Unlikely Opponents Line Up Against Open Space Measure in Yuba County
A Yuba County ballot measure that aims to preserve open space won’t be able to count on the support of the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau, as the organization favors the status quo over changing policy to require a majority vote of the people (until 2030) to change the land-use designation of any property located in the county's "Natural Resources Land Use Element." Supervisor Hal Stocker is the major backer of Measure T, but likely supporters have lined up against the proposal, partly due to the limitations it could impose on small-property owners and the costs of having voters decide such matters instead of supervisors.
A coalition named the Yuba County Alliance for Property Rights has already been formed to defeat Measure T and members include farmers and small-business owners as well as Supervisors John Nicoletti and Roger Abe. The fear is that the measure would create onerous restrictions on someone who wants to develop just a few acres. A letter from the Farm Bureau states, “Currently, the Board of Supervisors has the authority to make these types of decisions and can weigh the facts after a public discussion. This process should remain intact."
The Appeal Democrat reports that “Supervisor Stocker said he would dismiss the group's claims because all his measure does is take General Plan amendments from being something supervisors would vote on to something the public would vote on. Anything allowable under the General Plan now, he said, would still be allowed if the measure passes. Establishing a winery, listed as an example of something that would be negatively affected by the measure, would be permissible because it is an agricultural use, Stocker said.”
A similar measure was passed by voters in Napa County.