Voters in the city of Livermore will again weigh in on the downtown redevelopment debate with Measure P, a ballot issue resulting from a referendum petition challenging the City Council's approval of a hotel development agreement in the summer.
The hotel agreement with developer Presidio calls for a three-story hotel with 125-135 rooms next to the Bankhead Theater on the east side of Livermore Avenue. The hotel project is the centerpiece of the city's downtown redevelopment plan.
The hotel location is a main source of disagreement for the No on Measure P folks. They instead want a larger hotel (up to 160 rooms) on the west side of Livermore Avenue, in keeping with their alternative idea for downtown overall.
We support the council-approved agreement in line with the city's Downtown Specific Plan that received significant community support, from widespread sources throughout Livermore, during an extensive public outreach and review process.
The city's downtown planning was the central issue of the Livermore mayoral and council elections in November 2018, and voters overwhelmingly endorsed vocal supporters of the city plan. In fact, the opposition couldn't even really convince any candidate to back their position against the city's proposal -- even though one council seat was open for the taking by any challenger.
After that election, the newly seated council worked to solidify a downtown redevelopment vision vetted by the public.
But the opponents are back again, aiming to overturn the hotelier agreement (so a Yes on Measure P is in favor of the council plan, and a No is against it), along with a related initiative measure espousing their "Central Park Plan" scheduled for the November election.
Despite efforts of initiative backers to argue contrary, it is hard to consider their "Central Park Plan" as nothing more than an unvetted idea that hinges on an infancy-stage conceptual drawing -- a smoke screen conjured to confuse the citizenry and conceal some yet-unclear true motivation.
We encourage Livermore voters to seek out accurate information and fair perspectives when researching Measure P. And we hope they continue to see through the misinformation -- and disinformation -- pushed primarily by the interests of a small faction of well-funded residents.
The city's hotel agreement calls for an appropriately sized facility in the best location to enhance the vitality of downtown. And more importantly, it is the first step in bringing the community's vision for redeveloping downtown to fruition.
Vote Yes on Measure P in Livermore.