KUSP LandWatch News
Week of July 31, 2006 to August 4, 2006

Get the KUSP Landuse in Podcast format!

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 July 31, 2006 to August 4, 2006

The following Land Use Reports have been presented on KUSP Radio by Gary A. Patton. The Wittwer & Parkin law firm is located in Santa Cruz, California, and practices environmental and governmental law. As part of its practice, the law firm files litigation and takes other action on behalf of its clients, which are typically private individuals, governmental agencies, environmental organizations, or community groups. Whenever the Land Use Report comments on an issue with which the Wittwer & Parkin law firm is involved on behalf of a client, Mr. Patton will make this relationship clear, as part of his commentary. Mr. Patton’s comments do not represent the views of Wittwer & Parkin, LLP, KUSP Radio, nor of any of its sponsors.

Gary Patton's Land Use Links
Monday, July 31, 2006
Wednesday at the Fish and Game Commission
On Wednesday, August 2nd, the California Fish and Game Commission is going to be holding an important hearing in Sacramento. The meeting begins at 10:00 a.m., and a number of Central Coast residents are going to be in attendance, including Kaitilin Gaffney, who staffs the Ocean Conservancy office in Santa Cruz, and Rick Hawley, Executive Director of Greenspace, the Cambria Land Trust, who will be speaking on behalf of the Planning and Conservation League. You are very much invited to join them at what is expected to be the final and conclusive hearing in a long process of determining the scope and extent of Marine Protected Areas along the Central Coast.

My weekday radio presentations come to you under the title, “The Land Use Report,” so you might wonder why I am trying to stimulate your participation in a hearing focused on the protection of marine resources. The short answer is that land and sea are connected. Future land uses on the Central Coast will reflect, in significant ways, the kind of marine resources we are able to protect. Furthermore, and probably even more important, land use policies affect our marine resources directly. After we have established Marine Protected Areas, we’re likely going to have to change our land use rules to achieve our marine protection goals. There is a lot more information on this topic on the KUSP website. I hope you’ll follow up, and that I’ll see you in Sacramento on Wednesday.

For KUSP, this is Gary Patton.

More Information

Department of Fish and Game Website

Marine Life Protection Act Webpage

The Department’s Proposal

The Conservation Proposal

Public Comments

Comments in Sierra Club Ventana Magazine

For more information contact Kaitilin Gaffney of the Ocean Conservancy -

Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Cannery Row Parking / The New City Hall

On Tuesday, August 8th, the Monterey City Planning Commission will meet from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., at the Monterey City Hall, and will consider recommendations made by the Cannery Row and Lighthouse Avenue Parking Adjustment Subcommittee. Cannery Row is an important tourist destination, and Lighthouse Avenue not only provides the major access to Cannery Row, but is an attractive area in its own right, with business destinations that appeal not only to tourists, but that serve local residents. Visitors, residents, and lots of small businesses will be directly affected by any change in the parking rules that are applied in the Cannery Row neighborhood. This may be a meeting you should attend.

On the citizen action front, a referendum petition is circulating, to provide voters with an opportunity to “rethink” the new Monterey City Office complex, recently approved by the Monterey City Council. If petition circulators are successful, a referendum election will let the voters decide whether or not to build that new office structure. The last day to sign the petition is August 4th, which means there isn’t much time left. If you’d like to sign the petition, signature-gatherers can be found at the Monterey Post Office, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 o’clock, and they’ll be at the Monterey Downtown Farmers’ Market, tonight, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

There is more information on both the City Planning Commission meeting, and on the referendum effort, below.

For KUSP, this is Gary Patton.

More Information

Monterey City Website

Planning Commission Agenda For August 8th

Information on the voter referendum is available at

You can also contact the campaign by telephone at 831-646-8142 or by email at

Wednesday, August 2, 2006
Protesting at LAFCO

LAFCO means “Local Agency Formation Commission,” and LAFCO is one of the most important local government agencies affecting land use. However, I need to qualify that description. Unlike most local government agencies, the members of a local LAFCO cannot change the basic policies that direct their work, nor can local voters change those policies. City Councils can change city policies. Boards of Supervisors can change county policies. Water District directors can change water district policies, and the voters can make such changes, too, using their initiative powers. In the case of LAFCO, the policies to be applied are established by state law, and neither the members of local LAFCOs nor the voters can change them.

I follow LAFCO issues quite closely, and the Santa Cruz County LAFCO makes it easy. You can “subscribe” to emailed notices from the Santa Cruz County LAFCO, and they will keep you up to date on what’s happening. Listeners in San Luis Obispo County and Monterey County might suggest to their local LAFCOs that they adopt a comparable system.

The latest notice I received from the Santa Cruz County LAFCO alerted me to a “protest” possibility. LAFCO has approved the reorganization of fire districts located in the Aptos area. If you’re an Aptos area resident, and want either to support or oppose this reorganization, check out the Landwatch website. There is lots of information there!

For KUSP, this is Gary Patton.

More Information

Santa Cruz County LAFCO Website

Map of the annexation area

Resolution Ordering Protest Proceedings

Notice of August 30, 2006 Public Hearing

Subscribe to LAFCO Notices
(Link is at the bottom of the page)

Monterey County LAFCO Website

San Luis Obispo County LAFCO Website

Thursday, August 3, 2006
Scheduling Your Participation!

The Monterey County Planning Commission will soon take comments on the proposed Monterey County General Plan Update. The document they will review is popularly called “GPU-4,” since it’s the fourth version of a General Plan Update document to be produced by the County. When the update process began in 1999, the Board promised Monterey County residents a “world-class” revision to the seriously outdated 1982 General Plan. Seven years later, it’s hard to call the results “world-class.” In fact, each successive version of the document has weakened the proposed land use policies, and the “GPU-4” document, in a number of ways, would actually allow more sprawl and development than the current 1982 General Plan.

There are only two pieces of good news about the process. First, local residents have put together their own General Plan Update proposal, and have qualified it for the ballot. While the developers immediately attacked the initiative with a lawsuit, there’s at least some chance that the voters will get to vote on the “Community General Plan” in November.

The other piece of good news is that the Planning Commission will seriously consider public comments on the “GPU-4” document. Check the KUSP website for the full list of upcoming hearings. The first hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, August 16th, at 1:00 p.m. Mark your calendar!

For KUSP, this is Gary Patton.

More Information

County GPU Website

LandWatch Website

Schedule of Hearings

  • August 16th – Land Use, housing, economic development, agriculture
  • August 23rd – Conservation and open space, safety
  • September 6th – Public services
  • September 20th – Circulation and transportation
  • October 4th – Area Plans

All hearings are scheduled to take place in the Monterey County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 168 West Alisal Street, Salinas. The August 16th meeting will start at 1:00 p.m. No other times have been set. This schedule is subject to change!

Friday, August 4, 2006
The Legislature Reconvenes Next Monday

The State Legislature returns from its summer recess on August 7th. It will complete its 2005-2006 legislative session by August 31st. The Legislature will be considering a number of bills affecting land use policy, and some are quite important. The most important bill of all, though, is Assembly Bill 32, the “Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.”

This bill is being carried by the Speaker of the Assembly, Fabian Nuñez. It would establish “caps” on the emission of global warming pollution, and require California to reduce its global warming emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

I hope that most of you have seen “An Inconvenient Truth,” the film featuring former Vice President Al Gore. The film was given a free screening by Assembly Member John Laird a few weeks ago, at the Nickelodeon Theatre in downtown Santa Cruz. If you missed the free screening, I’m sorry; but this is a show worth paying to see! If that film and the record-breaking hot weather we’ve been experiencing don’t convince you that global warming is a clear and present danger to our environment, society, and economy, please let me know, I’ll try to connect you up with even more material.

You can help make California a leader in combating global warming. Passing AB 32 is step one, but changes in land use policy are needed as well. Perhaps they’re even more important. Please let me know if you’d like to help.

For KUSP, this is Gary Patton.

More Information

LegInfo Website

AB 32

To become a part of PCL’s “Fight Global Warming Network,” send Gary Patton an email with “Fight Global Warming” in the subject line. Gary Patton can be reached at


Archives of past transcripts are available here