Public Advisory Elections (Measures A and M)
To ensure that Modesto’s growth is handled in a
fiscally responsible manner, the Modesto City Council adopted an
Urban Growth Policy on March 25, 1974. One goal of the 1974
Urban Growth Policy was to maintain a three- to five-year supply
of vacant residential land for future development.
Measures A and M apply indirectly to the
annexation of new territory into the City of Modesto, by
requiring that an advisory election of the citizens of Modesto
be held prior to extending sewer improvements to new areas with
five or more dwelling units. Measure M does not apply to
On March 6, 1979, the voters enacted Measure A, the
“Citizens’ Advisory Growth Management Act,” which requires
the City Council to hold an advisory vote of the citizens of
Modesto prior to extending sewer trunk lines to areas
outside of the current sewer service area. Measure A allows
Modesto’s citizens to voice their opinions on growth before
it happens and ensures that City Council members know the
On November 4, 1997, the voters enacted Measure M, the
“Modesto Citizens’ Advisory Growth Management Act of 1995". The purpose of Measure M is to extend the advisory votes
required by Measure A to all sewer improvements and to bring
the public’s voice into decisions concerning whether or not
to allow urban expansion.
Public advisory elections concerning extending
sewer service are typically scheduled every other year in
odd-numbered years if City Council determines, through the Urban
Growth Review, that the City has an inadequate supply of
developable land and that the City’s infrastructure can
accommodate additional development.
General Plan Policies (Urban Area Growth
The City of Modesto Urban Area General Plan
provides for a periodic review of the City’s Urban Area Growth
Policy (Review). The primary purpose of the Review is to assure
that there is an adequate inventory of vacant and agricultural
land served with urban infrastructure to accommodate anticipated
economic development during the next five years. If there is not
sufficient inventory, there is a deficit in needed land and
additional land should be added to the Current Inventory. (Refer
to Chapter II, Section C.1 of the Modesto Urban Area General
Plan for more information.)
Urban Growth Review is also conducted to assist
the City Council in channeling the timing and direction of
growth to those areas that can most feasibly be served with
urban infrastructure. As an end result of this review, the City
Council may determine which, if any, sewer trunk extensions as
defined by the Modesto Citizens’ Advisory Growth Management Act
of 1995 (Measure M, see below) are needed and schedule those
areas for a public advisory election.
Recent Urban Growth Reviews and Public Advisory
On May 12, 2015, the City Council accepted the
2015 Urban Growth Review (UGR) report, In conjunction with that
action, the Council confirmed their prior direction for staff to
facilitate a Measure M advisory election for all
residentially-developed unincorporated areas (aka
"unincorporated County islands") within Modesto's
sphere-of-influence that have not yet received such a vote.
Click here to download a map of these areas.
Based on the
finding of the 2009 UGR report, the City Council scheduled the
following areas for a Measure M advisory election in November
The Kiernan Avenue Corridor consists of three
different Comprehensive Planning District (CPDs) (Kiernan/Carver
CPD, Kiernan/Carver North CPD, and Salida CPD) located along the
north and south sides of Kiernan Avenue between Stoddard Road and
McHenry Avenue. The total area of the Kiernan Avenue Corridor is
approximately 1,310 acres.
The “Tivoli North” area is approximately 480-acre
located within the Roselle-Claribel CPD, east of Oakdale Road
and north of the future extension of Claratina Avenue.
The College West CPD is located along the west
side of State Highway 99, generally between the Standiford
Avenue and Briggsmore Avenue interchanges, and covers
approximately 230 acres.
The North McHenry Regional Commercial area is
located along McHenry Avenue between Claribel Road and
Claratina Avenue. This 130-acre area is designated for
Regional Commercial land use and is located on the western
portion of the Hetch-Hetchy CPD.
The Hetch-Hetchy CPD is located along the
south side of Claribel Avenue, from approximately .25 miles
east of McHenry Avenue to Oakdale Road. This is the east
portion of the Hetch Hetchy CPD designated for Village
Residential consisting of approximately 830 acres.
Modesto Public Advisory Elections Map
Areas that have received support for expansion
of development through Public Advisory Elections have not all been
planned, developed, or annexed, but each area is expected to
eventually annex to the City and be developed. The map link
shows all of those areas that have been the subject of a public
advisory election and indicates which areas have received both
positive and negative votes. The positive or negative result of
a public advisory election is not binding upon the City Council,
which may choose to either allow or prohibit growth in these
Click here to download the Public Advisory Elections Map.
Urban Growth Review Reports