Mission Viejo Right to Vote Initiative

June 08, 2010 - Mission Viejo Voters turned down measure D by a vote of 6,671 Yes (38 percent) to 10,889 No (62 percent). There are some votes left to be counted, mostly provisional ballots.

The campaign featured a very strong campaign by the “no” side, Final campaign figures won’t be known until July, by the opposition spent at least $125,000 - mostly from developer, real estate agents and others who would lose influence if they could no longer depend on the City Council majority to approve their favorite projects.

March 06, 2009 - We were notified that there are sufficient signatures qualified to place the Mission Viejo Right to Vote on the next regular election ballot, likely June 2010. However, there are some questions about the higher than usual number of duplicates and disqualified signatures which we plan to take up with Neal Kelly, the Registrar of Voters. We will examine a sample of the rejected signatures to ensure all due diligence was used to properly review the submitted signatures.

January 26, 2009 - Thanks to the hard work of volunteers and the generous support of a few individuals, we turned over 10,995 signatures from Mission Viejo residents to the Mission Viejo City Clerk. The signatures will be verified to ensure that at least 10% of the registered voters in Mission Viejo signed the petition. Once the number of qualified signatures is determined, then the City Council will have the opportunity to listen to the will of the people and pass the Right to Vote ordinance into law.

Otherwise, an election will be held to determine if the law will be passed. If at least 15% of the registered voters signed the petition, then a special election will be held later in 2009. Otherwise, if more than 10% but less than 15% of the voters signed the peption, then the law will be voted on at the next regularly scheduled election, probably in 2010.

August 08, 2008 - Petitions are now available for signatures. Please fill out the form at the bottom of this page to either get a petition that you can circulate to get the signatures of your friends and neighbors or just to sign one yourself. Thanks!

Mission Viejo Right to Vote
Submitted to the City of Mission Viejo - July 17, 2008

Notice of Intent to Circulate Petition

Notice is hereby given by the persons whose names appear hereon of their intention to circulate the petition within the City of Mission Viejo for the purpose of providing to the voters control of major land use decisions in our city. A statement of the reasons of the proposed action as contemplated in the petition is as follows:

There is tremendous pressure on city staff and council members from developers, social engineers, and other special interests to create a more urban environment. These urbanization lobbies seek increased population, denser zoning for residential construction, taller commercial and apartment buildings which all cause more traffic. Even our recreational and open spaces are threatened.

The citizens of Mission Viejo have already been adversely affected by previous decisions. This initiative, if passed into law, will make sure voters will be given a right to approve or reject any major changes in the city's land use.

Mission Viejo is a master planned community. This means that all land uses were all settled when the city was founded. Every bit of property was designated for some specific use, for example R6.5, which allowed 6.5 houses per acre. The planners at the Mission Viejo Company knew that a certain amount of commercial space would be needed to bring in sales tax money to the city. This and other uses were considered in the same fashion with the intent of creating a properly balanced city. The idea of master planning brought with it the certainty that the land near your home or business would be developed in line with the planned use and not changed to high density construction.

Over the years, various City Councils have tampered with that delicate balance and approved changes to property uses over the strident objections of the people who lived nearby and the city as a whole. While the reasons various City Councils made these changes are open to question, they certainly did not benefit the city or the citizens when compared to the benefits of the previously master planned use. We, the voters, need to have the final authority and be a check on the City Council's power to make changes that affect all of us.

Eugene Dale Tyler
Connie Lee

Note: The Initiative text was modified to add a request for a special election, if needed and the initiative text was resubmitted to the city on July 17.

The full text of the initiative may be found here as a PDF for printing



1.1. This initiative measure shall be known as the Mission Viejo Right-to-Vote Amendment.


2.1. After this measure becomes effective, no repeal, amendment or adoption of all or part of the following land use planning policy documents of the City of Mission Viejo may become effective unless and until the requirements of Section 4 are met:

a. The text of the Mission Viejo General Plan’s Land Use Element,
b. The Land Use Policy Map of the Mission Viejo General Plan (also called "Land Use Diagram"),
c. The text of the Mission Viejo Land Use/Zoning/Subdivision Regulations (Title 9 of the Mission Viejo Municipal Code),
d. The Official Zoning Map of the City of Mission Viejo,
e. Any Specific Plan for a geographic area within the City, or
f. Any Development Agreement granting rights to develop private or public land.

2.2. In this initiative measure the above six items are referred to as the “Planning Policy Documents.”


3.1. A “Major Amendment” of any of the Planning Policy Documents means any amendment that results in any of the following changes to the development standards for any parcel of land affected by the proposed amendment:

a. Increases the number of residential units that may be constructed on a parcel designated for residential uses.
b. Increases the number of separate parcels which may be created from an existing parcel.
c. Changes any residential land use to allow any other land use.
d. Changes any non-residential land use to allow any residential land use greater than six and one-half (6.5) net dwelling units per acre.
e. Changes any non-residential land use to allow a mix of commercial and residential uses.
f. Provides for the private development of land owned by a government entity within five years of the date of the approval to develop the land.
g. Repeals any of the Planning Policy Documents.
h. Changes any commercial or industrial land use to allow any other land use, if the aggregate size of all the parcels being changed exceeds 2 acres.
i. Changes any open space land use to allow any other land use.
j. Changes any recreation land use to allow any other land use except open space.

3.2. A “Regular Amendment” of any of the Planning Policy Documents includes any amendment that is not a Major Amendment.


4.1. No Major Amendment of any of the Planning Policy Documents shall be effective unless and until it is approved by a majority vote of the electorate of the City of Mission Viejo voting “YES” on a ballot measure proposing the Major Amendment at a regular or special election. The entire text of a Major Amendment and an easily readable map of the geographic area affected shall be included in the sample ballot materials that are mailed to registered voters prior to the election. The applicant may choose to have the measure put before the voters at either a special election or a regular election. Any cost of a special election shall be completely paid by the applicant requesting the Major Amendment. If the applicant chooses to wait until the next available regular election, the additional costs of adding the measure approving the Major Amendment to the ballot shall be paid by the applicant, except that the City Council may vote by simple majority to have the city pay all or some of the additional costs of adding the measure to a regular election ballot.

4.2. No Major Amendment and no Regular Amendment of any of the Planning Policy Documents shall be effective unless and until they are approved by an ordinance adopted by the City Council, but no such amendment shall be considered until a public hearing is conducted on the proposed amendment at both the Planning Commission and at the City Council in the manner provided by state law and advance notice is given as required by section 4.3 below.

4.3. No public hearing to consider an amendment of any of the Planning Policy Documents shall be conducted less than 20 days after the date a notice accurately describing the proposed amendment is sent by First-Class mail to the owners of each parcel of land, and a notice is sent by First-Class mail addressed to the occupant of each lawful unit on each parcel of land, located within a radius measured outward 1,500 feet from the boundaries of each parcel of land affected by the proposed amendment. These notices are in addition to any notices required by state law.

4.4. The notice described in Section 4.3 shall include at least all the following information in not less than 14-point type:

a. The name of the applicant proposing the amendment.
b. The total acreage of the area proposed for amendment.
c. An easily readable map of all parcels affected by the amendment, including all street names.
d. The land uses and building density currently allowed for each parcel affected.
e. The land uses and building density proposed to be allowed for each parcel affected.
f. The date, time and place of the upcoming public hearing.
g. A concise history of the land use classifications of the proposed area since January 1, 1989.


5.1. Once adopted by the voters, this measure shall amend and become a new part of the Mission Viejo General Plan’s Land Use Element, and the Mission Viejo Land Use/Zoning/Subdivision Regulations (Title 9 of the Mission Viejo Municipal Code).

5.2. After the date this measure becomes effective, the entire text of this measure shall be printed within all copies of the Mission Viejo General Plan Land Use Element and also within all copies of the Mission Viejo Land Use/Zoning/Subdivision Regulations, and it shall appear immediately following the table of contents of each such document.


6.1 Nothing in this ordinance shall be applied to preclude City compliance with housing regulations under State law. In providing required housing, the City shall protect environmental values, enhance the quality of life of affected persons, and comply with this ordinance to the maximum extent feasible.


7.1. The provisions of this initiative measure shall become effective after it is approved at an election of the voters of the City of Mission Viejo and 10 days after the result of the election is declared by the Mission Viejo City Council, as specified in Section 9217 of the California Elections Code.


8.1. Once this initiative measure becomes effective, its provision shall prevail over and supersede all provisions of the municipal code, ordinances, resolutions and administrative policies of the City of Mission Viejo which are in conflict with any provisions of this measure.


9.1. In the event a final judgment of a court of proper jurisdiction determines that a provision of this initiative measure, or a particular application of a provision, is invalid or unenforceable pursuant to a state or federal law or constitution, the invalid or unenforceable portion or application shall be severed from the remainder of this measure, and the remaining portions of this measure shall remain in effect without the invalid or unenforceable provision or application.


10.1. In the event that any other ballot measure is proposed for voter approval on the same election ballot as this initiative measure, and that other measure contains provisions that deal with the same or similar subjects, it is the intent of the voters in adopting this measure that it shall prevail over any such other ballot measure in its entirety to the extent that this measure is approved and receives a greater number of votes for approval of the other measure. In such case, no provision of the other measure shall become effective.


11.1. Once this initiative measure becomes effective, no provision of this measure may be amended or repealed except by a majority of the voters of the City of Mission Viejo voting on a ballot measure for that purpose.


12.1. In the event that the initiative petition is signed by not less than 15 percent of the voters of the city according to the last report of registration by the county elections official to the Secretary of State, a special election to approve this ordinance is hereby requested pursuant to Section 9214 of the California Elections Code.

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