In yet another twist, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors recently adopted a developer-friendly General Plan despite a promise the Board made in late December to put both the Community General Plan Initiative and their developer-friendly Plan head to head on the June ballot. The Board’s action means that the new General Plan is now in effect, allowing sprawl projects such as Rancho San Juan to proceed irrevocably before citizens have a chance to vote.
To prevent this developer-friendly plan from being implemented, Coalition members are collecting signatures to qualify a referendum to overturn the developer-friendly General Plan.
The saga of updating the Monterey County General Plan has been a long, torturous chess game between the Board of Supervisors representing developers’ interests and a coalition of community groups fighting to give Monterey County residents an alternative to sprawl. It has morphed into a fight to defend the people’s constitutional right to vote.
The battle has spread over almost eight years entailing four General Plan drafts, three referenda, one initiative, countless public meetings, and several lawsuits. As part of a broad coalition of community organizations, the Ventana Chapter has been deeply involved in this historic struggle to prevent Monterey County from turning into another Orange County.
For almost a year, the County interfered with the legally-qualified, anti-sprawl initiative backed by the Ventana Chapter. The Board majority claimed the initiative petition violated the federal Voting Rights Act because it wasn’t translated into Spanish. They continued to stonewall past the November 2006 election even after their position was discredited by both the Ninth Circuit Court and the United States Congress.
How to help
If you live in Monterey County, we need your help. Please help us campaign against the county’s “sprawl-now-pay-later” plan; and help us campaign for the Community General Plan Initiative. You can volunteer, publicly endorse, or post a yard sign. Contact Julie Engell, 633-8709,
, for more information.