Measure L was a 1986 Davis ballot initiative sponsored by Citizens for the General Plan. A "yes" vote meant that the voter wanted the city to slow its growth as much as possible. Measure L was a non-binding "advisory" initiative designed to symbolically solidify the general will of the Davis populace. The measure passed on June 3 with about 56% voter support.
According to Mike Fitch in his book Growing Pains, Measure L contained three guiding principles:
- Davis should grow as slowly as it legally could;
- Future growth should be concentrated on lands already within the city limits and additional annexations should be discouraged; and
- The county should not approve development on the periphery of Davis unless the city gives its stamp of approval by ruling it consistent with the Davis General Plan. Measure L included several findings, including the beliefs that "the prime agricultural land surrounding Davis is a resource of local, state and national importance" and "the growth of Davis is an issue best determined by Davis citizens without outside pressure or influence."