Help Maintain the North County Water Moratorium
Concerned North County residents are asking the Board of Supervisors to maintain the current development moratorium in North Monterey County, where serious groundwater overdraft is occurring. If youíd like to help, please print out the petition, get as many signatures as you can, and then return it as indicated on the petition form. A public hearing will be held before the Board of Supervisors on January 22, 2002. Mark your calendar if you can attend.
Information and Instructions
From: Carolyn Anderson, Co-Chair
North County Citizens Oversight Coalition
About a year and a half ago, residents of North Monterey County pressed for and won a suspension of new subdivision applications for 18 months. We sought this action because of continued water quality and quantity problems in North County. These include saltwater intrusion, nitrate contamination and wells running dry. As a matter of fact, at current usage, with no new development, North County exceeds a 200% annual overdraft of our aquifers. Despite objections of developers, even with no new subdivision approvals, development can continue because more than 2700 lots of record exist in North County.
The Board of Supervisors was unwilling to consider a longer suspension than 18 months. The majority of the board argued that the county's new General Plan would be completed within that timeframe and that the General Plan would guide development on a more permanent basis.
During the period of debate, and before the moratorium was put in place, new subdivision applications in North County escalated. These applications which made it "under the wire" have been allowed to continue in the approval process. The 18-month moratorium draws to a close on February 9, 2002, and the first draft of the General Plan is just out, with public hearings on the GPU not even scheduled to begin until March.
With the General Plan nowhere near completion and the water moratorium about to expire, residents in North County are deeply concerned about the approaching gap in protection against rampant development here. Unabated development in North County would continue to erode our already imperiled water supply. The human implications are obvious. However, because most of North County lies within the Elkhorn Slough Watershed, the environmental consequences would be severe as well.
The Citizens Oversight Coalition in North County is planning to ask for an extension in the moratorium until the completion and implementation of the General Plan. On January 22¸2002 we're going to present a signed petition to the Board of Supervisors. We want to send a strong message to the Board of Supervisors that North County wants responsible growth, growth that allows us to live within the carrying capacity of our land. But the decision won't be made by Supervisors from our district alone. Supervisors in other districts need to understand that their constituents expect the same thing -- for themselves as well as for others. In short, we need all the help we can get. Thanks for circulating this petition, and getting signed copies back to me prior to January 22nd.
As with all petitions, be polite and not pushy. I will be happy to respond to any questions. My phone number is: 831-728-3740.