City of Chino
CA

Staff Report

Discuss and provide direction on Chino Municipal Code Chapter 20.15 that serves to establish maximum densities for residential lands in Chino pursuant to Measure M, passed by the voters of the City of Chino on November 8, 1988.

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BACKGROUND

Measure M was adopted by the voters of Chino in 1988. It is a growth-control measure that prevents the City from increasing the residential density of land, unless approved by the voters of Chino and is codified at Chino Municipal Code §§ 20.15.010 (and following sections). 

In relevant part, the code provides “[n]otwithstanding any other provision of the general plan, the maximum density of any land designated for a residential use within the city shall not exceed the density for such land established by the zoning map and the zoning ordinance of the city, or any development agreements in effect on November 8, 1988, excepting senior housing projects.”  (Emphasis added.)

Measure M as adopted by the votes only applies to territory that was “within the [C]ity” of Chino’s geographic boundaries as of November 8, 1988. Territory subsequently annexed into the City, as well as the territory not within the City but within its “Sphere of Influence” (as determined by the Local Agency Formation Commission (“LAFCO”) are not subject to this measure.

Since Measure M was enacted, all voters of Chino have been deemed eligible to vote on all ballot measures that would permit density increases on residential property above that allowed by Measure M.

Because Measure M was adopted by the voters, any changes to the prohibitions in Measure M require voter approval and would be subject to the requirements of the state Elections Code.

 

ISSUES/ANALYSIS

As a result of the recent election for Measure H, the City Council has requested a review of Measure M. The City Attorney’s Office has been tasked with evaluating some options and reached the following preliminary conclusions:

Permissible changes to Measure M:

·         Measure M could be changed, consistent with recent actions of the City Council to elect councilmembers by district, to require that applications to increase permissible zoning beyond the limits set by Measure M be submitted only to the voters within the council district where the property proposed for increased zoning density is geographically located.

Prohibited changes to Measure M:

·         Measure M could not be amended to apply to some or all of the unincorporated County territory within the City “Sphere of Influence” either prior to or as a condition of annexation into the City.  Such a change would be pre-empted by state law.

·         Measure M could not be amended to apply to prohibit any General Plan amendments for some or all of the unincorporated County territory within the City “Sphere of Influence” either prior to or as a condition of annexation into the City.  Such an amendment would be pre-empted by state law.

·         Measure M could not be amended to limit the right to vote on increasing the residential density of territory subject to Measure M to voters within the geographic boundaries of the City (or of a council district) as of the adoption of Measure M in 1988.  Such an amendment would likely violate the Federal Voting Rights Act.

Uncertain Issues

·         Amendments to Measure M that would make it inconsistent with requirements for providing the City’s share of the Regional Housing Need, as required by state Housing Element laws.

·         Other issues to be determined at the workshop, based on discussion.

Ultimately, staff is seeking direction from the City Council on whether they desire any changes to Measure M, and if so, to prepare a referendum to submit to the voters of Chino the proposed changes. Should the Council want to make any changes, the City Attorney will prepare ballot measure language for Council consideration, in order to place the measure on the November 2018 ballot.

 

Attachments:              Measure M Resolution No. 1988-40

Measure M History - Election Results from 1988 through 2017

No on H Voting Percentages by Precinct