Survey Over Anti-Development Ballot Initiative in Irvine Seeks to Deceive

A new initiative that gives Irvine voters control on whether or not large scale developments are approved by voters is in the works, and already the character assassination and mudslinging — believed to be from developers or their consultants or possibly the people that publish “Irvine City News” — has reared an ugly head in the form of a deceptive online survey that attacks the character of the residents who proposed the initiative and is generally untruthful.

The survery requires a software authentication token — a code that tracks the identity of the participant filling out the survey.  Answer the questions “wrongly” and its highly likely your answers won’t make the final tally.

The city confirmed they did not issue the survey.

It’s all about character assassination and deception after all.  Not like “ethics” matter in Irvine after all.

In early September, Karen Jaffe and Arthur Strauss who make up the grassroots group “Irvine for Responsible Growth” submitted to the city  that would require developers to secure voter approval on any project that adds significant traffic, 40 or more housing units, or 10,000 square feet of non-residential use which would prompt changes to the city’s general plan or changes to zoning.  It’s modeled after a similar measure that voters in Costa Mesa passed in November 2016.

Jaffe told the Orange County Register, “This is not a politically aligned initiative. This is a grass roots effort to restore the citizen voice into the process. The citizens and residents of the city need a voice into the process and simply three minutes at a (city meeting) is insufficient.”

The measure is dubbed, “An Initiative Measure to Impose Project Review, Voter Approval, and Mitigation Implementation on Certain Development Projects.

A web-based survey, that appears to be from the City of Irvine but is actually sponsored by a research firm, popped up over the weekend and took aim at some familiar campaign styled issues.  The survey asked readers if they’d support the measure knowing that Jaffe lives in a “multi-million dollar home in Turtle Rock.”  Mayor Don Wagner lives in a million dollar home in Northwood and Christina Shea lives in a rapidly appreciating home (over $1million) in Quail Hill.  Readers, would that make you more or less likely to vote for them?  If anyone needs any help with the answer to one of the questions in the survey, we are here to provide some assistance:

The survey suggested that “failed politician Larry Agran” was a proponent of the measure.  Jaffe tells me Agran has nothing to do with the initiative.  The LiberalOC contacted Agran Monday morning and he reports he knows little about the effort.

“I haven’t carefully read and fully analyzed the proposed initiative. And I haven’t taken a position on it,” said Agran.  “To claim I’m a proponent of an effort I know very little about is false and deceptive.  The fact opponents are willing to lie about my involvement in this measure tells you everything you need to know about the honesty and integrity of those who don’t want Irvine voters to have a voice in the future of their city.”

This initiative is not an anti-development measure.  But one that ensures all of the steps required for responsible government development are completed before new development takes place.

Both the Irvine Company and Five Points issued statements about the measure that say very little, but the new online poll is likely from one of these two developers or consultants hired by either of them.  The tell will be which consultant speaks out against the measure at a city council meeting.