Ridgeline measure could join fall ballot

Council expected to decide soon
By Linda Lou

February 21, 2008

SAN MARCOS – In addition to choosing City Council and school board members in November, San Marcos voters may also vote to make the city’s ridgeline-protection ordinance more difficult to overturn.

Voters likely will be asked to “bulletproof” the existing ordinance so it could only be changed with a public vote, not by future councils. A council decision to place a measure on the ballot is expected soon. The ordinance, designed to limit development on ridgelines surrounding the city, has been in effect since March 2006. Now, however, it can be changed or repealed by a council majority.

City officials have decided to recommend that the council put the ordinance on the ballot this fall, said City Manager Paul Malone, and a report recommending that action may be presented to the council next month.The city had considered delaying a public vote until 2010, to have more time to iron out any possible challenges to the ordinance, Malone said. But the housing slump has made that a moot point. “Single-family development has almost come to a halt,” he said. Until recently, the city believed the council had given it an option to place the ordinance either on the 2008 or the 2010 ballot, Malone said. But when staff reviewed the 2006 council meeting, he said, it became clear that the council wanted the ordinance on the 2008 ballot. CLICK HERE TO READ ENTIRE UT ARTICLE

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