City of Canyon Lake Grading and Potential Development of Goetz Hill Advisory Vote, Measure E (November 2013)

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A City of Canyon Lake Grading and Potential Development of Goetz Hill Advisory Vote, Measure E ballot question was on the November 5, 2013, election ballot for voters in the city of Canyon Lake in Riverside County, which is in California. It was overwhelmingly defeated.

Measure E was an advisory question only and had no binding effect. It was intended to be used by the city council to gauge the opinion of the voters.[1]

According to reports, a developer had been interested in building on and developing the 35 acres in the area called Goetz Hill. This would have required leveling the slopes and hills in the area. The interested developer had proposed selling the rock and gravel removed during the grading process, which led to the name "mining" being applied to the proposed project. The council unanimously approved an advisory vote on the Goetz Hill development, but disagreed on the exact ballot language. The final ballot question was approved in a 3-2 vote, with dissenters wanting the ballot language to include a reference to "mining." Craton, Randy Bonner and Jordan Ehrenkranz approved of the measure, while Brown and Nancy Horton voted no.[2]

Election results

Measure E
Defeatedd No1,91475.83%
Yes 610 24.17%
These final, certified results are from the Riverside County elections office.

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Measure E:

“Advisory Vote on the Grading and Potential Development of Goetz Hill”

Should the area of Canyon Lake commonly known as Goetz Hill be graded for retail development?[1][3]


Supporters pointed out that this measure did not actually authorize anything, but showed the council support in responsibly and carefully approving development of the Goetz Hill area. Proponents of the project also said that it would be an economic windfall for the city of Canyon Lake.[4][2]



Opponents argued that the project amounts to mining and would ultimately hurt the environment and unsettle the area without any large scale benefits to the community.[2]

Barry Talbot, a former City Councilman and one of the spokespersons opposed to the development of Goetz Hill, wrote this in a letter to the City Council:

During my recent detailed discussion with Mr. Steven Testa, executive director, State Mining and Geology board, I was assured that no project similar to that considered in Measure E would ever be allowed without a State of California Mining Permit, a comprehensive reclamation program, sound financial assurances, and control by a Lead Agency with a mining ordinance that has been certified by the State Mining and Geology Board.

Already familiar with Sky Blue's proposed idea, Mr. Testa specifically stated such a project would definitely be a surface mine and regulated accordingly.

I urge the City contact Mr. Testa and confirm the above information. I also urge the City to immediately cease referring to Measure E as a grading project and to publicly do so during the next Council meeting. Anything less would be a disservice to our community.[4][4][3]

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