Vote No on Prop 90 – it’s a Trap!

From Sierra Nevada Alliance

September 29, 2006

Proposition 90 is a classic bait and switch: a ballot initiative which claims to be about eminent domain reform, but which would actually take away our community’s ability to control growth and preserve agricultural land and natural resources. If Proposition 90 passes, the result will be more farmland and natural areas carved up for development, more miles of endless strip malls and subdivisions, more traffic and smog, more frivolous lawsuits and wasted tax dollars.

Not Just Eminent Domain

The initiative is Proposition 90, the so-called “Protect Our Homes” Act. The measure deals with eminent domain but it also contains a poison pill which prevents communities from passing the most basic laws to plan for how and where our communities grow. If our cities or counties pass laws to preserve farmland or control growth, we could be forced to make huge payouts to developers. Or, if we can’t afford the payouts, these laws simply won’t be enacted.

Nobody Likes It!

Eminent domain reform is needed, but these dangerous provisions have nothing to do with eminent domain. That’s why leading organizations from all across the political spectrum, including the California Farm Bureau Federation, California Chamber of Commerce, California League of Conservation Voters, California League of Women Voters, the Sierra Club, and California Police and Fire Chiefs all oppose Prop 90. When’s the last time you saw the Chamber of Commerce and the Sierra Club on the same side of an issue? That’s how bad this measure is.

Horror Stories from Oregon – is California Next?

Since a similar law passed in Oregon in 2004, local planning has been thrown into chaos, and local governments have been forced to approve bad development projects to avoid lawsuits from developers – including a gravel mine within 200 feet of homes in Clackamas County and a million-square foot shopping center in the heart of Polk County’s farm belt.

Here’s how it would work in California: Imagine that a developer wants to build 1000 homes on a piece of land, but the County’s policy would only allow them to build 600 homes. The developer could build the 600 homes, and then sue the local government for amount of money they would have made if they built the other 400.

Prop 90 is a Lose-Lose:

Prop 90 would force California communities make an impossible choice: Either pay out, or let developers do whatever they want. It’s a lose-lose proposition for local communities, taxpayers and the environment. Please join me in voting NO on Prop 90.

Here’s how you can help stop Prop 90:

1. Forward this email to everyone you know.

2. Spread the word in your community: You can download fact sheets and other materials at Distribute these in your neighborhood, at work, or at local events.

3. Make a donation to the campaign. The Yes on Prop 90 campaign is being funded by the very deep pockets of a millionaire real estate mogul from New York. Their campaign will undoubtedly saturate the TV waves with expensive ads. Help us fight back with your donation. Donate online at