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Land-use initiative supporters turn focus to 2024

Organizers say more time needed for ‘Our Neighborhood Voices’

New single-family homes are in various stages of completion on Winzer Place in the Glen Loma Ranch development. Photo: Tarmo Hannula

Organizers of a statewide land-use initiative, which includes the support of some South Valley officials, announced Feb. 18 that they are now eyeing the 2024 ballot.

The “Our Neighborhood Voices” initiative seeks to amend the California Constitution to allow local land-use and zoning laws to override conflicting state laws.

The leaders of the campaign stated in a press release that the combination of Covid-19, the spike in the cost of paid signature-gathering and the need for more time to organize volunteer signature-gatherers required the change in schedule. 

Supporters had to collect just shy of one million signatures in order for the initiative to be placed on the November 2022 ballot.

“We are not stopping, we are not slowing down, we are not ever going to give up until we have restored a neighborhood voice in community planning,” said proponent Bill Brand, mayor of Redondo Beach.

Proponents are targeting laws such as Senate Bill 9, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September and which took effect Jan. 1, which allows for a property zoned single-family to be split for a duplex without a public hearing, if it meets various requirements.

Senate Bill 10, which also took effect Jan. 1, allows any parcel to be zoned for up to 10 residential units if it is located in “transit-rich” areas or is considered an urban infill.

The Gilroy City Council voted 5-1 on Dec. 6 to endorse the initiative, and volunteers led by Councilmember Carol Marques began collecting signatures within the city. The Morgan Hill City Council was slated to consider endorsing the initiative on its Jan. 19 agenda, but the item was continued to a future meeting. 

Gilroy Mayor Marie Blankley and Morgan Hill City Councilmember Rene Spring are listed as supporters on the initiative’s website.