THE FORTNIGHTLY CLUB
Founded 24 January 1895
Meeting # 1839
Assembly Room, A. K. Smiley Public Library
February 28, 2013
The Benefits (?) Of Growth
By William E. Cunningham
This paper is a modest attempt to chronicle the events surrounding the evolution of the City of Redlands over the last thirty years and its most important political debate: At what rate and how best to grow.
Redlands is but a microcosm, but in many ways a unique one, of the forces and issues that have driven much of the political dialogue at both the state and local level, as population growth has altered the demographic, economic and physical landscape over those intervening years.
The author is neither an historian nor a totally unbiased observer of the events chronicled but felt a thumbnail history, however flawed, would have some limited merit in that, to his knowledge, no compilation of events surrounding this issue has been done, and it could, at least, provide a point of reference for discussion.
The sequence and description of events were dredged from an all too human memory but, nonetheless, are believed to be a reasonably accurate portrayal.
The Early Years
Perhaps one of the most fascinating chapters in the story of California=s explosive growth over the last three decades has been the attempts by the citizens of a number of cities and counties to direct and manage their destiny through direct democracy, the initiative process.
None have been more active or successful in that arena than the people of the City of Redlands.
Their first tentative step was in 1978, when Redlands voters approved what came to be known as Prop.R
R grew out of the public=s frustration with Redlands= first exposure to large scale development in the late seventies, and the failure of their elected representatives, the city council, to address the problem.
Redlands had seen a spurt of growth in the post-war years of the late forties and the fifties, most visible today in the neighborhoods east of the university, south of the high school and in the southwest area north of Highland Avenue.
In the sixties development continued at a measured and reasonably absorbed pace. Redlands was still relatively remote from the coastal job centers and the citrus industry remained a significant economic force in the community.
The coming of the freeway in the sixties not only divided the town physically but also demographically and economically. Housing development and prices withered on the now clearly defined Anorthside.@ Businesses on Orange Street, north of the freeway and neighborhoods west of Orange near the freeway suffered and continue to struggle today. While an alternative route through San Timoteo Canyon had some advantages, the business community viewed any route not roughly paralleling Highway 99, locally Redlands Boulevard, through town as an economic threat. They lobbied heavily for the central, town-dividing route.
The freeway, for the first time, opened up opportunities for residents to commute over long distances to the job centers nearer the coast, bringing jobs there within reasonable driving times.
But it wasn=t until the next wave of development on the southside in the seventies that a critical mass of residents coalesced and began seeking a way to slow the development they saw as threatening their quality of life.
Between the years of 1970 and 1976, inclusive, an average of 220 dwelling units were constructed annually in Redlands. But that abruptly changed in 1977 when over 1,200 residential permits were issued. And 1978 saw over 2,400 more. Many in the community began calling for growth limitation policies or a moratorium
Those most concerned, with early leadership from members of the university community, were soon organized as the AFriends of Redlands@ and began meeting regularly in Armacost Library at the University.
Redlands had been changing demographically. Grand Central Rocket, a small, pioneering manufacturer of solid rocket motors had located in Mentone in what was then a relatively isolated location on the alluvial cone of the Santa Ana. Within a few years Lockheed picked up the company and greatly expanded its operations.
Both Aerospace Corporation and Thompson Ramo Woolridge (TRW) established divisions at Norton and many of those newcomers chose to live in Redlands. Norton , itself, became, and continued to be until its closing in 1989, a source of new permanent residents as many in the military who had been stationed there chose Redlands as their retirement home.
Those families locating in Redlands, brought a demand for upscale housing and expectations of quality education for their children. Many of these newcomers, in addition to their many other contributions to the community, became very active in the nascent growth management movement.
Frustrated with the city council=s failure to listen while ignoring their pleas, the Friends finally settled on a ballot initiative as a last resort. It was among the earliest local growth measures ever attempted in California.
While faced with the popular bias against Aballot box@ government, the feeling that decisions should be left in the hands of those elected to represent us, that feeling was blunted, in part, by a second, state-wide initiative force at work. A popular revolution was building over the failure of the legislature to address a growing outcry over local property taxation, a frustration many locals shared. Its result was Proposition 13, sometimes known as Jarvis One.
And for those whose greatest concern was the threat of rapid growth swamping the schools, Proposition 13 added urgency to the successful passage of the AFriends@ ballot measure, Proposition R.
One of Proposition 13=s major provisions was the prohibition of local general obligation bonds. The school district would no longer have available its traditional funding source to build new school facilities, compounding, thereby, the already existing school housing crisis if rampant growth were to continue and the district were to be left no means of providing school housing for the additional children..
Both ballot measures were hugely popular with the electorate and passed with large margins
Prop R was a simple, one page document which set three goals.
1) An annual 450 dwelling unit cap and restrictions on the development of Amajor subdivisions.@
2) Each subdivision was to be competitively evaluated for quality on at least: tract design, architecture and construction, interaction with city and school services, preservation of agricultural land, low income and minority housing requirements, and price.
3) Outside city water and sewer connections were limited to 150 units per year.
In the first few years the people=s measure was effective and met its goals. And its yardstick of project quality, while modified several times, still functions well in requiring projects to meet certain minimum standards
In 1979 Redlands voters also elected two new councilmembers who ran on a Prop R platform, doctor Kenneth Roth, who became mayor, and James Gorman, an employee of Aerospace Corporation.
In the following year, although the city had levied no fees, itself, to mitigate the impacts of development on the city=s infrastructure and services, except a requirement for the submission of irrigation water company stock prior to the issuance of a building permit, the city council did, grudgingly in response to school officials= pleas, adopt a fee for school construction, one of the first such in California.
As a side note, it was at this time that Mobil Corporation, which had just purchased the 1,710 acre East Highlands Ranch, approached the schools with plans for 3,800 homes and a request for, and the expectation that, the school district provide three elementary schools, a middle school and one-third of a high school. Mobil refused to provide any support to help with the school housing needs their massive project demanded. The school district then turned to the county and asked it to impose fees. The county refused, the district sued, and lost when the court ruled that houses were a more important societal need than schools.
The loss of hundreds of acres of prime, productive agricultural land never entered the public discourse.
In >81 the housing market crashed, the city council rescinded school fees in an attempt to stimulate development (with a caveat that should the schools reach a 90 percent occupancy threshold the fees would be reinstituted), and all was quiet on the growth front until 1983.
In the next city election, one of the Prop R councilmembers, the mayor, declined to run for re-election and Gorman was defeated. Prop R had lost its voice at city hall. Elected were Carole Beswick, wife of a local attorney, and Richard Larsen.
It was but a short time later that the Measure=s first real test came.
Working their way through the county=s planning process were two large apartment projects on Barton Road, 538 units on the south side, and immediately across the street, 496 more on the Van Mouwerik dairy land.
Both projects needed city water and sewer services which, under the terms of Prop R, required annexation. The number of units to be built far exceeded Prop R=s annual limitation.
The new pro-development city council, eager to see the projects constructed, turned to its contract attorney, Dallas Holmes, for a way around R. While admitting in writing that it would not withstand a court challenge, he determined that since neither project stood on more than four parcels of land, they constituted Aminor subdivisions@ under state law, and were therefore exempt from the Amajor subdivision@ strictures of the Measure.
Community response to the council=s action was both swift and negative. To protect themselves the city council placed Measures B, C and D on the 1985 ballot. The electorate rejected the attempt to whitewash the council’s actions.
The schools, facing hundreds of new children, a number well-beyond the 90 percent threshold for fees required by the city’s own ordinance of 1980, requested that the city reinstitute fees as had been promised by ordinance in 1981.
The city council refused, using the argument that the units would only be occupied by singles and young, childless couples from Norton. The school district sued and in 1985 won on all counts, but the two projects had avoided paying anything, in spite of the fact that the following September there were 140 new children from the apartments on the steps of McKinley School, waiting to enroll.
Through those years demand for upscale housing had been met by developments like Smiley Heights, which had been subdivided after the city refused to take the property as a park. Development had also continued to fill the vacant hill land which the university had subdivided east of the Country Club.
But it was two proposed developments south of Sunset Drive, the Selinger project and Lantern Crest, that were perceived as having the potential of opening that area to urbanizing development. That brought matters to a head. Under intense citizen pressure the city council in 1986 imposed a moratorium on all development activity in the area until a master plan could be adopted. The result? The 2,200 acre Southeast Area Specific Plan which set standards for the area=s future use, which though modified, still controls development there today. Lantern Crest=s developer sued, prevailed, and the project was built. Selinger is in federal court, his challenges yet to be resolved after decades of litigation.
In 1986 the city council also reached out to annex and gain planning control over the county area to the southeast, much of which had already developed to county standards. Fearful of the strongly pro-growth bias of the city at that time, the area=s residents resoundingly defeated the attempted annexation.
About this time, the city council, under increasing community pressure, sought to silence the clamor by appointing a committee of one hundred citizens to propose goals to AKeep Redlands Special.@ Emulating the Los Angeles 2000 program name, they dubbed it ARedlands 2000.@
The Middle Years
While the Friends of Redlands had ceased to exist several years earlier, a number of its former members gathered, created a new organization, The Redlands Association, held a large, well-attended first meeting in September of 1986 in Sylvan Park, and elected as their chair myself, the president of the school board.
Determined to restore and strengthen the requirements of Prop R, they drafted and successfully circulated a petition which went on the ballot as Measure N.
Including and reinforcing the goals set by Prop R, the new measure:
1) Reduced the number of residential permits each year to 400 and disallowed carry-over of those unused.
2) Set aside until October of each year 50 units to encourage infill custom development.
3) Limited to Residential Estate zoning (14,000 square foot lots) all lands designated AUrban Reserve@ or in active agriculture, unless certain findings were made..
4) Set density limits on development on slopes.
5) Required development preserve ridgelines and scenic vistas.
6) Set a goal to Apreserve and foster agriculture as a vital industry and a desirable open space use....@
The embattled city council, in an attempt to slow and divert the bourgeoning growth management movement, placed a seven million dollar bond, Measure O, on the ballot with stated goals of saving citrus and open space, the preservation of city entrances and acquisition of land for recreation facilities.
Both measures N and O passed with overwhelming support, the Association=s president was elected. And the incumbent mayor, by the barest of margins, retained her seat on the council.
In spite of dire predictions by opponents before the election of expensive and devastating lawsuits and constitutional challenges, none were ever filed and Measure N, in spite of delaying maneuvers by the pro-growth council majority, went smoothly into effect and served its goals for nearly a decade.
But it was near the end of the decade in the year1989 that events and forces were most decisive in determining the city=s future.
To bring the city into conformance with state law, a new general plan, replacing an outdated document adopted in 1972, and to incorporate Measure N and the goals of Redlands 2000, the council appointed a twenty one member citizen committee to recommend a new plan
Three events occurred that same year which had transforming impacts on the city. The City of Yucaipa was being formed. Loma Linda sought to annex all the county land between it and Redlands, which included most of San Timoteo Canyon. And the closure of Norton had brought about the creation by special state legislation of the Inland Valley Development Agency (IVDA).
Yucaipa, in addition to its incorporation, also sought a sphere of influence, over which it would have planning control and eventual annexation, included were the Crafton Hills, the college and all the lands west of I-10 to Redlands= city limits, including those which had refused annexation to Redlands in 1986.
Redlands had earlier yielded a portion of its western sphere of influence (that determined by state law to be annexed over time) to the new city of Loma Linda, and that city was now ambitiously reaching out to expand to the east to Redlands= city limits, seeking to take all the unincorporated county land between the two cities.
The formation of the IVDA was the greatest threat of all. Encompassing all lands within a three mile radius perimeter of the now closed air force base, the proposed agency would include nearly one third of Redlands within its boundaries.
Responding to a petition requesting annexation signed by 400 residents of the same southeast area which had refused annexation just three years earlier, and moving to protect its interests and investment in infrastructure from both the IVDA and Loma Linda, the city initiated three separate annexation proceedings: for all nine square miles of its western and southern sphere to the Riverside County line, the unincorporated island to the northwest, soon to be known as the “Donut Hole,@ and the river wash land south of Highland.
After an extended period of controversy, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), which is charged with determining such matters, arrived at a compromise agreed to by all parties which yielded two square miles of Redlands western sphere to Loma Linda, annexed all of the two canyons to Redlands, except for the business strip along I-10, and split Redlands eastern sphere with Yucaipa along the ridge of the Crafton Hills. Redlands lost the college to the new city.
Two property owners who had opposed annexation by Redlands, Larry Curti, the sludge plant operator in San Timoteo Canyon, and the Duppers of Live Oak Canyon, abetted and encouraged by Pat Meyer, a planner and Dennis Hansberger, this district’s county supervisor, sued to overturn the LAFCO decision. Their suit failed.
Redlands had no choice but to sue to stop the formation of the IVDA and seek exclusion from its boundaries. At the same time, to protect its other sphere areas lying within the IVDA boundaries from being lost to that agency, the annexations were vigorously pursued for the portion of the Santa Ana wash between Redlands and Highland’s existing southern limit and the ADonut Hole.@
Property owners in the wash agreed to annexation and all the lands between the two cities came under their jurisdiction. But, in spite of numerous promised inducements, the AHole@ owners refused annexation.
Highland, threatened by the loss of taxes and planning control to the IVDA, soon joined with Redlands in suing the agency’s formation.
The cities= IVDA suit resulted in Redlands= exclusion from the boundaries of the IVDA, the formation of a separate airport authority at Norton, and the condition that the IVDA would not oppose any Redlands attempts to annex the AHole@ in the future, and the agency further agreed that it would share all property taxes from development 50-50, with the IVDA=s share to be expended on infrastructure within the Ahole.@ The city=s suit was a success.
Meanwhile, after three years and after hundreds of hours of listening to anyone concerned and working closely with a consultant, the general plan advisory committee=s proposed new general plan, which was consistent with both Measure N and the Redlands 2000, was finally completed and was submitted to the city planning commission and council.
It immediately ran into opposition from a strongly pro-growth city council majority who rejected the document, hired a new consultant at an additional cost of another $500,000, and in 1995 adopted a plan favoring development standards contrary to those of Prop R, Measure N and the goals of the Redlands 2000 report.
The Association, faced with the total loss of nearly twenty years= of planning and effort, had no recourse but to legally challenge the city council=s action. The court, while ruling that both Prop R and Measure N were flawed on technical grounds and must be deleted from the city=s general plan, also ruled that both were valid as zoning ordinances whose terms were law and could only be changed by a vote of the people. The court awarded the Association its costs.
The Association had lost the battle but had effectively won the war.
The Recent Past
In an effort to restore its validity as an amendment to the general plan and strengthen Measure N=s management conditions controlling traffic, the Association went back to the people, once again, with a new initiative, Measure H, on the 1995 ballot.
Early that same year, representatives of Majestic, reputedly the largest owner of commercial real estate in southern California, had approached with a proposed development on 122 acres in the A Hole.@
They were soon followed into town by two councilmembers from the City of Chino, who came with a story of political manipulation and bad faith dealing by Majestic and to warn the council to be prepared to face the same treatment at the developer=s hands,
Relations with the developer soon deteriorated, when the council refused to meet all of Majestic=s demands for concessions. Negotiations broke off, and Majestic began processing its project in the county, although the city was the only logical and economic source of services, especially water and sewer.
While ostensibly terminating any relationship with the city, Majestic, using several local citizens as cover, poured a verified $300,000 (but reputed to be closer to $350,000) into the campaign against Measure H, even though the measure had little or no effect on Majestic=s project.
Expensive mailers filled the mails, “focus groups” were paid, phone banks hit households and full page ads were bought in the local papers.
H lost by 225 votes out of nearly 13,000 cast. Redlands growth management movement had suffered its first defeat.
Proponents took heart from the fact that they had spent less than $4,700, most of which had gone for the campaign=s single mailer, which strangely, was still sitting on the processing floor of the central mail facility on Wednesday morning, the day after the election. The mailer had been submitted well before deadline. Someone had acted in Majestic’s behalf.
Postal inspectors could offer no explanation.
They were further heartened by the re-election of myself, the Association=s president, and the election of a new ally, activist Geni Banda, over two, well-known and well-funded pro-growth opponents, Ray Alexander, president of the chamber of commerce, and Jon Harrison, a member of the planning commission and employee of ESRI.
The following year, 1996, the state=s voters put into law Proposition 208, a campaign finance measure, which severely restricted large political contributions.
Unwilling to give up, especially when an opportunity was available to compete for votes on a more level playing field, another, stronger and more sweeping, initiative, Measure U, was successfully circulated and placed on the 1997 ballot
Not only did the voters approve the Measure, they also elected two more growth management candidates, John Freedman, a county administrator and Gary George, a local businessman. For the first, and only time in the city=s history, there was a growth management majority on the city council. Campaign reform worked.
Measure U, among other things:
1) Required development pay the full cost of its impacts on city infrastructure and services
2) Set specific traffic, noise and sign standards
3) Prohibited billboards
5) Set height and residential density limits
6) Restricted slope development densities and reduced the 1995 general plan canyon development densities by two thirds.
7) Created a new AResource Preservation@ zone in the canyons which defined specific use and development standards for the area.
8) Required projects over 5,000 square feet to meet a positive Acost/benefit@ ratio for development approval.
Negotiations with Majestic continued until October 1997 with Mayor Swen Larson taking the lead. He abruptly terminated any further contact when he, during a break in a negotiation session, was informed that Majestic had just sued the city for a fourth time. Furious, he stated that he would “never meet with those sons a’ bitches again.”
In December of 1997 negotiations resumed in earnest between the city and Majestic, I struck two deals, the first with the company=s project vice president, Brook Morris, on the morning of my second council meeting, which was rejected at the afternoon council meeting by John Mirau, Majestic’s local attorney. After, Morris complained bitterly about Mirau’s interference.
A second lunch and afternoon meeting with the project’s=s owners, Ed Roski, the owner of Majestic and John Curci, owner of the real estate and Carousel Mall in San Bernardino, brought agreement on all counts. Roski’s attorney worked in City Attorney, Mc Hugh’s office well into the evening drafting the final form of an agreement, contacting Roski several times on details. City manager Gary Luebbers and I waited through the following Friday morning for a confirming call, which I would follow with calling a special council meeting at noon Saturday.
No call came. And when we called we were informed that Roski had decided against moving forward. Roski’s attorney Timmish Chaikovski (sic), later complained about interference by Meyer, Majestic’s planner and Mirau, the attorney. It was evident that more than one had an oar in the water.
The Chino councilmembers= predictions of Majestic being willing to spend whatever it took to control the city=s political process and play a Acat and mouse@ game until the developer got all it wanted were coming true.
Proposition 208 was lost when a self-servicing state legislature convinced voters to replace it with Proposition 34, which opened the money floodgates even wider than before, and money poured back into elections.
Adding complexity to the Majestic situation were three other competing projects, the Pavilion, Redlands Crossing and Redlands Fashion Center. The Crossing was driven out by Majestic. The Fashion Center failed when Inland Center spent millions to hold its tenants and the owner of the Pavilion, the one project with city approval, was forced into bankruptcy by multiple lawsuits by Majestic. She was imprisoned for 30 months on charges that was thrown out by the appellate court.
Majestic had cleared the field of competitors.
The city election of 1999 was a true watershed. A divided city council had placed two growth control measures on the ballot, one primarily addressing traffic and the other further reducing the allowed density of canyon development. Both narrowly failed. The pro-growth forces from all walks had come together, reduced the field to just four candidates, and injected more than $450,000 from all reported sources into the campaigns.
I was the focus of their efforts, which included threats, IRS audits and the filing of complaints against me with the Fair Political Practices Commission, as well as anonymous, highly negative material in a phone in column in the Daily Facts.
In spite of being the highest vote-getter in seven previous elections, I was defeated by their two candidates, Kasey Haws, a local attorney who had ties to Latham & Watkins, Majestic’s lawyers, and Susan Peppler, the politically ambitious wife of the undersheriff. Their election immediately reversed the composition and orientation of the city council.
For the first time large sums of out-of-town developer money had been used to control a Redlands city council election.
By the year 2000 Majestic had succeeded in buying special state legislation (reliably reported to have been at a cost of more than $2 million). Prominent in Majestic’s behalf were assembly members Granlund, Baca and Calderon. Governor Davis, perhaps influenced by the support for Redlands’ position by the League of California Cities, first vetoed the legislation, stating that he would sign if the city and Majestic did not come to terms. The city was left in an untenable situation. All Majestic needed to do was wait.
Removing the Donut Hole from Redlands= planning control violated all governing statutes. The legislation was unconstitutional on its face and the city on a 3-2 vote (Freedman, George and Gilbreth for, Haws and Peppler, Majestic’s candidates, opposed) sued.
ANegotiations@in secret between Majestic and the new members of the city council resulted in a number of Adeals,@ which the Association countered with two lawsuits against the city demanding that it conform to its own ordinances. A third suit was filed against the City of San Bernardino when that city signed an agreement to provide sewer service to the AHole.@ The Association also successfully circulated a referendum petition in the face of interference and physical harassment by hired “signature gatherers,” to block the city from giving away water and sewer service to the area on a basis that was not consistent with Measure U.
Finally, in October of 2002 the city council, in a secret decision, ignoring city ordinances dating back to the 70s and Measure U, gave water and sewer service to the “Hole” without annexation or any other requirement, although Majestic, at that time, had no alternative source to meet Kohl’s, its first tenant=s deadline for opening. Annexation with all conditions should and could have been required.
The Association sought a writ, but in the face of the city=s opposition and pleas of hardship by Majestic, the court refused to act in a timely manner.
Again, in January 2003, the city council had another opportunity to bring the project into the city when Redlands fire service was required by the insurers of that same first tenant before the store could be stocked. The council refused to act.
A follow up ballot measure by the city council, Measure N, legitimizing the provision water and sewer service plus police and fire services in exchange for a portion of the county=s sales tax revenue from the AHole,@ which had been negotiated with Supervisor Dennis Hansberger, was adopted by the city=s voters. The Association’s ballot argument in opposition was rejected at a last minute court hearing. Former mayor Carole Beswick’s attorney attacking the Association argument was from San Francisco (paid $10,000 by Majestic).
Redlands gave away all other sources of revenue from the “Hole” as well as all planning control over nearly two square miles within the city=s environs.
The Association challenged the giveaway in court, but lost.
Henceforth, all economic, infrastructure and service planning by the city will be perturbed, and in part governed, by the county and the IVDA, in neither of which does the city have a voice.
In response to the city council=s Are-interpretation@ of sections of Measure U, proponents have placed on the 2005 ballot an initiative, Measure P, which:
1) Limits much of the canyons to a Rural Living, 21/2 acre zoning, and restricts mass-grading of hillsides.
2) Makes permanent current street standards and limitations on building height
3) Restricts traffic through neighborhoods
4) Limits projects when water quality or cost to ratepayers is threatened
5) Restricts rezoning to commercial/apartment use areas adjacent to single family homes
Epilogue and Postscript
A few conclusions and predictions might be hazarded.
While others might view the all too brief preceding recitation of events as far too short and focused through a clouded lens to be a wholly valid picture, certain facts most would agree on.
After nearly thirty years of growth management efforts, which have often been thwarted in part, it is fair to say that Redlands has retained much of its historic character, livability and charm.
Through those years Redlands has been transformed from a quiet college town with a still viable agricultural base, first into a mecca for military retirees and those who came east from the aerospace complexes on the coast, to a population dominated, in numbers, by a highly mobile, younger and less rooted, commuting dependent majority.
Until the 80s Redlands had few apartments or multiple living facilities. Today approximately thirty percent of the city=s population are so housed.
Senior housing came on the scene for the first time and continues to expand. Several large senior care facilities, three congregate living projects, two of which are HUD funded and managed, and a recently approved apartment complex for seniors are now an important segment of our housing.
The north- south split remains an open wound, especially for those living west of Church Street. Interestingly, these neighborhoods remain the most stable demographically with the greatest sense of community of any part of the city.
While the town is almost universally perceived as populated with those higher on the economic ladder than other Valley cities, often ascribed to the Aelitist@ requirements of growth management, it has been reliably reported that more than thirty percent of the students at Redlands High School qualify for the federal free lunch program.
And while many of the opponents of Measure N in 1987 predicted its requirement for large lots when citrus was converted to housing would be a source of blight as residents there filled the large yards with junk cars, the measure worked exactly as intended, with upscale homes clustered inside newly planted orange groves. In contrast, most of the Measure O bond funds were soon diverted away from their intended purpose and only to a limited degree met their promised goals.
In spite of the dire predictions by opponents of growth management that Measure U would throttle economic activity and lead to the city=s financial ruin, Redlands today has the highest per capita budget, $727 per resident, of sister Valley cities, which average $542, nearly a third less.
Every acre saved or replanted to citrus in the since the passage of Measure U in 1997, with the one exception of the Mullin Grove, which was given to the city as an addition and contribution to the city=s efforts, came as a direct result of the standards and requirements of Measure U.
That acreage, and that to be added under the same development conditions as more groves are lost, when added to the acreage the city had acquired in earlier years, just might constitute the minimal, critical mass to maintain a viable farming support system essential to the survival of our heritage trademark.
Every acre of open space and habitat land saved in public ownership in the canyons in recent years, excepting that necessary for the mitigation of the San Timoteo Creek flood control project, are the product of Measures N and U, including the Sunset Hills project, the Wooden Bridge subdivision and the soon to be dedicated Oakmont Park and the large open space of the Covington project.
All this, except for that one brief two year period, 1997 to 1999, when a growth management majority was on the city council, in spite of hostile, pro-growth city council majorities, which required a return to the ballot by the people in 1987, again in 1997, and now in 2005.
And, perhaps most surprising of all, the survival and viability of the growth management movement through all those years when it has almost totally disappeared from the political scene state-wide
Redlands= grassroots, growth management movement=s days may well be over. Victim of its own success: When most residents believe that the groves preserved and the open space saved are a product of Measure O’s bond funds or are solely a product of the developer=s generosity, in truth, the requirements of Measures N and U were the source.
The majority of that cohort of our population who had a vested interest in the community have either passed on or are no longer active in community affairs.
Developers have discovered that if they spend enough they can buy any town. And, most importantly of all, the stresses on the younger adult members of the population today, who have the most to lose, have too much on their plates to pick up the cudgel.