The future of Monterey County is being decided now
The future of the protection of resources in Monterey County is being decided
now. The process is called the twenty-year General Plan Update. The Ventana Chapters
Conservation Committee and other Club volunteers have been following this document
since its inception, attending countless hours of Planning Commission and Board
of Supervisors meetings as often as three times a week.
The goal of the Sierra Club is to defend wildlife habitat, water resources and
wetlands, valuable farmland, scenic easements, and ensure coastal protection.
This Draft General Plan (DGP) is a worthy attempt to address some of these needs
by focusing development into existing population centers, where infrastructure
is available. This is protective of the environment and farmland, and has the
added benefit of saving on taxes. The DGP principles are supported by approximately
80% of the population.
We still have concerns for the growth of viticulture in Monterey County and the
proliferation of wine corridors which are being planned without adequate
consideration of their impacts on water, wildlife, growth and traffic. We would
like to see stronger protections for the oak woodlands being sacrificed for vineyards
and housing developments. The few remaining stands of Monterey Pine forest could
also benefit from an overlay district with stronger conservation guidelines.
The DGP is opposed by special interests and corporations, including those that
own some of Monterey Countys farmland, and those who care only for their
bottom line. Paid corporate attorneys pack the Supervisors chambers, demanding
that their clients be permitted to convert farmland to development sprawl, strip
malls and boutique tourist bars (called wine tasting rooms).
Please contact each Supervisor and let them know that you want Monterey County
farms, open space and valuable resources protected from developer sprawl. Your
prompt communication will help to protect Monterey County for the next twenty
In closing, I look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming Membership Luncheon
on October 19 and sharing some of your ideas for how we can be more effective
in protecting resources in both Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties.