Board Refuses To Make The Tough Choices

May 25, 2004

Supervisor Lou Calcagno, Chair
[Sent By FAX and Email: 831-755-5888]
Monterey County Board of Supervisors
240 Church Street
Salinas, CA 93901

RE: General Plan Update Process – May 25, 2004 Agenda (Item #S-18)

Dear Chairperson Calcagno and Board Members:
Last week, the Board asked for “alternatives" to the current General Plan Update (GPU) process. This week, your Board is going to decide in a final and “official" way whether to complete the current process, or whether, instead, to launch into some new and “different" process to amend the County’s 1982 General Plan. Here are some thoughts, which I hope the Board will consider:

  1. The current process, which has cost about $5 million dollars so far, and which has taken almost five years to this point, can be completed this year.

  2. In order to complete the current process, the Board will need to take the following actions:

    • Set the Planning Commission recommendation for public hearings before the Board.

    • Direct that the Final EIR on the current draft be presented to the Board, so it can be considered in connection with the Board’s decision.

    • Actually hold public hearings on the Planning Commission recommendation.

    • Make the “tough decisions" about what the new GPU should say.

  3. This is a simple process, and can be completed promptly. The Board retains full discretion to make whatever decisions they want to, with respect to any of the policy issues covered by the General Plan Update.

  4. If the Board follows this process, there will not be any public “consensus," and the Board will have to decide what it thinks is right, based on the public testimony received, the Final EIR, and the Board’s own knowledge of the issues.

  5. The process just described above is what the Board is paid to do!

Instead of following this process, which is the only process that keeps faith with the public, and that will realize the benefits of the incredibly large public expenditures that have been made on the GPU process so far, the Board is now considering several so-called “alternatives." Here are my comments on the “alternatives" presented to the Board by the County Counsel in his May 25, 2004 Board report:

LandWatch urges the Board to proceed with the current GPU process.

cc: CAO; County Counsel; GPU Staff; Planning Director; Planning Commission; Other Interested Persons

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posted 05/27/04