Reasons Why The City Council Should Adopt The Initiative And Not Delay Until 2022 General Election

As you know, the City Council opted to order reports on the effects of the proposed Growth Management initiative before making a decision on whether to adopt the initiative, hold a Special Election, or make us wait until Nov. 2022 for a General Election. If the Council decides that we need to wait until 2022 for a general election, it would be a slap in the face of every Redlander who voted against Measure G (which was voted down by 65%).  With that, the City Council will make their decision on the initiative at the Council meeting on Tuesday, August 3.

Here are just a few reasons why the City needs to adopt the initiative:

*Grossly unfair to residents to make residents wait until 2022 to vote on an issue that was already soundly defeated in March, 2020 with the defeat of Measure G

*The initiative literally fulfills the motto we see on Redlands Fire Trucks:  preserving the past, protecting the future

*The current Transit Village Area plan demonstrates a form of ageism by making concerted efforts to limit public parking and automobiles while focused on walking and biking.  This, by default, excludes the elderly (17% of Redlands population), as well as the disabled

*A six-level parking structure at the old mall would be visually and practically excessive when considering the small footprint of the site

*Using official (SKAG) density ratios, the mall site alone, with its  722 multi-family units, would average 1,800 people living in the heart of downtown Redlands, and that would mean more traffic congestion on our already crowded streets, more city services needed, more water used during a drought ( while we are on water restrictions)

*Justice delayed is justice denied

*City of Redlands website touts that our quality of life comes from “a big town with a small-town feel” – but with unlimited building heights, the possibility of 4, 5, and even 6 story buildings is a reality, and one that would certainly nullify that “small-town feel”

*With no building height limits in place, it is a reality that this City Council or any future Council may decide to build 4, 5, and 6 story buildings.  There is no guarantee that they won’t unless a cap is on the books.  Per Brian DeSatnik, Director of Development Services:  “Current zoning in the downtown has no limit on building height.”

*We followed the rules by gathering enough signatures to qualify for a Special Election because we found an overwhelmingly positive response – the City should not punish us for that

*Redlands isn’t a town but a place with attributes unmatched in So Cal

*The initiative does not restrict growth, its intent is to preserve the character of our historic downtown

*There is a 3-story apartment building underway 2 blocks from the Mall

*At the Transit Village areas, it makes no sense to recruit 6,000 commuters to come to Redlands, making 150 round trips to the LA job centers, every extra mile is another nail in the climate coffin.

*The 3-story limit was in place for about 3 decades, all through the planning engineering, and funding phase of the rail project. At no time did anyone question the existing 3 limit

*The only reason for the 6,000 is to hopefully help pay off a part of the ½ billion costs

*We believe a number of cities have a 3 story limit on apartments near their transit stations (e.g. Claremont) as photos appear to show that nearly all buildings in Old Pasadena are 3 stories

*Redlands had more than enough vacant land to satisfy Redlands Housing Needs Assessment into the future

*4 and 5-stories will leave most north-south downtown streets in shadow much of the day

*Jack Dangermond’s “Packinghouse District” (Sprouts center) shows what can be done under the initiative (a visually pleasing, appropriately landscaped, and successful endeavor under 3 stories tall)

*Friends of Redlands does not oppose growth.  The population has doubled since Proposition R was put in place, and we continue to add thousands

*Absent companies and industries locating here, a large addition of people aggravates the “jobs-housing balance,” a state planning goal. Ergo – those commuters should live close to their LA /OC jobs

*“Jewel of the Inland Empire” is a fragile image, any excessive change to our town would sacrifice it

*The housing downtown will not be “affordable,” but rather, as Councilwoman Davis described it, the housing downtown will be “aspirational”

*The reason tourists come to Redlands and spend their money at our local establishments is precisely that it is a historical town and has not been overrun by unlimited growth and dominated by tall buildings and congestion like every other trendy and ubiquitous “urban center”

August 3 is when the City Council will hold its meeting to decide the very future (and possible fate) of Redlands.  Be there.  6:00 pm.