Sec. 9-2.203.  Increases on residential densities or commercial acreage.
   (a)   Purpose.  The City’s General Plan is a long term guide for orderly development of this community, which plan should not be subject to unreasonable and increased development pressures.  Based on the City’s present build out under that General Plan, the City Council finds the City of Thousand Oaks is at a point where the ultimate and foreseeable residential and commercial development in the City’s Planning Area can be accurately predicted.  The City’s infrastructure and public facilities were or have been designed based on the development projections in the City’s General Plan, as in effect on November 5, 1996.  These public facilities can accommodate that planned and foreseeable development.  However, any increase in the residential density ranges or in commercial acreage over those presently shown in the Land Use Element of the General Plan will alter the character of the City and place an unacceptable burden on the City’s topography and infrastructure.  The City desires to promote an improved local jobs/housing balance, and since land use changes to environmentally sensitive industrial uses do not place as great a demand on public services, roads, freeways and infrastructure, as do residential and commercial uses, such changes are not a new policy direction requiring a vote of the community.
   Any amendment either to the General Plan's designated acreage for “commercial” land uses or in the residential land use density ranges, which produces a net increase in excess of the land areas so designated, or in excess of the dwelling unit per net acre density ranges shown on the Land Use Element of the City’s General Plan as of November 5,1996, is a policy decision that the voters of the City of Thousand Oaks should make.
   (b)    Voter approval of certain general plan amendments.  No proposed amendment to the Land Use Element of the City’s General Plan of the following types shall be effective until it has been considered and approved for the ballot by the City Council, and then submitted to and approved by a majority of the City’s voters voting at a general or special election:
   (1)   Any amendment which reclassifies land from the “parks, golf course, and open space” designation to any other designation; or
   (2)   Any amendment which cumulatively provides a net increase in the maximum number of residential dwelling units which could be permitted under the proposed land use designation; or
   (3)   Any amendment which cumulatively provides a net increase in the land designated “commercial.”
   The proposed amendment to the Land Use Element must first have been initiated pursuant to Section 9-2.202, have completed any environmental analysis required by law and have been reviewed by the Planning Commission.  A proposed ballot measure under this section may contain or affect more than one site, designation or parcel.
   (c)   Periodic Review.  As required by law, the City Council shall periodically review the land uses and density ranges in the Land Use Element of the General Plan, as well as the overall General Plan’s internal consistency, and may request the approval of proposed Land Use Element changes by the voters pursuant to this section, if the Council finds new circumstances, justification, or state/federal mandates require such an amendment.
   (d)   Exemptions.  This requirement of a voter approval shall not be required or apply for the following amendments or situations:
   (1)   Where the amendment is necessary to avoid, or the application of the voter approval requirement of this section would be deemed, an unconstitutional taking of property under the United States or California Constitutions, be contrary to federal laws, or the laws of this state:
   (2)   Where the amendment is necessary in order to comply with, or is directed under a court order, judgment, writ or mandate.
   (3)   Where the amendment is necessary for a viable use of publicly owned land which has been determined by the owner to be, and is, declared surplus as no longer needed for a public purpose, such as unneeded school sites or the approximate thirty-five (35) acres at 401 Hillcrest Drive.
   (e)   City Council sponsored initiative; effective period. This section was enacted as a City Council sponsored initiative, approved by the voters at a city-wide general election on November 5, 1996.  Except for evaluation, processing and procedural matters, this section cannot be amended or repealed by the City Council without such amendment or repeal being approved by the voters of Thousand Oaks.  This section shall be effective and apply to any Land Use Element amendments up to November 5, 2026, at which time this section shall terminate.
(§ 2, Ord. 1280-NS, eff. Dec. 13, 1996)