Op-Ed: Vote No on B, Yes on C To Protect the Environment

Which is more important: developers’ profits or the environment? Two ballot measures—Measure B and Measure C—are posing that question to San Jose voters on June 5. If you care about the environment, you should vote no on Measure B and yes on Measure C.

Measure B (see Evergreen Homes Initiative: A Wolf in Grandma’s Clothing) is a blatant attempt by billionaire developers to do an end-run around environmental review and the crucial public processes we have in place.

By touting the measure as “senior housing,” these developers hope to fool voters into allowing them to destroy 200 acres of hillsides in Evergreen in order to build a gated community of luxury homes.

Even worse, Measure B would spur similar sprawling residential development all across the city—including in the farmland and wildlife habitat of Coyote Valley.

An independent study of Measure B found that it could cost the city $24.5 million per year, increase vehicle traffic across the region, and weaken San Jose’s affordable housing requirements.

Measure C, by contrast, protects our communities and the environment by putting limits on residential sprawl out on the edge of the city. The hillsides and open fields that border San Jose—Coyote Valley, the Evergreen foothills, Almaden Valley—are critically important wildlife habitat, and Measure C would protect them by restricting developers’ ability to build on the urban edge.

In addition, Measure C would require those developments to comply with “zero net energy” design standards and use recycled water for landscaping, as well as make at least 50 percent of the housing units affordable to moderate and low-income families.

The dangers of sprawl go beyond the impacts to open space and wildlife. When developers sprawl out onto cities’ hillsides and farmlands rather than building compact, infill development, taxpayers shoulder the burden. It costs more to provide police, fire and infrastructure services to far-flung development, and public transit can’t adequately serve these outlying areas—resulting in more residents in more cars clogging the highways and city streets.

If Coyote Valley were paved over with residential sprawl, all of those commuters would have no choice but to hop in their cars and  onto the freeways to get to work. If instead, new housing is built according to San Jose’s general plan that the developers are trying to overrule, that development will be next to transit and within walkable neighborhoods.

Remember: Measure B is for Billionaires, Measure C is for Community. Vote No on B and Yes on C when you receive your ballot or at the polls this June!

Sergio Jimenez is a San Jose councilmam for District 2. Mike Flaugher is a member of the board of the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. Alice Kaufman is legislative advocacy director of Committee for Green Foothills. Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside. Want to submit an op-ed? Email pitches to [email protected].


  1. Measure B you get nice housing and tax revenue for the city and it’s built out and up the hill sides.
    Measure C you get 20 story projects apartment that the tax payers have to pay 50% of the cost to house illegal aliens and crack house run by MS13.
    Is there an optional no on both of these?

    • Wrong.

      With meas B you get housing that is a net consumer of tax revenue (police, fire, library, parks) not a net producer :(

      • Oh no we cant have housing just for people that can pay for it, it wouldn’t be equal outcome!
        Beside I’m hoping for my place to go up another 50% this year.

    • Measure B’s billionaire developers exempted their project from paying for the cost of their effect on traffic. So no, San Jose residents get increased costs from Measure B.

      Measure C has financial safeguards that require financial analysis and disclosure that Measure B is trying to cover up.

      For financial reasons as well as environmental ones, people should vote No on B and Yes on C.

      • > Measure B’s billionaire developers exempted their project from paying for the cost of their effect on traffic.

        Every billionaire I know pays taxes. LOTS of taxes.

        Every subsidized housing resident I know CONSUMES taxes. LOTS of taxes.

        The financial business case for San Jose is definitely on the side of Measure B and the greedy billionaires.

        And, by the way, greedy billionaires ride around in limousines which they pay for themselves and which they only operate when they actually need to go somewhere. Whereas, people who live in subsidized housing tend to ride on public transit like the light rail which requires a huge subsidy of seven dollars per ride. And the VTA buses and light rail ride around empty most of the time.

        “B” is for BENEFIT

        • Sending developer money outside of San Jose which will mostly be used for tax shelters, Credit Default Swaps of poorly capitalized derivatives, buying city council seats like what is happening in District Nine as Out of State Developers are spending over a a quarter of a million dollars to try to buy a seat for Pam Foley, to create a McMansion urban sprawl from here to Morgan Hill, creating a housing bubble they will never fall prey to, makes zero sense. Whatever you do vote NO ON B. Measure B is as bought and paid for as the Foley campaign. Let’s think clearly and maintain what green spaces we have, like Coyote Valley. Keep Local Decisions Local. #SanJoseIsNotForSale

  2. > In addition, Measure C would require those developments to comply with “zero net energy” design standards and use recycled water for landscaping, as well as make at least 50 percent of the housing units affordable to moderate and low-income families.

    Here’s a helpful memory crutch: “C = communism”.

    • How is this Communism? It’s an alternative ballot measure produced by a democratically elected city council. That’s not Communism. Do you know what Communism is?

      • > How is this Communism?

        It’s incremental usurpation of private property by the “democratic” state.

        > Do you know what Communism is?

        Confiscation of the “means of production” by the state.

        > a democratically elected city council.

        Do YOU know what a “democracy” is? Hint: it’s government by the stupidest and most easily manipulated fifty one percent. It is “majoritarianism”.

        Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for lunch.

        • You are trying to sell that Voting No on Prop B gives the means of production to the State? Where is the usurpation of private property? These are public lands. Democracy is a system, not just popular election, there’s a Constitution or City Charter, and in this case a hierarchy all the way to the Federal Level that protects natural right. The City Council and Major are elected by popular vote, as it should be. So what? Who did you want to appoint to the City Council and who did you want to appoint the Mayor? It’s bad enough that all the Seats and Mayor’s Office have been allowed to put to sale via the over amplification of free speech via the undue influence of economic elite, outside the locality, money, to the tune of 20-1. It de-leverages the people who live in San Jose, alienates them from their interests, in exchange for the interests of people who don’t live here. San Jose Is Not For Sale. The people who live here should their own local elections, not be drowned out by a volume of money.

          • > The people who live here should their own local elections, not be drowned out by a volume of money.

            TRANSLATION: San Jose should be a people’s democracy, and the mob should control how productive people who have created wealth must use (or not use) their wealth.

          • San Jose, Not for sale? Really? It’s for sale baby, as are all the people running it.
            You just have to figure out what that price is.
            Money, Power, Sex or all of the above!

    • Got news for you Bubba, it’s not free, as a matter of fact we have paid as much or more in taxes as we paid for those house’s 40 years ago and we are still paying higher and higher taxes. About 20% of my income as matter of fact. If your paying to much maybe you should vote for some tax cutters instead of tax speander. But then where would they get the money to buy all those votes from illegal aliens that got them democratically elected?

  3. Measure -C is (12) pages. It was put together to counter Measure-B (300+) pages. Measure-B written by a Billionaire Carl Berg and his partner Chop Keenan a very well to do Pistachio Farmer and Owner of a newly minted Ponerosa Homes II Corporation. Measure-B is for very rich people to circumvent the laws of City Hall and get around the General Plan and planning department. I believe Measure-B will make the rich more so, while screwing up the City’s ability to further plan for future housing, industrial and commercial areas for needed jobs close to home.

    However, that said I really don’t trust City Hall either. Just my prior experiences kicking in I suppose. So why change anything? Vote No on both and leave things the way they are.

      • That’s a good plan: Vote NO on both B & C.

        The billionaires can take care of themselves, and the enviros have to learn how to do things with their own money, instead of always demanding that the taxpayers must pay for their big & swell ideas. And as usual Sergio jumps on every idea that he doesn’t have to pay for…

        So far, the enviros have ridden on the backs of the taxpaying public, which is always forced to pay for their enviro-brainstorms. And the more “green” areas that are established, the more expensive housing will be in the other areas.

        Truth be told, the enviro crowd is a big cause of the high rents in this area. Just look at a map of all the areas that are off limits to housing.

        There are three good sized parks within a short walk from my home, but there are almost never more than a few people using them, and most of the time they’re vacant.

        How many more ‘green’ areas do we need? What we really need now is more housing, for the hard pressed folks who have to pay more than half their income for a place to live.

        Sergio and the Greenies don’t give a hoot about working folks; their constituents are snail darter minnows, frogs, and burrowing owls. But some day they’re gonna find out that minnows and frogs can’t vote…

  4. You can’t say house prices are too high and we have to protect our seniors, then block new houses that help out seniors.

    Yes on Measure B.

    City Council built studios for 500K each and are all economically illiterate, anything they slap together won’t work. Private Investigating is not Real Estate Development, couple more dimensions in play, sorry.

    No on Measure C.

    • This has nothing to do with Seniors. Read the ballot measure! Seriously, take the time. This is about urban sprawl, McMansions, and sending money to Offshore LLCs. If you want a housing price bubble this will do it.

      • This site constantly deletes my posts.

        What Measure C does, as with the rest of the Progressive Agenda of CA, can be sanded down to the following contradictory concepts.

        “If you don’t build it, they won’t come.”

        “Sanctuary State status as a key tenant of California Values”

        On one hand, Councilmember Jimenez prostrates himself in the chambers of City Hall as the true savior of the poor, the protector against Billionaires and racist landlords, then openly waves more cheap labor into the hands of unscrupulous employers, coincidently forcing them into the tightest rental market in San Jose’s history. This is the same city leader, who when presented with a clear articulation of the unintended consequence on the supply from price controls quipped,

        “Cry me a River.”

        So we see the level of his analysis he puts into his decisions.

        Now he is championing another shortsighted experiment in Measure C, thrown together cynically at the last minute, once and for all putting a pox on this land, stymying any chance of building housing stock with the following one/two punch outlined below. It is as if the Urban Boundary is some sacred revealed truth, more important than the well being of the poor and middle class of San Jose. How can two ideas reside in one brain and the synapsis do not connect in a way that informs the reason of this contradiction? You can’t fight to have open borders, actively resist against federal law, and then guarantee the reduction of existing rental stock and future development of housing with dacronian fees.

        When will California and San Jose wake up to the fact that people need a place to live, they do not want to or can not ride their bike to work, and can not take rail or transit without leaving their home at 5 AM (which is not possible if you have kids), when?

        This is religion, this is a theory, these are intentions.

        This experiment has been tried in the past, it does not work, it will not work, you have to stop this if you care at all about poor people. I personally love everything Jimenez, Peralta, Arenas, and their predecessors are doing and have done. They have made me millions, they have kept rent high and property values higher. But it is the bottom 45% that suffer from their folly and limitations of their ideology.

        Vote Yes on Measure B, No on C.

        You have made enough, share some of your prosperity, stop being selfish.

        These fees effectively block any develop on this land.

        (1) For-sale residential development: fifty percent (50%) of the total dwelling units in the residential development shall be made available for purchase at an affordable housing cost to those households earning no more than one hundred ten percent (110%) of the area median income. Such units may be sold to households earning no more than one hundred twenty percent (120%) of the area median income.

        (2) Rental residential development: thirty-five percent (35%) of the total dwelling units in the residential development shall be made available for rent at an affordable housing cost to moderate income households, and twenty percent (20%) of the total dwelling units in the residential development shall be made available for rent at an affordable housing cost to very low-income households.

  5. > Read the ballot measure! Seriously, take the time. This is about. . . sending money to Offshore LLCs.


    I think you’re making this up.

    Could you please quote from the ballot measure the part about “sending money to Offshore LLCs.”

      • > People who make their income via investment and corporate tax rated income generally have multiple LLCs and routinely offshore their money, trade real estate to avoid taxes, and don’t pay anywhere near the rate that earned income/wage earners earn.

        Dear Mr. More Bubbles:

        In other words . . . ““sending money to Offshore LLCs” is NOT in the ballot measure!!!

        YOU FIBBED!!!!

        You simply engaged in some creative passive aggressive projection

        I think I may have speculated that you are some kind of academic or lecturer or teacher. For a teacher to have such a glib and easy predisposition to lying, particularly to children, is extremely disturbing and repugnant.

        Would you care to confirm or deny that you are a teacher, or would rather that we just let the question ripen in the sun like a squashed roadkill?

  6. > In addition, Measure C would require those developments to . . . make at least 50 percent of the housing units affordable to moderate and low-income families.

    Completely unnecessary.

    The Chicoms have more affordable housing and homeless housing than they know what to do with.

    “China begins to demolish ghost town”


    The Chicoms are obviously more diverse than we are, which makes them smarter and less rayciss. We need to do what they’re doing.

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