorium to combat traffic congestion. The measure passed. The problem the Court faced, however,
      was the fact that the measure created vertical inconsistency between Walnut Creek’s General Plan and
      Zoning Regulations. After carefully looking at the language of the measure, the Court held that: (1) the
      initiative was not offered as, and could not be construed as, an amendment to the city’s general plan,
      and (2) since the initiative was inconsistent with the general plan in effect when the initiative was
      adopted, the measure was invalid.

      https://www.cacities.org/Resources-Documents/Member-Engagement/Professional-Departments/City-Attorneys/Library/2015/Land-Use-101-Webinar-Paper.aspx

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