November 3, 2015 - Measure E

Lynda Roberts, Registrar of Voters, Elections

TOWN OF SAN ANSELMO
MEASURE E

MEASURE E: Shall an ordinance be adopted to amend the Town’s General Plan to affirm continued use of Memorial Park as primarily a recreational facility and to permit accessory use of Memorial Park for flood control by way of a detention basin only if a majority of voters approves a specific plan detailing development of the park for flood control following environmental review?

YES                 NO

TOWN ATTORNEY’S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE E

MEMORIAL PARK TOWN COUNCIL
COUNTER MEASURE ORDINANCE

Ballot Measure E is a proposed ordinance that would add a policy to the San Anselmo General Plan to specify that Memorial Park is to be used primarily as a recreational facility, unless the voters at a future election approve a specific plan allowing for flood control by way of a detention basin, as a subordinate accessory use in the park.  Measure E was placed on the ballot by the Town Council of the Town of San Anselmo.

Under current Town law, Memorial Park is governed by the policies within the Parks and Open Space section of the Land Use Element of the San Anselmo General Plan. The General Plan policies applicable to Parks and Open Space state that parks will only be improved with facilities for which the park was intended (e.g., tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and open playfields).

Measure E would add a Memorial Park-specific policy to the Town’s General Plan Land Use Element.  That policy would provide that Memorial Park shall be used primarily for recreational facilities.  The policy would allow for flood control by way of a detention basin, as a subordinate accessory use to the recreational facilities at the Park only if the majority of voters at a future election approve a specific plan that includes both uses.

A specific plan is a tool authorized by state law for the systematic implementation of the General Plan.  State law mandates certain contents of specific plans.  If the Town prepares a specific plan for Memorial Park, recreation would continue to be the primary use at the Park, and a flood control detention basin could be allowed as a subordinate use of the Park.  Before placing the specific plan on the ballot for voter approval, the Town would be required to comply with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act.

A “yes” vote on Measure E favors adoption of the ordinance.  A “no” vote opposes adoption of the ordinance.  A majority of “yes” votes is required for the Measure to pass. This measure is a competing measure to Measure D.  If both measures pass and this measure receives more “yes” votes, Measure D will fail.  If both measures pass and Measure D receives more “yes” votes, then this measure will fail. If adopted, this ordinance could not be changed or repealed without voter approval.

A full copy of the proposed ordinance is printed in this ballot pamphlet.

s/ROBERT F. EPSTEIN
Town Attorney

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE E

A Yes vote for Measure E is a vote for Memorial Park and for public safety.

A Yes vote for Measure E preserves Memorial Park, community input and community choice.

Measure E leaves open our opportunity to have both a beautiful Park with improved recreational fields, play structures, and all the amenities we enjoy now, and a Park that helps to prevent flooding – all without significant cost to the Town.

Measure E leaves open our opportunity to use millions in state and county funding to renovate Memorial Park, including better irrigation, improved drainage, and new sports fields.

Measure D, the other measure on this ballot, takes away these opportunities forever. It is an extreme measure based on the false premise that there is already a fixed, unchange­able plan for flood control that would destroy the Park. This is simply untrue.

Your Yes vote for Measure E will ensure that the community has a full voice in the Park’s future.

Measure E affirms the primary use of Memorial Park for recreation. Measure E would allow flood control at the Park only through a plan approved by you the voters. It will require the Town to undertake a full public planning process that will require input from all segments of our community. At the end, you will have the right to vote on a final plan.

We believe that Measure E is the responsible approach to ensure that voters have accurate and complete information before deciding to reject millions in state and county funds to improve Memorial Park. Our community deserves no less.

Vote Yes on Measure E and No on Measure D.

s/JOHN WRIGHT
Mayor, Town of San Anselmo

s/DOUG KELLY
Vice Mayor, Town of San Anselmo

s/KAY COLEMAN
Councilmember, Town of San Anselmo

s/TOM McINERNEY
Councilmember, Town of San Anselmo

s/STEVE BURDO
Chair, San Anselmo Parks and Recreation Commission

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE E

Measure E is on this ballot through the actions of those opposed to the democratic petition process which brought you Measure D.

Measure D is simple. We, the people gathered enough signatures to place it there.

Vote YES on Measure D to spare Memorial Park ANY excavation for a detention basin.

Vote YES on Measure D to prevent the wasting of more Town and Flood Fee funds.

Vote NO on Measure E to end this divisive issue now!

Memorial Park will NEVER provide more than a few inches off a flood.

Memorial Park has community value. Save it.

People's Initiative: Measure D: VOTE YES.

Measure E was concocted by some of the Town Council officials to continue down the park excavation road: VOTE NO on E.

s/PAUL CHIGNELL
Former Mayor

s/ELLEN CALDWELL
Homeowner, Park Lover

s/ROSS ASSELSTINE
Former Member San Anselmo Flood Committee

s/TINA KROOT
Library Advisory Board Member

s/MATT BROWN
Candidate for Town Council

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE E

The purpose of Measure E is to thwart the people’s initiative to Save Memorial Park, Measure D, by attempting to confuse voters. The Town Council never considered, nor wanted, voter input, so 1,447 San Anselmo residents petitioned to put Measure D on the ballot. Do not be misled. Vote Yes on Measure D and No on Measure E.

 Measure E proposes a costly $1.5 million and lengthy CEQA process. Millions have been spent on consultant’s fees to date, without a single project undertaken. Measure D, which protects Memorial Park for all time, eliminates this needless expenditure.

Measure E will not change the fact that all of Memorial Park Рevery tree and blade of grass, Millennium Play­ground, the Elders Garden Рwill be torn up, to be replaced by a walled pit smaller in size and with diminished views. San Anselmo once rose up to protect a single tree, which still stands on the Drake High field. Measure E will not change the fact that the detention basin will only withhold a portion of the flow of Sorich Creek, a small tributary running under Memorial Park, which represents less than 3.8% of the Ross Valley Watershed. Measure E insures that in a 2005-like storm, downtown will flood just as badly, while a large portion of our flood fee will have been wasted.

Everyone wants to lessen flooding in the Ross Valley. There are many effective, cost-efficient ways to do so. Destroying Memorial Park, and Measure E, are not among them. Please join those who wish to preserve the community nature of our beautiful, natural park.

Vote NO on Measure E to Save Memorial Park now!

Vote YES on Measure D, the people’s initiative to remove Memorial Park from consideration as a detention basin.

s/JEFF KROOT
Former Mayor

s/NANCY OSWALD
San Anselmo Citizen

s/BARRY SPITZ
Author, “San Anselmo, A History”

s/DANIEL MAGUIRE
Taxpayer; Flood Fee Payer

s/KATHLEEN LIPINSKI
Artist

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE E

Measure E opponents spread fear and misinformation, falsely claiming that Memorial Park will become a “walled pit” and be destroyed.  These are false scare tactics promoted by those opposed to any real effort to improve our Park and prevent flooding.

Fact:  Under Measure E, no change to Memorial Park will happen until there has been a full community planning process and a public vote based on a real plan.

Fact:  Memorial Park will continue to have grass fields, playgrounds and its other amenities, but with modernized irrigation and drainage -- at minimal cost to the Town.

Fact:  The claim that “millions” have been spent on Memorial Park consultants is blatantly false. The $1.5M figure cited is for all future planning, design, engineering, and environmental documentation. This would be paid from state and county funds, not by the Town.

Fact:  Opponents cannot identify any other reasonable, “cost efficient” way to reduce flooding because none exist.  For too long we have ignored the Town’s flood problem.  Using Memorial Park as a detention basin during peak rainstorms (when the Park is not used) is only one of many necessary projects, and it alone will hold up to 12% of flood waters that devastate our Town.  A leading, independent environmental firm determined this is one of our best options available to stop floods in the Ross Valley.

Please vote YES on Measure E to allow the public input process to continue and to ensure a vote is held based on a real plan, not scare tactics.

s/JOHN WRIGHT
Mayor, Town of San Anselmo

s/DOUG KELLY
Vice Mayor, Town of San Anselmo

s/KAY COLEMAN
Councilmember, Town of San Anselmo

s/TOM McINERNEY
Councilmember, Town of San Anselmo

s/GREG DAVISON
Chair, San Anselmo Chamber of Commerce

Board of Directors

FULL TEXT OF MEASURE E

TOWN OF SAN ANSELMO ORDINANCE NO. ____
AN ORDINANCE OF THE PEOPLE OF THE TOWN OF SAN ANSELMO AMENDING THE SAN ANSELMO GENERAL PLAN LAND USE ELEMENT TO LIMIT THE USE OF MEMORIAL PARK TO RECREATIONAL USES UNLESS VOTERS APPROVE A SPECIFIC PLAN AT A FUTURE ELECTION ALLOWING FOR FLOOD CONTROL AS A SUBORDINATE ACCESSORY USE IN THE PARK (November 3, 2015 Ballot)

The People of the Town of San Anselmo Do Ordain as Follows:

Section 1.      FINDINGS.     The People of the Town of San Anselmo do hereby find as follows:

            A.         The purpose of this Ordinance is to amend the Town of San Anselmo General Plan to specify that Memorial Park shall be used first and foremost for recreation, now and in the future.

            B.         The Ordinance further provides that Memorial Park could also be used for flood control purposes only if the majority of voters approve a specific plan allowing for such uses at a future election.

            C.         The Ordinance proposes to: amend the General Plan Land Use Element to provide for Memorial Park’s continued use as a recreational facility, but to allow for future consideration of a specific plan providing for flood control as a subordinate accessory use in the park.

            D.         Before a specific plan could be brought forward for a vote, the Town would have to complete environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”), which is a public process allowing for input from community members.

            E.         The Ordinance is intended to serve as a counter measure to the Memorial Park Initiative, which will prohibit Memorial Park from being used for flood control and therefore prevents the Town from examining alternatives that could provide for both recreational improvements and flood control facilities in the park.

            F.         Adoption of this Ordinance is exempt from CEQA under section 15305 of the CEQA Guidelines, because the proposed General Plan amendment is a minor alteration in a land use limitation, which does not result in any changes in land use or density.  Additionally, there is no reasonable possibility that adoption of this Ordinance could have a significant effect on the environment.

SECTION 2.    GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT.

A.         The Land Use Element of the Town of San Anselmo General Plan is amended to read as follows:

1. Section E.3 of the Land Use Element  “Parks and Open Space” is hereby amended to add the following Policy:

            “Policy LU-E.3-1:  Memorial Park will be utilized primarily for recreational facilities, including ball fields and a playground.  Notwithstanding Policy LU-E.3 (Parks and Open Space), Memorial Park may also contain flood control by way of a detention basin as a subordinate accessory use only if the majority of voters approve a specific plan developed in accordance with California Government Code section 65451, allowing for a facility that includes both recreational and flood control uses within the park.”

Section 4.      ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS

Adoption of this Ordinance is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) under section 15305 of the CEQA Guidelines, because the proposed General Plan amendment is a minor alteration in a land use limitation, which does not result in any changes in land use or density.   In addition, there is no reasonable possibility that adoption of this Ordinance could have a significant effect on the environment.  The General Plan amendment contained in this Ordinance specifies that Memorial Park will continue to be utilized primarily for recreational facilities, which is consistent with current General Plan policies applicable to the park.  This Ordinance does not allow for additional uses, unless the majority of voters at a future election approve a specific plan allowing for recreational and flood control uses within the park.  If the Town undertakes the specific planning process to allow for flood control as a subordinate accessory use in the park, a separate CEQA analysis would be required for the specific plan before it could be placed on the ballot at a future election.

Section 5.      SEVERABILITY

If any provision of this Ordinance, or the application of any such provision to any person or circumstances, shall be held invalid, the remainder of this Ordinance to the extent it can be given effect, or the application of those provisions to persons or circumstances other than those as to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby, and to this end the provisions of this ordinance are severable.  The people hereby declare that they would have adopted each section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this Ordinance, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, sentences, clauses, phrases, or portions of this Ordinance be declared invalid or unenforceable.

Section 6.  CONFLICT WITH OTHER MEASURES.

This Ordinance is intended to conflict with the San Anselmo Memorial Park Initiative.  In addition, this Ordinance will be deemed to conflict with any other initiative appearing on the same ballot if the other initiative addresses any of the following subjects:  planning and zoning controls and development standards applicable to any part of Memorial Park, as set forth in the Town’s General Plan, Municipal Code, Zoning Maps or in any other applicable Town law, policy or regulation.

In the event that this Ordinance and an initiative, including the San Anselmo Memorial Park Initiative, are approved by the majority of voters at the same election, and this Ordinance receives a greater number of affirmative votes than any other such measure or measures, this Ordinance shall become effective and control in its entirety and the other measure or measures shall be rendered null and void and without any legal effect.

Section 7.      EFFECTIVE DATE

This Ordinance shall be in full force and effect ten (10) days after the certification by the Town Council of the election returns indicating passage of the Ordinance by a majority of the voters casing votes in the election.

Section 8.      APPROVAL

This Ordinance was approved for placement on the November 3, 2015 ballot by a _________ vote of all members of the Town Council.  The Ordinance was adopted by the voters of the Town of San Anselmo at the Regular Election held on November 3, 2015 by the following vote tally:

YES:

NO: