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Joint Letter Provides Roadmap For GPU Comments

Friends, Artists and Neighbors of Elkhorn Slough + North County Citizens Oversight Coalition + League of Women Voters of the Monterey Peninsula + Ventana Chapter, Sierra Club + Carmel Valley Association + National Audubon-California + LandWatch Monterey County + Monterey Bay Chapter, California Native Plant Society

June 18, 2002

Chairperson and Members
Monterey County Planning Commission
Box 1208
Salinas, CA 93902

RE: 21st Century Monterey County General Plan Update (GPU)

Dear Chairperson Parsons and Members of the Commission:

The Planning Commission will soon be making specific recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on the Draft 21st Century Monterey County General Plan Update. We urge your Commission strongly to recommend a plan to the Board that completely complies with and carries out the twelve guiding objectives adopted by both the Commission and the Board of Supervisors last year. These twelve guiding objectives are found on pages I-5 and I-6 of the Draft GPU. They call for the new County General Plan to:

  1. Direct new growth into areas already committed to an urban level of development, and strongly to discourage new subdivisions in rural areas.
  2. Strongly encourage new commercial, industrial and residential development to provide actual, new, permanently affordable living quarters.

  3. Promote, preserve and support agriculture and the industries that support it (which is different from supporting the desire of large agricultural landowners to be able to develop their land for non-agricultural purposes, so as to be able to realize maximum profit from the development of such agricultural land).

  4. Provide adequate infrastructure and public services for existing residents and businesses, and ensure that infrastructure and public services are available, fully funded and constructed concurrently with new development.

  5. Provide strong protections for the natural resources of Monterey County.

  6. Provide the policy foundation for a permit process that will provide greater certainty to project applicants and the public alike, and that will simplify the review of projects that are consistent with the General Plan.

These policies are the "heart and soul" of the GPU. By and large, the draft document you are considering achieves these purposes. While changes in the draft GPU will certainly be necessary, we believe that there is no good reason to make changes that would contradict or undermine the basic objectives outlined above.

As the Commission does consider changes to the draft GPU, here are a number of concerns that we hope the Commission will address:

Thank you for taking our strongly held views into account as you make specific recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on the 21st Century Monterey County General Plan Update.Very truly yours,

Mari Kloeppel, FANS
Carolyn Anderson, NCCOC
Beverly G. Bean, LWV – Monterey Peninsula
Rita Dalessio, Ventana Chapter, Sierra Club
Max Chaplin, Carmel Valley Association
National Audubon-California
Gary A. Patton, LandWatch Monterey County
Julie Anne Delgado, Monterey Bay Chapter, CNPS

cc: Board of Supervisors
County GPU Staff