Breaking Down Measure T

Watsonville voters will decide on the annexation issue June 4.

Watsonville voters will decide in June if they want annex two plots of agriculture land into the city reserves, a contentious issue that pits farmers against those pushing for economic development.

Here are the basics about the election, courtesy of the Watsonville City Clerk's Office.

... voters will vote on the following ballot question: Should the City of Watsonville amend its Urban Limit Line to allow for the possible annexation of approximately 95 acres of agricultural land to the City limits for future economic development and jobs?”  

The property that is proposed to be added to the City of Watsonville Urban Limit Line is about 80 acres (Subarea 2) on the corner of Riverside Drive (Highway 129) and Highway 1, known as the Sakata Kett property. It would also include the 15 acre parcel across Highway 1, known as Greenfarm (Subarea 3) where the Redman house is located.

Check out the map above to see exactly where these parcels are located.

For all of Patch's coverage of Measure T—including the letters to the editor and blogs readers have submitted—click here.

Proponents, led by Watsonville City Councilman Daniel Dodge, say the land could provide a economic boon to the city if developed as shopping centers, like those along Highway 101 in Gilroy. That would create jobs and provide sales tax revenue to the city.

The "No on Measure T" camp, including farmers and the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, are against paving over valuable farmland. They
would like to see infill within the current city limits.

Election Day is June 4 but voting will be at the City Clerk’s Office 275 Main St., Suite 400, 4th floor of Civic Plaza beginning Monday, May 6.


  • Mon to Thurs, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Weekend of June 1-2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Election Day, June 4, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Have an opinion about the proposed annexation? Comment below, post a blog or email your statement to Patch Editor Jacob Bourne.

David H. Perez May 06, 2013 at 03:21 PM
We need to clean up and use what we already have. Do not let them turn the best farm land in the world into an asphalt and concrete jungle. Don't give Daniel Dodge a bragging point to be able to take his extremist divisive politics to the county level. VOTE NO ON MEASURE T!
Tania Grant May 06, 2013 at 05:52 PM
"....the land could provide a economic boon to the city if developed as shopping centers, like those along Highway 101 in Gilroy...." I have some questions about this statement: 1. Who are the developers who want to develop this land? This would be a very expensive undertaking. 2. Where is the plan that shows us what type of development would take place? 3. Is a shopping development the best for this area? Would people come to shop here rather than in Gilroy, or at the fancy shops in Monterey Peninsula, or at the funky shops in the Pacific Mall in Santa Cruz? Have any marketing studies been done for this area? 4. Would a light industry/manufacturing be a better target? 5. What studies have been done for developing this area? Where is the Plan? I would like to see this on paper. If there is no Plan, then leave the land alone until a plan is submitted, and APPROVED.
Jim May 06, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Vote no on T
Patricia L. Solan May 06, 2013 at 09:11 PM
Vote No on T! To even think completion of such a business would happen in the very near future is mind boggling. For one thing, what would happen to all the small businesses in town if any big boxes were to come here? These small businesses have been faithful to the city. We have buildings not just on Main St. but around the area that could be utilized for some light industry or other business. As it is, the canneries and packing houses that once supported Watsonville and the employees were destroyed by the strike and where did those people find replacement jobs? So many people were displaced because of that fiasco. There sits Gottshalks' big building with escalators and elevator and it is just collecting dust and cobwebs. Why hasn't the city tried to encourage some business venture for that building? This city is not considered by many to be 'business friendly' and therein lies the big problem.
randy May 06, 2013 at 09:11 PM
@Tania... "Have any marketing studies been done for this area?" the money for any studies has been given to the Manabe/Ow project and to Romo. There isn't any money left. And I see that one of the farmers on the land doesn't want this. Dodge, I VOTE NO on this.
Cathy P. May 06, 2013 at 09:49 PM
That was my question on another article: what does the landowner have to say about this? Does he/she want to sell the land or this an emmient domain land grab by the city? I'd really like an answer to this question...
ray M May 06, 2013 at 11:20 PM
I would like to vote yes on T, to bring new business to our home, however who will bring the development? What will be made? Is this measure just to take 95 acres and see what happens?
David H. Perez May 07, 2013 at 12:49 AM
That's exactly what it is, ray M. They have no idea what will become of the land once they gain imminent domain over it. Or maybe they do, and maybe they are not being straight with us. That IS their m.o.!
Cathy P. May 07, 2013 at 01:01 AM
*Eminent domain, sorry, my bad.
Sylvia Lazo May 07, 2013 at 01:20 AM
Is Gottshalks owned by the city? I thoought it was privately owned. ??
Adam D. May 07, 2013 at 02:41 AM
I would normally agree with most of you but T isn't going to harm anyone or take away anything from the community. If anything it will eliminate jobs no one wants and create jobs for those who really need them and are here legally. This will eliminate gang and unwanted criminal activity as well. Secondly - Watsonville has been trying to get the Redman house into the Watsonville jurisdiction for a long time because the land taxes will significantly help the city. This city is barely managing to get by because of the mismanagement so this will just help. As for the small businesses... honestly, who goes downtown as it is? The only thing that it will destroy are businesses no one frequents. It's not eliminating the food and cafes. Name one business downtown you would be sad to see go? This shouldn't even be voted on, the city should just do it. No one voted on the commercial buildings being built over behind Target nor did anyone vote to clog the streets by the second harvest food bank. The city just needs to do it. Stopping progress is detrimental to growing this city.
Jim May 07, 2013 at 03:17 AM
How is the city going to manage additional land when they can't even manage what they got. They do not enforce the laws, they do not support a clean city, Commercial trailers on bridge st, parked their weeks at a time no vehicle hook to them, cars parked on lawns, cars parked at the end of bridge st in the housing area is So packed at night that you would have trouble getting a emergency vehicle into a fire. No on T
Just Me May 07, 2013 at 04:23 AM
Perhaps we should ask who revived $11,740 in freebies to make sure that this would be on the ballot.
Adam D. May 07, 2013 at 10:35 PM
@Jim - Those are separate issues that don't involve this issue. Those are things you need to bring up at the city counsel meeting. This will bring well needed jobs to the community who are looking for jobs and not crap pay to work a field. The farmland is nothing but bio-engineered seeds feeding corporate profits on the back of the migrant labor workers. Farmers are full of crap telling you that they want it because its precious farmland. They are afraid of losing their government subsidies and huge corporate profits feeding their families while they skimp on those profits by using illegal workers. This exploitation needs to stop. Pave the land and put money in the pockets of people who need the jobs and get a fair wage instead of lining the pockets of these greedy farmers and their corporate backers. Yes on T.
Cathy P. May 07, 2013 at 10:59 PM
Wow Adam D, bringing in mystery "big box" stores are going to solve all the city's problems? Really? Which stores, please name them. The Overlook Shopping Center where Target is located wasn't prime farmland, wherein lies the difference, and why it wasn't put to a vote. As for the downtown business owners, I'm sure they'll appreciate your comments, why don't you go downtown and tell them all that in person. Even you admit that "this city is barely managing to get by because of the mismanagement..." so why should residents vote to give them more to mismanage?
Jim May 07, 2013 at 11:02 PM
No on T.
Cathy P. May 07, 2013 at 11:04 PM
What jobs, name the stores! Is not minimum wage "crap pay" as well? Speaking of explotation, low-skilled, low-paying jobs is swaping one slave owner for another don't you think? Definitely NO on T.
David H. Perez May 08, 2013 at 12:53 AM
So, Adam D., we pave over everything, OK. Where do you propose we grow our food, on the moon? And doesn't retail pay the same "crap" wages as picking crops?
sweetcakes May 08, 2013 at 03:22 PM
Clean the city up first. I took a walk downtown on Monday and the downtown area smelled like beer and barf. The buildings look dirty, the sidewalks are filthy and I don't see pride of ownership anywhere. There also was garbage everywhere. Take the old Ford's building and make it into a local farmers mercantile with all local produce, products and other local made items. Showcase our town and more people would shop. The Plaza Vigil building was supposed to be a helper to new business to get them established and then they were supposed to find their own building space after a couple of years. Why are some of the businesses that were there at the beginning still there and not renting a regular business space like other businesses do. You would have fewer vacant building if the long term businesses had to move out of the Plaza Vigil so other new startups could then have a chance to start up at a lower business rent. Vote NO on T. We can't start paving over our valuable farm land. We already have water shortages and saltwater intrusion. Watsonville has many forclosed buildings and homes. We do not need more low income or affordable housing. Low income rental housing costs a lot of money to build and don't pay back in property taxes. Why on earth would the city want to build housing that isn't going to give back in property taxes. Low income equals more crime, gang activity and doesn't pay for itself. The city council just doesn't seem to be able to look at the big picture.
Cathy P. May 12, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Since no one can gives us any of the names of the stores that are going to save Watsonville, a friend sent me the link to the Yes on Measure T facebook page. Here's an interesting list of stores they came up with: "This is the first step in creating such things as: In-N-Out, Costco, Olive Garden, Kohls, Trader Joe's, Burlington Coat Factory, Red Robin, TJ Maxx, Cracker Barrel, Marshalls, Golden Corral, J.C. Penney, Cabela's." Really?
BACK DOOR INSINORATOR May 12, 2013 at 06:23 PM
no on T, 'Deeeeead give away"....ahhhh ha


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