While Measure G opponents intensify their campaign, coalitions in support continue increasing their checkbooks.
As of Tuesday, Feb. 4, the two coalitions in support of Measure G, the Redlands Public Safety Alliance, Yes on G; and the Redlands Residents Coalition, Yes on G, had received $66,500 combined from developing companies, most of them based outside of Redlands.
According to documents provided by Redlands City Clerk Jeanne Donaldson, in her capacity as elections official, the coalition Yes on G received a $2,500 donation from Diversified Pacific Opportunity Fund on Monday, Feb. 3, to reach $65,500.
Last December the Newport Beach developing company VantageOne Real Estate Investments donated $34,000 to the Redlands Public Safety Alliance, with offices in Sacramento. On Saturday, Jan. 18, Village Partners Ventures, based in Newport Beach, donated $20,000 to the Redlands Residents Coalition, with offices in Redlands.
Brixton Redlands LLC, based in Solana Beach, donated $10,000 on Sunday, Jan. 26, to the Redlands Residents Coalition.
None of these donors responded to the Redlands Community News.
Brixton purchased the mall in 2014, and three years ago bought the surrounding parking from the city.
The company has an agreement with Village Partners that could make Village Partners the owner and developer of the mall site.
On its website, Brixton plans to redevelop the Redlands Mall into a “vibrant mixed-use retail and residential project.”
According to its website, Village Partners plans to turn the Redlands Mall into a “vibrant mixed-use pedestrian district.”
“This site has the potential to develop as a walkable, sustainable mixed-use development. The Village of Redlands will serve the community’s housing and commercial needs, with a variety of high housing options, curated retail tenants and restaurants offerings worthy of Redlands’ gourmet heritage,” according to its website.
VantageOne Real Estate Investments owns the former Public Safety Hall site and several other properties and has at least three properties for lease in Redlands, including an industrial brewery.
Some of these locations are slated for mixed-use development.
During the public comment period at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Greg Britain, who opposes Measure G, said the argument that the Redlands mall will be fixed is a ploy to persuade voters. Britain said that the council could probably redevelop the mall with a four-fifths vote without Measure G.
“Another argument is that the state will do something if we don’t pass Measure G, so we have to pass it now. One of the standard sales techniques is to create a sense of urgency, you got to buy today.
“Even if SB 50 wasn’t defeated, the city had two-and-a-half years to figure out what to do. It’s not Measure G or nothing. We don’t have to give the city a blank check now,” said Britain.
The council is seeking power that it doesn’t plan on using, said Britain.
“If they wanted they could have included height limits, and density limits, but it did not,” he said.
“The impartial analysis confirms that height limit is repealed, density limit is repealed, too.”
In fact, last year Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 330 into law, a bill that eliminates any caps on the number of residential units that can be built in a city. That action “eliminated our local voter approved initiative that provided the 400 unit per year cap,” said Mayor Paul Foster.
“Just the first of many actions aimed at eventually eliminating all local control over development,” he said.
City spokesman Carl Baker said SB 330 eliminates the cap throughout the city through 2025 and that Measure G would eliminate the cap in “perpetuity but specifically only in the three transit village areas.”
California ranks 49th in the nation for the number of housing units per capita, which has created a median home price of more than $610,000, far higher than many Californians can afford. According to Zillow, the median home value in Redlands is $425,956.
Meanwhile, records show that the coalitions on behalf of Measure G have spent about $42,000 in campaign efforts. The coalition against Measure G,
which as of Tuesday, Feb. 4, had received $3,899 and spent $700 as down payment for yard signs to Print Pro Plus, based in Colton.
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