Highway 68 / Toro Area Issues and Actions
The Toro Planning Area is located in the north-central area of Monterey County. It lies directly south of the City of Salinas and east of the Monterey Peninsula. Fort Ord property abuts Toro on the northwest; a minor ridgeline defines the south boundary; and the Salinas River forms the northeast boundary. About 74 square miles is included in Toro, most of which is dominated by the mountains and rolling hills of the Sierra de Salinas Range. The Toro Area Plan, as one of eight area plans of Monterey County, will be more definitive than the General Plan because of its size and geographic focus. Development opportunities and constraints and the natural resources of the Toro Planning Area are unlike those in other parts of the County, so the policies for Toro are more precisely adapted to the characteristics of this area than are the more general policies of the General Plan.
Current Projects in the Highway 68 / Toro Area:
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.
Project Proposed: 2000
LW Position:LandWatch Lawsuit Won
This 870 acre project site spans two areas south of State Route 68 between River Road and Toro Park and between San Benancio Road and Toro Park. The project has numerous impacts including: viewshed, traffic, biological resources, and water.
Project Proposed: 2005
LW Position:Appealed Court Decision
Status: Approved, Judge Upholds Approvals
State Route 68 is a designated scenic route that connects the Monterey Peninsula to US Highway 101 and the Salinas Valley. SR 68 is a key route commute travel between Salinas and Monterey for 25,000 to 30,000 vehicles each day, as well as tourism and special event traffic. The Monterey-Salinas Scenic Highway 68 Plan will evaluate current and future travel patterns between Salinas and the Monterey Peninsula, the feasibility of affordable mid-term operational and capacity improvements in the SR 68 corridor in context to other planning regional improvements serving the same commute market, and the potential for wildlife connectivity enhancements.
Project Proposed: 2016
LW Position: Supports Concept 1 (Roundabouts) to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion
Status: Transportation Agency of Monterey County (TAMC) approved Concept 1
Archived Projects in the Highway 68 / Toro Area:
The 11 acre project site proposes 10 retail buildings, a one-story grocery store and a two-story office building, totaling 126,523 square feet and 508 parking spaces and is located along Corral de Tierra and Highway 68.
Project Proposed: 2004
LW Position: Opposes the Project
Status: Courts Rule in County's Favor
The Fletcher Company (developers of the Las Palmas Ranch subdivision on River Road) wants to extend Las Palmas “over the hill” in a massive expansion of suburban development with 275 houses.
Project Proposed: ~2001
LW Position: Opposed Project
Status: Protected as Natural Lands
The project calls for the subdivision of two 38 acre parcels into 9 lots along Highway 68 near Boots Road.
Project Proposed: 2007
LW Position: Neutral, Monitoring
Status: Set for Hearing
The Tanimura Land Company has applied for a “Parcel Legality Status Determination,” asking the County to declare 73 “lots” located on farmland adjacent to the Town of Spreckels (and owned by the Tanimura Land Company as a single parcel) to be “legal lots of record.” The “lots” were designated on a map of Spreckels dated December 1906, and recorded on January 8, 1907.
Project Proposed: 2004
LW Position: Opposed