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Salinas Valley Issues & Actions:
Encina Hills / Harper Canyon

The Encina Hills project (also known as the Harper Canyon subdivision) would create 17 lots on 164 acres along Highway 68. Lots would range from 5 acres to over 23 acres.

Quick Facts:

  • The project applicant is Harper Canyon Realty LLC.

  • The project (as approved) proposes to subdivide one 344 acre parcel into 17 single-family lots on 164 acres with one 180 acre remainder parcel.

  • The County of Monterey is the lead agency.

  • The project is governed by the policies of the 1982 Monterey County General Plan.

Project Status:

Project Location Map

The proposed Harper Canyon / Encina Hills project is southwest of Salinas near Highway 68 (142K PDF file)
Map Credit: County of Monterey, Harper Canyon/Eninca Hills Draft Environmental Impact Report (October 2008)
 
The proposed Harper Canyon / Encina Hills project abuts Harper Canyon Road near Toro Regional Park. (488K PDF file)
Map Credit: County of Monterey, Harper Canyon/Eninca Hills Draft Environmental Impact Report (October 2008)
 
The proposed residential development with Harper Canyon’s project location behind Ferrini Ranch. (4.2M PDF file}

Resources At Risk

  • Poor Planning
    This project is a text-book example of suburban sprawl.

  • Water Supply
    The water supply and quality in this area are already in crisis, and the Encina Hills project would exacerbate existing traffic problems without offering any meaningful mitigation.

  • Geology
    The project includes development on slopes greater than 30% and removal of 79 coast live oak trees.

LandWatch Involvement

Project History

  • Californian Highlights Harper Canyon Concerns
    Great article in the Californian highlighting LandWatch's concerns about Harper Canyon. The two issues mentioned were water supply and traffic. Executive Director Amy White is quoted in the article. Check it out! (04.13.15)

  • LandWatch OpEd Highlights Bad Land Use Decision
    In an OpEd by LandWatch’s Executive Director Amy White, she points out the egregious staff report and the use of false arguments unsupported by facts which led to the approval of the Harper Canyon project. (04.09.15) 
  • Harper Canyon Project on Brink of ApprovalLandWatch argued that seawater intrusion was already an issue an approving the Harper Canyon development would further exacerbate the problem. The Board of Supervisors approved the project anyways stating the Groundwater Sustainability Act was not applicable yet. (03.03.15)

  • Attorney Letter Requests More Time (1.6M PDF file)
    The developer's attorney has requested additional time to complete the second well test due to a malfunctioning pump. (11.25.14)

  • Two Projects Go to Supervisors in December
    Both the Ferrini Ranch and Encina Hills (Harper Canyon) projects go before the Board of Supervisors on December 2nd. Both projects have water supply issues but have received different considerations by the Planning Commission. Ferrini Ranch was recommended for approval, while Harper Canyon was not. (11.16.14)

  • Staff Drafts Denial Language for Supervisors (239K PDF) (08.26.14)
    The project was back before the Board last week, August 26th, and the developers asked for even more time to conduct the well test. LandWatch hoped the Supervisors would do the right thing by denying the project – denying the project was absolutely in the board’s discretion and planning staff even prepared a resolution for denial.

  • Harper Canyon Development Heads to Supervisors
    The developer of the Harper Canyon property appealed the Planning Commission’s denial to the Board of Supervisors. The Board is expected to decide the 344-acre project’s fate on May 13. (05.12.14)

  • Harper Canyon Goes Before Supervisors
    As you may recall the Monterey County Planning Commission wisely turned down the Encina Hills/Harper Canyon development proposal in January. The land owner appealed the decision to the Board of Supervisors.

    Through numerous letters commenting on the development proposal, LandWatch outlined the project’s deficiencies, including: poor planning, lack of water supply and steep geologically uncertain slopes.

    It is important for you to email the Board of Supervisors (cob@co.monterey.ca.us) and urge them to reject the developers’ appeal and uphold the Planning Commission’s wise “no” vote on this project. Please consider attending the meeting on Tuesday, May 13th at 1:30 PM. Meetings are held at the County offices at: 168 West Alisal St., 1st Floor Salinas, CA 93901. (05.05.14)


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