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                                                                         In 2000, The Danville Town Council proposed a new ordinance to help control residential development - Measure S.
"Shall the people of the Town of Danville enact an amendment to the Town's General Plan, known as the Danville Open Space Preservation Initiative, to preserve Agricultural, General Open Space and Parks and Recreation Land Use Designations and requiring voter approval for future general plan amendments to lands with those designations?
 
Check out the link below to the original League of Women Voters Smart Voter Page for text and arguments for and against Measure S - This was approved on November 7, 2000 by Danville votes with a yes vote of 74.4%:
 
Click below to view League of Women's Voter Original Site for Measure S:
 
Mayor Arnerich believes Measure S should be made permanent and not expire in 2020. Making Measure S permanent can easily be accomplished as a mandatory requirement in the new General Plan. This additional 'tool' has greatly reduced the number of proposed new residences on the Open Space-Agricultural designated parcels that this measure applies to. If any applicant requests a General Plan Amendment seeking additional entitlements, this request can only be approved by Danville's voters, as required by Measure S. The voter approval safeguard assures that property owner's will not likely seek greater entitlements.
 
FACTS ABOUT MEASURE S & THE DRAFT 2030 General Plan Update:
Measure S was written and sponsored by the Town of Danville in 2000 and approved by our voters. Measure S reaffirmed the existing land use designation of General Open Space, Parks and Recreation and Agriculture that were shown in Danville's 2010 General Plan. Measure S further required that voter approval be required to approve any general Plan Amendment to change any of those designations. No such General Plan Amendments have be proposed or approved by the Town Council since Measure S was passed in 2000.
 
Ellworthy Ranch tried for over 25 years to get through Danville's strict planning standards. After the passage of Measure S, the Ellworthy Ranch project proposal request went down from nearly 500 homes to 84 single family homes and 8 apartments to be built on approx. 12 acres leaving the remaining 400+ acres to permanent open space and off the hillsides. The adjacent neighborhoods and HOA's came out to support the final version of the Ellworthy project after seeing years of proposed massive projects which were trying to be built on our scenic hillsides. Measure S helped create the large expanse of permanent open space completing the Las Trampas Ridge line open space park lands.
 
The requirements of Measure S are being carried forward into Danville's draft 2030 General Plan, which is now under public review and available on the Town of Danville website. The draft plan has been reviewed and discussed over the past 2 1/2 years and numerous public meetings. The proposed draft plan is largely a factual update of the current General Plan. The draft plan and EIR (Environmental Impact Report) will go before the Planning Commission and Town Council at public hearings that will start later this year and into 2013. Upon completion of the public review and hearing process, the Town will adopt the new General Plan. The Draft 2030 General Plan does not suggest any changes to the requirements of the voter approved Measure S. However, there is discussion by the Council to make measure S permanent and not sunset in 2020. 
 
DANVILLE'S MEASURE S
"The measure would readopt and reaffirm the existing land use designations of Agricultural, General Open Space and Parks and Recreation contained in the Town's General Plan. Properties with these land use designations represent approximately 40% of the total acreage within the Town. As defined in the General Plan, these land use designations generally allow either no or very limited development.
 
For properties within these land use designations, the measure would add a new process for approving any future change in land use. Under state law, general plan amendments may be approved by a simple majority of the Town Council after review and recommendation by the Town's Planning Commission. The measure would provide that if a general plan amendment changing the land use from Agricultural, General Open Space or Parks and Recreation to any other use is approved by the Town Council, the proposed amendment would then be subject to approval by the Town's voters at a subsequent election.Without voter approval, the proposed change would not become effective. The measure would provide one exception to the voter approval requirement for these land use changes. If the proposed general plan amendment is the minimum necessary to avoid an unconstitutional taking of the landowner's property rights or is the minimum necessary to comply with state or federal law, the amendment could be approved by a 4/5's majority of the Town Council. Any such action by the Town Council would have to be based on specific findings supported by substantial evidence and could occur only after two public hearings regarding the proposed amendment in addition to any other hearings normally required for approval of a general plan amendment.
 
If approved, this measure would remain in effect for 20 years and could be amended only by the Town's voters." Text from original published impartial ballot statement.
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