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Judge Approves Revised Ballot Arguments for Veronica Meadows Project

Proposed Santa Barbara housing development needs a bridge built on city-owned park land, which requires voter approval

A Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge approved revised ballot arguments Friday for Measure Y 2012, which will ask Santa Barbara voters in June to allow bridge access for the Veronica Meadows project.

The 25-unit project, located on the west side of Las Positas Road across from Elings Park, has been approved by the City Council, but the project’s bridge has proved to be a sticking point for developer Mark Lee.

The bridge, which provides access to the property, was the center of a 2007 lawsuit between Lee and the Citizens Planning Association. A judge ultimately ruled in favor of the Citizens Planning Association, stating that the developer would need to get voter approval to build the bridge because it would pass over a small strip of land designated as a city park.

Lee’s attorney, Steve Amerikaner, told the City Council last month that the election will be the last significant step in the 13-year process for the project. Lee will pay for the bridge construction and creek restoration, as well as the $78,000 in election costs, but Amerikaner said that if the ballot measure fails, they’ll have to consider alternatives such as going through the nearby neighborhood for the main access road.

On Friday, Judge Donna Geck approved a stipulated judgment revising ballot arguments for the June 5 election. Scroll down to read a full copy of the arguments.

Yes on Y arguments contained in the language approved Friday say that voter approval will ensure “a degrading section of Arroyo Burro Creek will be restored and 50 acres of adjacent property permanently dedicated and maintained as open space and restores 6 acres of park at no taxpayer expense.”

Arguments encouraging a No on Y vote encourage voters to say no to the city’s “gift of open space/parkland to a private developer. The court has ruled that the voters have the right to reject the gift of our precious city parkland to a private developer. This gift would set a dangerous precedent that threatens the future of city parklands.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Exhibit 1 Amended Measure Y Arguments FINAL 3-22-12


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