Measure Q

Citizens for Laguna’s Future is a grassroots movement to protect the things that make Laguna Laguna. Right now, the biggest threat to our way of life is an initiative on the November ballot called Measure Q. Backers claim it will prevent oversized developments by putting them on the ballot for voters to decide. But as the fine print reveals, Measure Q would discourage all development and require voters to weigh in on scores of projects, large and small.

If Laguna had been saddled with Measure Q four years ago, the City estimates that 29 projects would have had to go to the ballot. They weren’t the block-long buildings no one wants. They were projects as modest as Slice Pizza and a coffee house at Broadway and Forest. If it passes, Measure Q would sweep up projects as vital as the South Laguna fire station and as exciting as the St Catherine school property.

Initiatives like Measure Q are examples of direct democracy, which works well when voters are asked straightforward questions. Should we raise the bed tax? Should we underground our poles? Should we buy a greenbelt? Measure Q, however, is a complex land use proposal that even our most experienced elected official admits she’s read but doesn’t understand.

Where does that leave civic-minded voters who want to make informed decisions? Imagine doing a deep dive into dense documents like Measure Q, election after election, accompanied by endless campaigns like this one. Democracy is hard, but it’s a lot easier when we elect leaders we trust to unpack complex issues with far-ranging and often unintended consequences.

With that in mind, here is our Top Ten List of reasons to vote “No” on Measure Q.

Top Ten Reasons to Vote “No” on Measure Q

  1. Measure Q says its only against “Large Developments.” Not True! A small coffee shop and the desperately needed South Laguna fire station would require a public vote. Public votes could be two years after the City’s lengthy approval process. What small business can take on this risk?
  2. Laguna has been a low-and-slow growth town for decades. We passed America’s first community-wide height ordinance in 1971. It’s just one of many reasons why the town has earned its reputation for being one of most challenging places to build anything. Walk around. Where is the problem?
  3. The City Council just strengthened our already-strong building codes. These changes address core concerns of the Pro-Q people, so we hoped that they would declare victory and withdraw their initiative. No such luck.
  4. Measure Q was written by people with no land-use experience. Complex land-use decisions should not be left to amateurs who bypass the City Council, Planning Commission, and the City’s planning professionals.
  5. Measure Q will hurt local businesses run by our friends and neighbors. Did you know that over 70% of our businesses are owned by locals? Ask them why they and our Chamber of Commerce are overwhelmingly opposed to Measure Q.
  6. Measure Q will be costly for Laguna or compromise our safety. It will cost the City millions of dollars a year in lost revenues and added expenses. That’s money we need to fund our first-class police and fire departments and other essential community services.
  7. Measure Q will discourage the preservation of historic buildings. Old buildings get restored when tenants and uses change. In the face of more red tape, more delays, and more expenses, many of these local treasures will continue to decline and decay.
  8. Measure Q will trigger lawsuits taxpayers will pay for. Measure Q is so complicated and has so many flaws that it will invite deep-pocketed developers to sue. Win or lose, taxpayers will foot the bill.
  9. Measure Q will never get past the Coastal Commission. Measure Q’s not-so-hidden agenda is to put a damper on tourism. That will go over like a lead balloon with Coastal. As long as we have our beautiful ocean, we’ll have tourists.
  10. Don’t fall for the fearmongering. The people behind Measure Q don’t think the rest of us have what it takes to keep on keeping Laguna Laguna. Like overprotective helicopter parents, they would stifle and stunt the town in a misguided attempt to save it from the future.

If you agree that Measure Q is a really bad idea that will hurt the town we love, help us spread the word, and join us in voting NO on Q in November.