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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county

Proposed Carmel development to ax 104 large trees

February 2011

Suppose that one day you woke up to find a sleepy little business on the edge of your quiet residential neighborhood could be turned into 46 towering condominiums!

Carmel Convalescent HospitalThe spacious grounds of the former convalescent hospital were designed as part of the historical setting. After development of 46 two- and three-story condo units, the historic hospital would be obscured from view. Photo: Myrna Hampton
 

An upstate New York developer called Widewaters proposes just that for the historic former Carmel Convalescent Hospital, a 3.68 acre site on Valley Way and scenic Hwy. 1 in northeastern Carmel. This is a friendly, single-family residential neighborhood with picturesque, winding, tree-lined streets, currently zoned for two houses per acre.

The Chapter opposes this massive development which would require intensifying the zoning to a high density of 12.5 units per acre— a density not now in the Carmel Area Land Use Plan. The developer aims to build 46 two- and three-story condos called Villas de Carmelo. The plans include clear cutting 104 of the largest 125 trees (mostly Monterey pines) on the site and a variance to build on greater than 30% slopes. Further damage to the environment includes removal of most of the vegetation along the scenic Hwy. 1 corridor to be replaced by a 120-foot-long wall of white stucco two-story buildings. The proposed development would set a dangerous precedent.

Wisely, the Monterey County Planning Subdivision Committee, on January 13, recognized it needed more time both to consider the impacts of this project and to read the final environmental impact report, which had not yet been released as we go to press. The Committee continued the hearing until February 24. The Planning Commission, the Board of Supervisors, and the California Coastal Commission also would have to approve the development.

The concerned Northeastern Carmel neighborhood has hired Molly Erickson of the Law Offices of Michael Stamp to fight the proposed condos.

If you wish updates or want to help the Chapter and the neighborhood oppose this development, please contact: , call Myrna Hampton @ 624-6707, or write to Save Our Carmel Neighborhoods Coalition, P.O. Box 221001, Carmel, CA 93922-1001.



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