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Orange County 1988 : A Look at the Year Ahead : LAND USE : Success Seems Imminent for Backers of Slow Growth, but Battle Isn't Over

December 28, 1987|Jeffrey A. Perlman \f7

A campaign began last August to qualify the Sensible Growth and Traffic Control initiative for the June or November ballot in the county's cities, and unincorporated areas will remain the critical land-use issue in 1988.

While signature gathering for the initiative has faltered, prompting sponsors to launch a last-minute mail campaign, most observers believe that slow-growth ballot measures will be adopted in 1988--either by voters or city councils--in San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Cypress and the unincorporated area.

As a result, developers have been rushing into special agreements with the Board of Supervisors. The agreements require developers to provide some traffic improvements but also seek to protect major development projects from the impact of slow-growth measures.

The ballot initiatives differ slightly from city to city. Generally, the measures would condition growth on the ability of local roads to handle additional traffic and the availability of local public safety services and parks.

Early in 1988, the Orange County Chapter of the Building Industry Assn. will launch a major campaign against the slow-growth initiatives, and similar efforts are expected from the Orange County Chamber of Commerce and other business-oriented organizations.

Court challenges to any initiatives that pass are expected from opposition groups.

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