Opinion: Measure A Would Stop Politicians from Turning San Diego into Los Angeles – Times of San Diego

Rural land outside Escondido which is the site of the 2,200-home Newland Sierra development, approved by county supervisors under a general plan amendment. Measure A would forbid such changes. Photo courtesy of Newland Communities

By JP Theberge and Elizabeth Blankenship-Williams

The well-funded misinformation campaign against citizen’s initiative Save our San Diego Countryside — now officially Measure A — is being driven and bankrolled by the Building Industry Association and a handful of sprawl developers who repeatedly seek special exemptions to build in the fire-prone areas that our planning regulations avoid. This should tell you all you need to know about their motivations. They oppose Measure A because it makes it harder to use their vast political influence to get three developer-friendly county supervisors to approve these exemptions. They are already spending vast sums of money to confuse and hoodwink voters and contracting with high-priced public affairs and digital marketing firms to inundate social media with misinformation. On the other hand, Measure A is being run by unpaid volunteers — taxpayers, local community leaders, activists, urban planners, small business owners from all over the County — who were tired of the building industry manipulating the political process in San Diego County. Hundreds of volunteers helped gather 107,000 signatures to place it on the ballot. There’s no developer funding and no public affairs teams, and they’ve raised a fraction of what the developers have raised. Their efforts are truly grassroots, intended to protect taxpayers, and operate on a shoestring budget.
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