Editor: In Kyle Szymanski’s Aug. 30 article entitled “Debate on ULL continues,” ULL expansion initiative opponent Kathy Griffin is quoted as stating the following: “Because this initiative becomes law, it removes the ability for Brentwood residents and our city government to control the project. It removes or overrides all of the controls, because they are embedded in the initiative.”
I believe this to be patently false at worst and grossly misleading at best. Assuming the initiative passes, the city retains its land use processing authority at staff, planning commission and city council levels of review and decision making for the many subsequent land use and environmental reviews to follow. And the city won’t be the only local, state or federal agency involved before anything gets built.
Perhaps the key document to be decided on by the city will be the development agreement between it and the developer, which will — and must, from a political standpoint — include the mitigations to be paid for by the developer for project impacts. Even a cursory review of the current city general plan reveals that as far back as 2012, the city contemplated and planned for growth in this location, even designating it a “special planning area in its adopted general plan (2014).” So it’s been official city policy as a targeted growth area since then.
How many city councils and planning commissioners have come and gone since then, without seeing a need to change the policy? In any case, the voters will have a say soon — but it should be supported by facts and objectivity, as well as a broader view of future housing needs.