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Presentado por
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
November 6, 2018 — Elección General de California

City of Capitola
Measure L - Majority Approval Required

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Resultados electorales


2,526 votos si (52.13%)

2,320 votos no (47.87%)

Shall the Capitola Municipal Code be amended to direct Capitola constituent departments to take all steps necessary to preserve and maintain the Capitola segment of the Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission's Rail Corridor and Trestle over Soquel Creek for bicyclists, pedestrians and other human powered transportation, and to prohibit expenditures to route bicyclists, pedestrians and other human powered transportation from the rail corridor to Capitola streets and sidewalks?

¿Qué es esta propuesta?

Información básica sobre la iniciativa de ley — Información oficial sobre esta iniciativa

Análisis del analista legislativo / Proposal

Anthony Condotti, Capitola City Attorney


This measure was placed on the ballot by an initiative petition signed by a legally sufficient number of registered voters in the City of Capitola.  It proposes adding a Chapter to the Capitola Municipal Code concerning the proposed “Rail Trail” through the City of Capitola and Trestle across Soquel Creek in Capitola Village.


The Rail Corridor and Trestle are owned by the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC).  In 2013, after a multi-year process with extensive public input, RTC adopted the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Master Plan (Master Plan), establishing the proposed alignment for the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network, including the Coastal Rail Trail and associated spur trails.  “Segment 11” of the Rail Trail would run along the rail right-of-way approximately 3.2 miles down the coast from Jade Street Park to State Park Drive, diverting onto surface streets through Capitola Village to bypass the Trestle.  Although contemplated as part of a future project, the Master Plan does not include funding for building the Rail Trail across the Trestle due to cost and existing structural conditions.  In 2015, the Capitola City Council adopted the Master Plan, which is contemplated by and consistent with several policies enumerated in Capitola’s General Plan, adopted in 2014, the “Bicycle Transportation Plan,” adopted in 2011 and Local Coastal Plan, adopted in 1981.

The Measure.

The stated purpose of the measure is to keep the proposed Rail Trail entirely within the existing Rail Corridor, including across the Trestle.  It contains two operative provisions:

First, it directs the City to take “all steps necessary” to preserve and utilize the RTC-owned Rail Corridor and Trestle, for “any form of human powered transportation,” such as walking, cycling, using a wheelchair, or skateboarding.  

Second, it prohibits the expenditure of City any “funds or resources related to the construction, reconstruction, operation, maintenance, financing, marketing, or signage for a detour of the Trail onto Capitola streets or sidewalks.”

The measure expressly does not amend or rescind the General Plan, Local Coastal Program or Zoning Code, but rather states that it “shall be construed and harmonized in a manner to strengthen and define such provisions.”

The measure raises a number of legal concerns, including:  First, whether it proposes a legislative act, or merely directs administrative or executive actions, which are generally not subject to initiative or referendum; Second, whether the Measure’s terms are too vaguely defined and ambiguous to be enforceable; Third, whether its restrictions on expenditure of funds improperly interfere with the City Council’s authority over the City’s fiscal affairs.  For these reasons the measure may be vulnerable to a legal challenge as to its validity.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure L.  If you desire a copy of the measure, please call the City Clerk at 831-475-7300 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.


Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Argumento A FAVOR

Vote YES on Measure L


Vote YES for Capitola’s Future


Let’s connect Capitola from the Jewel Box to Depot Hill via our beloved Capitola Trestle.

Voting YES means you want a safe and smooth pathway to allow people to easily walk, jog, bike, scooter, skateboard, wheelchair, and baby-stroller across Capitola.

Vote YES to make possible…

  • A safe route for kids to get to school
  • Less traffic congestion in the Village
  • A great option for local families & seniors
  • Healthy environment that encourages exercise
  • Easier beach access

Over eight hundred people signed our petition for Capitola’s future. These signatures have enabled us to get this important measure on the ballot.

Voting YES on Measure L will send a strong message that the people of Capitola want to make this vision a reality.  Together, let’s create a greener, healthier, and safer Capitola.                                                                                                           

The better way for all of us!

We thank you for Voting YES on Measure L.

Juan Escamilla
Surf and Sand Mobile Home Park Resident, Capitola Measure Proponent

Sira Taylor
School Board Member

Nick Graessle
Capitola Junior Guard, New Brighton M.S. Valedictorian, 2018

Linda Larson
Capitola Gardens Resident, Church Deacon

Tom Evans
Chair, Greenway Capitola - The Better Way

Argumento EN CONTRA

This proposed measure will significantly delay the portion of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail that traverses the Esplanade by mandating no Trail improvements through Capitola Village.

The City of Capitola voted in 2015 to adopt the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network Master Plan that includes the Coastal Rail Trail. Measure L is an erroneous and misguided attempt to overturn the countywide consensus to build the Trail and keep the rail line intact for future public transportation needs.

The Rail Trail will connect our county south to north, from Watsonville to Cabrillo College, from Santa Cruz to Capitola. Under the scenario proposed by this confusing measure, Capitola will become a neglected gap in our otherwise continuous, coastal Sanctuary Scenic Trail network.

Prohibiting the City of Capitola from cooperating with the Regional Transportation Commission on development of the Trail will not provide any of the so-called outcomes of the measure. In fact, the objectives listed in the proposed measure will only be accomplished by implementing the vision of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail.

In 2016, Transportation Measure D affirmed the will of a 2/3 majority of voters countywide, including in Capitola, for a variety of transportation solutions into the future, including highway improvements and increased safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and children getting to school. It also affirmed public interest in considering rail transit along the coast rail line as a new possible travel option for residents and visitors traveling in our scenic but congested communities.

We need the Rail Trail now! We don’t need more expensive advertising or this misguided measure that’s trying to stop progress on sustainable traffic solutions.


Build the Trail – Keep the Rail

Stephanie Harlan
Capitola City Council Member

Dennis R. Norton
Former Capitola City Council Member and Mayor

Janneke Strause
Executive Director, Bike Santa Cruz County

Mark Mesiti-Miller
Chair, Friends of the Rail and Trail


Refutación al argumento A FAVOR

Rebuttal to Argument for Measure L

Vote NO on Measure L

There are two big problems with Measure L:  What it does and what it doesn’t do.

Measure L does put Capitola’s part of the Coastal Trail into limbo, now and in the future.

Measure L does not put a trail on the trestle. The City of Capitola doesn’t own the trestle or control what happens on the trestle.

Measure L does not allow the City to help people who bike or walk along the Coastal Trail to find their way into and through the Village. It does not allow the City to do any improvements to help people get to Capitola Beach from the Trail, or to the Esplanade, or to shops or restaurants or special events. Why on earth would anyone be against sidewalk and street improvements in the Village?

Measure L does nothing to improve traffic.  Measure L does nothing about the question of future public transportation along the coastal rail line.

Measure L would tie the hands of our elected City Council and prohibit them from acting in the best interests of the City. In fact, all five members of the City Council voted to challenge the legality of this measure.

This unclear and confusing measure may serve the interests of non-residents who funded it, but it does not serve the residents and businesses of Capitola.

Vote NO on Measure L

Stephanie Harlan
Capitola City Council Member

Dennis Norton
Former Capitola City Council Member and Mayor

Chris O’Connell
Capitola Resident and Ocean Honda Internet/Business Development Manager


Refutación al argumento EN CONTRA

Rebuttal to Argument Against Measure L

Vote YES on Measure L
Vote YES for Capitola’s Future

Hundreds of Capitola residents, many of your neighbors and friends, signed our petition to allow Capitola voters to express their local vision for the planned rail corridor Trail.

Despite what the opponents are suggesting, Measure L is clearly written and easy to understand.

Your YES vote on Measure L will express reasonable desires for the implementation of the Trail:

  • City of Capitola residents want to preserve our city’s rich history
  • Our community needs safer routes to schools, the Village, the beach, and other destinations
  • The Trail should stay within the corridor boundaries without a detour through city streets

The Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail is a beautiful concept. A Trail that stays within the rail corridor and crosses our historic trestle will be safer, more user-friendly and efficient than one that detours onto already congested streets.

The opponents’ argument conveniently fails to mention plans to possibly detour the rail-trail onto our city streets. Are they trying to hide something?

Forces from outside Capitola fought to keep Capitola residents from voting on this important issue. What are they afraid of?

This is a historic moment…

Add your voice. Let’s be a community that says YES to a greener, safer, and healthier future!

Thank you again for Voting YES on Measure L


Joe Clarke
Retired Sheriff’s Sergeant Santa Cruz County

Linda Leum, MD
Physician, Dominican Hospital, Resident Depot Hill Capitola

Tyler Fox
Publisher and CEO Santa Cruz Waves Magazine, Mavericks Big Wave Surfer

Doree Steinmann
26-Year Capitola Resident, Park Avenue by the Sea Apartments

Kym V. DeWitt
Former Capitola City Treasurer, Beer Thirty CFO


Leer la legislación propuesta

Legislación propuesta


Chapter 8.72


8.72.010 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this chapter to improve safety and reduce traffic by keeping the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail (Trail) in the Santa Cruz Branch Line Rail Corridor (Corridor) within the City of Capitola while protecting the Capitola Trestle (Trestle).


8.72.020 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings set forth in this section:

  1. "Active Transportation" means any form of human-powered transportation including walking, cycling, using a wheelchair or other mobility device, in-line skating or skateboarding. Such forms of transportation may include an electric assistance such as e-bikes, e-skateboards, or motorized wheelchairs.
  2. "Greenway" means the space within the Corridor to be used for recreation and active transportation via a continuous pathway.


8.72.030 Findings.

  1. New Public Asset. In 2012 the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (SCCRTC) acquired the Corridor from Union Pacific. The Corridor includes the historic Trestle. For the first time, the Corridor and Trestle have the potential to be accessible for bike and pedestrian use. The SCCRTC is planning bike and pedestrian use along the majority of the Corridor.
  2. Trestle Detour. The SCCRTC has proposed making the Trestle off-limits to pedestrians, bikes, electric bikes, and skateboarders, detouring pedestrian and bike traffic from the Corridor onto bike lanes and sidewalks in the local Capitola street network and across the Stockton Avenue Bridge.
  3. Accessibility. A detour from the Trestle through Capitola Village would require an approximately 200 ft grade change on both ends of the trail. Keeping the Trail on the Trestle provides a flat path across Capitola, which increases accessibility for people of all ages and abilities.
  4. Skateboarding for Transportation. A detour would enter Capitola's "no skateboarding zone," inhibiting skateboarding for transportation to New Brighton Middle School and the McGregor Pump Track & Skateboard Park. In contrast, a trail that crosses the Trestle would provide safe access to both locations.
  5. Traffic and Safety. Capitola Village streets are often congested preventing residents and visitors from getting from one side of Capitola to the other quickly and safely. Increasing passthrough bicycle and pedestrian traffic would exacerbate the existing problem.
  6. Safe Routes to School. It is the stated goal of Santa Cruz County, California, Transportation Sales Tax Measure D (November 2016) to "provide safe routes to schools." Walking and biking via the Trestle will provide safe access to New Brighton Middle School. A detour that navigates a significant grade change on narrow, busy streets will not.
  7. Stated Preference. 82% of residents who provided input regarding the Corridor in Vision Capitola 2016 supported using the Corridor for active transportation and recreation rather than a train.
  8. Efficient Route. Keeping the Trail in the Corridor as it crosses the Trestle will provide a direct pathway from one side of Capitola to the other.
  9. Tourism. The ability to actively use the Trestle will support the local economy by attracting tourists with a safe new way to experience breathtaking views.
  10. Healthy Community and Sustainable Transportation. Bicycling and walking are by far the healthiest, most sustainable forms of transportation. Building a safer Trail will encourage more people to choose these options.


8.72.040 Implementation.

  1. The City of Capitola, through its constituent departments, shall take all steps necessary to preserve and utilize the Corridor and Trestle for active transportation and recreation.
  2. No City of Capitola department, agency or employee shall expend any funds or resources related to the construction, reconstruction, operation, maintenance, financing, marketing, or signage for a detour of the Trail onto Capitola streets or sidewalks.

8.72.050 Changes.

This chapter shall not be amended or repealed except by vote of the people.

8.72.060 Effect of adoption.

Adoption of this chapter by the people shall not be construed as amending or rescinding any provisions of the general plan, local coastal program or zoning ordinances, but rather shall be construed and harmonized in a manner to strengthen and define such provisions.

8.72.070 Severability.

If any section, sentence, clause, phrase, or part of this chapter is held to be invalid, the remainder of the chapter shall be given full effect consistent with the intent and purpose of the chapter.

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