The Land Use Report

One Week From Tomorrow

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Friday, April 3, 2015

City of Santa Cruz

City of Santa Cruz

Here is another “heads up” advisory that actually gives you time to put something on your calendar. On Saturday, April 11th, a week from tomorrow, an all day symposium, focused on the “State of the San Lorenzo River,” is going to take place at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, located at 307 Church Street in Santa Cruz. It’s an all day affair, from 9:00 to 5:00, so bring a bag lunch!

John Laird will give the keynote speech. Mr. Laird is a former Mayor of the City of Santa Cruz, a former Assembly Member representing most of Santa Cruz County and parts of Monterey County in the State Legislature, and is currently serving as the Secretary for Natural Resources of the State of California. Besides that keynote speech, the day will be filled with presentations and discussion about the San Lorenzo River watershed, with a particular emphasis on fisheries and water quality. Presenters will include consulting biologist Don Alley, Greg Pepping of the Coastal Watershed Council, Anthony Guerriero from the United States Geological Survey, Jon Jankovitz, from the California State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Dr. Brian Spence from NMFS, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and Dr. Jerry Smith from San Jose State University.

The Symposium is being hosted by the City of Santa Cruz, the County of Santa Cruz Fish and Game Advisory Commission, and the Coastal Watershed Council. I hope you will plan to attend!

More Information: 

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

State of The San Lorenzo Meeting Notice

Facebook Notification – State of the San Lorenzo Symposium

Desalination Amendments

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

libertyparkusafd.org

libertyparkusafd.org

Desalination is a big issue in the Monterey Bay Region. Because it is, I am hoping that interested persons will consider making comments on a proposal that will soon come before the State Water Resources Control Board. On Tuesday, May 5th, the State Board will hold a Public Meeting in Sacramento, starting at 9:00 a.m., on a Proposed Final Amendment to the Water Quality Control Plan for Ocean Waters of California, addressing desalination facility intakes and brine discharges to the marine environment. Marine resources are the focus here, but the possible construction of desalination facilities has profound land use related impacts, too.

One proposed change to the current regulations, for instance, seems to relate to the issue of the growth inducing impacts of desalination plants. Desal proposals are often scaled to provide water for new land development proposals. As I read the proposed new language, the Ocean Plan would not allow any exception to the general requirement for subsurface intakes, as opposed to open water intakes, based on the claim that subsurface intakes won’t produce enough water for such growth-inducing developments.

If you want to comment on the proposal that will be considered by the State Water Resources Control Board on May 5th, the deadline for comments is noon on Thursday, April 9th.

More Information: 

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Website Information On Desalination Facilities And Brine Disposal

Specific Changes Proposed

State Water Board Fact Sheet

For More Information Contact: Jeanine Townsend (916) 341-5600

Get Ready For April 9th

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

charmeck.org/

charmeck.org/

Every once in a while I am able to provide what might be called “adequate notice” about an upcoming meeting. Often, I find myself having to advertise a meeting on the morning of the very day that it’s taking place, and while I urge listeners to “get to that meeting,” I do realize that this is perhaps not actually possible for most listeners. Today, I am happy to be able to tell you about a meeting on April 9th, in Salinas. That is more than a week away, so if you were interested in attending the meeting, perhaps you could actually schedule it on your calendar.

The Monterey County Zoning Administrator handles permit matters that are thought to be relatively “minor,” and on Thursday, April 9th, at 9:30 a.m., in the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers in Salinas, the Zoning Administrator will consider three such items. First on the list is an application by the Fernwood Resort to hold outdoor live music events in Big Sur. The Zoning Administrator isn’t expecting much discussion, clearly, because at 9:40 a.m. the ZA is scheduled to hear an application for a 63 foot-high cell tower facility, to be located at 383 Natividad Road in Salinas. Not much discussion expected on that one, either, because there is another item scheduled for 9:50 a.m., a cell tower that would be located at 92 McFadden Road in Salinas.

If you care (about any of these items), you should be there!

More Information: 

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

LandWatch Monterey County Website

Monterey County Zoning Administrator Agendas

Got Your Copy Yet?

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

KFOW.org

KFOW.org

This Land Use Report attempts to push and prod listeners towards a more informed and active participation in land use matters. Land use does matter, and if we think that self-government is a good idea (and that has been our traditional thought, here in the United States of America) we know that we can’t have genuine self-government unless we are willing to get involved ourselves.

Ideally, information precedes action. These weekday Land Use Reports are a good way to get some information about land use issues affecting the Monterey Bay Region. You can also check out the “Land Use Links” that KUSP makes available. The Land Use Report Blog has a link to the “Links,” and you can send your browser to kusp.org/landuse to get access to this list of important websites.

Of course, you can also watch the television news, and read the newspapers, and follow the various other media that bring us information. In a recent edition of the Monterey Bay Partisan, a web-based media advisory, I learned that the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the much-debated Monterey Downs development is supposed to be released today.

The City of Seaside is the “lead agency.” The release of the Draft EIR means it’s your turn!

The City is legally required to respond to your comments, so review that Draft EIR, and make some! That’s a real way to get involved!

More Information: 

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Monterey Bay Partisan Article on Monterey Downs EIR

Sign Up For Email Alerts From The Monterey Bay Partisan

Monterey Downs Project on the Seaside Website

Online Edition – Monterey Downs Draft EIR

City of Seaside Website

LAFCO: Take Two

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Monterey County LAFCO

Monterey County LAFCO

Every California county has one, and residents of the Monterey Bay Region have two chances, this week, to see one in action. Let’s think of this like a question on Jeopardy. The answer I am looking for is “What is LAFCO?”

LAFCO is the “Local Agency Formation Commission.” New local agencies, before they are “formed,” must go through a review and approval process at LAFCO. When existing local agencies want to expand their territory, or to dissolve, or to merge, LAFCO is again involved. If a local agency that provides water or sewer service wants to extend its services beyond the boundaries previously existing (and that were probably approved by LAFCO), the agency must come to LAFCO and get LAFCO approval. Although there are some special cases throughout the state, where the rule is different, generally speaking each LAFCO has a membership of seven persons: two County Supervisors, two City Council Members, two representatives of Special Districts in the county, and one public member.

The Monterey County LAFCO meets today at 4:00 p.m. The Santa Cruz County LAFCO meets on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. I have links to their agendas at kusp.org/landuse. Both LAFCOs will be considering their work programs and budgets for the year ahead. Take in one of these meetings and learn more about LAFCO!

More Information

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Santa Cruz County LAFCO Agenda – Meeting of April 1, 2015

Monterey County LAFCO Agenda – Meeting of March 30 2015

CALAFCO Website

All In?

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Friday, March 27, 2015

DailyCal.org

DailyCal.org

On Tuesday, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors considered the “All In” Plan on homelessness, as a strategic plan to “provide a home for every county resident.”

In today’s Land Use Report blog, I have a link to the “All In” Plan, so you can download it, and read it. The focus of the plan is largely on what might be called the social services response to homelessness. Clearly, though, if the long-term objective is to be achieved, and we are going to find “a home for every county resident,” land use and housing policies are going to have to support the effort.

Besides a link to the “All In” Plan itself, I am also providing links to the Civinomics website, and to a blog that focuses on the “All In” effort. I don’t think that civic participation by Internet is anywhere near sufficient to make real changes in local community policy. Actual personal (show up on the scene) engagement is an absolute requirement. Still, getting involved in the issue by activating your phone or computer screen doesn’t hurt.

For any real success in providing a “home for every county resident,” I think national policies are going to have to change, so that money that now goes to the super rich can be used for education, housing, and environmental protection expenditures that benefit us all, and not just the 1%.

To get there, of course, we really do need to go “All In.”

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors’ Homeless Strategic Plan

Civinomics Blog On Homelessness

Final Draft – “All In” Strategic Plan

Civinomics Website

Civinomics Facebook Page

Civinomics Blog on All In

Civinomics Survey On Homeless Plan

Gary Patton “Payday” Blog Posting On The Super Rich

Parklets, Anyone?

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

City of San Francisco

City of San Francisco

Where San Francisco has gone, can Ames, Iowa be far behind? I am speaking, as sustainable cities advocates might guess, about the construction of “parklets.” According to Wikipedia, a “parklet” is “a small space, serving as an extension of the sidewalk, to provide amenities and green space… It is typically the size of several parking spaces. Parklets typically extend out from the sidewalk at the level of the sidewalk to the width of the adjacent parking space.”

It is true that the first “parklet” is credited to San Francisco, and that Ames, Iowa then took up the parklet cause. But don’t despair, Santa Cruz, your city may soon catch up with Ames, Iowa.

This morning, at 8:30, the City of Santa Cruz Downtown Commission is going to discuss parklets, and the recommendation that the Commission will consider is listed on the agenda as follows:

Pilot Program to Establish Parklets – Recommendation: Create an ad-hoc committee to establish a Pilot Program for the installation of Parklets/Café extension spaces … along Cathcart Street in Downtown Santa Cruz, set a date for a special meeting in April 2015 to hear [the] ad hoc committee’s recommendations and to return to the City Council by May 2015 with the Commission’s recommendations and policy considerations.

If you like the parklet idea (or if you don’t), it’s time to get involved.

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Downtown Commission Agenda

Wikipedia on Parklets

Ames, Iowa Website

Results From A Lawsuit

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

LandWatch.org

LandWatch.org

Today, the Monterey County Planning Commission is meeting in Salinas. The Planning Commission meeting will be held in the Chambers of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, located at 168 West Alisal Street. I have a link to the Commission’s agenda at kusp.org/landuse. I hope you will check out the agenda, and consider attending that meeting in person.

And here is a tip for those who do care about land use, and who would like to have a personal impact on land use decision-making. The earlier in the process you get involved, the more likely it is that your views will be accommodated in what turns out to be the ultimate result. Usually, the Board of Supervisors is the “last stop” on land use policy and project items, but if you care about a land use issue, then you need to make friends with the Planning Commission, and get involved earlier, rather than later!

Today, the Commission is considering proposed changes in the General Plan that result from a lawsuit filed by LandWatch Monterey County, the nonprofit group that advocates for what might be called “smart growth” approaches to land use. The lawsuit has resulted in proposed changes that will require a long term sustainable water supply for new development, and that will set standards for developments on steep slopes (among other changes).

You still have time to let the Planning Commission know what you think. That meeting this morning is at 9:00 o’clock.

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

LandWatch Monterey County Website

Monterey County Planning Commission Agenda

Planning Commission Agenda Item on LandWatch Settlement

The City Council Does Land Use, Too!

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Indybay.org

Indybay.org

If you want to let the Santa Cruz City Council know what you think about the so-called “BEARCAT” armored vehicle, “BEARCAT” standing for “Ballistic, Engineered, Armored Response Attack Truck,” then you will want to be at the Council meeting this evening, starting at 7:00 p.m., for a public hearing on that very topic.

But if you would like to get involved with land use issues of importance (and land use issues are important), then you need to arrange your schedule to show up at City Hall this afternoon at 2:30. There are several items of significant importance on the Council’s afternoon agenda today, and I have links in today’s Land Use Report blog:

  • Agenda Item #21 is a proposed City Schools Complete Streets Master Plan. This plan outlines how the City’s streets and sidewalks can be made safer for our young people, as they head to school.
  • Agenda Item #22 is a report on the City’s Housing and Community Development Grant program, with a focus on housing and homeless issues.
  • Agenda Item #23 is a report on proposed new maps designating areas in the City where archaeological and paleontological resources might be found, and where development proposals need to be handled with those potential issues in mind.

I don’t want to discourage your participation in the BEARCAT hearing this evening, but what are you doing this afternoon? The Santa Cruz City Council does land use, too!

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Santa Cruz City Council Agenda – March 24, 2015 Meeting

Public Correspondence on BEARCAT Issue

“BEARCAT” Item Staff Report

Agenda Item #21 – Complete Streets Master Plan Staff Report

Agenda Item #21 – Master Plan Document

Agenda Item #21 – Parent Surveys / Appendix

Agenda Item #22 – Community Development Staff Report

Agenda Item #23 – Staff Report on Archaeological and Paleontological Maps

Land Use Items Of Interest

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Sierra Club.org

Sierra Club.org

If you were going to a dinner party, and wanted to get yourself prepared to discuss land use issues, you might find some topics to inject into that dinner table conversation by looking at the upcoming agenda of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.

There are usually some land use items of interest in virtually every edition of the Board’s agenda. Don’t forget to check the Consent Agenda, either, as you do your reconnaissance.

Tomorrow, the Board will address all of the following land use items of interest:

  • A report on the UCSC Comprehensive Settlement Agreement, about University growth.
  • Setting a hearing on April 21st for the Davenport Cement Plant Reuse Strategic Plan.
  • Receiving a report about a Broadband Master Plan, to extend fiber optic cable.
  • Set May 19th as the date for a report on regulations for weddings and special events.
  • Scheduling an Earth Day 2015 event in San Lorenzo Park on Saturday, April 18th.
  • Repealing an ordinance that allows the commercial cultivation of medical cannabis.
  • Consider a Homeless Strategic Plan.

The Board meets tomorrow, starting at 9:00 o’clock. I am inviting you to look through the Board’s agenda, with links to the items I mention at kusp.org/landuse. Consider getting engaged personally. That dinner table conversation might galvanize some genuine involvement.

More Information

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors Agenda, March 24, 2015

Item #21 – UCSC Settlement Agreement Report

Item #44 – Davenport Cement Plant Reuse Strategic Plan

Item #45 – Broadband Master Plan

Item #46 – Weddings and Special Events

Item #51 – April 18th – Earth Day Event

Item #56 – Cultivation of Medical Cannabis

Item #59 – Consider A Homeless Strategic Plan

Item #59 – Final Draft Of The “All In” Plan