Dale Tyler refutes every point on Mission Viejo Measure D misinformation


Don't be conned by Frank Ury

The following is from the www.missionviejoca.org  web site.  

 More Spin Against Measure D, by Dale Tyler 

The people opposing Measure D fall into two camps: those who are confused about its purpose and likely effects and those who will do and say anything to maintain their own power. 

Leading the second group is Frank Ury, a Mission Viejo councilman. He wrote the Argument Against Measure D, published in the voter’s guide. Unfortunately for him, Cathy Schlicht decided to contest some of the claims in his ballot argument. Aided by attorney Brad Morton, Cathy filed for a writ of mandate and asked the judge to review six areas of Frank’s statement. For the judge to remove or change anything, the section had to be false and/or misleading. The judge was not allowed to remove anything else, even is it was only partially true or simple exaggeration of facts or puffery. 

The judge removed three passages from Frank’s statement: 
“Under State law it CAN NEVER be developed into housing”  
. and “forces” Mission Viejo taxpayers to pay for it.  
“Businesses wishing to expand their facilities would have to go to a full vote of the people at their own expense”  

In each of these cases, Frank knew better but chose to put completely false statements in an official statement. Perhaps he thought that he could get away with this because he is used to being unchallenged when he makes false and misleading statements at council meeting or elsewhere. 

Ury even tries to spin the Judge’s decision by claiming the he lost “only three” of 26 issues that were raised. However, court papers show that there were six, not 29 “causes of action,” and he is trying to say only three lies are not too bad. Sorry, Frank, everything you say about Measure D is a lie, and you know it. 

At a recent debate held by the Casta Del Sol Republican Club and co-sponsored by the Saddleback Republican Assembly, Frank tried to say that there would be significant job losses caused by Measure D. However, that is untrue. In fact, there have been four conversions of commercial property to residential uses approved by various city councils during the past 15 years, two of which occurred while Frank was on the City Council. Based on the loss of commercial square footage from these four cases, there could have been as many as 1,000 jobs lost in Mission Viejo and a significant amount of sales taxes that will also not be available to help pay for city services. Perhaps the voters of the city would have approved these conversions, but given the opposition to each project by close neighbors, I would expect that none of these changes would have occurred. 

Major land-use decisions are too important to be left in the hands of five council members, even if they weren’t receiving campaign contributions from the very developers whose projects they are asked to approve. Only the residents of Mission Viejo can collectively decide if a project is right for our city. Some people might mistakenly say that if we don’t like a specific City Council decision, we can vote out those councilpersons who made the bad decision. Once the zoning is changed on a parcel of land, it can’t be put back. So, the bad councilperson is gone, but the bad land-use decision remains. Measure D will stop that and get the people to approve the change, after the Planning Commission and City Council make sure that the project is the best it can be. 

At that same Casta Del Sol event, a flyer was handed out by an opponent of Measure D. It was somewhat amusing to see how many of their 10 points were completely inaccurate. 

1) Stick taxpayers with the bill for unlimited “special” elections.
Wrong. Section 4.1 of Measure D says that developers will pay the entire cost of any special election they request. 

2) Drain funds away from schools, roads, parks and public safety.
Wrong. As there are no additional costs to the city or school districts as a result of Measure D, no funds will be diverted. In fact, to the extent commercial properties remain commercial, there will be more taxes paid to the city. 

3)Let developers build high-density, low-income housing without an election.
Wrong. They are misunderstanding Section 6.1 of Measure D. That section simply says that Measure D, like all other city laws, cannot override State law, especially the State Housing Code. Whatever laws applied before, apply in exactly the same way after Measure D is enacted. Nothing whatsoever will change. Section 6.1 is part of Measure D to make it harder for people to challenge Measure D as being passed to override State law, which it cannot do. 

4) Create Blight and vacant storefronts.
Wrong. It is hard to see how passing a law that will stabilize zoning would do any thing of the kind. Really, this is an attempt to scare people with an idea plucked from thin air. 

5) Cause budget deficits and make cuts in city services inevitable.
Wrong. As stated above, there will be no increases in city spending as a result of Measure D, and the city may even see an increase in collected sales tax if existing commercial properties are saved from being converted to residential. 

6) Prevent hospital, school church and business improvements.
Wrong. Measure D does not prevent landowners from expanding their operations as long as they don’t need to change the zoning. If, for example, a shopping center wanted to expand and tear down nearby houses to do so, then Measure D would come into effect, and a vote of the people would be required. 

7) Drop Property values and halt job creation.
Wrong. Under the “old” system where City Councils made the final decisions, about 1,000 jobs were lost when properties that were supposed to be commercial got converted to residential. Measure D would make sure that the people would decide which was more important: jobs or housing. Also, to the extent that Measure D reduces the number of new houses built, existing houses will be worth more because of supply vs. demand. 

8) Unleash an endless parade of “special” elections
Wrong. There have been less than six zoning change in the past 15 years in Mission Viejo that would likely have triggered Measure D if it had been law. That’s hardly “endless.” Also, Mission Viejo is mostly built out, and few vacant parcels remain where zoning would become an issue, especially when developers know that they need to do more than “convince” three council members. 

9) Do nothing to protect Casta Del Sol Golf Course or any other open space.
Wrong. Look at section 3.1i and 3.1j. They were designed especially so that a vote of the citizens of Mission Viejo would be needed to build anything else at Casta Del Sol Golf Course.  We know from the Judge’s decision and city documents that construction is possible on parts of the golf course.

10) Make you pay more for something you already have – the right to vote.
Wrong. We don’t have any way to stop bad land-use decisions made by City Councilpersons until they come up for election, by which time it is too late to do anything about whatever project they approved. Also, future elections required by Measure D will be paid for by developers, not taxpayers

Please do your research and ask the question: who gains if Measure D passes (the people of Mission Viejo) and who gains if Measure D fails (developers and city councilmembers, among others). 

Please vote “Yes” on Measure D.

About Larry Gilbert