February 6, 2018
Tuesday morning February 6, San Mateans for Responsive Government (SMRG) filed their paperwork with the City Clerk to extend the height, density and affordable housing protections in the San Mateo General Plan to 2030. These protections are commonly known as Measure P and can only be changed by San Mateo voters. The current Measure P sunsets at the end of 2020. SMRG will begin collecting signatures from San Mateo voters at the end of February to place the extension of Measure P on the November 2018 ballot.
At the February 5 City Council meeting SMRG reiterated their desire to work with the Council during their proposed General Plan update. The General Plan process is the place to determine what land use changes can be made as San Mateo grows and prospers. Measure P provides high height-high density development zones near transit and includes one of the first inclusionary zoning requirements in the region. Measure P has been responsible for more than half of all the affordable housing built in the City since 1991. Measure P was cutting edge when first approved and continues to keep San Mateo in the planning forefront of balancing new development and livability. Spokesperson Michael Weinhauer told the Council that “Measure P is a proven initiative providing smart, measured growth for the City of San Mateo.”
But imagine what could happen if Measure P expires during the expected lengthy General Plan update process. SMRG recognizes that the General Plan update will be complex. It will have to address the devastating traffic impacts of major developments and the need for affordable housing. To be successful all segments of the community must participate in the process. Whatever changes are agreed to during this process will again be put before the voters as a revision to Measure P. Residents want assurance that the vision of their City that is agreed to during the General Plan update will be carried out for the duration of the plan.
According to Weinhauer, SMRG’s goal in extending Measure P is to give the community time to craft responsible General Plan changes for the future without the pressure of Measure P expiring. Measure P can be revised at any time prior to 2030, once the changes to height, density and affordable housing are agreed to as part of the General Plan process.