January 29, 2009 - Mission Viejo zoning petition scheduled to go to registrar
Paper: Orange County Register, The ( Santa Ana, CA)
Title: Mission Viejo zoning petition scheduled to go to registrar
Date: January 29, 2009
Author: LINDSEY BAGUIO; The Orange County Register
Supporters of an initiative that seeks to give voters the final say on significant zoning changes in Mission Viejo have enough signatures for certification by the registrar of voters.
Proponents say the initiative is necessary because the City Council has rezoned properties despite objections from neighbors and activists.
"We feel like the City Council cannot be trusted to make land use decisions," said the initiative's author, Dale Tyler.
The latest property under scrutiny is the Casta Del Sol Golf Course. Last year developers had expressed interest in building a senior living facility.
City Clerk Karen Hamman accepted the petition Tyler submitted this week. In the past six months, about 10,995 Mission Viejo residents signed it, Hamman said.
Hamman was to deliver the signatures to the Orange County Registrar of Voters Office, which will verify the signatures against voter registration records. If approved, the initiative would require voter approval on zoning changes the city makes, including changes to residential, recreational or open space.
Opponents include the Building Association of Orange County. Officials have said taking the vote out of the hands of elected officials and professional staff members caters to special-interest groups and that city officials are the ones who have an overall picture of what's good for the community.
At least 10 percent of Mission Viejo's voting population must sign the petition to qualify the initiative for a regular election. If 15 percent of the voting population signs, the initiative qualifies for a special election.
Hamman said the city will pay the estimated $31,000 for verification, or $3.40 a signature.
The Orange County registrar of voters will verify the up to 15 percent, or about 9,200 signatures, needed for a special election.
If the initiative qualifies, the City Council may adopt an ordinance without changing the words, immediately order a special election or order a report from the city attorney or staff members on the effects of the initiative.
Dateline: MISSION VIEJO
Record Number: 192391654
Copyright 2009 The Orange County Register