Tuesday, August 18, 2015

CM4RG Supports Smart Growth Initiative

As you may have read in Bradley Zint's article in the Daily Pilot tonight, HERE, the activist group Costa Mesans For Responsible Government (CM4RG) has offered their support to the initiative effort recently launched by another activist organization, Costa Mesa First, which has been described by the Costa Mesa City Attorney in the title they ascribed to the petition as, "An Initiative to Require Voter Approval on Certain Development Projects".

Robin Leffler, President of CM4RG, issued a press release over the weekend announcing their support for the initiative.  CM4RG is a grass roots activist group which represents the views of hundreds of Costa Mesa residents from across the political spectrum and was largely responsible for fighting off the challenge of Jim Righeimer's Charter scheme - twice.  The full text of that press release follows:

Costa Mesans for Responsible Government Supports the Citizen’s Rights to be Heard

COSTA MESA, California, August 15, 2015 - Costa Mesans for Responsible Government (CM4RG) announces their support for Costa Mesa First’s “An Initiative to Require Voter Approval on Certain Development Projects".  This initiative enables the citizens of Costa Mesa to have a voice in developments that do not comply with the established General Plan or zoning codes.  CM4RG's core belief is that a responsible government listens to their citizens. 

This initiative promotes responsible growth.  It does not affect well-designed projects that conform to the established guidelines.  If a developer proposes a project that complies with Costa Mesa’s General Plan and maintains the established zoning, the process remains the same.  If the project requires substantial changes to the General Plan and zoning,  then the citizens will be notified, and the developer will present its project to the citizens.   Projects that add less than 40 residential units, 10,000 square feet of commercial space, or 200 new vehicle trips will not need voter approval. 

The Planning Commission often hears proposals on large projects that violate the General Plan or zoning restrictions.  A large, non-compliant development may be passed by a vote of as few as 3 Commissioners.  It is then forwarded to the City Council where only 3 votes  can change the rules to allow projects that negatively affect residents of Costa Mesa for years into the future. The initiative guards against such circumstances.   

Jay Humphrey,  a proponent of the initiative, says, "If we have to live with the impacts of major development changes in our community, we should have the ability to vote if we want to live with those impacts for the next 40 years or not.  A council is only around for the new phase of what they vote for and are usually out of office when the newness wears off and we get to live with what's left, warts and all."

CM4RG believes a government responsible to its citizens strives to comply with the goals and objectives of the General Plan.  CM4RG supports this initiative because we believe that the citizens of Costa Mesa often have not been heard, and deserve a voice in changes to land use and development that can substantially impact their quality of life. 

For more information about the initiative, see Costamesa1st.com.

Signatures are being gathered now to qualify the initiative for the November, 2016 ballot.  More than 5,000 valid signatures are required to be collected and verified by early next year.  You can read the ballot summary description HERE and the full text of the initiative HERE.  You can also view an easy-to-understand flow chart on the initiative HERE.

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Blogger Joe said...

Who you gonna believe- The likes of Jay, Robin, and other long-term residents, or the carpetbagger, "Chicken Little Righeimer?"

8/19/2015 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

I wonder if the proponents can provide a list of projects that have been permitted in the past 6 years and what about them was so objectionable as to require the developer to have to have a vote of the citizens to approve it. Also, who voted in favor of these?

Let's not forget that CM4RG standard bearer Katrina Foley has been on the planning commission and city council for a lot of years. What is her position on this initiative? It is quite possible that she couldn't have shaken down the Segerstroms for 2 million dollars if this initiative was in place back then!

Be careful what you wish for!

8/19/2015 12:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Joe. We don't even have to think about that. Signatures for this initiative are very easy to gather. People grab it even before I can explain what it is. Its long overdue.

8/19/2015 01:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Teresa Drain said...

Bruce, Thanks for asking.

Expansion at 2600 Harbor reducing building and landscape setbacks. Original Demo and reconstruction was WELCOMED by neighbors in College Park. Only the proposed expansion was overreaching, and the Owner of property was working WITH the residents to make changes until the 3 Council members cancelled the concessions they were willing to make. Even the representative of the new dealership was shocked when a councilman accused the residents of a "Shakedown".

I suspect that the dealership would already be open and making money if they had just made the minor changes to their plan and complied with the established setbacks, and this inititive would have encouraged that.

Two families have since moved OUT OF THE CITY, taking an established home-based business and their shopping dollars elsewhere.

Be careful WHO you VOTE for!

8/19/2015 03:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Teresa Drain said...


I think you may have a troll (?) or maybe a copycat... a Julie Mercurio just posted on the Daily Pilot your quote above nearly verbatim.

BTW I believe that the standard-bearer for CM4RG is Robin Leffler. Katrina Foley and Jay Humphrey were supported by CM4RG in the last election.

Just a thought - even if a very few number of past projects would have come to vote under this initiative (I do not know the total) what is the significance of that statistic? I believe in prudence. If you find the barn door is open, and you shut it before the cows get out, isn't that a good thing? If a widget maker finds a fault in their design that could cause harm, shouldn't they recall the widget for repairs and fix it before the damage is realized?

I used to be able to pump gas before I paid for it, but now I can't. The change does not keep me from buying gas, it prevents me from putting more gas in the tank than I have cash to pay for - but it also keeps people from stealing gas.

8/19/2015 04:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Bruce, if you are interested in the stats, you are able to do your own homework. Its funny that people just drop all these rhetorical questions, and think they can dump the responsibility of doing their homework for them. You have the same information that everyone else does. And you can tell Julie that also. I also suggest that if you want to know what Katrina thinks of this initiative, that you ask Katrina.

8/19/2015 07:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Newport has issued marching orders to its Costa Mesa sell-outs: "NO on Smart Growth." Now watch the puppets dance.

Riggy and Mensy are freaked out because they won't be able to deliver to all their out of town contributors. We are witnessing the political end of Righeimer. Word is that Michelle Steel will take Rohrabacher's place in Congress and the latter will get a local slot. That leaves the little dictator nowhere, especially if he can't give the money people what they thought they paid for. Maybe he can go back to Fountain Valley and open up a Pho place.

8/20/2015 12:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Robin Leffler said...

When a very large apartment complex was approved to replace the modest office building at 125 Baker, it drove the manufacturer next to it out of
Costa Mesa. They were really nice people with a big investment in the community, but they were well aware that no matter what the Council said about how the project's tenants would have to agree to live next to a plastic widget manufacturer with all the smells, noise and night light, it was not a compatible use.

Same thing happened when a 3 story stick condo project was approved next to MacGregor yachts, but I don't think that was large enough to be affected by this initiative. It was just poor planning and drove a high status, tax generating business like MacGregor out of town. Stupid, but would be allowed under this initiative.

8/20/2015 01:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Righeimer said it himself that commercial and residential can't exist together. It just doesn't work. He said it, but doesn't stand behind it. He is a fraud on every level.

Just like Krochman and Mercurio writing copy for each other. Evident now that a concerted effort of the council supporters are coordinating efforts. Pretty sad.

8/20/2015 01:48:00 PM  

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