Friday, October 3, 2008

Developing news from the north

Remember the Let Children Play — Now! group? The one that said it wasn't backed by developers but disappeared as soon as two developer agreements fell apart a couple years back? Stockton has 'em beat. By a long shot.

They have the Alliance for Responsible Planning. A developer-backed group that actually wants to overturn the most sensible planning decision Stockton's made this decade.

A little while back, Attorney General Jerry Brown came to a settlement with the city of Stockton over its newly minted general plan because it was — according to Atty Moonbeam's office — "egregious" in its treatment of land and its call for sprawl. (No surprise that developers wanting to close the gap between Stockton and Lodi had major pull in the general plan's creation.)

Stockton took a second look at the general plan and agreed.

But in response to the legal settlement, which mandates Stockton focus more on infill growth as it doubles in size the next 40 years, developers are mobilizing.

More than 25,000 signatures are on a petition that would set up a public referendum to approve or invalidate the Stockton City Council's decision.

Any guess who's behind the drive? That's right. A.G. Spanos.

Just another instance of big pockets organizing "grassroots" support in an effort to exert power from the bottom up as well as the top down.

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