Measure J: March 2000 Election
Passed: 53.6% in favor, 46.3% opposed
An ordinance of the City of Davis amending the city's general plan to add a policy requiring voter approval for certain changes to the land use designations or entitlements of properties shown on the general plan land use map and enacting the citizens' right to vote on future use of open space and agricultural lands ordinance to provide for voter approval of (1) any general plan land use map amendment that changes a land use designation from an agricultural or urban reserve designation to an urban designation or from an agricultural designation to an urban reserve designation and (2) any proposal for development on the last two large vacant properties designated for urban use commonly known as the Covell Center and Nishi properties; this ordinance to be adopted by the voters and effective upon adoption by the voters of the city. (Read full text)
Politics: Growth Politics, Other 2000 issues: unknown.

Measure J is is an ordinance that was passed by Davis voters on March 7, 2000 that mandated voter approval for certain changes in land use within the city. It is now known as Municipal Code 40.41.0. Most notably, it requires voter approval of certain conversions of agricultural lands into an "urban designation," if the relevant parcel is developed within the City Planning Process. Developments that proceed under alternate jurisdictions, such as Yolo County, Solano County, or UC Davis, do not require voter approval. Likewise, development on "open space" inside the Davis city limits is not subject to Measure J.

Also excluded from Measure J are low income housing projects on any parcel of land, if needed to meet an Fair Share Housing allocation by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments.

The measure also explicitly requires a citizen vote on any proposal to develop on "the last two large vacant properties designated for urban used, commonly known as the Covell Center and Nishi Properties."

The ordinance passed with 53.6% (10,386) yes, 46.3% (8,971) no.

It expires on December 31, 2010 and will submitted to the voters again in June 2010 under the title Measure R.

Measure R is being opposed by a citizens' group. Their website is at ""

Opponents of Measure R challenged the ballot question language in Measure R, asserting that the description of Measure J as the "Citizens Right To Vote On Future Use Of Open Space And Agricultural Lands" was false and misleading. They argued that because Measure J does not require a vote on what is commonly and in the Davis Municipal Code considered "open space," some voters would be mislead into voting to renew Measure J on the mistaken assumption that it would tend to protect their neighborhood parks, play fields, school sites, and other open space. A Yolo County Superior Court judge refused to remove the challenged language, finding that whether it would mislead voters was not relevant because the challenged language was the title of a portion of Municipal Code 40.41.0 that will be renewed if Measure R is approved.

The first Measure J vote was the Measure X proposal for Covell Village. The second was the Measure P proposal for Wildhorse Ranch. Both of these were rejected.

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2005-10-25 10:58:59   It is interesting that about 19,300 votes were cast in the 2000 referendum. The population of Davis is about 65,000 now. How many will vote this November (2005)? —RocksandDirt

2006-11-14 12:13:13   Answer- 22,285 people voted in Nov 2005. It was a "special election, " and the 2000 referendum was a primary election, so the turnout is not as great compared to higher profile elections (like the 2004 presidential election, which saw over 31,000 Davisites vote—over 80% of registered voters!) —MattJurach

2010-05-20 19:30:36   So much for representative democracy. It occurs to me that this may be a way for City Council to wash its hands of a politically charged issue. Do ordinary citizens—even those that are intelligent and/or educated—really think that they have all the information required to vote on such things? And when it comes to the approval of adding housing can anyone give me a reason how it is in anyone's interest to build? —KennyKoller

2010-05-20 19:36:01   I should add that I am very glad that this community had enough sophistication to reject the glossy mailers endorsing Measure P (At least it appeared this way when you looked at the margin of voter rejection). When these things come in the mail I immediately recycle them but I also think: These *must* have some appreciable effect because they cost real money to produce and distribute. —KennyKoller