The Land Use Report

Canine Center Gets A Go

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Canine Sports Center.org

Canine Sports Center.org

A week ago last Wednesday, the Monterey County Planning Commission considered a Canine Sports Center project, to be located in Carmel Valley. I advertised the hearing here on the Land Use Report, and was naturally quite interested in what action the Planning Commission took on this very controversial project.

The Carmel Valley Association put out a bulletin with their comments. Since the CVA was opposed to the Canine Sports Center, and since the project was unanimously approved, the CVA wasn’t very happy. It characterized the 5 ½-hour hearing as consisting of  “very little substantive discussion,” and specifically said that “commissioners dismissed well researched and clearly presented arguments regarding the significant negative impacts the project would have on traffic, noise, and water.” Reading between the lines, it looks likely that the CVA will appeal the project approval to the Board of Supervisors. I will of course keep you posted.

The Carmel Pine Cone also published a report. I have provided links to both the Pine Cone and the CVA reports at kusp.org/landuse, along with links to other information.

The Pine Cone gave a kind of blow by blow report of the hearing, making clear that the Quail Lodge owners were just as opposed as the CVA. Those groups aren’t always on the same side, and the Pine Cone article expressed “surprise” at how things went.

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Carmel Pine Cone Article

CVA Commentary

Monterey Herald Article On Dog Park Hearing

County Planning Information on Canine Sports Center

Supplemental Agenda, for August 26th Planning Commission Meeting

Agenda Packet, August 26th Planning Commission Meeting

Planning Commission Staff Report

Take A Little Hike

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

LandWatch.org

LandWatch.org

The proposed Monterey Downs development is a truly large-scale project that some, I think, might call grandiose. I do have links to information about the project at kusp.org/landuse, so you can review that information and then come to your own conclusion about the project.

If you are interested in learning more, here is a real deal for you. LandWatch Monterey County has announced some guided hikes, to show the public the proposed Monterey Downs development site. Participants will be able to see the size of the one mile race track, the 6,500-seat arena, the grandstands proposed, and all the area that will be developed into homes and commercial areas if the Monterey Downs project is approved. Those who take the hike will also get to see the coastal oak trees covering the land, many of which would be cut down to carry out the project.

Hikes are being offered from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, September 5th and 6th. That’s this weekend. The hikes are two hours long on gently rolling hills with a tree-studded landscape. You will get to see beautiful views, and will be able to review maps of the land now and with the proposed Monterey Downs project. Hikers should bring water and a hat and wear comfortable walking shoes. Check the Land Use Report blog for instructions on how you can make a reservation for this very informative excursion.

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

LandWatch Monterey County Website

Monterey Downs Development Proposal

Monterey Downs EIR And Other Information

Make A reservation for the hike by contacting Kay and Bill Weigle:

What’s So Special At The PVWMA?

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

UC Davis

UC Davis

The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency, or PVWMA, is charged with stopping groundwater overdraft in the Pajaro Valley, and the future of our local agricultural economy really depends on its success. In today’s Land Use Report blog, I’ve put in a link to the PVWMA website, and to the agenda of a “Special Meeting” that the PVWMA Board of Directors is holding today, at 12:00 noon.

As I hope you know, the Boards of Directors of all local agencies are subject to the Ralph M. Brown Act, and must provide an advance agenda notice to the public whenever they hold a meeting. Time, place, and the topics to be discussed all must be disclosed. The idea is that the public has a right to keep an eye on what its elected officials are doing. A “Special Meeting” is a meeting that is not part of the agency’s regular meeting schedule, and as I indicated, the PVWMA Board will be holding such a special meeting today.

So, what’s so “special” today that Board members are meeting at noontime in their own offices, located at 36 Brennan Street in Watsonville? The business at hand is for Board Members to receive iPad training. You can go to the meeting and maybe get some free training yourself, if you’d like!

The next “regular” meeting of the Board is scheduled for September 23rd. Bring your iPad to that meeting and take some notes!

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

PVWMA Website

Agenda For September 2, 2015 Special Meeting

Live Oak Development: Coming Up

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Newsworks.org

Newsworks.org

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors meets today, and I thought I’d highlight Agenda Item #38 on the Board’s Consent Agenda.

Here’s how the Consent Agenda works: with one motion, taken right at the start of the meeting, the Board makes decisions on multiple items, and these items are not all insignificant or unimportant. Today, the Consent Agenda consists of thirty-nine items, some directing expenditures of several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Agenda Item #38 schedules a public hearing on a fairly controversial development in Live Oak. The Board is probably going to set Tuesday, September 29th, at 1:30 p.m., as the time to make a decision on a 20-unit residential subdivision proposed at 1000 Rodriguez Street, at the corner of Jose Avenue. If you care about this proposed development, you should plan to attend the hearing.

Originally, the developer, City Ventures, wanted to build more units, and there is an argument, of course, that developments within designated urban areas should be “dense” developments, to help prevent future urban sprawl. To me, one of the issues of most significance is that the developer will not produce ANY affordable units. That’s because the Board changed its policies within the last year to allow developers the right to pay fees instead. Significant neighborhood impacts; no affordable units. You decide!

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

September 1, 2015 Agenda of the Board of Supervisors

Agenda Item #38 – Scheduling The Item

August 12, 2015 County Planning Commission Agenda

Planning Commission Packet of Materials on Proposed Development

Housing, Housing, Housing

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Lincoln Institute

Lincoln Institute

The City of Santa Cruz Planning Commission meets on Thursday, and the City’s Housing Element will be on the agenda. There is more information at kusp.org/landuse

Residential property around the Monterey Bay is seen as a wonderful investment by people with money, many of whom do not live in the Monterey Bay Region, but live somewhere else in the world. Given our free market economy, it becomes impossible to preserve any affordable housing opportunities here.

As a matter of pure logic, and basic economics, if our communities want affordable housing, they must either use public funds to build it, and/or find a mechanism to impose price controls. Just to say it again, if maintaining a “free market” in real estate is our society’s highest priority, then prices will be set by those with the most money. In Monterey County, huge numbers of homes formerly available for residential use by local residents are now second homes, the owners living elsewhere and only using the homes infrequently. They have the money to do that, and that’s what they do. In Santa Cruz County, higher-paid people who work in the Silicon Valley buy up homes that are then not available for local workers.

I have a link in today’s transcript to an excellent article in Land Lines, the journal of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, if you’d like to read up on this distressing fact of life.

More Information:

Monterey Herald Article On Dog Park Hearing

County Planning Information on Canine Sports Center

Supplemental Agenda, for August 26th Planning Commission Meeting

Agenda Packet, August 26th Planning Commission Meeting

Planning Commission Staff Report

Wireless Issues And Assembly Bill 57

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Friday, August 28, 2015

City of San Francisco DPW

City of San Francisco DPW

I notice that the items I have talked about this week are almost all of primary interest to Monterey County listeners. Here’s an item that should be of interest on both sides of the Bay; namely, pending state legislation relating to the placement of wireless communication facilities.

As listeners may know, federal law has largely preempted the field of wireless regulation, and this federal preemption has made it quite difficult for local governments to have any say on the location of these facilities.

For instance, while the health impacts of wireless facilities are of concern to many local residents, federal legislation has pretty much made it impossible for local governments to regulate wireless facilities based on health concerns.

The visual impacts of such facilities, and other land use impacts, are still a basis for local regulation. However, there is a bill now being considered in the California State Legislature that might undermine such local regulation. Assembly Bill 57, now in the State Senate, would provide that proposed wireless facilities will be “deemed approved” if not acted upon within either 90 or 150 days. I note that Assembly Member Mark Stone voted “no” on this bill in the Assembly. Assembly Member Alejo is recorded as “not voting.”

You can get more information in today’s Land Use Report blog at kusp.org/landuse.

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

San Francisco Chronicle Article on AB 57

Assembly Bill 57

Senate Analysis of AB 57

Assembly Vote Tally on AB 57

Fort Ord Guidelines: Find Out More Tonight

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

FORA

FORA

The City of Marina Planning Commission is meeting this evening, and will hear a presentation on the proposed “Regional Urban Design Guidelines” that will apply to future developments on Fort Ord.

The meeting begins at 6:30 this evening, in the Marina City Council Chambers, located at 211 Hillcrest Avenue in Marina. Listeners who live on the Monterey Peninsula might want to attend and find out more about these guidelines. The guidelines will affect future development on Fort Ord generally, not just developments located in Marina. Road design standards, setbacks, building heights, landscaping requirements, signage and other matters relating to the possible visual impacts of proposed projects will be significantly affected by what these guidelines ultimately say.

There is a more Marina-specific item on the agenda, too; namely, the proposal by Shea Homes to cut down two healthy cypress trees. The Planning Director said that was “ok.” The Marina Tree Committee said it was “ok,” and now the Planning Commission will consider the issue on an appeal. From the City of Santa Cruz to the City of Marina, public officials are usually willing to sacrifice trees to aid the desires of the developers. If you care about this issue, check out the agenda materials. Links can be found at kusp.org/landuse.

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Agenda Packet, Marina Planning Commission

Materials On Fort Ord Regional Urban Design Guidelines

Dog That Project

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

LandWatch

LandWatch

At 9:00 o’clock this morning, the Monterey County Planning Commission will hold a hearing on a “Canine Sports Center,” proposed to be located on a 43-acre site near Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley. The Carmel Valley Association, and others, have been following the project closely, and some Carmel Valley residents are obviously concerned about potential impacts of what would be a major new activity center in the Valley.

Links in today’s Land Use Report blog will take you to more information, including to the County’s official information page, which will let you review the Environmental Impact Report. The staff report for the Planning Commission recommends approval of the project, including a recommendation that the Commission adopt a “Statement of Overriding Considerations, “allowing the project to go ahead, even though the Environmental Impact Report for the project has identified significant adverse impacts that cannot be feasibly mitigated or eliminated.

One of the difficulties faced by the Commission is that the project applicants include the Chairperson of the Commission, who of course will have to step down as the Commission considers the project. There are lots of pros and cons of this proposed project, and while the Planning Commission hearing this morning may not be the last public hearing on the project, if you care, you should definitely be there!

The meeting is at the County Government Center in Salinas. Links are at kusp.org/landuse.

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Monterey Herald Article On Dog Park Hearing

County Planning Information on Canine Sports Center

Supplemental Agenda, for August 26th Planning Commission Meeting

Agenda Packet, August 26th Planning Commission Meeting

Planning Commission Staff Report

The “Governance Committee” Tomorrow

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

MPWSP

MPWSP

The Governance Committee for the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project is meeting on Wednesday, August 26th, at 2:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Conference Room of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District. I suggest that listeners might like to track down agenda materials, and maybe even attend the meeting. There are links to agenda materials and other information at kusp.org/landuse.

The composition of the “Governance” Committee” includes a representative of California American Water Company. Carmel Mayor Jason Burnett is also a member, representing the Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority. Supervisor Dave Potter, representing Monterey County, and Robert Brower, representing the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, are also members.

The “Governance Committee” title is a bit misleading, in that the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project is not under the direct control of the group I just named, but is in fact under the control of the California American Water Company. This reflects the fact that the main water provider for the Monterey Peninsula is not a public agency, but Cal-Am, which is a for-profit corporation. Official governmental supervision of Cal-Am comes from the California State Public Utilities Commission, or PUC.

The meeting tomorrow should be an informative and interesting one. I encourage you to get involved!

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Agenda For Governance Committee Meeting

Governance Committee Website

Planning In Salinas And At CSUMB

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Monday, August 24, 2015

CSUMB

CSUMB

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors is meeting tomorrow, and if you want to know about plans that the City of Salinas has, to create a vibrant downtown, in the heart of Salinas, plan to attend that Board of Supervisors’ meeting.  No need to visit City Hall!

Same thing if you want a peek at the future development plans for CSUMB. You can get the benefit of a comprehensive presentation on proposed campus development by attending that Board meeting.

The City of Salinas Downtown Vibrancy Plan will be presented to the Board at 10:30 tomorrow morning. The CSU Monterey Bay Comprehensive Master Plan will be presented to the Board at 1:30 in the afternoon. I have links in today’s Land Use Report blog that will get you to the agenda of the Board of Supervisors. The Salinas Downtown Vibrancy presentation is Agenda Item #17. The CSUMB Master Plan is Agenda Item #18. There are links in the Board’s agenda to extensive materials, in both cases.

The Board of Supervisors has no decision making authority over what happens in Salinas (except as to what the County does with its own properties), and the Board also has no direct control over future land uses on the CSUMB campus. But planning together is better than planning separately!

Get more information at kusp.org/landuse.

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Monterey County Board of Supervisors Agenda Website