Second Memorial Park measure going on San Anselmo ballot

Second Memorial Park measure going on San Anselmo ballot People congregate in the playground of Memorial Park in San Anselmo. The city is debating use of the park as a flood-control basin. Frankie Frost — IJ archive By Richard Halstead, Marin Independent Journal POSTED: 08/06/15, 5:44 PM PDT | UPDATED: 2 HRS AGO0 COMMENTS The San Anselmo Town Council voted 4-1 in a special meeting Wednesday to place its own measure on the ballot. The council acted after a group of residents who oppose using Memorial Park as an emergency flood-control basin gathered sufficient signatures to require the council to put its measure on the ballot. That measure asks voters to approve an ordinance that would amend the town’s general plan to “prohibit the use of Memorial Park as a flood detention basin; prevent any non-recreational uses that adversely affect or reduce Memorial Park’s current recreational amenities and require voter approval before the park can be sold or transferred by the town.” The council’s countermeasure would “amend the town’s General Plan to affirm continued use of Memorial Park as primarily a recreational facility and to permit accessory use of Memorial Park for flood control by way of a detention basin only if a majority of voters approves a specific plan detailing development of the park for flood control following environmental review.” “I honestly believe this is the right approach,” said San Anselmo Mayor John Wright. But Councilman Ford Greene, who cast the dissenting vote, said, “In my opinion, this council is scared of the people’s initiative. In order to water down the chances for success of the people’s initiative, this council seeks to co-opt it.” Greene asserted that court rulings require the town to complete an environmental impact report on a flood control basin at Memorial Park before placing such an initiative on the ballot. The town’s attorney, Megan Acevedo, has presented the council with an opposing point of view. “I believe we’ve been given proper legal advice by our town attorney,” Councilman Doug Kelly said. Kelly pointed out that if voters approve the council’s measure, an environmental impact report would be completed before residents are asked to vote on whether to approve an emergency flood-control basin at Memorial Park. Kelly recalled that San Anselmo’s schools, Town Hall, library and firehouse were mired in muck after flooding in 2005. “We need to come together as a town to help each other,” Kelly said. Wright said the initiative placed on the ballot by opponents of a flood basin at Memorial Park is based on a “completely false premise that there is a fixed plan that can’t be changed.” “The public needs to make an informed vote,” Wright said. The council also voted Wednesday to form a subcommittee to give itself the option of submitting ballot arguments in favor of its countermeasure. David N. Swaim Tam Realty Inc Owner DRE#1070789 415-710-5504 609 San Anselmo Ave San Anselmo CA 94960 Serving all of Marin County

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