Victory for Smart Growth in Union City

It was looking like there would be a battle in Union City this November over development near the Mission Hills. Masonic Homes was planning on putting a measure on the ballot that would’ve overturned the Hillside Protection Measure (Measure II) that was passed years ago by the voters of Union City.

The plan was to overturn Measure II and change the zoning to allow over 1,400 homes and 100,000 sq. ft. of retail. A more appropriate site for such development would have been the area around the city’s BART station, where people can walk to public transit and local businesses.

Last week, Masonic Homes announced they were canceling their plans. While the developers noted the economic downturn as the reason for not going forward, I would agree with the Save Our Hills group that the actions of their group and others had a significant impact on their decision. Voters are becoming more aware of bad development decisions occurring in their cities, and are becoming more organized to demand better from their local government.

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