SP voters help decide countywide land use, transportation measures

December 07, 2016
Santa Paula News

Santa Paulans had several countywide issues to decide in the November 8 Presidential/General Election and the results of several measures was certified Friday by the Ventura County Elections Division.

Unincorporated county areas were fought over by two land measures, C and F. 

Measure C sought to extend the current SOAR (Save Open-space & Agricultural Resources) law to 2050 and leave most development up to a vote of the people. It passed with 58.52 percent, 189,349 yes votes, and 41.48 percent, 134,217 no votes. In all, 323,566 cast votes for and against Measure C.

Competing Measure F, backed by farmers that allowed development adjacent to schools by a vote of a majority of County Supervisors, lost with 53.68 percent, 172,751 voting against it and only 46.32 percent, 149,054 voting yes. Fewer voters marked their ballots for or against the measure with the total turnout of 321,805 votes cast on Measure F.

Whichever measure came in first would be the one implemented, but it was a moot point with the failure of Measure F. 

Measure AA, the countywide half-cent transportation sales tax measure was defeated, falling about 10 percent short of the two-thirds voter approval needed to win passage.

With final votes certified Friday by the Ventura County Elections Office, Measure AA had 193,449 yes votes, 57.91 percent, versus 140,600 no votes, 42.09 percent.

Under the California Constitution, county transportation finance ballot initiatives need the support of at least 66 percent plus-one vote to become law.

Sponsored by the Ventura County Transportation Commission, Measure AA was projected to raise about $3.3 billion over the next 30 years for transportation infrastructure that supporters said would need more funding to be maintained. The revenue also would have financed bus and rail improvements as well as making money available for federal matching grants.

It marked the second time in 12 years that such a measure failed to win passage in Ventura County.

Fifty percent of the measure’s revenue would have gone to the county’s 10 cities to spend on local transportation priorities, including streets although there was speculation — and questions from critics — how such funding would be allotted. The other 50 percent raised would have remained with the commission for regional transportation needs, including the widening of Highways 101 and 118 as well as a southbound connection between Highway 126 to the 101.

Nineteen of California’s 58 counties have a transportation sales tax, including every county in the Southern California Association of Governments but Ventura County.

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