Bill Cunningham

The Friends of Redlands and Redlanders for Responsible Growth Management were disappointed but not surprised by the City Council’s vote to postpone a vote on our measure until November 2022, some 15 months without resolution of an issue which will determine the future of our town.

We welcome Mayor  Paul Barich’s suggestion that we meet and seek compromise on those issues we can agree upon. Over the next several weeks we will seek to meet with each member of the council. We will seek an opportunity to meet with University of Redlands officials, also.

Looming over all is the state’s effort to rob cities of local control of their futures. SB 330 prohibits all restrictions on growth, no matter how justified by environmental concerns. It is interesting to note that three years after its adoption, of the several dozen cities with voter approved growth management controls, only one, Encinitas, has been challenged. Its 30-foot height limit is being tested in the courts.

We do agree with the city’s consultant attorney and Councilman Paul Foster that any litigation prior to the election could likely take several years, tying up all development for that time.   

We were surprised that Councilwoman Jenna Guzman-Lowery, once again, voiced criticism of our campaign in duping a gullible public about high-rise buildings as defined as those over 75 feet. It was apparent that she had not read the commissioned fiscal report, which analyzed the three, five story apartment projects currently proposed. The bank building is six stories at 85 feet, just 10 feet taller than those at five. Ignored, also, was the fact that there is no height limit downtown.

We can excuse southwest Los Angeles native Councilman Eddie Tejeda’s  remarks blaming the failure of the mall on growth management. The mall was developed several years before Proposition R. And both the anchors, Harris Co. and Gottschalk’s, were profitable. One or the other might be there today, if their parent companies had not failed. And, of course, CVS continues to be a profitable tenant.

Bill Cunningham is a former member of the Redlands City Council