Measure A’s opponents put up money
El Dorado County Supervisors and the public held six years of hearings for more than six years before adopting a general plan, and the existence of Measure A on Tuesday’s ballot proves one thing: The debate over density of development wasn’t resolved.
Measure A is an effort to restrict development on private lands in El Dorado County, and it was drafted to be retroactive, rolling back decisions made by county supervisors since Feb. 26, 1996.
Measure A may attract some voters, or a majority of voters, but it apparently failed to attract type of voters who would support it financially. Financial disclosure statements on file at the county reveal advocates haven’t raise $1,000.
It appears the measure was drafted to incorporate the stance of slow-growth advocates advanced during the General Plan debate, and once it qualified for the ballot, the organized effort faded.
On the other side, nearly 50 individuals and corporations have donated $79,500 so far to defeat Measure A. Russell Ranch donated more than half that money, a total through May 29 of $40,174.
Developers AKT Mosher Partners contributed $20,463 and $6,687 came into the treasury from Euer Ranch. First America Financial Corp. added about $3,000. Another $2,500 came from the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, plus $1,000 from the Builders Exchange Political Action Committee.
The May 16 financial report from Citizens for Sensible Planning, the No on Measure A committee, reported $59,942 in donations, $45,059 in cash and the rest in non-monetary contributions. Expenses, mostly for printing and surveys, totaled $37,393, leaving $7,665 cash on hand. However, several substantial late contributions totaling $19,502 were reported between May 16 and May 27.
El Dorado County contains 1,801 square miles and more than half that acreage is held by public agencies for everything from roads to parks and wilderness areas. County planners often note much of the remaining land that is privately held is not considered suitable for development. Hence, there is pressure to develop the remaining acreage.
Measure A opponents focused part of their campaign on the retroactive feature of Measure A, saying people who followed the rules and obtained approval of projects will have those decisions overturned, regardless of their investment of time and money.
Opponents also have focused on the reduction of development potential, sharing the loss of tax revenue will raise taxes across the board. That message convinced someone, because law enforcement and firefighters associations joined real estate agents, developers, contractors and land owners in opposition.
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