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Town of Danville Citizens' Agricultural, Open Space and Park and Recreation Land Preservation Initiative
The People of the Town of Danville do ordain as follows:

Section 1. Intent and Purpose. 
It is the intent and purpose of this measure to preserve and protect Danville’s remaining agricultural, park and recreation, and open space land, and to reserve any decision that might affect the future agricultural, park and recreation, or open space use of such land to the voters of Danville.

Section 2. Findings.
The following findings are made in support of this measure:

  • Danville has lost a substantial portion of its former agricultural, park and recreation, and open space land to other competing uses.
  • In November 2000, the voters of the Town of Danville adopted Measure S, a general plan amendment that, according to its authors, offered "Danville residents a deciding voice in any proposed change to areas not planned for development. Danville voters would have to approve any change in use on Open Space, Agricultural, or Parks and Recreation land.” (Rebuttal to ballot argument opposing Measure S.)
  • The 2010 General Plan states that lands designated as agricultural are bound by Williamson Act contracts and therefore a zoning density range is inapplicable. It also states that, upon expiration of a Williamson Act contract on agricultural land, “continued agricultural use is encouraged, and the underlying zoning density (one unit per 20 acres or one unit per five acres) would apply … .”
  • The 2010 General Plan, under the Agricultural land use designation, identifies the A-2 zoning (one unit per five acres) as the only current zoning district consistent with agricultural use. Unlike the Rural Residential land use designation, it does not identify P-1 (clustered development) as an allowable zoning.
  • The Town of Danville is currently in the process of adopting an updated general plan (“2030 General Plan”) to replace the 2010 General Plan, which now includes Measure S as Policy 1.14.  
  • The current draft of the 2030 General Plan would open all remaining Agricultural land in Danville to residential development by proposing that when Williamson Act contracts expire, the zoning changes uniformly to A-2 zoning (one home per five acres) and by allowing P-1, clustered development, which would permit dense residential development in agricultural use areas.  
  • This would effectively redesignate all of Danville’s Agricultural land as Rural Residential land without a vote of the people, contrary to the intent of Measure S.  
  • Measure S allows the redesignation of land designated as Agricultural without a vote of the people if 4/5 of the Town Council decides such redesignation is the necessary to avoid a taking of private property or to comply with federal or state law. Given the importance of such a decision, it is appropriate to require a unanimous (5/5) vote of the Council.  

Section 3. General Plan Amended. 
The Town of Danville General Plan is hereby amended as follows:  

1. by revising and readopting the existing Policy 1.14, enacted by Measure S, to read as follows (added language indicated by underlining, deleted language indicated by [italics]):

1.14. The Land Use Designations of Agricultural, General Open Space and Parks and Recreation contained in the Town of Danville General Plan in effect on November 7, 2000, were reaffirmed and readopted by the voters of the Town in an election held on November 7, 2000. The lands with those Land Use Designations are graphically depicted on the Land Use Map contained in the 2010 General Plan. [Until November 7, 2020, t] The Land Use Designations for those properties may be amended only by one of the following two procedures: 

(a) By a vote of the people at an election; or 
(b) By a [4/5’s] unanimous vote of the Town Council if the Town Council, after a public hearing, makes one of the following findings that is supported by substantial evidence in the record: 

(i) That approval of the land use amendment is necessary to avoid an unconstitutional taking of a landowner's property rights and that the new land use is only the minimum necessary to avoid the unconstitutional taking of the landowner's property rights. 
(ii) That approval of the land use amendment is necessary to comply with state or federal law and that the new land use is only the minimum necessary to comply with such laws.

Prior to amending the General Plan to redesignate land pursuant to subparagraphs (i) or (ii) above, the Town Council shall hold at least two noticed public hearings for the purposes of receiving testimony and evidence from the applicant and the public on the proposed amendment and any findings proposed in connection with such an amendment. This hearing shall be in addition to any other public hearings regularly required for a General Plan amendment.

2. by revising and readopting the existing text defining Agricultural land use in the Planning and Development Element (Chapter 3) as follows (added language indicated by underlining, deleted language indicated by [italics]):

Agricultural
Density: Because properties with this designation are bound by Williamson Act contract to remain in agricultural use, a density range is not applicable. In the event that Williamson Act contracts are not renewed, continued agricultural use is encouraged and the underlying zoning density shall remain at the one unit per twenty acres density in effect during the Williamson Act contract [(one unit per 20 acres or one unit per five acres) would apply] upon contract expiration.

Zoning: The A-2 zoning district and the A-4 zoning district (one unit per twenty acres) are [is] consistent with the Agricultural Designation. Neither P-1 zoning nor any other non-agricultural zoning is consistent with the Agricultural Designation.

Description: This land use designation is applied to lands which are currently under Williamson Act Contract or in agricultural use. Generally, these lands include lands with steep and/or unstable slopes and have limited potential for development. Agricultural uses, including grazing, are permitted and encouraged. In the event that Williamson Act contracts for sites with this designation are not renewed, General Plan amendments to permit other uses may be requested in accordance with the provisions of the general plan. Any changes to the Agricultural designation shall be based on a comprehensive planning study which identifies all constraints associated with development of the site as well as opportunities for continued agricultural, resource management, and open space use.

Section 4. Zoning Ordinance Amendments.  
The Zoning Provisions of the Danville Municipal Code are hereby amended as follows:

1) The zoning map designations for all parcels currently designated as A-4, as shown on the accompanying map, are hereby readopted. 
2) Any future change in the zoning district designation for any parcel designated as A-4, including specifically but not limited to changes to A-2, may only be made by one of the following two methods:
(a) By a vote of the people at an election; or 
(b) By a unanimous vote of the Town Council if the Town Council, after a public hearing, makes one of the following findings that is supported by substantial evidence in the record: 
(i) That approval of the zoning map change is necessary to avoid an unconstitutional taking of a landowner's property rights and that the new zoning designation is the minimum necessary to avoid the unconstitutional taking of the landowner's property rights. 
(ii) That approval of the zoning map change is necessary to comply with state or federal law and that the new land use is only the minimum necessary to comply with such laws.

Section 5. Effective Date. 
This measure shall become effective immediately upon approval by the voters. Upon the effective date, the provisions of Section 2 of this measure are hereby inserted into the Town of Danville General Plan.

Section 6. Interpretation and Severability. 
This measure shall be interpreted so as to be consistent with applicable federal and state laws, rules and regulations. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this measure is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a final judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this measure. The voters hereby declare that this measure, and each section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion hereof would have been adopted or passed even if one or more sections, subsections, sentences, clauses, phrases or portions are declared invalid or unconstitutional. If any portion of this measure is held invalid as applied to any person or circumstance, such invalidity shall not affect any application of this measure that can be given effect without the invalid application. This measure shall be broadly construed in order to achieve the purposes stated herein.

Section 7. Amendment or Repeal. 
Except as otherwise provided herein, this measure may be amended or repealed only by the voters of the Town of Danville at a Town election.

Section 8. Competing Measures. 
This measure was circulated and qualified as a citizens’ initiative. If the Danville Town Council proposes an alternative measure for placement on the same ballot as this measure, that measure is hereby deemed to be inconsistent with this measure, and the measure receiving the greater number of affirmative votes shall supersede the other measure. No provision of the superseded measure shall be implemented or become effective.

Section 9. 
If the request for a zoning or a land use designation change that requires a ballot measure hereunder is made by a private applicant, that applicant shall assume financial responsibility for all of the Town of Danville ‘s costs reasonably related to such ballot measure.

Section 10. 
In any legal action to enforce the provisions of this measure or the defense of the measure or any of its provisions against legal challenge, success in enforcement or in defense of the measure or any of its provisions shall be presumed to have protected an important right and to have provided an important benefit to the people of Danville.