This is republished with permission from IrvineWatchdog.org, a new citizen activism blog in Irvine.
Why a “YES” on Measure D boxes out residents + a “NO” maintains the public right to participate
The development approval process is a protracted series of checks and balances and the major stakeholders are the landowners and the residents. But, the “yes” on D proponents – led by Mayor Wagner -want the development approval process to dead end with the City Council and box-out local residents.
The fake news is that this is to protect our coffer because resident participation would “delay” revenue. Today the city’s cost of new projects is covered because developers pay into a special account to cover all activities in the development processing. Any costs incurred in excess of the minimum required deposit are billed to and paid directly by the developer. The user fees are structured to recoup the costs of providing these services, including overhead costs. All are approved by City Council. That is the system today.
Mr. Wagner also says it’s for “shining sunlight on the public cost of private development.” What is that? Since developer fees are paid for by the applicant the true “public cost” is anything from overcrowded schools, congested streets, parking nightmares, high-density zoning, piece-meal master planning, etc.
Please read the General Plan Land Use Element and hope that they don’t come after that next:
“Promote land use patterns which maintain safe residential neighborhoods, bolster economic prosperity, preserve open space + enhance the overall quality of life in Irvine.”
A NO vote will keep our right to voter involvement while protecting our land assets and city services. Irvine has operated smoothly for 47 years without this Charter Amendment.
Ask yourself why the city is taking the time and money to try to put this in place next month? Outside of appeasing special interests, we can’t think of a good answer.