(This information post will remain pinned to the top of blog.  Please scroll down below for newer posts)


Why every registered voter in Redlands needs to sign the petition:

The Redlands City Council is refusing to accept that city voters, by a 66%-34% margin, rejected Measure G in March. The city is attempting to circumvent voters by getting Measure G-type zoning via the planning process. For that reason, Redlanders for Responsible Growth Management is attempting, via the citizen initiative, to stop unrestricted, unaesthetic, and high-density apartments which would ruin Redlands forever. This petition is our best opportunity to forever preserve Redlands as the “Jewel of the Inland Empire.”

This petition, should it qualify for a future election, would:

· Close loopholes preventing future councils from building unwanted, high-density apartments

· Replaces 4/5 council vote enabling density exceptions with a 5/5 council vote

· Eliminates General Plan exemption allowing for higher density near future Metrolink stations

· Prevents buildings taller than two stories next to single-family homes

· Places a hard limit of three stories and 40 feet on buildings within the Downtown Transit Village

(The city’s Transit Villages plan allows for four-story buildings as high as 78 feet near the three downtown train stations; the Citi Bank building is 85 feet.)

· Significantly increases parking requirements throughout the transit village areas

As a means to avoid future California state lawsuits demanding higher density, this petition does allow for four stories, with a total cap 52 feet, within the Transit Villages near New York, Alabama, and California streets; however, expanded parking requirements might inhibit such heights. These areas are already zoned for commercial and industrial use.

Signature collection guidelines:

Every signature is critical! The latest official California Secretary of State report says Redlands has 42,716 registered voters. To qualify for the next general election, we must have 4,272 valid signatures from Redlands voters. To qualify for a special election (which we would more likely win), we must have 6,408 valid signatures. Our signature collection window closes in early February.

Every incorrectly collected signature hurts our validity rate when these signatures are submitted to the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters for verification. Please ensure that each signature box:

· Contains signatures only from registered Redlands voters (Ink only! No pencil.)

· Shows the actual voting address of the voter (No PO Boxes!)

· Does not abbreviate Redlands. (Standard abbreviations such as CA, St., Rd., Ave., are permitted).

· That all written information is kept within the signature box.

If any voters wish to volunteer to help gather petitions or to sign a petition, please email: [email protected]

You can also sign a petition in-person at Red Rooster Vintage (409 Orange Street),  Briggs and Coops Coins (21 E. Redlands Blvd.), E-Water Solutions 429 Texas, and Seed 10 E. State Street.  Click on the links for updated store hours.  Please check-in at the front desk and let them know you would like to sign a petition.  MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES ABOVE SO THAT YOUR SIGNATURE IS  COUNTED!


Voter initiatives can be expensive. Please send all checks to Redlanders for Responsible Growth Management, 421 San Timoteo Canyon Road, Redlands, CA 92373. Donors must include their name, address, and occupation (or state whether they’re retired). Cash donations are not allowed.

-Redlanders for Responsible Growth Management



Transit Village Plan Would Reduce Desperately Needed Parking In Redlands

Redlands downtown was developed and built before the dawn of the automobile. To accommodate traffic Orange Street was widened between Redlands Boulevard and the Umbrella Alley by 19 feet. Structures on the east side of the street had their exterior front wall lopped off to complete the widening.

In the 1920s, Redlands Boulevard became the Ocean to Ocean Highway, and the street was widened on each side.  One woman owning the building on the southeast corner fought eminent domain and was able to save 1/6 of her two-story building. The remnant became a battery building and then a shoe-shine shop. To accentuate the atheistic of the new highway the Contemporary Club insisted on a highway divider planted with shrubs and flowers. Redlands bowed to the use of automobiles.

Today, planners envision a Transit Village Specific Plan that is definitely in favor of pedestrian foot traffic and bicycles. The plan envisions 2,400 dwelling units, 265,000 square feet of retail/commercial and 238,000 square feet of office use. The planning consultant for the city realizes technical studies are required to complete the plan.

The Transit Village Specific Plan suggests the reconfiguration of Orange Street. The consultant wants bike lanes on each side with only one lane for traffic each direction.   A center median with plantings down the center of the street is planned to calm traffic. Orange Street will have 25 round trips on the Arrow Route each day.  Imagine how far traffic will back up each direction on Orange Street while the train crosses Orange Street.

State Street will return to two-way traffic again with a new configuration.   The traffic signal on Orange and State will be modified for the two-way traffic.

A goal of the downtown specific plan is said, “area should avoid becoming freeway-oriented and instead act as a cohesive town center with viable amenities and pedestrian-oriented streets.”

 This goal realizes “parking is costly and parking consumes significant amounts of physical space. The supply of parking should therefore be carefully balanced with the actual operational need for it. An oversupply of parking takes up valuable land that could be used for better purposes and encourages additional auto use.

“The Specific Plan takes a holistic approach to parking by recommending increased management of the parking supply.”

Just how that approach is accomplished is a matter of mostly holistic conjecture. No one knows what that means. Redlands has always suffered from lack of parking space.

Right now my wife and I enjoy eating at the Italian restaurant above Romano’s. Most of the time, we must park in the Centennial Plaza to find a parking space.

Parking now is a problem all along Orange Street. Add 2,400 units and perhaps 3,000 additional cars and the problem is squeezed on streets modified for bikes.  The SANBAG study called for 260 to 300 parking spaces for rail passengers.

The parking structure on Stuart Avenue plans only 200 spaces for the rail station.

Density is seen as a positive in the Transit Village Specific Plan. Measure G that was defeated by a two-thirds margin strongly disagreed with that thought.  Despite the fact Measure G was soundly defeated, the City Council following the Transit Village Specific Plan seems hell-bent on proceeding with a downtown street grid that promises gridlock.

The Friends of Redlands initiative proposed by Bill Cunningham places a check and balance on the City Council, Planning Commission and the city General Plan.

The crystal ball used by the planning consultant has a crack consisting of traffic and parking. Mitigation for 4,000 to 6,000 new residents with 3,000 automobiles living in high-rise apartments cannot be justified or mitigated.

The number of historic structures considered as worthy of protection needs further review. The transit plan would replace any building with a 15-foot sidewalk for pedestrian use.

Tom Atchley, a historian and former newspaper adviser at Redlands High School, was one of five people who signed the rebuttal to the argument in favor of Measure T.

In a city where it is estimated that 15% of its residents are senior citizens, the current lack of adequate parking downtown already keeps a lot of our aging population from shopping or dining with ease.  This voting bloc has significant discretionary money to spend downtown, and yet even now,  you can talk to any number of senior citizens and they will tell you that because of the limited parking downtown  they prefer to go where the parking is plentiful and convenient.  The Transit Village plan as described above, will impact elderly residents further.  Not only will these members of our community be even more unwilling to attempt the challenge of finding available parking downtown to shop or dine, our local businesses will  suffer as a result.  Shouldn’t it be the specific business of the City of Redlands to make sure downtown and the Transit Village areas are fully accessible with adequate parking for all members of our community?


Important: Sample Petition and Signature Guideline Reminder

Red Rooster Vintage (409 Orange Street) , Briggs and Coops (21 E. Redlands Blvd.), Seed 10 E. State Street, and E-Water Solutions 429 Texas have petitions available for you to sign to get the Redlands Growth Management Initiative on the ballot.  Please visit them during store hours.  You may also have a canvasser knock on your door asking for a signature. Remember, you can also email [email protected] if you want to sign a petition.  Please make sure to include your address and phone number (all information is confidential) so that we can get a petition to you as soon as possible.  Below is a sample petition for your perusal, followed by signature guidelines that must be followed for your signature to be counted.  We need everyone to sign!   Please tell your neighbors, friends, co-workers, and any other registered voters that live in Redlands.  Let’s get this initiative on the ballot!!

Sample petition:

Signature Guideline Reminders:

Please ensure that each signature box:

· Contains signatures only from registered Redlands voters (Ink only! No pencil.)

· Shows the actual voting address of the voter (No PO Boxes!)

· Does not abbreviate Redlands. (Standard abbreviations such as CA, St., Rd., Ave., are permitted).

· That all written information is kept within the signature box.

If any voters wish to volunteer to help gather petitions or to sign a petition, please email: [email protected]


Here is Why We Need To Get The New Growth Management Initiative On The Ballot

The hard work to protect our city and its historic downtown continues :

Former Redlands Mayor Bill Cunningham has developed a new growth management initiative for the city, intending to circulate a petition to the public for signatures.

The initiative ordinance amends sections of the Redlands General Plan that deals with managed development.

Points that summarize the proposed changes to the general plan include:

● The Redlands General Plan prohibits the establishment of new residential land use classifications by the City Council. This initiative ordinance exempts the Transit Village Overlay Zone from the prohibition.

● The Redlands General Plan provides that no undeveloped land that as of March 1, 1997, which is designated within the Redlands General Plan as “Urban Reserve” or “Urban Reserve (Agriculture)” as of June 1, 1987, and/or any land that was in active agricultural production on Nov. 3, 1986, regardless of zoning designation, shall be re-designated or rezoned to permit a residential density greater than that permitted in the Estate Residential (R-E) classification on June 1, 1987, unless certain findings are made by a 4/5ths vote of the City Council.

This initiative ordinance changes the vote requirement to 5/5ths of the City Council.

Provisions would be added to the Redlands General Plan to limit building height within the Downtown Transit Village and the University of Redlands Transit Village to three stories and 40 feet.

Building height within the Alabama Street, California Street and New York Street transit villages would be limited to four stories and 52 feet.

The initiative would prohibit buildings more than two stories high from being constructed next to a single-family residence. Cunningham said he worked with leaders of the No on G campaign to create the initiative.

“With the resounding defeat of Measure G, many of us in the community expected City Council to heed the will of the people,” said Cunningham.

“Instead, the council is proceeding as if Measure G never occurred.

“The initiative is intended to reflect what the people said in voting against it.

“The initiative in no way conflicts with recent state legislation,” continued Cunningham. “Redlands has always met state housing requirements, and this initiative provides for Redlands to meet state mandates for decades to come. Current city planning allows unlimited heights in this area.

“The unlimited height planned by the current council is an unwelcome change.

We studied building heights from a number of sources and took the median of those numbers to come up with ours.”

With that, make sure you sign a petition to get the loopholes closed that will forever prevent the City from pushing ahead with their plan that does not adhere to the protections voted in by residents with the defeat of Measure G.

You can email [email protected] for information on how you can help with the petition drive or sign a petition.  Please include an address/phone number with your email so we can follow up with you.  All information is confidential.



Redlands Resident Points Out Important Detail in Transit Villages Specific Plan

It’s important to get all the facts out to the public.  Even the smallest detail matters when it comes to the future of Redlands…

Upon reading Jennifer Iyer’s article “Fight Over Building Heights” I have the following comment:

This was a good and unbiased appraisal of the issue, but it fails to mention that the city’s current Transit Villages Specific Plan will allow for 4 story buildings up to 78’ tall in the areas immediately surrounding the 3 downtown transit villages (see page 4:16 of the plan). For a reference compare this 78’ to the Citi Bank building that is 85’ tall. This dimension borders on being classified as a high-rise structure. In fact the National Fire Protection Association defines a high-rise building as being higher than 75’.

With the defeat of Measure G by over 64% of Redlands voters, a 78’ apartment building downtown appears to be a contradiction to what Redlanders want? When will Redland’s planning reflect the will of the voter?

Larry Leonard

Make sure to read Jennifer Iyer’s article linked to above, and you will understand why the details are so important.  The defeat of Measure G informed the powers that be of what the majority of voters want:  limits on building heights and low-density development.  It is an outrage that the will of the people is being ignored, and we are once again having to fight to have already voted-on protections be recognized.  With that, make sure you sign a petition to get the loopholes closed that will forever prevent the City from pushing ahead with their plan that does not adhere to the protections voted in by residents.  You can email [email protected] for information on how you can help with the petition drive, and how you can sign a petition.  Please include an address/phone number with your email so we can follow up with you.  All information is confidential.




Do Redlanders Need Higher Taxes?

Redlands resident Tamara Madai says, No, we do not!

Governments at all levels seem to need increasingly more money from their citizens. However, the timing of the sales tax increase the Redlands City Council wants is egregious.

The amount of the increase is 1 cent per dollar, raising the sales tax to 8.75% coming at a time when many businesses have been on lockdown. The owners with no or little income still have to pay rent and their employees have been no work at all or on reduced hours.

To make it worse, the new tax will be permanent — forever, almost impossible to rescind.

Please vote no on the sales tax increase.

Redlands residents want to keep their hard-earned monies and are speaking out against the 1% tax increase.  Make sure you join us with your “NO” vote at the ballot box in November!



View of planned Redlands Blvd area downtown
Planned multi-modal Redlands Blvd near downtown.

Revisiting Measure G: Development in the time of Covid

People in Redlands have not forgotten about Measure G, which our city council unanimously supported. Here’s a great letter from a Redlands resident that recently appeared in the Redlands Community News:

With another election date drawing near, it is more important than ever to revisit the former Measure G, which was so soundly defeated by Redlands voters not long ago.

Though it will be called by another name, the tenets of Measure G will show up again in November.  Between the last election and the next, there has been a great deal of discussion about the relationship between Coronavirus, urban sprawl, and mass transportation.

Interestingly, the Redlands voters were correct for more reasons than the aesthetics when they soundly said “no” to the kinds of development planned for the quaint center of Our Town. Yes, boxy high rise dwellings would be ugly and architecturally inappropriate.  Yes, it is impractical to believe that most Southern Californians will abandon their cars and take to the trains.  Yes, it is a grave concern of downtown small business owners if parking becomes more challenging than it already is.

But the real issues are these: housing density and transit usage.  According to the L.A. Times, “in the COVID 19 pandemic, our much-aligned dispersed urban pattern has proven a major asset….. Overall this highly diverse, globally engaged region has managed to keep rates of infection well below that of dense, transit-dependent New York City.” Prior to the pandemic, the state’s march toward densification had been cast as the safest way forward.  Real statistics now have disproved that theory; even before the onset of COVID, Southern California voters were overwhelmingly in favor of less density, seeing dispersion as a better, healthier option.

Likewise, COVID 19 has altered the outlook toward the mass transit boom.  The latest ridership numbers for L.A.’s Metropolitan Transit Authority reveal ridership is down by over 53% when comparing June 2019 to June 2020. Ridership is down in San Diego, as well, and San Francisco”s BART system expects to lose $975 million in operations over the next 3 years due to ridership declines that at times have reached 92%.

Of course, some of the reasons for drops in public transportation numbers can be attributed to more people working from home and/or virus contagion concerns.  But the question remains whether this new negative attitude toward mass transit and ride sharing will be permanent; definitely it will be years before folks again board trains and buses worry-free. Many authorities now are of the opinion that no community should be spending any more money on public transit and the projects that accompany it until all of this shakes down and there is evidence that riders will eventually return.

So back to Measure G.  Is a densely populated living environment a healthy or attractive proposal for Our Town?  The correct answer is NO.  Let”s keep the charm of downtown Redlands intact for those of us who live here today, as well as for the generations that will follow.

Mary Jo Holmes, Redlands

Chart showing height of 3 story bldg downtown
A three story building downtown can be as high as 58.5 feet. Page 4:18 of Transit Villages Specific Plan.

Transit Village Plan Still Calls for Tall Buildings

Friends of Redlands want to inform Redlanders about the city’s plans for the future of their city. Friends of Redlands has been studying the city of Redlands General Plan, Downtown Specific Plan and Transit Villages Specific Plan Draft.

On March 3, voters in Redlands defeated Measure G by a resounding 64.8%. Every district voted the measure down by more than 60%.

Much of the objection to Measure G was because it would allow high-rise apartments, and therefore more population density in the downtown Transit Villages Area (from Judson Street on the east to Alabama Street on the west and Colton Avenue on the north and Citrus Avenue on the south including the old Redlands Mall).

Apparently, the Redlands City Council and Redlands City Planning Department are not listening to the voters.

Upon reading the Transit Villages Specific Plan, dated April 20, 2020, we see that the plan specifies building heights on page 4:18 of the specific plan, under Development Standards section 4.3.2 Downtown, a three story building can be as high as 58.5 feet. On page 4:16 of the Development Code 4.3.1 Urban Center, a four-story building could reach a height of 78.5 feet.

Chart showing height allowed for 4 story building
Page 4:16 of Transit Villages Specific Plan, showing allowed building heights for 4 stories.

For a comparison, the Citibank Building at 300 State St. is 85 feet and the Wood Springs Suites building is four floors at 49 feet, the Kaiser Redlands Medical Offices at three floors is 37 feet and the Ayers Suites is two floors is 24 feet.

The General Plan states that “the growth management system is the city of Redlands’ commitment to effectively manage growth and preserve the quality of life for current and future residents.”

The building heights specified in the specific plan and resulting population increase appear to be a contradiction to the above statement.

Friends of Redlands urges the council and Planning Department to reconsider the building heights as specified in the Transit Villages Specific Plan and recognize what the overwhelming number of voters decided in March — that height and density limits must remain intact.

Land use planning
Land use planning affects everyone in a community or region.

Why did we need Measure G?

Why did we need Measure G when State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) spends most of his time planning how we will all live? Since his SB 50 failed in the Legislature, he’s back with SB 902. SB 902 allows city councils to override local voter approved initiatives and allow 10 units per parcel in “transit rich areas,” “job rich areas,” and “urban infill areas.”

    • Transit rich areas: within half a mile of train stations.
    • Job rich areas: offer high opportunity, lots of jobs, or enable shorter commute distances.
    • Urban infill areas: empty city lots surrounded by developed lots.

Sound familiar?

The bill does not specify how large a “parcel” has to be. Most city councils will like SB 902 because it gives them more power over those pesky voters. It would be great if our city council would pass a resolution opposing SB 902, but they will probably embrace it because it fits with their plans.

SB 902 sailed through committee with no opposition. Our State Senator Mike Morrell did not vote on this bill.

Here is the text of the bill:

An act to add Section 65913.3 to the Government Code, relating to land use.


SB 902, as amended, Wiener.

Planning and zoning: housing development: density.

The Planning and Zoning Law requires a city or county to adopt a general plan for land use development within its boundaries that includes, among other things, a housing element. Existing law requires an attached housing development to be a permitted use, not subject to a conditional use permit, on any parcel zoned for multifamily housing if at least certain percentages of the units are available at affordable housing costs to very low income, lower income, and moderate-income households for at least 30 years and if the project meets specified conditions relating to location and being subject to a discretionary decision other than a conditional use permit. Existing law provides for various incentives intended to facilitate and expedite the construction of affordable housing.

This bill would authorize a local government to pass an ordinance, notwithstanding any local restrictions on adopting zoning ordinances, to zone any parcel for up to 10 units of residential density per parcel, at a height specified by the local government in the ordinance, if the parcel is located in a transit-rich area, a jobs-rich area, or an urban infill site, as those terms are defined. In this regard, the bill would require the Department of Housing and Community Development, in consultation with the Office of Planning and Research, to determine jobs-rich areas and publish a map of those areas every 5 years, commencing January 1, 2022, based on specified criteria. The bill would specify that an ordinance adopted under these provisions is not a project for purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act.

This bill would include findings that changes proposed by this bill address a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair and, therefore, apply to all cities, including charter cities

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


Section 65913.3 is added to the Government Code, to read:

65913.3. (a)

(1) A local government may pass an ordinance, notwithstanding any local restrictions on adopting zoning ordinances enacted by the jurisdiction, including restrictions enacted by a local voter initiative, that limit the legislative body’s ability to adopt zoning ordinances, to zone any parcel for up to 10 units of residential density per parcel, at a height specified by the local government in the ordinance, if the parcel is located in one of the following:

(A) A transit-rich area.

(B) A jobs-rich area.

(C) An urban infill site.

(2) An ordinance adopted in accordance with this subdivision shall not constitute a “project” for purposes of Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code.

(b) For purposes of this section:

(1) “High-quality bus corridor” means a corridor with fixed route bus service that meets all of the following criteria:

(A) It has average service intervals of no more than 15 minutes during the three peak hours between 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., inclusive, and the three peak hours between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., inclusive, on Monday through Friday.

(B) It has average service intervals of no more than 20 minutes during the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., inclusive, on Monday through Friday.

(C) It has average intervals of no more than 30 minutes during the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., inclusive, on Saturday and Sunday.

(2) (A) “Jobs-rich area” means an area identified by the Department of Housing and Community Development in consultation with the Office of Planning and Research that is high opportunity and either is jobs rich or would enable shorter commute distances based on whether, in a regional analysis, the tract meets both of the following:

(i) The tract is high opportunity, meaning its characteristics are associated with positive educational and economic outcomes for households of all income levels residing in the tract.

(ii) The tract meets either of the following criteria:

(iii) New housing sited in the tract would enable residents to live near more jobs than is typical for tracts in the region.

(iv) New housing sited in the tract would enable shorter commute distances for residents, relative to existing commute patterns and jobs-housing fit.

(B) The Department of Housing and Community Development shall, commencing on January 1, 2022, publish and update, every five years thereafter, a map of the state showing the areas identified by the department as “jobs-rich areas.”

(3) “Transit-rich area” means a parcel within one-half mile of a major transit stop, as defined in Section 21064.3 of the Public Resources Code, or a parcel on a high-quality bus corridor.

(4)) “Urban infill site” means a site that satisfies all of the following:

(A) A site that is a legal parcel or parcels located in a city if, and only if, the city boundaries include some portion of either an urbanized area or urban cluster, as designated by the United States Census Bureau, or, for unincorporated areas, a legal parcel or parcels wholly within the boundaries of an urbanized area or urban cluster, as designated by the United States Census Bureau.

(B) A site in which at least 75 percent of the perimeter of the site adjoins parcels that are developed with urban uses. For the purposes of this section, parcels that are only separated by a street or highway shall be considered to be adjoined.

(C) A site that is zoned for residential use or residential mixed-use development, or has a general plan designation that allows residential use or a mix of residential and nonresidential uses, with at least two-thirds of the square footage of the development designated for residential use.

(c) The Legislature finds and declares that ensuring the adequate production of affordable housing is a matter of statewide concern and is not a municipal affair as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution. Therefore, this section applies to all cities, including charter cities.

Departure Platform
A train departs the station.

FOR’s Recommendations for Transit Villages EIR

Friends of Redlands sent suggestions to the City regarding the Environmental Impact Report for the proposed “transit villages” around the 3 Redlands stations serving the train to San Bernardino.  Here are our suggestions:

  1. Provide for increased policing and fire protection in proportion to the expected future increase in population due to apartment living, and to increased foot traffic due to the Arrow commuter train stations.
  2. Since the purpose of an EIR is to “be aware of the quality of the human environment,” consideration should be given to the increased population density and possible need for social distancing in planning for any future pandemic.
  3. Account for taxpayer cost to modify the infrastructure to satisfy the need for increased water usage. Can this infrastructure be completed at an acceptable cost?
  4. Account for taxpayer costs due to the impact of increased population on Redlands’ failing sewer treatment plant. Can this infrastructure be completed at an acceptable cost?
  5. The aesthetic of the Downtown Historical District is a significant cultural and identity asset and has a major influence on the uniqueness of downtown Redlands. Any structures built in the Transit Villages Area should enhance this identity and be constructed in proportion to existing structures. A prime example is the old Santa Fe Station.
  6. Ensure that the increased traffic caused by the additional population will not degrade the existing Level of Service (LOS C) and allow for easy access on and off the I-10 Freeway.
  7. Downtown Redlands has always suffered for lack of adequate parking. With the loss of the mall parking where will people park for events like Market Night, the Bicycle Classic and Redlands Bowl events? Assure that there is ample automobile parking due to the increase in population (and cars) in the Transit Villages area.
  8. Provide mitigation for the increased noise due to the increase in traffic and the Arrow commuter train.