Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mission Viejo’s Measure “D” Threatens Private Property Rights – June 8, 2010, Election

Mission Viejo’s local Measure “D” Threatens Private Property Rights – June 8, 2010, Election.
Mission Viejo’s policy for possible changes of land use within city limits is handled by applications presented to city staff and planners who would either decline the change or send on to planning commissioners for review and recommendations to city council.  Public hearings take place according to local law, and council members make ultimate decisions.  This land use change policy has worked well for the city and its residents. 
A small group of unhappy residents recently got enough signatures to put Measure “D” on the ballot for June 8 election.  If passed, this initiative would become law and essentially lock up and make almost impossible any land uses change.   Measure D is without reasonable support for change of current public system of regulation used by the city for land use.
This poorly drafted Measure D (also known as Mission Viejo “The Right to Vote” initiative) was placed on the ballot in response to the incorrect assumption about possible land use changes regarding the public golf course area.  This initiative is without basis in fact and has no sound reasoning for change of public policy. 
Measure D would require voters by referendum (not city planners and council members) to make all decisions about proposed changes of land use within city limits.  It would require that private property owners who want zoning changes pay for an election referendum of the entire city electorate.  Language of this initiative is vague and would probably require approval by majority of all registered voters (not just majority of those voting).  Measure D supporters apparently want to make it impossible for any private land use or zoning change.
In a recent Orange County Register editorial about Measure D the Register wrote “what a dream come true for meddling NIMBYs (Not in My Back Yarders) – and what a nightmare for everybody else.”
Consideration of proposed land use changes and decisions at Mission Viejo (and at other Orange County cities) is what professional planners, planning commissioners, and City Council members are hired, appointed and/or elected for.
What’s needed for highest and best use of property within any city must always be considered as circumstances change.  When the Mission Viejo general plan was adopted, planners could not have known about circumstances that have shaped the city’s character.  Local transportation factors, housing needs, real estate markets, property and sales tax revenues, have changed, and appropriate city government responses must be adopted and implemented.
The current system in Mission Viejo for land use changes has worked well and fairly.  City leaders continue to work within guidelines of their legal responsibilities for such changes, recognizing their responsibilities and according to the best interest of residents and taxpayers.
If a property owner at Mission Viejo or other city in Orange County wants to change the use of private property, he or she shouldn’t be deprived of a reasonable opportunity to present an application, advocate for that changed use, attend public hearings and ask for city council approval.
If Measure D passes and becomes law, land uses could only be changed at significant cost and without reasonable due process.  If this initiative passes at Mission Viejo, private property rights will be damaged, and current flexibility, responsiveness, and fairness in the city planning process will be eliminated.  
Measure D would be bad for Mission Viejo, its residents and private property owners.  Resulting city elections for possible zone changes would be completely unfair and expected to result in lawsuits with at least some of the costs to be paid for by city residents and taxpayers. 
The current public policy for consideration and making land use changes within the City of Mission Viejo works well and shouldn’t be changed. 
The Orange County Association of REALTORS® strongly opposes Mission Viejo's local Measure “D” and has joined in this with the South Orange County Regional Chambers of Commerce, the California Association of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS®.    
Please help us protect property rights and ask your friends and clients to vote NO on Mission Viejo's Measure D at the upcoming June 8 election. 
Harrison K. Long, Realtor and broker associate, Coldwell Banker, Irvine, CA. Lawyer member, California State Bar Association #69137.  National Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors, and Orange County Association of Realtors.  Current Chairperson of Local Government Relations south committee at  South OC, Newport Beach and Irvine area Realtor, broker agent and property information source. 
Always hire an experienced local REALTOR® to help you with your decisions and sale or purchase of a home and property.

Posted via email from Explore OC Homes


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