The Land Use Report

Dog Fight

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Copyright-free-photos.org

Copyright-free-photos.org

I think it’s fair to say that a kind of land use “dog fight” may be shaping up over a proposal to open a Carmel Canine Sports Center in Carmel Valley. According to the Carmel Valley Association, which of course follows land use issues affecting Carmel Valley quite closely, it is likely that the Monterey County Planning Commission will soon be holding a hearing on this important proposal.

As you may recall from Land Use Report segments earlier this week, I think it is very important for interested persons to participate at the Planning Commission level. If you want to have an impact on the land use decisions that are so important for the future of our local communities, don’t skip getting involved at the Planning Commission. While the elected Members of the Board of Supervisors are generally the ones who make the final decisions, the decisions made by the Planning Commission carry great weight. Thus, if you have a position on the proposed Carmel Canine Sports Center, pro or con, think about marking your calendar for the Planning Commission meeting.

Presuming that the Carmel Valley Association got its dates right, the Final Environmental Impact Report on the project will be released to the public today. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, August 12th. I have placed some links to more information in the transcript of today’s Land Use Report. You can find that by directing your browser to kusp.org/landuse.

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Carmel Valley Association Website

CVA Current Newsletter

Website Information on Carmel Canine Sports Center Project

Recycling Tour

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

UCSC Sustainability Program

UCSC Sustainability Program

Last Monday, the City of Santa Cruz opened up its Resource Recovery Facility for a public tour. I missed it, and I bet you did, too! However, you will have a couple more chances to see how the City of Santa Cruz handles its recycling operations if you make a reservation for tours being offered on Friday, August 21st, from 10:00 to 11:30 in the morning, and from 1:00 to 2:30 in the afternoon. The City’s Resource Recovery Facility is located at 605 Dimeo Lane, on the County’s North Coast, and it’s a pretty impressive facility. If you are interested, you can make a reservation in advance. Naturally, I have provided you with the information you need in today’s Land Use Report blog.

Santa Cruz residents (City residents, I am talking about) generate about thirty to fifty tons of recyclable materials each day. These are the materials that go into the “blue bins” that residents push to the curb on their assigned pick up day. If you take the tour, you’ll see how the City’s recycling workers, in just one week, can bale as much as forty-nine tons of mixed paper, twenty-one tons of plastic, and about seventy‑one tons of cardboard. Those on the tour will visit the scrap metal facility, too, and even the so‑called “Second Chance Store,” where recycled materials are offered to the public free of charge.

If you’d like to know more, and take this tour, make your reservation now!

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

To make a reservation or for more information, please contact Bret Jensen by telephone at 831-420-5593, or email him at bjensen@cityofsantacruz.com.

Today At The Planning Commission

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

LandWatch Monterey County.org

LandWatch Monterey County.org

Yesterday, I urged listeners to attend today’s meeting of the Monterey County Planning Commission. The Planning Commission meeting will be held in the Board of Supervisors Chambers, located at 168 West Alisal Street in Salinas, starting at 9:00 o’clock this morning. At 10:30, the Commission is scheduled to take up a controversial proposal by Tanimura & Antle, which wants to build housing for one hundred agricultural workers in Spreckels. There is another important item on the agenda, too, though, so let me talk a little bit about that one.

At 9:00 this morning, the Commission is going to hold a public workshop to consider the Public Review Draft of the 2015-2023 Housing Element, which is part of the Monterey County General Plan. The local General Plan is called the “Constitution for Land Use” for a reason. The policies set out in the General Plan provide a framework for individual land use decisions, and every individual land use decision is legally required to be “consistent” with the adopted General Plan.

Housing issues are critically important to our land use future, so how the current Housing Element is modified and updated, which is what is happening right now, is going to have a big impact on the future of Monterey County.

I have a link, in today’s blog posting, to the Commission’s agenda report on the Housing Element, which attaches the proposed new version. Check it out at kusp.org/landuse.

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Monterey County Planning Commission Agenda

Commission Agenda Report / Public Review Draft of New Housing Element

Tomorrow At The Planning Commission

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

BATW.org

BATW.org

The Monterey County Planning Commission meets tomorrow, starting at 9:00 a.m. I have a link to the agenda in today’s Land Use Report blog, found at kusp.org/landuse.

While state law has a lot to say about how local planning is done, both in terms of substance and procedure, our system really is based on the idea of “local control.” How we use the land is determined by our locally elected officials, so the ultimate land use decision maker for property in the unincorporated areas of Monterey County is the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. That said, state mandated, and local, procedures make sure that there is an initial review of major proposals by a volunteer (appointed and not elected) Planning Commission. Planning Commission decisions usually aren’t final, but they carry a lot of weight, so if you care about a land use issue, you should show up at the Planning Commission hearing. Don’t wait for the final decision at the Board. You may well have waited too long if that’s what you do.

If you care about the proposal to build one hundred units of agricultural worker housing in Spreckels, plan to show up at the Planning Commission meeting, at the Monterey County Governmental Center, at 10:30 tomorrow morning. This is a controversial proposal. You can get more information in today’s blog posting.

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Monterey County Planning Commission Agenda

Report on proposed Tanimura & Antle Agricultural Worker Housing

Monterey Herald article on proposed housing in Spreckels

Salinas Californian article on proposed housing in Spreckels

LandWatch Monterey County comments on proposed housing in Spreckels

Salinas Californian Op Ed in favor of proposed housing project

Tanimura & Antle FAQ on proposed housing project

Medical Marijuana In Monterey County

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Wikipedia.org

Wikipedia.org

Listeners might be interested in Agenda Item #23 on tomorrow’s agenda of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. That agenda item, scheduled sometime after 1:30 tomorrow afternoon, is a proposal by County staff that the Board extend an Urgency Ordinance that the Board first adopted on July 7th. That Urgency Ordinance prohibits, on a temporary basis, the establishment of new medical marijuana dispensaries and the collective or cooperative cultivation of medical marijuana in the unincorporated areas of the County, pending study and the Board’s consideration of what might be an appropriate set of regulations. The proposal is to extend the July 7th prohibition from forty-five days to one year.

Santa Cruz County residents may remember that there has been a lively discussion before the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors on medical marijuana cultivation, with an initiative measure having been circulated to overturn the regulatory system adopted in Santa Cruz County. When the Santa Cruz County Board returns from its summer break, we will probably hear more about this issue in Santa Cruz County.

If you care about how medical marijuana may be regulated in Monterey County, tomorrow is a chance to weigh in with your views. In addition, if you point your browser to kusp.org/landuse, you’ll find some links that will tell you more about emergency ordinances.

More Information

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Monterey County Board of Supervisors Agenda Website

A copy of the Board report, and the proposed ordinance, are available by tracking down the agenda for the July 28, 2015 meeting, and then clicking on the links provided in Agenda Item #23.

Government Code Section 65858 sets up the procedures by which the County is entitled to adopt “emergency” ordinances. You can read that code section by clicking right here!

The MC/PC Next Week

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Monterey County Planning

Monterey County Planning

The Monterey County Planning Commission (or the MC/PC, I guess you could call it) is meeting next week on July 29th. I have a link to the Commission’s agenda website in the transcript of today’s Land Use Report, so when the July 29th agenda packet is posted, you can get the detail on everything that the Commission will be discussing.

I have seen a couple of public notices, so I know that the upcoming meeting is going to be an interesting and important one. At 9:00 a.m. next Wednesday, the Commission is going to hold a public workshop on a Draft Housing Element Update, for the period from 2015 to 2023. The Housing Element is part of the County’s General Plan, which is the County’s “constitution for land use.” State law requires periodic Housing Element updates; so, if you care about affordable housing (and I think you should), think about attending this workshop on the Housing Element.

Affordable housing, of course, isn’t just an “individual” problem, though it is definitely that, too. It’s a community problem, and directly affects our local business economy. That point is driven home by the other interesting and important item on the July 29th Planning Commission agenda. Tanimura & Antle, one of the County’s biggest agricultural employers, wants to build housing for 100 agricultural employees in Spreckels.

Mark your calendars!

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Planning Commission Website

Planning Commission Agenda Webpage

Moro Cojo

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

LWV of Monterey Peninsula

LWV of Monterey Peninsula

The County of Monterey has provided the public with an opportunity to comment on a proposed “Negative Declaration” related to the Moro Cojo Subdivision. A “Negative Declaration” is an official statement by the County that it believes that there will be no significant adverse environmental impacts resulting from a discretionary action that the County proposes to take. The California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, requires the County to do an Environmental Impact Report, or EIR, if there “may” be adverse environmental impacts caused by a proposed County action. This “Negative Declaration” says the County doesn’t think that there is any chance that there could be negative impacts associated with the County’s proposal to eliminate 161 units of affordable housing in the Moro Cojo subdivision. Members of the public have until August 5th to submit comments.

I have mentioned the County’s plans for Moro Cojo before, because what the County is proposing to do is to eliminate affordable housing guarantees for 161 single-family units at a time when the County faces an affordable housing crisis. When the subdivision was first proposed, in an area not really suitable for this kind of development, a lawsuit was filed, and the County settled the lawsuit by promising permanent affordability of the housing constructed. That promise seems to be evaporating.

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

1995 Settlement of Lawsuit on Moro Cojo

Housing Advisory Committee Consideration – April 8, 2015

Housing Advisory Committee Consideration – May 27, 2015

RMA Listing of Negative Declaration

LWV of the Monterey Peninsula Article

Water Planning Squared

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

City of Santa Cruz

City of Santa Cruz

The Board of Directors of the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency is meeting this evening. I have a link to the Board’s agenda at kusp.org/landuse. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m., and the Board will probably be awarding contracts related to a pipeline project that is a vital part of its plan to slow down and ultimately stop groundwater overdraft in the Pajaro Basin. More important, perhaps, from a policy perspective, is going to be a discussion of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, and its implications for the PVWMA. The local agency was established by state law in 1984. Thirty years later, the state has realized that the kind of groundwater issues facing the Pajaro Valley are found throughout the state, and a statewide program has finally been enacted. How the PVWMA will relate to that more general law is going to be important to local residents and businesses.

If you are a resident of the City of Santa Cruz, or have a business there, the deliberations of the City’s Water Supply Advisory Committee are going to be important to you. The so-called WSAC will meet on both Thursday and Friday this week. The group is coming close to a consensus, or at least a decision, and desalination doesn’t seem to be popping to the top of the list. Get more information from the link I have placed in today’s transcript!

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

PVWMA Agenda Webpage

WSAC Meeting Page

Planning For Carmel Area State Parks

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

California State Parks

California State Parks

Tomorrow, the California State Parks Department is hosting a public meeting. You are invited. The meeting will take place from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Banquet Center of the Rancho Cañada Golf Club, located at 4860 Carmel Valley Road. The purpose of the meeting is for State Parks to let the public know about the general planning process for Carmel Area State Parks. These include Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Point Lobos Ranch, Carmel River State Beach, and Hatton Canyon.

At the meeting, State Parks will be focusing discussion on future public uses and conservation plans at each one of these State Park units. While the planning process is already well underway, the meeting on Wednesday is an important opportunity for the public to learn about current plans and to share opinions that will help shape the future of these state parks. I got a “heads up” about the meeting from the Big Sur Land Trust, which is encouraging your active engagement!

In today’s Land Use Report blog, at kusp.org/landuse, I have some links to more information, including a link to a PowerPoint presentation dated in April 2012. At that time, State Parks thought they’d be completely finished with the process by the Spring of 2014. Now, the estimate is for completion by the summer of 2016. There is still time, in other words, for your involvement to make a difference!

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Big Sur Land Trust Website

Carmel Area State Parks General Plan

PowerPoint Slide Show on “Scoping” Alternatives

The Monterey County Board Meets Tomorrow

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Monterey County

Monterey County

Boards of Supervisors meet on Tuesdays. The Santa Cruz County Board is on its normal “after the budget session” break, traditionally occurring each July, but the Monterey County Board of Supervisors is meeting tomorrow, beginning at 9:00 a.m. At 10:30 in the morning, the Board is going to consider some traffic-related items, including the possible establishment of a “No Parking” zone on Rio Road, and an increased speed limit for Inter-Garrison Road. If you are going to be affected by either of those proposed actions you might want to check out the agenda. There is a link at kusp.org/landuse.

At 1:30 p.m., the Board will receive a couple of presentations. First, the Board is going to hear about the Final Draft Report on the “Evaluation and Analysis of Monterey County’s Solid Waste Management System,” which I mentioned on the Land Use Report last Thursday. After that, the Board will consider a report on the latest census of homeless persons in Monterey County. There actually seems to have been a slight decrease in numbers since the survey was last done in 2013. Finally, the County Resources Management Agency wants the Board to approve standing contracts, with three different contractors, to provide on‑call construction management services. Each contract would be for an amount up to five million dollars. That’s an item suggested for the “Consent” agenda!

More Information

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

Board of Supervisors Agenda Website

Solid Waste Authority Agenda Packet, With Report