North County Issues & Actions:
The project included the subdivision of 177 lots on 125 acres. Its original approval required 100% affordable units and now the permanence of this affordability requirement is in jeopardy.
LandWatch Position: Maintain Permanent Affordability Requirements
Project Status: Commission Retains Affordability Component
- The project applicant is Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association, Inc
- The Moro Cojo site includes 161 units northeast of the Castroville community.
- The County of Monterey is the lead agency.
- The decision was appealed to the Coastal Commission.
- The Monterey County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to remove the affordability component and allow the units to convert to market rate without replacements in January 2016.
- The applicant requested the Monterey County Planning Commission have the permanent affordability requirement last only 15 years.
- Monterey County released an Initial Study and Negative Declaration in 2015.
- The Judgment in the Alliance to Enforce Mandates v. County of Monterey, CHISPA required the project have 175 single family homes for low income, 90 multi-family rentals for very low income and a maximum of 100 affordable rental units for seniors.
- The Monterey County Board of Supervisors approved the project in December 1994.
Resources at Risk
- Lack of Affordable Units
The settlement and court judgment required affordable units be incorporated into the project and yet the restriction (through the title) was never recorded appropriately.
LandWatch engages in the public process in a variety of ways. For this project, here is a list of our engagement strategies.
- Letter: Suggested Substitute Motion for Consideration (538kb PDF)
LandWatch's primary concern is preventing any further loss of an exceedingly small stock of permanently affordable homes throughout Monterey County. The suggested substitute motion aligns with the court's decision, settlement agreement, and County policies. (07.06.17)
- Letter: Findings on Initial Study and Negative Declaration (66k PDF)
LandWatch summarizes its concerns on the Moro Cojo project's environmental review. Most concerns relate to affordability and review by other agencies. (04.07.15)
- Letter: Support to Implement Affordability Restrictions (81kb PDF)
LandWatch supports the Judgment to restrict specific units within Moro Cojo to affordable standards and meet the judge's requirements. (05.24.04)
- Letter: Comments on the Required Deed Restrictions (87kb PDF)
LandWatch outlines the requirements of the court's Judgment and reiterates the deed restrictions be implemented immediately for affordability. (05.11.04)
Can't Afford to Lose Affordable Housing
Coastal Commissioners heard testimony from many, but Supervisor Jane Parker's comments that we can't afford to lose a single unit of affordable housing was spot-on. LandWatch supported retaining the affordable units. (07.20.17)
Moro Cojo Keeps Affordability Component
In a split vote Friday, the California Coastal Commission voted to maintain the affordable housing component for the Moro Cojo development of 161 houses. One Commission summarized their concerns as needing to uphold the Coastal Act AND the North County Local Coastal Program, which required affordable units. LandWatch was against lifting the ban. (07.14.17)
- Moro Cojo/Rancho Los Robles on Appeal
Moro Cojo's appeal focuses on the loss of affordable units, while Rancho Los Robles is proposed for North County--'an area with no water. The Coastal Commission decides both appeals on July 14th. (07.07.17)
- Debate Gets Heated on Affordability
LandWatch and other organizations support maintaining permanent affordability for the Moro Cojo project. The Coastal Commission will discuss the project on July 14th. (07.02.17)
- Coastal Commission Says Look at Moro Cojo
The Coastal Commission voted 9-2 to hold a hearing on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors’ decision to remove an affordability requirement placed on the Moro Cojo Subdivision. (08.11.16)
- Decision Appealed to Coastal Commission
The Coastal Commission voted 9-2 to allow the challenge of the conversion of existing affordable units over to market-rate units. A future hearing will be set. (08.10.16)
- Board of Supervisors Remove Affordable Units
In an upsetting move the Board opted to remove affordability requirements on 161 units without the need for replacing those lost. Homeowners were required to put in “sweat equity” to create the homes and until now were being re-sold below market rates. (12.08.15)