Frequently Asked Questions

1. What exactly will the measure do?

This Measure will allow public property to continue to be used for public purposes by prohibiting its development for private commercial interests. It will:

In short, it will contribute to the preservation of our small-town charm and identity.

2. How will the measure accomplish these things?

The Measure will change the zoning of Parking Lot 3 (APN 004-105-011) from general commercial to open space/recreation. A YES vote will reaffirm the zoning designation of open space/recreation for the Coastal Open Space Parcel next to The Spot (APN 004-105-026). It will also Amend the definition of open space/recreation land use category of the General Plan.

3. Will the Measure have a negative financial impact on the City?

NO. The City’s financial picture is strong with the passage of Measure X; the City’s recent use of funds to build the skate park and assume operational control of the library reflects this strong financial position. Measure T2022 preserves finite open space and protects our quality of life. It does not impose financial hardship on the City.

The City of Carpinteria is not in financial need. Measure X, the local sales tax which was adopted in 2018, has generated over 3.5 million dollars a year and is likely to increase in coming years. The electorate chose this route, rather than a hotel or other development on public land, to meet the City’s financial needs and to ensure a steady flow of revenue.

4. Could the measure possibly lead to “unintended” or “unforeseen” consequences?

NO. The Initiative is clear, it changes the zoning of only one parcel, and potential complications are within the power of the City to resolve.

City Council members responses to the potential impacts that the City’s 9219 Report identified at the City Council meeting of 12.13.21 when Mayor Nomura stated: “However, I think as we move forward with this one we will find out in fact if there are, we would be able to realize them and see what actions we need to take to rectify them even before or after the passing of this one.” Vice Mayor Clark said, “But even if there is a conflict, as staff indicates, we can resolve it.”

5. Does the measure impact possible additional parking on other parcels?

NO. The initiative states that the open space/recreation land use category provides existing parking use and so it reaffirms parking use on the Bluffs and other parks and makes absolutely no limitations on the number of spaces allowed.

The 9219 Report states: “City Staff interprets that the addition of “existing parking” to the OSR Land Use category definition does not by itself preclude “new parking” on OSR designated parcels within the City.” (p.10).

6. Does the new zoning proposed by the Measure allow residential development on Open Space/Recreational (OSR) properties?

NO. Residential development can only occur if the property is included in the Residential overlay zone prior to or independent of the Initiative.

During the City lawyers’ 9212 Report, Vice Mayor Clark asked Staff, “How many OSR parcels have a “Residential Overlay?” The answer given by the City Attorney, was “None.” Measure T2022 would not allow building houses on the Bluffs and other OSR parcels. Such construction would require a zone change passed by the City Council and the Coastal Commission.

7. Why was this “initiative” approach to city governance necessary?

Because the City Council was not responsive to long standing, wide-spread concern about the Surfliner Inn project the Initiative process was utilized. As a result, over a thousand Carpinterians signed the petition to place this Measure on the ballot. Measure T2022 represents a grassroot movement that seeks to give all registered voters in Carpinteria a voice in a decision that will impact our community forever.

In response to the “Initiative Petition to Save the Downtown and Beach Parking Lot” having been approved for public signature gathering in February 2021, Vice Mayor Clark asked for an Advisory Vote to receive additional public input on the Surfliner Inn. The lack of any City Council members willingness to second the motion made it clear that the majority of the City Council wanted the hotel project to continue through the development process. In their failed attempt to avoid the expense of a ballot measure or the misguided rationale that the hotel could be stopped during the City’s planning process, a choice was made by Council to ignore the community’s significant opposition to commercial development of public land expressed in multiple forums including numerous Council meetings over many years. Had the Council been responsive to public input and allowed the City’s citizenry to decide the issue directly, there would have been no need for the current ballot measure. Let’s keep responsibility for this situation in mind as every registered voter in the City will now get a chance to have their say on the future of our downtown open spaces.