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Draft Monterey County General Plan Update Now Available

The draft Monterey County General Plan Update (GPU) is now ready for review. Copies are available at all branches of public libraries, at all branches of the Free Monterey County Libraries, and on the county website:

http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/gpu/Reports/index.html

A "hard copy"or a CD Rom copy of the Draft General Plan Update may also be obtained from the county planning staff, at 240 Church Street in Salinas, or at 2620 1st Avenue in Marina (located on the former Fort Ord). You can contact the staff by telephone at: 831-755-5065.

A Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) evaluating the Draft GPU will be released in about one month. Public ìOpen Housesî are expected in March, and formal hearings will be held beginning in April.

The Draft GPU is a ìheftyî document, over 500 pages in length, but it is well worth reviewing. The General Plan is the ìConstitutionî for land use in Monterey County, and will determine the future of growth and development in all parts of Monterey County outside of the incorporated cities.

The residents of Monterey County have inherited great local treasures, like Monterey Bay, the Big Sur, Arroyo Seco and Elkhorn Slough. Our agricultural land is the most productive agricultural land in the world. We need to protect these vital economic and environmental resources.

The Draft General Plan Update, based on objectives adopted by the County Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors, shows that County planners have listened to the community. Many policies in the Draft GPU protect our valuable natural resources while addressing the region's affordable housing needs.

This Draft is only a ìdraft,î however, and grassroots public involvement is going to be absolutely vital, as the General Plan approval process proceeds. A good ìfirst startî can be made even better, and we need to be prepared to oppose the weakening amendments that will be sought by development interests. LandWatch urges you to read the Draft General Plan Update, and to stand by to participate in the upcoming review process.

Be assured that LandWatch will keep you advised!

1/08/02