Monterey Peninsula Issues & Actions:
Villas De Carmelo
The proposed Villas De Carmelo project is a subdivision to convert 10,350 square feet of an existing hospital structure into nine condo units and construct 37 additional condo units in the unincorporated County near Carmel off Highway 1.
LandWatch Position: Supported Alternative 8
Project Status: Denied
The project applicant is Rigoulette, LLC.
The project would convert an existing hospital structure into nine condominium units and construct 37 additional units.
Monterey County is the lead agency.
The project is governed by the policies of the 1982 Monterey County General Plan and is within the Carmel Area Land Use Plan.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously denied the project in November 2011.
Then the Planning Commission reversed its decision and recommend the Supervisors approve the project in August 2011.
The Planning Commission recommended denial of the project in June 2011.
The City of Carmel opposed the project.
The Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report was available in August 2010. (11.1M PDF file)
The Draft Environmental Impact Report was available for public comment April 17 through June 5, 2009 and again via a recirculated EIR August 8, 2010 through September 16, 2010. (22.9M PDF file)
The County has planned to do a Mitigated Negative Declaration, but after public pressure decided to do a full Environmental Impact Report.
Project Location Map
This map shows the Villas de Carmelo project in relation to surrounding areas.
This map shows the Villas de Carmelo project with its parcel boundary outlined.
Resources At Risk
Impacts to Water Supply
The Regional Desalination Project is described as being approved and identified as replacing existing water supplies that are constrained by legal decisions. Additionally, the project has been delayed due to alleged conflict of interest allegations. Thus, assurance that the project will replace existing water supplies is lacking.
Impacts to the Traffic
Highway 1 and Carpenter Street intersection is already a Level of Service (LOS) C. With this development it would drop to a LOS D. The FEIR should be revised to find the project’s cumulative impact on traffic significant and unavoidable.
Lack of Affordable Units
Payment of the in-lieu proposed by the applicant does not address the shortage of affordable housing on the Peninsula while rehabilitating existing structures to include some affordable units would meet an unmet community need.
LandWatch engages in the public process in a variety of ways. For this project, here is a list of our engagement strategies.
Letter: Support for Alternative 8 (85K PDF file)
LandWatch expressed its concern for the project, proposed amendment to the Local Coastal Plan, and its numerous impacts. Getting comments first from the California Coastal Commission will help when the County considers the project. (06.29.11)
Letter: Comments on the Final Environmental Impact Report (49K PDF file)
LandWatch submittec comments on the projects impacts as it relates to: traffic and water. (06.27.11)
State Water Resources Control Board Position on the Project. (979K PDF file)
The SWRCB reviewed the proposed Villas de Carmelo project and said because this project would upzone to high density residential there will undoubtedly be an increase in water use at the site since 2005 when the hospital closed. Therefore, if Cal-Am were to serve the new 46-unit residential condominiums with water from the Carmel River, Cal-Am would likely violate Condition 2 of the Cease and Desist order. This is significant new information that was not evaluated in the Environmental Impact Report. Because the project would likely violate the State's Cease and Desist Order, the project would have significant unevaluated and unmitigated impacts with regard to water. LandWatch is disappointed the County did not take the state’s position seriously and approved the project as it is currently proposed anyway. (08.16.11)
Planning Commission Recommends Project Denial
The Planning Commission held a hearing on the project on June 29, 2011. At that hearing the commission voted 5-4 to recommend denial of the project. At that hearing LandWatch submitted a letter to the commission opposing the project as currently configured because of impacts on water, traffic, surrounding land uses, and a lack of affordable housing. Furthermore, LandWatch is concerned the County failed to follow the Coastal Commission’s advice to seek an amendment to the Local Coastal Plan (LCP) before holding hearing on the project. The proposed project conflicts with many LCP policies and also raises significant concerns with policies in Chapter 3 of the Coastal Act. LandWatch believes the County should consider the application after the Coastal Commission acts on this project because the outcome of the LCP amendment process will identify a project that is consistent with Coastal Act requirements. (06.29.11)
LandWatch Board Supports Alternative 8
The project as proposed would create significant impacts to water and traffic, and is far too large for the site. However the LandWatch Board believes re-development of the site is appropriate. The LandWatch Board voted in June to support a project alternative, Alternative 8: the Hybrid Existing and High Density Zoning Alternative identified in the draft EIR. This alternative meets most of the project’s objectives while greatly reducing environmental impacts. Alternative 8 would: rehabilitate the historic resource under a new High Density residential zoning; provide seven single family residents on the remainder of the project site under the existing MDR/2 zoning; avoid the significant and unavoidable impact to scenic resources; lessen the overall impacts of the development by reducing the area of development and the number of residential units; establish a high quality residential community to house future county residents; provide market rate, affordable, and workforce housing stock to the Monterey Peninsula; and reuse vacant buildings on a site with infill development. (06.27.11)