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Tim Platt on Pine Meadow public vote

Dear Editor,

Pine Meadow has been Permanent Open Space/Recreation for over 40 years, and remains that today. Our successful referendum in February of last year stopped an attempt by the City Council to change Pine Meadow to housing.
 
The referendum resulted in the City Council calling for a public vote mandated for this November to let the citizens of Martinez decide whether Pine Meadow remains Permanent Open Space/Recreation or goes to housing.

Now the developer, DeNova Homes, is asking the City Council to take away our Public Vote. The DeNova lawyer said at the Feb. 17 City Council meeting:  “…keeping the referendum on the ballot doesn’t preserve open space ….” This is not correct.  The public vote will determine exactly that, whether Pine Meadow will remain Permanent Open Space/Recreation as it has been for over 40 years, or will go to housing. 

Here is the wording from the referendum: 

“To the Honorable City Council of the City of Martinez, We, the undersigned, registered, qualified voters of the City of Martinez hereby protest the adoption of Resolution No.009-15 ‘AMENDING THE GENERAL PLAN (HIDDEN LAKES SPECIFIC AREA PLAN) DESIGNATION FROM OPEN SPACE AND RECREATION, PERMANENT TO RESIDENTIAL 0-6 UNITS/GROSS ACRE FOR A 25.9 ACRE PARCEL AND TEXT AMENDMENT TO DELETE LANGUAGE PERTAINING TO GOLF COURSE USE ON THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 451 VINE HILL WAY (PINE MEADOW) GPA 13-02’… .”

The public vote will either accept or reject this resolution. If the voters reject the resolution, Pine Meadow will remain Permanent Open Space/Recreation, as it is now and has been for over 40 years. 

We believe the developer should NOT try to take away that public vote. 

Most important, we need our mayor and City Council to protect our public vote, and NOT support the developer in taking it away. This council chose to put this issue to a public vote in March of last year (and the developer concurred when asked by the council).  The council needs to stand by that decision and let the public vote go forward to hear the voice of the citizens of Martinez on Pine Meadow.

We urge Martinez citizens to contact them and tell them that. And tell them in person at the March 9, 7 p.m. City Council meeting on this issue.  We need our mayor and City Council to protect our open space and park land, not turn them into housing.

Our truthfulness has been questioned once again. We have been as accurate and truthful as we can in the many communications we have had with the public, and stand behind everything we have said. Many of the documents we have referred to have been published on our Facebook page (Friends Of Pine Meadow) and on our website: www.friendsofpinemeadow.org, including:

• The 288-residential unit email dated Oct. 20, 2015, from DeNova to the city manager, mayor and council;

• The grant deed showing the sale of the property by the family for $4.25 million last May;

• Our research sent to the City on National Park Service and ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments) grants that could potentially provide millions for purchase of the property; And we have responded as best we can to requests for more information. We would ask other parties to be as accurate and transparent, and not make unfounded accusations or generalizations.

Thank you,

Tim Platt for Friends of Pine Meadow

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