LandWatch.org

Letters To The Editor – Now’s The Time!

Please act quickly to try to convince members of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors that they must maintain the integrity of the draft General Plan Update. LandWatch is recommending a genuine “barrage" of letters to the Editor—with copies to your Supervisor.

The Board of Supervisors is making decisions that appear to be undermining the basic principles on which the draft General Plan Update is based. The draft General Plan Update was good. It directed growth into the cities, and into areas that are already committed to urban development, where urban infrastructure exists. The draft plan protects rural, agricultural and open space lands.

Without officially saying that they are rejecting the draft plan, the Board is now voting to disregard its basic principles. Area by area, the Board is considering landowner requests to allow future development. And they’re granting many of these requests—even though approving them contradicts the twelve guiding objectives upon which the draft General Plan Update is based. (These twelve objectives, remember, came out of an extensive public outreach program, and were adopted by both the Planning Commission and the Board itself).

A recent poll of Monterey County voters found that an astounding 80% of the public supports a strong General Plan Update that stops most rural development, and that focuses future development into the cities, and onto the former Fort Ord. When presented with those polling results, one Supervisor is reported to have said, “the people who count don’t think that."

Please write a Letter to the Editor—and do it immediately. Send a copy to your Supervisor. Address information is included at the end of this alert.

Please dramatize for the Board of Supervisors that members of the public know what’s going on, and that they want their representatives to vote for a General Plan that carries out all of the principles outlined below. These are the principles that are the “heart and soul" of the General Plan Update. These are the planning principles that must be enacted. Property owner requests to develop must be turned down, when they contradict these good planning principles, because in the end, it’s the public interest, not the special interests that count the most! Ultimately, Board Members know that. Let’s remind them again!

Principles:

  1. The Board must be sure that the final plan directs new growth into areas already committed to an urban level of development, and strongly discourages new subdivisions in rural areas.

  2. The Board should strongly encourage new commercial, industrial and residential development to provide actual, new, permanently affordable living quarters. LandWatch supports the “CHISPA Plan" that will require the developers of new residential subdivisions to provide 40% of the new dwelling units for persons with average and below average incomes—and that will permanently protect them for sale to persons of average and below average income.

  3. The Board should promote, preserve and support agriculture and the industries that support it. (This 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. The Board must ensure that there will be 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. The Board should provide strong protections for the natural resources of Monterey County.

  6. Finally, the Board should make sure that the GPU establishes a 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.

Newspapers:

Monterey County Herald
Email for Letters: mheditor@montereyherald.com
Fax for Letters: 831-655-2749

Salinas Californian
Email for Letters: newsroom@salinas.gannett.com
Fax for Letters: 831-754-4293

Supervisors:

Dave Potter, Chair (Big Sur, Monterey Peninsula, Highway 68)
1200 Aguajito Road, Suite 001
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone: (831) 647-7755
FAX: (831) 647-7695
Email: district5@co.monterey.ca.us

Fernando Armenta, Vice Chair (Salinas)
60 West Market Street, Suite 110
Salinas, CA 93901
Phone: (831) 755-5077
FAX: (831) 755-5876
Email: district1@co.monterey.ca.us

Louis Calcagno (Moss Landing to South County)
10681 Mc Dougall Street
P.O. Box 787
Castroville, CA 95012
Phone: (831) 755-5063
FAX: (831) 633-0201
Email: district3@co.monterey.ca.us

Edith Johnsen (Marina, Seaside)
2616 1st Avenue
Marina, CA 93933
Phone: (831) 883-7570
FAX: (831) 384-1839
Email: district4@co.monterey.ca.us

Judy Pennycook (Prunedale, North County)
1000 South Main Street, Suite 213
Salinas, CA 93901
Phone: (831) 755-5022
FAX: (831) 755-5431
Email: district2@co.monterey.ca.us

[Return to County Plan Update Issues and Actions]

posted 10/03/02