FORA Bill Before Senate Committee
According to existing state law, the Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) was “established to prepare, adopt, finance and implement a plan for the future use and development of the territory occupied by the Ford Ord military base.” FORA is slated to sunset on June 30, 2014, but State Assembly member Bill Monning’s Assembly Bill 1614 would extend the sunset date for FORA by another 10 years, until 2025. This may seem like a simple extension; however a lot has happened politically, economically and otherwise that greatly impacts the Fort Ord area and the feasibility of extension.
LandWatch Monterey County has opposed AB 1614 until five conditions are met. First, the FORA Plan, adopted in 1997, should be updated at least every ten years beginning in 2014 to account for new laws, changing land use patterns and economic conditions. Second, instead of planning for future road capacity needs, a focus on the infrastructure and land uses that address urban blight should be a requirement of the plan revisions. Third, the appeal process and associated fees of $5000 are excessive and deny the public a right to petition their government; therefore, LandWatch supports eliminating the fees. Fourth, with a Plan that hasn’t been updated in 15 years and policies that aren’t consistently followed, LandWatch supports improved enforcement of an Updated FORA Plan. Finally, FORA should develop and adopt a Phase-Out Plan. Only the last condition has been met.
As of early July, the bill is in the Senate Committee on Government and Finance for its third read.