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The Lockean Project

Take back control

“Take back control,” Carmel Pine Cone – May 19, 2023

For visitors, businesses, and especially residents, protecting the character of our village is essential. In the days ahead while we support our city’s preparation for a revised housing element on time, we will be extremely challenged to embrace the 349 mandated new housing units in our built-out 1 square mile.

If we fail in this work, the state will move in taking control of our zoning and apply financial penalties. So, in parallel, we must push back on these state lawmakers who are hell-bent on forcing high-density housing in the 5 percent of our beautiful state that already houses 95 percent of the population.

How do we take back local control from these unrealistic Sacramento requirements? As citizens, we can eventually vote out these misguided state representatives or fight each relevant existing, new, or future state-mandated laws.

Optimally, the more permanent path forward is supporting the November 2024 proposed ballot measure, a California constitutional amendment that preserves local control of land use and zoning. This is led by the state-wide group Our Neighborhood Voices (, a non-profit organization. Right now, they are soliciting funding to assure, once the ballot measure is approved by the attorney general with the ballot title and description formalized, that they have the needed funding for the 1 million voter signature effort and awareness.

If you can contribute to Our Neighborhood Voices, and then be ready to support gathering voter signatures in this fall, please do.

Nancy Ann Twomey, Carmel