Carpinteria’s controversial Measure T ballot measure has been officially rejected by city voters, even though the final margin separating those opposing it and those supporting it was just 83 votes.
The Vote No side garnered 2,573 votes, or 50.82%, versus Vote Yes proponents, who received 2,490 votes, or 49.18%, according to certified election tallies posted by the county on Wednesday.
The ballot measure divided the small-town beach community as evidenced by the slim margin of victory achieved by the Vote No forces.
Those who wanted it to pass argued it was the only way to stop a proposed two-story boutique hotel from being built on a downtown parking lot, saying city officials would not listen to the residents’ objections to having private development of public property.
Those who objected to the ballot measure countered that land-use decisions should be made by elected officials based on review by experienced city staff and the city’s General Plan, as opposed to residents using the ballot initiative process to make decisions on the city’s development and growth.
Jason Rodriguez, the Vote No spokesman, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Ann Sly, the Vote Yes spokeswoman, told the News-Press that the voters had spoken and her side would accept it.
“That’s it. It’s been decided. It’s over,” she said. “It’s absolutely not an issue anymore. I don’t think Carpinterians want to continue the discussion on the controversy. It was a thing. Everybody worked hard. The voters have spoken. Now the process will go on with the developer trying to get approval.”
She said she would attend public meetings when discussion of the proposed Surfliner Inn is on the agenda. “I haven’t lost interest in the issue,” she said.
Other Carpinteria election results show Vice Mayor Al Clark won the District 5 race for a seat on the City Council, with 555 votes, or 54.47%, over Councilmember Gregg A. Carty, who got 344 votes, or 33.76%, and Patrick O’Connor, who received 105 votes, or 10.3%.
Monica Solorzano won a council seat representing District 1 with 520 votes, or 91.23%, while incumbent Councilmember Roy Lee will represent District 3, with 891 votes, or 89.73%.
Vice Mayor Clark, Councilmember Lee and Ms. Solorzano will be installed and seated on the City Council at the board’s meeting Monday. Ms. Solorzano is scheduled to make comments afterward.
Also Monday, the council will select one of its members to serve as the city’s mayor and another to serve as the new vice mayor, followed by comments by the outgoing mayor and incoming mayor.