Monterey County Issues & Actions:
Growth & Development
LandWatch closely follows growth and development issues that affect Monterey County. By getting involved in policy and project decisions at an early point, local residents can often make a tremendous difference.
Monterey County Grows in 2015
Did you see the article from this weekend's Monterey Herald that outlined population details? Monterey County has grown by 1% based on data from the CA Dept. of Finance. The county went from 432,637 to 437,178 people. In fact, Soledad grew by 3% and was in the top 16 highest growth rates statewide. (05.14.16)
Editorial Picks on the Wrong People
The editorial in Sunday's Monterey Herald newspaper on growth control is intriguing. The Herald editorial board brings up critical issues facing Monterey County as they relate to development and the ability of millennials (those that reached adulthood around 2000) to remain here.
What the editorial leaves out is that research shows millennials prefer to live in higher density cities with ready access to public transportation. Unfortunately in Monterey County, major development proposals seem to be pulled out of pages from a 1960's era planning textbook favoring automobile-centric office parks and larger lot subdivisions--think Ferrini Ranch, Harper Canyon, September Ranch, Rancho San Juan, Marina Heights, etc.
The Herald goes on to say that NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) neighbors are controlling the process, but fails to bring up the most obvious and critical player in the equation--elected officials! Elected officials have discretion over most land use decisions. They have the power to say "no" to developments that don't serve the needs of our community of low to median wage earners and millennials, just like they have the power to incentivize the kind of development that will provide opportunities for millennials.
Seems to me the Herald is picking on the wrong folks. (02.02.16)
Peninsula Water Rationing Plan Gets Reviewed
A new plan for water rationing on the Peninsula undergoes public review today. The new plan sets up four water conservation stages (instead of the current seven stages). The current plan was initially set up to address the ordered cutbacks from the Carmel River. (11.30.15)
TAMC Development Standards Should Be "Required"
The TAMC staff has recommended the adoption of some "Development Principles" that would improve local planning. They're suggesting that these principles be "recommendations." LandWatch urges TAMC to make them "required." (02.18.04)
New Book on Town Planning
Architect Gene Zellmer is thinking "out of the box." In his new book, A Town Primarily for People, Zellmer is advocating a radical new concept in urban design, which would deemphasize the automobile, and make both urban and rural amenities directly available to town residents. Find out more at his website, where you can also order this stimulating new book. (01.27.04)
"Traditional Neighborhood Design" Means Better Planning
Bigger is not always better for our communities. But if our communities do make the decision to get bigger, we need to make sure that they get better at the same time. Good planning can make the difference! (10.10.02)
Could Rancho San Carlos Nullify Measure M?
The voter-approved Measure M allowed for the Ranch San Carlos property to have its commercial zoning removed in favor of resource protection. Activists are now saying the developer is trying to sneak through a new land use category. (08.15.02)
Schoolteacher Unveils County Deceptions
Going on instinct, a local watchdog—Pat Bernardi—felt something “just wasn’t right.” Projects with serious environmental impacts were getting rubberstamped, departments were supporting projects and dismissing impacts. It became clear after filing a lawsuit that developers and their consultants were writing the staff reports, final approvals and more. With a word change here and there it meant the difference between a project approval and going back to the board for approval. A judge issued an order that no outside written document could bear the County’s seal. (12.14.00)
Monterey Population Growth Accelerating
The Department of Finance has released the latest figures on California's growth. Monterey County is now growing at 3% per year, and is tied with Placer County, near Sacramento, as the fourth fastest growing county in California. The 3% per year growth rate has increased from a 2.7% per year growth rate in 1998. (5.3.00)
Chualar Community Housing Tests Development Limits
The Chualar Town Sewage Facility is operating at 175% capacity and yet more development is proposed. The often caustic, gagging and overwhelming smell brings to light government’s incompetence… while more affordable housing is needed, is this the right place to put it? (01.15.98)
Rancho San Carlos Proposal
Could the proposal to build on 10% of the Ranch San Carlos’ 20,000 acres be a new way for development to occur in the 21st century? Conservation of a majority of the parcel allows for the largest privately held piece of property in Monterey to get a luxury gated golf community with all sorts of amenities. (12.10.92)