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Yuba County ag preservation ballot item in tight race
ISSUE YES NO
p Measure T Land use 4,728 4,881
p Measure V Board size 6,457 2,969
Though final results were far from available, a ballot measure to protect Yuba County ag land and open space appeared to be going down Tuesday night.
Measure T, whose principal supporter was foothills Supervisor Hal Stocker, was trailing by about 150 votes out of nearly 9,000 cast, though it was not clear how many precincts had been counted or how many outstanding ballots remained.
If approved, the measure would have required a public vote whenever a development would've involved changing zoning or other conditions on land designated for open space or agriculture. Those designations would stem from the county's General Plan 2030 update.
Stocker had said the measure would be necessary to prevent developers from convincing a future board of supervisors to change the plan and pave over open areas, citing the defunct Yuba Highlands project as an example. Yuba County Supervisor Mary Jane Griego had also endorsed the measure.
The Yuba County Alliance for Property Rights, a group formed to oppose the measure, had said approving it would restrict private-property rights and do little to protect farming.
Among its opponents were the other three county supervisors and both the Yuba-Sutter Chamber of Commerce and the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau's board of directors.
Stocker had said he modeled the initiative on one approved in Napa County, but opponents said the Napa measure was too restrictive and a poor fit for Yuba County.
Early polling indicated T had sizable support, but YCAPR also raised considerable amounts of money to oppose it, including a donation from a state association of realtors.
Alliance representatives said the donation came at the request of local real estate agents and wasn't unusual for the state group to make.
CONTACT Ben van der Meer at email@example.com or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer.