Both Stanislaus County growth measures sailed toward victory late Tuesday, with the more restrictive appearing to be more popular.
That’s important because the one with the most “yes” votes will become law, while the other dies.
Measure E, which wrests control from county supervisors over housing projects in unincorporated areas, captured 39,444 “yes” votes, or 68.1 percent, and 18,491 “no” votes, or 31.9 percent, with 86 percent of precincts reporting.
Voters also liked its rival, Measure L, but awarded it only 37,054 “yes” votes, or 63.92 percent.
Measure E, also known as Stamp Out Sprawl, becomes the first successful growth initiative stretching across Stanislaus County. Supervisors for 30 years cannot change agricultural zoning for housing projects in unincorporated areas without ballot permission from county voters.
By contrast, Modesto’s growth initiatives, approved in 1979 and 1997, require citywide votes but are not binding on the city’s leaders.
“I’m quite confident at this point,” said Modesto City Councilman Garrad Marsh. He teamed with former Councilman Denny Jackman to champion Measure E.