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Say NO to
City Ballot Measure to
overturn Measure Y

Too Dense | Too High | Too Soon

You voted for Measure Y and now the City of San Mateo is spending $250k of your tax dollars to try to get you to remove it.


smrg letter of opposition:

7 good reasons to vote NO


March 3, 2024

Dear Mayor and Councilmembers:

San Mateans for Responsive Government (SMRG), as the proponents of Measure Y, the resident-led height and density standards measure, cannot support the proposed 2040 San Mateo General Plan or the City's proposed Ballot Measure to overturn Measure Y.  SMRG respectfully requests that you do not approve it at this time. It overrides Measure Y and will displace many small businesses and service providers. We will actively work to oppose it if it goes on the 2024 ballot because it ignores the will of San Mateo voters. 


No valid, public reason has been given for rushing a vote to overturn Measure Y in 2024, instead of keeping it in the General Plan until its legal expiration date of 2030. 


1. There is no legal rush for higher heights and densities to meet state housing requirements. Development under Measure Y can meet the City’s cycle 6 Housing Element and state RHNA requirements, valid until 2031. The next housing cycle is likely to have reduced requirements since the State Department of Finance has released new population projections showing CA growth is flat through 2060.

2. There is no economic rush for higher heights and densities. Many already approved projects have asked for extensions and are not being constructed. There are high rates of office and retail vacancies throughout the Peninsula and Bay Area. 


3. Measure Y expires in 2030 and is currently part of the existing 2030 General Plan. In 2031 a majority of the City Council can revise the 2040 General Plan height and density limits without a vote to comply with the next Housing Element cycle. This is how General Plan changes were always made prior to the Measures H, P and Y voter initiatives.

4. Measure Y’s zoning allowances (55 foot height and 50 units per acre density) are but a small percentage of construction costs. Buildings exceeding 5-7 stories (50’-70’) are substantially more expensive to construct. The increased cost of land (directly related to increasing heights and densities) and the high cost of construction (labor, materials, financing, insurance) make construction of new buildings unaffordable, not Measure Y. Construction of new housing costs almost $1M per unit - increased zoning and taxpayer subsidies cannot build enough affordable housing to make a significant difference with these extreme development costs. 

5. The General Plan study areas do not protect key community serving land uses that residents rely on, such as grocery stores, car repair, independent restaurants, small businesses and service providers. Most existing small businesses along El Camino Real and surrounding Downtown will be displaced by allowing maximum development. The cost of new construction significantly raises rents. 

6. The Council and the residents need to review a fiscal analysis PRIOR to General Plan adoption. The DEIR makes clear that the large increase in population and structures will require additional funding for services. There is no data about how much revenue will be lost or gained by the Project land use changes. How much sales tax revenue will be lost by upzoning downtown and El Camino Real small businesses for housing or office?

7. The DEIR does not provide the public nor decision-makers with the data they need to approve the Project. There is no information about how water will be provided, traffic impacts reduced, the jobs/housing balance maintained, and displacement of affordable housing and small businesses avoided. Voters and the Council deserve to know the truth BEFORE approving the General Plan.


The majority of San Mateans have consistently supported the construction of more housing, particularly affordable housing, continued job growth and economic development. But they don’t believe it is necessary, nor are they willing, to sacrifice their homes, neighborhoods, quality of life, or character of their historic downtown in the process.


Thank you,

Michael Weinhauer, Spokesperson

San Mateans for Responsive Government

YOU hold the power. 

Just say NO

to the City's Ballot Measure


Join us today!

San Mateo is a wonderful city.  Its charming neighborhoods, vibrant downtown and diverse population create an unmistakable sense of place.  But we believe San Mateo can grow to be even better.  For 30 years we've believed in protecting our neighborhood character and irreplaceable historic resources. We believe that balanced growth is a smarter path to more affordable housing and a better life for all -- without compromising the qualities that make San Mateo special.

Balanced Growth is Smarter Growth


Building heights of 55-75 feet (5-7 stories) allows significant, but balanced growth...


SMRG's long commitment to affordable housing...

The Abundance of Measure Y 


Gallery of Bay Area development that fits within these standards...

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