Myth: Measure Y is “no growth” and will stop all projects and business coming to Costa Mesa.
Fact: Measure Y permits all development that is allowable under the current General Plan and zoning code. Measure Y still allows flexibility for projects to exceed the General Plan within certain limitations before requiring a vote of the residents. This allows for new businesses to open and projects to be built, and even if the projects must go to a vote of the people, there is still an opportunity for proponents to reach out to the residents to take steps to achieve approval. Similar initiatives have not stopped growth or a loss of revenue for other cities.
Myth: Measure Y took away the power of the City Council and Planning Commission.
Fact: Measure Y requires the City Council and Planning Commission to approve certain large projects before they go to the voters for approval. The Council and Planning Commission still have the ability to grant variances, administrative adjustments, etc., and approve projects that don’t require a General Plan Amendment or zoning change.
Myth: Measure Y prevents the redevelopment of aging properties in the city.
Fact: Redevelopment projects that follow the current General Plan have continued to be allowed without voter approval. However, Measure Y allows voters to decide if certain large projects that require changes to the General Plan are appropriate given the impact on the surrounding area.
Myth: Measure Y drove away developers and business because they weren’t be able to get projects approved as quickly.
Fact: Only certain projects require voter approval. Most large projects take between 18 and 22 months to get the City approvals and permits needed to start a business or commence construction. Since developers will know they need voter approval before they begin the approval process with the City, they can plan accordingly. Only one such large project has been granted City approval, but the developer has not put the project up to a vote by the residents.
Myth: Property owners lost their property rights.
Fact: No property owner lost any right it had under the General Plan or zoning code prior to
Measure Y's passage. If a property owner wishes to exceed its current rights, by law it would need to seek approval from the City, and perhaps invoke a vote of the residents.
Myth: Every project in Costa Mesa now requires voter approval to go forward.
Fact: Only certain large projects requiring a General Plan Amendment or zoning change and that exceed the thresholds set forth in the initiative require a vote of the citizens. Any project, small or large, that does not require a General Plan amendment or zoning change will not require voter approval.
Myth: Measure Y prevented the building of affordable housing.
Fact: Measure Y specifically excluded voting on affordable housing that is required by federal or state laws. It does not specifically address affordable housing that the City would require under an inclusionary housing agreement because Costa Mesa currently does not have such an agreement. Please note that since the Redevelopment Agency was dissolved, no affordable housing has been built in Costa Mesa.