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Election 2008

Voter Guide: Redondo Beach’s Confusing Efforts to Curb Development

10_17_08_redondo_beach.jpg

(Between now and the November 4th election, LA Streetsblog will be
writing about as many local ballot measures that effect transportation
that we can find.  I'm trying to ignore the politics of the propositions and measures and focus on what they would actually mean to residents when passed.  If you would like to write an opinion piece either for or against any measure on this fall's ballot or have any suggestions please email me at
damien@streetsblog.org.)

One upping Santa Monica, the City of Redondo Beach has two propositions on the November ballot that would limit growth within the city.

First, the Community organization Building a Better Redondo gathered over 6,000 signatures to place Measure DD on the ballot.  According to Ballotpedia this Measure would require a ballot measure before any development would be approved that would:

    • Have the effect of converting any public land to private use,
    • Change business zoning to residential or mixed-use developments with certain density limits, or
    • "Significantly increase" traffic, density or intensity of use in a neighborhood.

Not surprisingly, Redondo's elected officials are less than excited about a ballot proposition that limits their power over development.  The City Council passed their own competing ballot proposition, Measure EE, that would also slow development somewhat, but that doesn't seek to place restrictions on all development.  Measure EE...

    • Has an effect on times when a low density residentialneighborhoods would be "upzoned" to a higher residential density thanis currently allowed.
    • Prevents any zoning changes to non-residential uses in single family dwelling neighborhoods.
    • Has no effects on medium and high density neighborhoods.
    • Has no effects on rezoning business or public property (other than P-PRO) to condo zoning.
    • Prevents the rezoning of parks and open space to any other type of zoning,
    • Limits the height of buildings within the Coastal Zone to current 45-foot specifications.
    • Any proposals by the city's Planning Commission that change zoning beyond these parameters must go to a public vote.

The main difference between the two plans, is where the voter is asked to place their trust when it comes to development.  Measure DD asks voters to place their trust in the electoral process.  Measure EE asks them to place their faith in the city's planners and Master Plan.  Another difference is Measure DD treats all development projects the same, while EE gives preference to developments that meet the requirements of the city's Master Plan.

For those people interested in doing what is best for the future of Redondo Beach, rather than trying to preserve it as it currently is, the choice really comes down to one question.  Do you trust voters to not vote down every development that comes to them for a vote.  After all, there are many cities in California and the Northeast that have similar requirements to what Measure DD proposes and as many towns in New England have had similar ordinances since the 1700's.  Clearly there has been some development there in the last 300 years.

However, if you think anti-development ferver is so strong in Los Angeles County that Measure DD will be a death knell for any development in Redondo, then I would think long and hard about supporting it even if you agree with its general sentiment.

Photo: pikake1227/Flickr

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