TO THE KEYBOARDS! SEND YOUR EMAIL NOW!

Reports in the Redlands Daily Facts and in the Redlands Community News this week confirmed that the Transit Village area plan calls for four-story buildings:

The portions of the area dubbed Village District, the land closest to each of the three rail stations, are the only places where buildings up to an average of four stories will be allowed, [city planner Brian] Foote said.

and:

Around the village center, buildings are only allowed to be up to four stories on average, with possible five-story tower elements only immediately around the station.

However, it should be noted that the City of Redlands Transit Villages Specific Plan Draft (Redlands Mall,  3.3 Vision)  already states that: “New mixed-use and multi-family buildings …. Ranging from three to five stories in height…” 

As a comparison and to help visualize the proposed heights, Krikorian Theater is 51′, while the Citibank building on State Street is 85′ /six- stories.  According to the proposed Transit Village Plan, new construction could be as tall as 78′.  But, given that there is currently no limit to the building heights, who knows??   Also, contrary to what the City claims, Redlands has never had four-story buildings: LaPosada Hotel and Casa Loma were both three-stories, Casa Loma had two four-story viewing towers, and LaPosada had a small service structure on the back of the roof.

Had Measure G not been soundly defeated last year, it would have allowed high-rises downtown along the railroad tracks.  Measure U, passed by Redlanders in 1997, limited building heights in the city.  However, it does not cover the Transit Villages along the train tracks downtown.  Therefore, there is no height limit on new construction in the areas.  Through the Growth Management initiative, Friends of Redlands would be able to close this loophole and limit building height to 40’ and population density in the Transit Villages Area downtown.  This is why it is imperative that we continue to collect signatures to get it on the ballot.

We are asking that everyone who receives this email take a few minutes to email the City of Redlands citing your comments/concerns about the plans.  We need to take advantage of every opportunity to let officials know that we do not want to see high-rise and/or high-density builds downtown and that the current plan does not address public concerns (lack of parking, overcrowding, unlimited heights, high-density, safety concerns, etc.),  Remember, once the downtown area is developed, it will be too late to do anything about it.

Public comments must be submitted by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, and kept to 250 words or less. They can be sent to publiccomment@cityofredlands.org or through a form on the city’s website, cityofredlands.org/public-speaker-form. Written comments can also be dropped off at the City Clerk’s Office at 35 Cajon St.

GREAT NEWS!

From the Redlands Community News:

Redlanders for Responsible Growth Management, which is leading an initiative to prevent hi-rise buildings in the city, received a 120-day extension to collect the valid signatures needed for its petition.

Redlands City Clerk Jeanne Donaldson said to her knowledge, proponents of a local initiative in California have not previously been granted an extension. The deadline was extended from Feb. 8 to June 8.

Larry Leonard, a leader of Redlanders for Responsible Growth Management, said the extension argument was based on the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, which was granted a 120-day extension because of COVID-19 in November.

Former Redlands Mayor Bill Cunningham developed the growth management initiative in September, working with No on Measure G campaign leaders.

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.

“Because of the pandemic, it’s been difficult to get signatures,” said Leonard. “It’s not that people don’t want to sign. It’s just hard to formulate how to collect them. We had a station at Gerrards that worked well for a while. What we finally figured out was to canvass neighborhoods and set up localized signing stations. I walked 230 homes the other day. On Saturday, Feb. 6, we will be at the corner of Colton Avenue and University Street for a drive-thru signing.”

Leonard said the group has about 10 volunteers and received 100 signatures over the weekend.

“We have been doing this since August,” said Leonard. “I got involved during the Measure G campaign. It’s interesting because we all thought it was solved when the measure failed. But the city came back with its Transit Specific Plan, which includes high-rise buildings. Residents don’t want high rises downtown. It takes a conversation to explain what the city is planning to do, and people can’t believe it. They are astounded and angry.”

According to the Transit Villages Specific Plan, up to 30% of the building footprint area can be four stories/65 feet, provided an equal amount of building footprint area is no taller than two stories/30 feet.

Buildings on parcels located adjacent to single-family zoned parcels must step down to two stories/25 feet. Up to 30% of the building footprint area can be five stories/65 feet, provided an equal amount of building footprint area is no taller than three stories/45 feet.

The city said the Transit Villages Specific Plan does not allow for high-rise buildings (13 floors or above) and will not allow mid-rise buildings (six to 12 floors).

According to the Redlands Transit Villages website, the majority of the Transit Villages Specific Plan would be limited to two or three stories in most districts. Only the Village Center district around the train stations would allow up to four stories on average.

Though the city says high-rises are not a threat, residents are still wary.

“Our total amount of signatures so far is close to 4,000,” said Leonard.

According to City Clerk Donaldson, Elections Code 9215 states that the signature threshold levels are based on the last report of registration by the county elections office to the Secretary of State. As of the report from July 3, Redlands has 42,716 registered voters. For the petition to be put on the next general election ballot, it would need a 10% threshold of 4,272 signatures. For the city to call a special election, the petition would need a 15% threshold of 6,408 signatures.

“We are close to the 4,272, but what happens is some signatures won’t be valid,” said Leonard. “Some who sign either don’t live in Redlands or don’t sign it correctly, so we need more to cover for that. To be comfortable, I think we would need about 4,600.”

 

HAPPENING NOW!

TIME IS RUNNING OUT AS OUR  DEADLINE IS FEB. 1

Get yourself to the corner of University and Colton and SIGN THE PETITION!!  Happening today from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Tell your neighbors and friends.   If you’ve already signed, do a drive-by honk-and-wave to support our team!

We will also be collecting signatures at Gerard’s from 1:30 – 3:30 pm today!

 

 

 

NEWLY SCHEDULED PETITION SIGNING DATES!!

It is imperative that everyone sign the petition because the Redlands City Council has refused to accept the defeat of Measure G, and the city is moving ahead with its Transit Villages Plan. It would allow high rise apartments and as many as 6000 people living in the downtown Transit Villages Area along the railroad tracks.

The only way to STOP the city and prevent high-rises next to single-family homes is to pass a citizen’ initiative to limit building heights and density. Friends of Redlands is asking you to SIGN THE PETITION to get this initiative on a future ballot. This initiative would:

*Close loopholes preventing future councils from building high-density apartment units

*Replace 4/5 council vote enabling density exceptions with a 5/5 council vote

*Eliminate General Plan exemption allowing higher density near future Metrolink

stations

*Prevent buildings taller than two stories next to single-family homes

*Place hard limit of three stories and 40’ on buildings w/in Downtown Transit Village

*Significantly increase parking requirements throughout the transit village areas

We are collecting signatures to qualify the initiative for a future ballot.  Our deadline to gather signatures is Monday, Feb. 1.

Friends of Redlands will be collecting signatures on two consecutive Saturdays at the corner of UNIVERSITY AND COLTON AVE (next to Sylvan Park):

Saturday, Jan. 23 (9:00 am-3:00 pm)

Saturday, Jan.30 (9:00 am – 3:00 pm)

TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS TO COME AND SIGN A PETITION!!!

If you have any questions, please email us a PreserveRedlandsNow@yahoo.com or call John at (909) 496-1539.

THE FUTURE OF REDLANDS – TAXPAYER COST OF TRANSIT VILLAGES

Friends of Redlands member Larry Leonard writes in the Redlands Community News:

This letter is number 5 in a series on the city’s plans by The Friends of Redlands. We have studied the General Plan 2035, Downtown Specific Plan and Transit Villages Specific Plan Draft (TVSP) with the objective of informing the residents of Redlands about the city council and city planning objectives for our city.

This letter will address the unknown costs to Redlands taxpayers of the development of the Transit Villages Area as described in the TVSP.

Throughout the 218 pages of the TVSP there is no mention of the cost to the taxpayer. We know that some of this cost will be born by the developer. However, before the developer can begin construction of apartments and commercial buildings, infrastructure like sewer piping and water mains, streets and sidewalks must be in place. In this case, it is the taxpayer who will pay the initial cost with the eventual reimbursement, hopefully, by the developer.

Along with the costs as mentioned above, the TVSP calls for taxpayer funded projects as follows:

– Parking garages

– Extending State Street and Fourth Street into the site of the mall property

– Converting State Street for two-way traffic

– Improvement and beautification of I-10 underpasses

– Do it yourself bicycle repair facilities

– Long term bicycle parking

– Landscaping down the center of Orange Street

– Converting Orange Street from two lanes in each direction to one in each direction

Then there is the cost of policing and fire. Nowhere can we find the cost to provide security for the three Arrow stations or for the additional 6000 or so people living in the Transit Villages corridor. Can our current fire department resources handle an additional 2400 dwelling units without adding fire stations and equipment? Also, consider that apartments require one and a quarter more costs for emergency services than single family homes.

Lastly there is the subject of property taxes. Apartments do not generate the same property tax revenue per dwelling unit as a single family home. This means that single family homeowners will subsidize the apartments for the costs of schools, emergency services, street maintenance and the like.

Friends of Redlands is concerned that the Transit Villages Specific Plan will be approved without a full accounting of the cost to the taxpayer. We urge the council and city planning conduct a study and inform Redlanders what the costs of the plan will be. This is only fair and responsible to the taxpayer.

Tell Your Friends!!!

The Redlands City Council has refused to accept the defeat of Measure G. The city is moving ahead with their Transit Villages Plan. It would allow high rise apartments and as many as 6000 people living in the downtown Transit Villages Area along the railroad tracks.

The only way to STOP the city and prevent high-rises next to single-family homes is to pass a citizen initiative to limit building heights and density. Friends of Redlands is asking you to SIGN THE PETITION to get this initiative on a future ballot. This initiative would:

*Close loopholes preventing future councils from building high-density apartment units

*Replace 4/5 council vote enabling density exceptions with a 5/5 council vote

*Eliminate General Plan exemption allowing higher density near future Metrolink stations

*Prevent buildings taller than two stories next to single-family homes

*Place hard limit of three stories and 40’ on buildings w/in Downtown Transit Village

*Significantly increase parking requirements throughout the transit village areas

We are collecting signatures to qualify the initiative for a future ballot. Your signature affirms that you want the initiative on the ballot so that Redlands voters can decide what they want, not the city. Our deadline to gather signatures is Monday, Feb. 1. Friends of Redlands will be collecting signatures on the following dates at the corner of CITRUS AND JUDSON:

Saturday, Jan. 9 (9:00 am – 12:00 pm)

Saturday, Jan. 16 (9:00 am – 12:00 pm)

If you have any questions, please email us a PreserveRedlandsNow@yahoo.com or call John at (909) 496-1539.

IMPORTANT UPDATE

We will be picking up any petitions you might have (whether they have two signatures on them or 22 signatures) on Monday, February 1.  You can let us know if you have a folder by emailing PreserveRedlandsNow@yahoo.com or calling John at (909) 496-1539.  Please provide your name and address so that we can get them.  Thank you for your continued help in this!

P.S. Don’t forget to tell all your Redlands friends on Facebook and Next Door about the petition drive!

 

 

 

WE RESPOND

On social media, a young man accused Friends of Redlands as being “conspiratorial” and that there are “interconnecting webs and dark forces coming for your cars”.  The individual wound up his hyperbolic commentary by asking “why any Friend of Redlands create a law that by design is nearly impossible for future generations to modify or undo? ”  He admonished, “That’s terrible governance.  You shouldn’t force a lifestyle on your kids and grandkids that way. ”  Finally he asserts that “every generation is entitled to shape the world to suit themselves.”

To which Friends of Redlands replies:  Right now there is no opportunity for citizen input to planning for fifteen years. A plan developed by a handful of chosen individuals. The only chance for change is by the initiative which requires a vote of all citizens in a pure democratic exercise.

Just three members of the council have the opportunity to overturn an initiative twice every two years if they can convince 50+ % of voters to agree. They tried it last October with G and got slapped down.  The initiative was adopted to thwart the stranglehold of special interests and their associated corruption of government.   Clearly, some things should indeed be long-term. Do we need a new Constitution every time we elect a new president?

Planning our future should be long-term.  Especially when it comes to the protection of historic downtown Redlands.  Because once that is gone, it is gone forever.  There is no turning back the clock.   If an individual opposes the efforts, they have every right to vote “no” on the Growth Management initiative when it meets the threshold and becomes a ballot measure.

The bigger question we would ask, is:  Why should anyone fear a vote of the people?

P.S. We’ve been accused of a conspiracy, which is defined as acting in secret, a plot. Should any of our critics want to join our “conspiracy” please contact us at 793-9558 to get the secret password and a decoder ring!!

 

 

 

 

 

LOOK FOR THE YELLOW T-SHIRTS!

We are out in force collecting signatures to get the Growth Management initiative on the 2021 ballot!  As you know, this is our last opportunity to stop the City from building high-density, unlimited height apartments in the Transit Village areas downtown.  If you want to see our historic charm and unique heritage preserved, make sure to sign a petition.  By signing the petition you are affirming that you want the initiative to get on the ballot so that all registered Redlands voters can decide for themselves whether they want stack-and-pack apartments of unlimited height and density in our downtown area.   So, look for the yellow t-shirts:  Brookside Post Office on Friday, Dec. 11 and Trader Joe’s/Vons  Center on Saturday, Dec. 12.

Here are a few photos from the post office today: