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The Land Use Report
2 minutes | Feb 22, 2016
Gilroy And Growth
Sunday, February 28, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. I have news today about a proposed Urban Growth Boundary. In Monterey County, the City of Marina has an Urban Growth Boundary, established by an initiative measure enacted by the voters some years ago. I am pretty sure that Marina is the only city in Monterey County that has taken action to stop the kind of urban sprawl that is still all too typical around the state. Supposedly, each county’s Local Agency Formation Commission, or LAFCO, is supposed to set boundaries against sprawl, but in Monterey County, at least, that system has allowed cities like Salinas and Greenfield to annex and develop huge areas of agricultural land. Santa Cruz County jurisdictions have taken a more positive approach to Urban Growth Boundaries. The City of Santa Cruz has a voter-approved “Greenbelt Ordinance.” Watsonville has also established a voter-approved line, to prevent sprawl, and of course the County’s Measure J Growth Management System, adopted by the voters in 1978, prevents the kind of unincorporated sprawl development that would undoubtedly have occurred in Santa Cruz County without the enactment of that measure. In Santa Clara County, where sprawl was king for many years, keeping pace with precedents in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in the South, voters in Gilroy are now likely to get an opportunity to enact an Urban Growth Boundary for that city. There is a link to more information at kusp.org/landuse. More Information: Land Use Links Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog Gilroy Dispatch Article on Urban Growth Boundary
2 minutes | Feb 22, 2016
Cannabis Cultivation In Two Counties
Friday, February 26, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Pot farming in rural areas is a big issue around the Bay! Last Friday, I told listeners that there would be a special meeting of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors today, Friday, February 26th, to consider an interim ordinance relating to the cultivation of medical marijuana. The hearing is set for 9:00 a.m., and if you are hearing this on the “morning edition,” then there may still be time for you to get over to Salinas for the special meeting. Those who would like to have Monterey County permit the cultivation of medical marijuana in Carmel Valley and Big Sur will be speaking out at the hearing this morning. As it turns out, there is a comparable group in Santa Cruz County, calling itself Santa Cruz Mountains for Sustainable Cannabis Medicine, or SCM2. I have a link to that group’s online survey at kusp.org/landuse. SCM2 is trying to gather information from those currently cultivating marijuana in the mountains of Santa Cruz County. If you happen to be in that category, you will undoubtedly be interested in the survey. Maybe even if you are not! There are significant environmental and community impacts involved in the cultivation of marijuana, and coming up with good rules is going to be critical. I know that the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors is already deeply engaged, and is hearing from people with divergent views. More Information: Land Use Links Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog February 19, 2016 Land Use Report on Pot Farming in Carmel Valley Monterey County Board of Supervisors Agenda Website Santa Cruz Mountains for Sustainable Cannabis Medicine Survey SCM2 Website Persons interested in being part of a group to support outdoor marijuana cultivation in Carmel Valley and/or Big Sur should contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 minutes | Feb 22, 2016
Parks Master Planning In Monterey
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Parks are being planned in the City of Monterey! This afternoon, the Monterey City Council is going to be meeting with the City’s Parks and Recreation Commission, and with the City’s Planning Commission, in a joint session. The meeting will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Monterey City Hall. Up for discussion will be a proposed Parks and Recreation Master Plan for the City of Monterey. You are most cordially invited to attend. The City Council has budgeted $150,000 for an update to the current Parks and Recreation Master Plan, and has authorized a $140,000 consultant contract. The City doesn’t think it has to do an Environmental Impact Report, which may, or may not, be a legally sustainable position. The City’s agenda says that this will just be a “plan,” after all, so there won’t be any foreseeable physical change on or in the environment. Maybe so! On the other hand, the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, does generally require environmental review at the planning stages as projects move from plans to reality. The process is still at a relatively preliminary stage. A draft statement of “vision and goals” is what is being explored now. As listeners probably realize, this is definitely a case of “if you care, be there!” You can get more information at kusp.org/landuse. More Information: Land Use Links Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog Monterey City Council Agenda Parks Master Planning Item
2 minutes | Feb 22, 2016
Don’t Be Bored Tomorrow
Monday, February 22, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. All sorts of hot topics are on the agenda tomorrow; that’s Tuesday! If you are thinking you might be “bored” tomorrow, with nothing to do, consider attending one of our local “Board” meetings. Both the Monterey County Board of Supervisors and the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors meet tomorrow. I have links to their agendas, and references to other information, at kusp.org/landuse. I also have a link to the agenda of the Santa Cruz City Council, which is holding a study session at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow, to discuss Water Financial Planning and Rate-Making. At 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors will receive an update on Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin planning under California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. It would be hard to overstate the importance of this groundwater management effort. It would also be hard to overstate the impacts that the so-called Ferrini Ranch development will have on the Highway 68 corridor. The Board is planning to change project conditions to save the developer almost half a million dollars. Tomorrow, the Santa Cruz County Board will be considering an ordinance on the overnight parking of recreational vehicles, essentially prohibiting such parking anywhere in the County. The Board is looking for more transportation funding, and more affordable housing funding, and will also be discussing groundwater management. More Information: Land Use Links Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog Monterey County Board Agenda Website Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors Agenda Santa Cruz City Council Agenda, February 23, 2016 City Council Agenda - Water Financial Planning Materials Santa Cruz County Board Agenda #26 – Affordable Housing funding Santa Cruz County Board Agenda #32 – Mid-County Groundwater Agency Santa Cruz County Board Agenda #48 – Sustainable funding for transportation Santa Cruz County Board Agenda #54 – Overnight RV parking For more information on Salinas Valley groundwater management, please contact Robert Johnson
2 minutes | Feb 15, 2016
Pay Attention To San Benito County
Sunday, February 21, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. What’s happening in San Benito County? The Monterey Bay Region officially includes San Benito County. Santa Cruz County and Monterey County residents sometimes forget that, because San Benito County doesn’t directly touch the Monterey Bay. San Benito County is not far away, though, and San Benito County, and the cities within San Benito County, are all members of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments, or AMBAG. That’s our local regional governance association. Sometimes, of course, San Benito County is actually ahead of its bayside siblings. Just to take fracking as an example, the people of San Benito County enacted an anti-fracking ordinance in 2014, and that important topic is now coming to the public’s attention in Monterey County. On the issue of fracking, of course, Santa Cruz County gets bragging rights, because the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors simply adopted an ordinance itself. There was no need for the voters to have to go to the ballot box. My purpose today is not, really, to talk about fracking. I’d like KUSP listeners to know that the City of San Juan Bautista is just about to adopt a new General Plan. A public hearing is scheduled for Friday, February 26th. Also, “heads up” on a major new residential subdivision proposed in the City of Hollister. Get more information at kusp.org/landuse. More Information: Land Use Links Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog Information on Measure J – Anti-Fracking Initiative Get information on the proposed Roberts Ranch Subdivision in the City of Hollister by contacting Abraham Prado - (831) 636-4360. A project description can be found at the City of Hollister's website. Information on the City of San Juan Bautista General Plan is available from Roger Grimsley. Contact him at - (831) 623-4661. The San Juan Bautista Website will have other information.
2 minutes | Feb 15, 2016
Pot Farming In Carmel Valley?
Friday, February 19, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. What do you think about pot farming in Carmel Valley? On Tuesday, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors held a special meeting to consider the issue of marijuana cultivation. The Board is planning for another special meeting, on February 26th, to consider extending and perhaps amending the County’s interim ordinance. That ordinance currently prohibits cultivation. If you have an interest in this topic, mark your calendar for February 26th. Friends in the Big Sur area have told me that there is, in fact, at least some interest in permitting marijuana cultivation in both Carmel Valley and Big Sur. In an email, a copy of which I obtained, cultivation proponents complained that “the only interests being [representing - sic] represented are deep pockets from Salinas Valley. These folks’ interests mainly reflect large scale green house cultivation and because of this, the framework that is being constructed for legislation is reflecting their interests.” The email went on to say that its purpose was to “gather support from ... those who are interested in shaping the future of Outdoor Cannabis Farming” in Carmel Valley and Big Sur. Proponents are currently putting together a group to provide local representation for those who live in Big Sur and Carmel Valley, and who want outdoor cultivation. An attorney has been engaged to help in the effort. There is more information at kusp.org/landuse. More Information: Land Use Links Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog Monterey County Board Agenda Website Persons interested in being part of a group to support outdoor marijuana cultivation in Carmel Valley and/or Big Sur should contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 minutes | Feb 15, 2016
A Coastal Coup
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. There is a statewide uproar over coastal protection! As many listeners may know, the California Coastal Commission met last week in Morro Bay, and considered whether or not to fire Dr. Charles Lester, the Commission’s Executive Director. The Commission gave notice to Dr. Lester that it intended to terminate him, and he exercised his right to have a public hearing on this termination notice. It was quite a public hearing! Starting at 10:00 in the morning and running to dinner time, the Commission heard from Dr. Lester and hundreds of individuals and organizations. All the testimony was in favor of Dr. Lester. A letter signed by 95% of the Coastal Commission staff supported him, and as one person said, when you added up all the members of the various organizations who supported Dr. Lester, more than a million people were asking the Commission to keep him on. With no public explanation at all all, and in a closed door session, the Commission voted 7-5 to fire Dr. Lester. The Governor’s four appointees, who serve at the Governor’s pleasure, led the charge, and while Commissioners denied it, it sure looks like a developer “coup d’etat!” Assembly Member Mark Stone, who represents the Monterey Bay Region, had an immediate reaction. Stone has announced his intention to introduce legislation that will change how the Commission conducts its business. There are links to more information at kusp.org/landuse. More Information: Land Use Links Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog Los Angeles Times Article On Termination Decision Mark Stone Assembly Website Mark Stone Letter To Coastal Commission
2 minutes | Feb 15, 2016
Working On The Waterfront In Monterey
Monday, February 15, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The City of Monterey may soon have a new Waterfront Master Plan. The Monterey City Council meets on Tuesday, February 16th. There is really only one substantive item on the agenda for the evening session, which begins at 7:00 p.m. If you care about the Monterey Wharf, and how it will be used and developed in years to come, take a look at the City’s proposed new Waterfront Master Plan. There is a link to this document at kusp.org/landuse. The draft Waterfront Master Plan was released in September 2015, so it has been around for awhile. In fact, the City Council has already considered the proposed Plan once before, on January 27th. Concerns were raised at that time, and those concerns included a proposed Tyler Street Bridge/Scott Street Extension; the Del Monte/Washington intersection; parking; and leasing strategies. These are significant issues, so if you care, you need to put tomorrow night’s meeting on your calendar. The Council is not planning to do a full scale Environmental Impact Report. The materials before the Council say that while the Plan would have some adverse environmental impacts, mitigation measures have been incorporated into the project, so there is no need for more study, or for more public participation on the possible environmental impacts. Tomorrow is probably your last chance to speak up! More Information: Land Use Links Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog Agenda – Monterey City Council, February 16, 2016 Waterfront Master Plan Council Agenda Report on Waterfront Master Plan Proposed Resolution on Waterfront Master Plan
2 minutes | Feb 8, 2016
Rogue Bike Trails
Sunday, February 14, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. Rogue bike trails threaten our environment. I quite often hear from listeners who would like me to broadcast information about one land use item or another. I definitely encourage that! Every Land Use Report is not only aired on KUSP; it is memorialized in a written transcript, usually with some links to more information. If you visit kusp.org/landuse, you can not only read those transcripts, you can send me an email giving me your views, and making any suggestion you might have about topics to be covered in future editions of the Land Use Report. I do encourage that! I hope to hear from you! Recently, I got an email alerting me to what the Monterey Herald has called “rogue” bike trails being constructed on county-owned lands near Toro Park, off Highway 68 in Monterey County. The trails have been constructed, apparently, by mountain bike enthusiasts, but without any permission, and their environmental impacts appear quite damaging. One person called the trails “eco-vandalism” at a recent meeting of the County Planning Commission. So far, County authorities have not taken any effective action, and if you care about the issue, you might want to contact your County Supervisor. In today’s transcript, you will find a link to some news stories that provide more information. The Planning Commission will next address the issue on March 3rd. More Information: Land Use Links Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog Herald Article On Rogue Bike Trails Coast Weekly Article Toro Park Watch Facebook Page
2 minutes | Feb 8, 2016
Let’s Get Together On Presidents’ Day
Friday, February 12, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. There is a meeting next week on the proposed Coastal Rail Trail. The proposed Coastal Rail Trail in Santa Cruz County would have lots of positive impacts, and maybe some negative impacts, too. It is to be expected a proposed project of this kind would be controversial, and so it is, though I think it’s fair to say that the majority opinion is that building a new trail from Watsonville to Davenport, along the existing rail right of way, would have lots of positive benefits. The “rail” part is, perhaps, more controversial than the “trail” part, but the current conception is that there would, ultimately, be a genuine “Rail Trail.” Let me tell you about a meeting to be held next Monday, Presidents’ Day, February 15th. Friends of the Rail Trail will be hosting Jeff Boothe, an expert transit consultant from Washington, D.C., who will present specifics on a variety of light rail systems around the United States. This will be an opportunity for interested persons to get an idea about what kind of options might be out there for rail transit, and how it might be possible to fund rail transit in Santa Cruz County. Bruce Sawhill, Chair of Friends of the Rail and Trail, will give a short exposition on the specific demographics of Santa Cruz County, and its suitability for rail transit. The meeting on Monday will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Vet's Hall in downtown Santa Cruz, located at 846 Front Street. More Information: Land Use Links Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog Friends Of The Rail Trail Website Rail Trail Overview Boothe Transit Consulting
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