Modesto voters are turning their backs on five advisory measures that would have sanctioned new growth around the city’s outskirts. In early returns, all five measures are trailing by margins greater than 58 percent.
The so-called Measure M votes are necessary before the city can extend sewer lines for future development. However, they’re only advisory and the City Council can vote to allow growth regardless of their outcome.
With nearly 3,000 acres in play, the five measures represented the largest growth questions ever to confront Modesto voters on a single ballot, despite scant publicity. Measure E supporters raised $23,000 and displayed signs and advertisements, but none of the others submitted finance reports.
Measure B supporters said their 230 acres west of the Briggsmore overpass of Highway 99 should not have been subjected a citywide vote because that “College West” area would bring no homes and already has a sewer trunk.
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The four other measures are on Modesto’s north fringe, stretching nearly from Salida to Riverbank.
City leaders envisioned thousands of jobs in businesses covering 1,310 acres from Measure A, straddling both sides of Kiernan Avenue above northwest Modesto.
Measure C’s 130 acres of mostly car dealerships on North McHenry Avenue made it the smallest of the five measures, and seemed to be the least controversial.
Furthest to the east, Measure D would have extended the approved but unbuilt Tivoli area by 480 acres to its north, bringing stores to compete with Riverbank’s nearby Crossroads shopping center.
The 830-acre Hetch-Hetchy area enjoyed no support from the League of Women Voters, the Modesto Chamber of Commerce and The Bee’s editorial board, mostly because of its residential component as opposed to business.