90 says unless you can pay me for not developing this land, then one day I'm gonna be able to develop it," Patton says.
A LAWYER'S WET DREAM
Mary Ann O'Malley, a fiscal and policy analyst at the state's Legislative Analyst's Office, helped write the legislative analysis for Prop. 90 and as such is familiar with the measure's far-reaching but more obscure provisions.
"Governments will be required to sell land back to its original owner if they stop using the land for the purpose stated when it took the property in the first place," O'Malley explains. "And government won't be able to condemn property to build on another property for the purpose of increasing local government's tax revenues, but it could do so to build roads and schools."
As for how the "regulatory takings" section of Prop. 90 affects government's ability to protect the environment, O'Malley says local governments frequently impose case by case mitigation requirements to uphold the Endangered Species Act, telling a developer where it can build.
"If this is simply an enforcement procedure required by the Endangered Species Act, then it probably would not be viewed as a compensatory act, but if it's an independent local project decision, it might fall within Prop. 90's purview."
Although Prop. 90 supporters say it won't affect existing laws, Douglas says it's simplistic to believe that current zoning won't be superceded.
"Zoning plans aren't exclusive. They may allow ancillary uses with government's approval. For instance, you can build additional housing and wineries on ag land, but sometimes these uses are totally incompatible with the area. At which point local government steps in and says, 'Oh no you don't.' But under Prop. 90 government is vulnerable to claims.
"Taxpayers are gonna be stuck with a multibillion-dollar bill. It should be called the 'Destroy California Initiative.’” SFBG
Read about the Proposition 90 money trail and the truth behind the campaign's stories at www.sfbg.com.