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Salinas Valley Issues & Actions

The Salinas Valley is geographically striking, and is as impressive in its own was as Carmel Valley and Big Sur. It's one of the wonders of Monterey County. It also contains the most economically productive agricultural land in the world. The tiny Salinas Valley produces almost 10% of all of the agricultural production of the entire State of California. The planning issues affecting the Salinas Valley are many. Above all, the Salinas Valley is threatened by growth pressures from both North and South. LandWatch is working hard to make sure that this priceless environmental and economic treasure is not damaged or degraded.

Current Projects in the Salinas Valley Area:

City of Salinas Economic Development Element

The City of Salinas is drafting an Economic Development Plan within its existing (2002) General Plan to create jobs and generate revenue. The City recognizes the region to be one of the epicenters of agricultural production in the nation. The City wants to capitalize on the agricultural components and add business innovation and agricultural technology.

Project Proposed: April 2014
LW Position:
Provided Comments
Project Status: Awaiting Decision


City of Salinas General Plan Update

The future growth of Salinas will have very significant impacts on the Monterey County economy and environment, and the kind of housing provided, as growth occurs, will have a determinative impact on social equity issues. The General Plan Update adopted by the Salinas City Council in 2002 proposes the conversion of over 3,000 acres of prime farmland, to accommodate new developments.

Project Proposed: 2002
LW Position: Reviewed, Suggested Changes
Status: Approved


General Issues

Salinas Valley includes many acres of important agricultural lands, which require thoughtful planning and careful consideration on many levels. Many of the issues relate to the conversion of farmland, the lack of affordable housing, and traffic impacts.

LW Position: Varies by Topic
Status:Varies by Topic


Paraiso Hot Springs Spa Resort (Greenfield)

The project proposes an “after the fact” demolition permit, the redevelopment of a resort with 77 timeshare units, 60 airspace condominium units, and the subdivision of 235 acres into 23 lots.

Project Proposed: 2005
LW Position: Commenting on DEIR
Status: Awaiting Recirculated DEIR

Archived Projects in the Salinas Valley Area:

City of Gonzales General Plan Update

The City of Gonzales launched its 2010 revision of the City’s General Plan. The City is currently working with Monterey County on a Memorandum of Agreement that expands the City’s Sphere of Influence.

Project Proposed: 2010
LW Position:Achieved Southern Growth Boundary
Status: Approved


City of Greenfield General Plan Update

The City of Greenfield prepared a General Plan Update and proposed major annexations of commercially productive agricultural land, to allow significant new residential and commercial development. Future land use decisions in Greenfield raise important planning policy questions.

Project Proposed: 2002
LW Position: Opposed
Status: Approved


City of Soledad Growth Plan

The City of Soledad proposes expanding its Sphere of Influence. Additionally, the County and City propose, through an agreement, to work cooperatively to jointly plan for new growth. As part of this process the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) will be involved.

Project Proposed: 2016
LW Position: Closely Monitoring
Status: Partially Approved


D'Arrigo Brothers Agricultural Processing Facility

The City of Soledad proposes expanding its Sphere of Influence. Additionally, the County and City propose, through an agreement, to work cooperatively to jointly plan for new growth. As part of this process the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) will be involved.

Project Proposed: 2002
LW Position: Opposes the Project
Status: Approved


Granite Construction (Gonzales)

Granite Construction is proposing a new quarry on 333 acres in the foothills northeast of Gonzales. It would operate for the next 113 years. Included in the project is an aggregate open pit mine (using explosives to blast hillsides away), a hot asphalt plant, a Portland cement plant, and asphalt and concrete recycling facilities.

Project Proposed: 2006
LW Position: Reviewed, No Position
Status: Approved


San Antonio Apartments Project (King City)

King City residents need affordable quality housing to thrive and a development proposal came forward which provides adequate housing for low income residents.

Project Proposed: 2011
LW Position: Supported the Project
Status: Approved


Smith & Hook Winery Expansion (Soledad)

The Smith and Hook Winery proposed an expansion of its existing facilities in Soledad. The proposal included the creation of a Demonstration Culinary Center and banquet facilities among other facilities. The County proposed to approve this expansion with a categorical exemption.

Project Proposed: 2011
LW Position: Opposed the Project
Status: Approved


Tanimura & Antle Farmworker Housing (Spreckles)

The Tanimura and Antle Farmerworker Housing project includes the construction of 100 units of housing for agricultural employees on 4.5 acres. It is anticipated the housing would be occupied mainly during the harvest season (April - November) and include 200 -800 adult employees.

Project Proposed: 2015
LW Position: Supportst the Project
Status: Approved


Walnut Avenue Specific Plan (Greenfield)

The City of Greenfield proposes the Walnut Avenue Specific Plan which encompasses a 62.6 acre project site proposed a maximum development capacity of 445,000 square feet of commercial use, 220 high-density dwelling units, and useable recreation and open space of up to about two acres.

Project Proposed: 2012
LW Position: Commented on DEIR
Status: Accepting Comments


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