KUSP LandWatch News
Week of February 24, 2003 to February 28, 2003

KUSP provides a brief Land Use Report on KUSP Radio. Tune in every weekday at 6:33 or 8:49 am. KUSP is at 88.9 FM in General Coverage, 105.9 FM in Big Sur Valley, 91.3 FM in Palo Colorado Canyon, and 91.7 FM in San Ardo. Archives of past transcripts are available here.

Week of February 24, 2003 to February 28, 2003

The following Land Use Reports have been presented on KUSP Radio by Gary Patton, Executive Director of LandWatch Monterey County. The opinions expressed by Mr. Patton are not necessarily those of KUSP Radio, nor of any of its sponsors.

Monday, February 24, 2003 – Permit Reforms in Santa Cruz County
Good land use policies are clear and unambiguous. They actually state, as a matter of principle, what the community wants. Every community will have a slightly different “take” on what policies are best. The key, though, is to make sure that fundamental decisions about land use are at made at a “policy” level, not at a “project” level. Making the most important decisions at the “project” level really means making up land use policy as the community goes along. That way of making land use decisions (which is quite common) provides maximum “flexibility,” but often results in a community without any substantive land use policies at all. To achieve a land use decision-making system that is policy-based, or principle-based, a community must make the tough decisions “up front,” as a matter of policy.

When a community is willing to make its most important land use decisions “up front,” as a matter of policy, it is then possible to speed up the permit process. This is a big advantage for the development community.

Tomorrow, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors has several very important permit process reform items on its agenda. The entire agenda packet is on line, and you can send the Board an email on any of these items, with a click of your mouse. Visit the KUSP website for more information. It’s at

For KUSP, this is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors


Principles of Good Land Use Policy

Tuesday, February 25, 2003 – Monterey County And The Valley Cities
The Monterey County Board of Supervisors is meeting today, and their agenda is chock full of land use items. The meeting starts at 9:30 a.m., at the County Courthouse in Salinas. By 10:00 o’clock, the Board is scheduled to begin taking up a series of land use permit and policy items.

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, which is also meeting today, and which is also handling key land use policy matters, has a sophisticated and effective way of making its materials available to the public. If you have web access, you can get a copy of any agenda item that the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors is considering, and can send the Board an email, commenting on the item, which will be delivered directly to Board Members. The Monterey County system isn’t quite that slick, but you can get a full agenda listing online. If you’d like to see what these Boards of Supervisors are doing today, click on the Land Use Report link at the KUSP website,

Probably the most important land use policy item on the agenda of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors is scheduled for 4:30 this afternoon. At that time, the Board is going to discuss the progress of discussions between the County and the five Salinas Valley cities. Where new growth goes is the issue. It’s hard to imagine a more important topic.

For KUSP, this is Gary Patton.

More Information:

You can obtain a copy of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors Agenda (and send them an email) by going to their website at:

Agenda for the Monterey County Board of Supervisors

Wednesday, February 26, 2003 – City of Monterey And Its GPU
If you are a Monterey city resident, or are interested in the future of the Monterey Peninsula, you might want to modify your afternoon plans. This afternoon, from 4:00 to 6:00, at the Monterey City Hall, the City Council will be holding an important study session, to discuss key policy issues in the Draft Monterey City General Plan.

I belabor loyal KUSP listeners with the drumbeat of a constant refrain: a community’s General Plan is its most important statement about what the community wants the future to be. The General Plan makes a difference. If you care about the future of your community, you ought to be involved in charting that future through the local General Plan. Well, this afternoon, Monterey City residents can put their toes in the water. The meeting isn’t going to be a decision-making session. It’s going to be an information-delivery opportunity. I hope some of you can make it.

The City of Monterey has established a General Plan Committee, which is now nearing the end of its labors. Very soon, a proposed update to the current General Plan will be officially circulated for public comment and environmental review. This afternoon, you can get an advance peak at some of the concepts that may be advanced. These include significant changes in traffic patterns in the “New Monterey” area (near the Aquarium), and a proposal for a new type of “mixed use” development in existing commercial districts.

For KUSP, this is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Monterey City General Plan

Thursday, February 27, 2003 – Water Management on the Peninsula
Water and land use are very much related. This evening, there are a couple of opportunities to find out more about water issues that affect the Monterey Peninsula and North Monterey County.

At 7:00 p.m., the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District is meeting at the Seaside City Hall, and will consider a proposed ordinance to reinstate water use credit transfers. This ordinance would allow the transfer of water use credits from one commercial site to another, and from a commercial site to the water allocation account maintained by each local jurisdiction. This proposed change in the law would be part of the settlement of a lawsuit brought against the District by the cities of Monterey, Seaside, Sand City, Pacific Grove, Carmel, and Del Rey Oaks. Enactment of this ordinance, in other words, addresses a past controversy of really monumental proportions.

If you’re inclined to future controversies, you might want to head to Prunedale, and attend a forum to be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Prunedale Grange. This forum will focus on a plan recently announced by the California-American Water Company, to build a major desalination plant at Moss Landing. Oddly enough, while the plant is proposed for North Monterey County, Cal-Am wants to use the new water to solve the water deficit on the Monterey Peninsula. One of the controversial aspects of the Cal-Am idea is that it would displace any need to get voter approval.

For KUSP, this is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Monterey Peninsula Water Management District

Desalination Forum

Friday, February 28, 2003 – Schedule Ahead For Pajaro Workshops
The little community of Pajaro, located right across the river from the City of Watsonville, has lots of problems, and lots of possibilities. This is, of course, the general human condition. We all have both problems and possibilities, and so do each of our communities. In Pajaro, it’s perhaps fair to say that the problems are visible, and the possibilities not so much. That doesn’t mean that the possibilities aren’t there. In fact, Monterey County has established a governmental agency whose job it is to make the possibilities more visible, in order to stimulate the actions that can realize them.

This agency is the Redevelopment Agency of Monterey County. It uses the magic of tax-increment financing to help revitalize and stimulate new and positive developments within the communities of Castroville, Pajaro, Boronda, and the former Fort Ord.

If you’d like to find out more about the Agency’s plans for Pajaro, plan ahead for these upcoming meetings:

Both these meetings will be held at the Pajaro Middle School Gymnasium, at 250 Salinas Road, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

For KUSP, this is Gary Patton.

More Information:

County Redevelopment Agency –

Pajaro Redevelopment

For More Information Contact Action Pajaro Valley

Archives of past transcripts are available here