Activists fill Monterey Co. Supervisors hearing room
On November 26th, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors hearing room was filled
with citizens wearing bright yellow t-shirts emblazoned with the message Protect
housing, farmland, air and water. We were there to express support for the
12 planning principles embodied in the General Plan Update (GPU), and to demonstrate
our opposition to the Supervisors consideration of special landowner requests
that were inconsistent with the goals and objectives of the plan.
The Sierra Club joined forces with LandWatch; North County Citizens Oversight
Committee; Friends, Artists, Neighbors of Elkhorn Slough; and other concerned
citizens to organize a good turnout for the hearing. The sight was awesome. The
Supervisors, staff and press all took note of our presence. The quotes in the
following mornings press confirmed our impact.
The Supervisors voted to defer final consideration of the land use element of
the GPU until next January, when Supervisor-elect Butch Lindley will replace Supervisor
Judy Pennycook. At that time, the Board will consider a dozen landowner requests
recommended by Supervisor Fernando Armenta that are inconsistent with the GPU.
The new board will decide whether to approve a plan that is consistent with the
12 principles and to reject any landowner requests (including those on Supervisor
Armentas short list) or to return to Supervisory spot zoning that is inconsistent
with GPU principles. We will push for a fully consistent plan.
Supervisor Edith Johnson voted to support Supervisor Armentas short list.
She followed this vote, however, with a well-conceived vision for the general
plan. She stressed the importance of the city/county agreements, and strongly
stated that increased density in urban areas is the key to meeting Monterey Countys
housing goals. The development of city/county agreements could be the means to
make future development patterns in Monterey County meet these GPU goals and objectives.
The new Board of Supervisors will discuss in January the land use element of the
plan. Following that, the plan will go to redraft, public comment and environmental
We will be monitoring each step in the process, and make our views known when
important decisions are pending. Please continue to pressure your Supervisor to
support the current General Plan Update.