Don’t be Hornswoggled by Measure A


In an answer to those who believe that DDR will not use our tax money for the stress on our infrastructure (street and highway rebuilding, water, sewage, traffic lights, fire and police protection), you are being conned. They are lining up for a bailout with our taxes already. DDR is already using our tax money with a bailout of $600 million in TALF funds. Most sources say they get the money in early October. That will certainly give them some cash to sell a zone change. Our tax money may well pay for DDR’s election campaign.

Michelle Jarboe
Plain Dealer Reporter:
August 2009

…Developers Diversified Realty Corp. could be one of the first participants in a Federal Reserve program aimed at bolstering the battered commercial real estate market… from a government-subsidized bailout fund. Developers Diversified Realty Corp. (DDR), a retail REIT, could be one of the first REITs to reliquify assets through TALF.

“Who but DDR, do you suppose, was very first in line for a TALF handout ($600 million) from the New York Federal Reserve Bank?” -Tom Anderson

From the dictionary: Con: to persuade (someone) to do or believe something, typically by use of a deception.

We are being conned. Prop A is a vote on a zone change; not to get a mall. All these cute mailers we get, saying jobs will come, the economy will get better and you won’t have to drive to Santa Rosa are all horse pucky. They are dishonest and deceitful.

This statement is found on page B-42 of the Specific Plan: “Three conceptual site plans are provided in this chapter to illustrate the uses that can be accommodated by the Specific Plan. The exhibits shown are conceptual and do not reflect what may actually be constructed on the site. The actual development of the site is subject to change based on market and regional needs.”

Let’s be clear on what that means: They don’t have to build a mall. DDR can do whatever they want (and so can anyone else who buys the property) without any requirement to review and assess these potential impacts on our county. With this proposition, DDR does not have to accommodate growth within the boundaries of our agencies that provide the necessary services because the Specific Plan as provided by DDR is exempt from CEQA.

This plan also overrides any county laws. Note this from their plan:
“The Specific Plan supersedes the otherwise applicable Mendocino County development standards/regulations unless stated herein to the contrary. Whenever the provisions and development standards contained herein conflict with those contained in the Mendocino County Code, the provisions and development standards of the Specific Plan shall take precedence.”

What does this zone change leave? A more valuable property with no oversight of any impacts to our county — why, that’s a greedy developer’s dream. You want to vote for this?

And if they got a really big bailout and started to build a mall, it certainly would come out of our tax dollars even more as we can see from the LAFCO report that studied the impacts of the mall plan to our county:
During a normal review process this kind of information would be gathered and the costs for the impacts for this development for updating the system to accommodate the development demands would be assessed. Because no review is required under CEQA there is no requirement to review and assess potential impacts and costs to the District and no requirement that the developer pay for the costs.

As to the idea that DDR will pay for any additional costs to our county, it is only if they decide the county agencies are cooperative enough (by their definition, I guess). You don’t think that comes out of your tax pocket? Here is what happened in New Hampshire:
On May 26, 2009, the Newburyport, N.H., News reported that the local city council had halted DDR’s project in nearby Seabrook because the developer would not or could not provide required traffic improvements on highways adjacent to the site.

How about another definition?
Be hornswoggled: get the better of (someone) by deception: you mean to say you were hornswoggled?

Avoid being hornswoggled — by voting NO on A.