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North County Issues & Actions

In North Monterey County, new subdivisions are proceeding at a rapid pace. This area is convenient to Silicon Valley commuters, but the resources to accommodate new growth are scarce. Groundwater is significantly overdrafted and continued development puts everyone’s water supply at risk. Elkhorn Slough, a National Estuarine Research Reserve, is threatened by continued growth, and productive agriculture may be pushed out by future residential development. LandWatch is working closely with neighborhood and other organizations to address the critical planning problems of North County.

Current Projects in the North County Area:

General Issues & Topics

North County is struggling with water quality and water quantity. Get the details on the 2000 water moratorium.

Project Proposed: 2002
LW Position: Support Moratorium
Status: Inactive


Moro Cojo

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.

Project Proposed: 1994
LW Position: Maintain Permanent Affordability Requirements
Status: Being Considered by the Coastal Commission


Rancho Los Robles

The Rancho Los Robles subdivides two parcels totaling 33 acres and constructs 54 residential units in the Elkhorn Slough watershed.

Project Proposed: 2000
LW Position: Filed a Lawsuit
Status: Approved by Coastal Commission

Archived Projects in the North County Area:

Aromas Water District Proposal

The Aromas Water District (AWD) and Local Area Formation Commission met in 2011 regarding AWD’s Sphere of Influence (SOI) amendment to add approximately 1,720 acres within the District’s SOI boundary within Monterey County.

Project Proposed: 2011
LW Position: Carefully Reviewed with Concerns
Status: Project Approved


Rancho San Juan Butterfly Village Project

The Butterfly Village project will include 1,147 homes, but will replace the proposed golf course with 342 acres of public parks and open space, increase the amount of affordable housing to 32 percent from 15 percent, double the amount of commercial space, and add a 10-acre elementary school site. After nearly 20 years of disagreement, community groups, the County and developer have found a win-win with the Butterfly Village proposal.

Project Proposed: 2003
LW Position: Opposed the Project
Status: Approved, LW Litigation Settled Project Reduced in Scope


Calpine Power Plant

A new power plant has been proposed for Pajaro that includes the construction of a 45 megawatt combustion turbine generating facility.

Project Proposed: 2002
LW Position: Requested More Review
Status: Withdrawn


Cathrein Estates

The Cathrein Estates project rezoned land from medium to high density and includes will include a 59 unit apartment complex and 6 residential lots. The project proposes to use dirt from the Hidden Ranch project adjacent to the property.

Project Proposed: 2004
LW Position: Opposed the Project
Status: Approved


Coastal Water Project

A Cease-and-Desist Order for CalAm was issued requiring the company to stop water removal from the Carmel River and Carmel Valley Aquifer. This order spurred agencies to develop a plan to balance the region’s water needs with a long standing water supply deficit.

Project Proposed: 2009
LW Position: Opposes the Plan
Status: Project Abandoned


Sunridge Views

The Sunridge Views includes the development of 10 lots on 25 acres near Elkhorn Slough. The project also included the construction of two water tanks, conversion of an existing mobile home to senior housing, some grading and the removal of a landmark tree.

Project Proposed: 2004
LW Position: Support Staff Recommendations
Status: Denied by Coastal Commission


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