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City OKs Measure to Counter SOAR

May 25, 2000|TRACI ISAACS

The City Council made good on its promise Tuesday to introduce its own slow-growth initiative to rival a local SOAR measure on the November ballot.

The council's decision came shortly after SOAR supporters handed over the signatures they needed to put their measure before voters in the fall.

Richard Francis, coauthor of the SOAR initiative, told the council that competing measures would confuse voters and further pit residents against city leaders.

Despite Francis' warning, the competing measure, introduced by Councilman Roger Campbell, passed 4 to 0. Councilwoman Linda Brewster is on vacation.

City leaders oppose the Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources initiative, which would prohibit development outside designated growth boundaries without voter approval. The initiative would pull back the city's growth boundaries to within current city limits in some places.

"This is the most restrictive thing ever to come out of a SOAR measure," Campbell said. "It's less than the city boundaries. Not only that, it takes our sphere of influence away."

Campbell said he will write the city's rival proposal--which would be less restrictive than the SOAR measure--and present it to the City Council before June 11.

Unlike the SOAR measure, Campbell said, the city's version does not need signatures from 30% of its voters to be placed on the November ballot. The five-member City Council could qualify Campbell's measure with a simple majority vote.

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