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New Moraga group to fight both land-use measures

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Monday, August 18th, 2008 at 5:06 pm in 2008 November election, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics.

In yet another salvo in Moraga’s escalating land-use war, a new group says it will fight both of the competing initiatives on the town’s Nov. 4 ballot.

Moraga landowner Russell Bruzzone sponsored Measure J, which would largely preserve the town’s existing general plan and mandate $7 million in payments to the town in return for development approvals. Open-space advocates wrote Measure K, which would restrict development to the downtown area and designate most of Bruzzone’s land, as well as other property, as open space.

According to a statement from Citizens for Sensible Land Use (Don’t you just love these names?) former town Planning Commission Steve Woehleke will serve as the group’s chairman, while ex-towncouncilman Dale Wlwark is vice chairman. Bob Reynolds, past president of the Moraga Park and Recreation Foundation and Moraga Citizen of the Year in 2001, will serve as treasurer.

The men call both measures ill-advised and likely to mire the town in court for years.

“A no vote on both J and K is essential to keep control of land use planning in Moraga and out of the hands of lawyers and the courts,” Woehleke said in his release.

“Both of these initiatives are special-interest legislation masquerading as public interest measures” said Walwark.

Reynolds, an economist, said “The cost of almost certain litigation if either of these measures passes could bankrupt the Town. A no vote on both initiatives is essential.”

The men say none of their members is affiliated with either tje J or K campaigns and vowed to put up a web site with “factual information” about the measures.

This is gonna be a fun election season in Moraga.

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  • Renegade GOP

    bring on the Bird woman!! only Rochelle Bird can save Moraga!!

  • Tom

    Excellent news. An objective explanation of the two measures, of how either ties into (or doesn’t) with the “Moraga Center Specific Plan,” and educating the voters that voting “NOTA” is a valid option, would be valuable additions to the rather limited but heated discourse so far. Kudos to Mssrs. Walwark, Woehleke, and Reynolds!

  • Brad

    What a sad, sad reflection of the age we live in. When fear of litigation is the primary factor in determining public policy, that’s no way to run a town. Or any level of government, for that matter.

    The unfortunate part is that the town is probably going to get sued by someone anyway, no matter what the voters decide. That’s just what people do these days when money is at stake.

  • http://www.antiqueswest.com JD

    Given the huge loopholes and blatant self-interest inherent in each of the two proferred Measures, we’ll be voting NO on both on Election Day.

  • Natalie R

    There are errors in this article, that’s otherwise entertaining. Neither initiatives address the down town area, the restrictions and developments are in Indian Valley (on the road to Canyon), the Rheem ridge area (between St Marys rd and Moraga road) and in Bolhinger Canyon. The dow town is presently under study in the Specific Plan, a town council initiated plan that i not going to be on the ballot. The biggest problem about voting no on both is that it opens the door to the one you dislike most to be the winner, to be able to vote no, you have to be sure that a majority of the residents will do the same. It’s gonna be a tricky election!