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   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county


Nisene 2 Sea Corridor

Mission: PRESERVATION OF THE NISENE 2 SEA CORRIDOR LINKING
THE FOREST OF NISENE MARKS STATE PARK TO NEW BRIGHTON STATE BEACH

NISENE 2 SEA NEWS
March 28, 2005

NISENE 2 SEA'S CURRENT FOCUS

Preservation of public access and natural resources on the remaining critical link in the Nisene 2 Sea Corridor, the 142 acre Koch-Carmichael Property, with ultimate purchase of this Property for fair market value from the Owners/Developers (two real estate development corporations: Men-Chy Properties and S&P Enterprises, Inc.) for eventual annexation to The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park.

THE NISENE 2 SEA CORRIDOR
(See www.nisene2sea.org for more information).

CURRENT CRISIS

Last fall, the Santa Cruz County Planning Commission decided that the Developers of the Koch-Carmichael Property cannot proceed with their Project as planned (building a large home high on the hillside near the Soquel Creek Water District water tank on steep slopes amid protected Coastal Prairie Grasslands) because doing so will violate the County General Plan and County Ordinances. A home in this location will also entirely block a heavily used trail into The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. (Note that the proposed home location is to the left of the very small white dot on the above map that is about midway on the right boundary of the Koch-Carmichael Property)

The Developers have refused to revise their Project plans to comply with the County General Plan and Ordinances as recommended by the Planning Commission. Instead, the Developers have filed an Appeal of this Project Denial to the Board of Supervisors asking the Board to overturn the Planning Commission's denial of their Project Application.

The Supervisor's review of the Developers' Appeal is in two steps. First, at the "Jurisdictional Hearing" on April 5th the Supervisors will decide if they will support the Project denial by the Planning Commission (each Supervisor has one Commissioner acting on his/her behalf) or if they are convinced that their Commissioners failed to do their job (See County Ordinances Section 18.10.340 for procedural details at http://ordlink.com/codes/santacruzco/index.htm). If they refuse to accept Appeal jurisdiction, the denial of the County Planning Commission will stand and the Board will act no further. This Jurisdictional Hearing will occur on April 5, 2005 at 9AM.

The Appeal is merely another attempt by the Owners/Developers circumvent County General Plan policies and County Ordinances. The Owners/Developers can build a home on their 142 acre Property but, they must do so following our County Ordinances and County General Plan policies. Over the past years they have continued to attempt to do otherwise.

It is important that the Supervisors stand behind the decision made by their Planning Commission and refuse to take jurisdiction of this Appeal. The Planning Commission's decision was sound and carefully considered. It was based on detailed evidence and 6 hours of Planning Commission hearings. The Developers should revise their Project plans to comply with the County General Plan and Ordinances and not be permitted to pressure the County to do otherwise. Tell your Supervisor to support their Planning Commission's denial of the Project Application and not to be pressured to do otherwise.


A LETTER TO YOUR SUPERVISOR IS VERY IMPORTANT
Send your FAX to (831) 454-3262 or Send an Email
(see www.co.santa-cruz.ca.us for your Supervisor's email address)

Sample Letter to your Supervisor:

[Supervisor Name]

Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors

County Bldg. Room 500

701 Ocean Street,

Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Dear ________:

This letter concerns the Jurisdictional Hearing to be heard by the Board of Supervisors on April 5, 2005, concerning the Appeal of the Planning Commission Denial of Project Application No. 00-0143.

I am aware that the Owners are entitled to build one house somewhere on their 142 acre property. However, their Project Application as currently proposed was denied by the Planning Commission. Due to the careful consideration along with the detailed record and other evidence on which the Commission based their decision, this denial should be upheld and supported.

Please refuse to take jurisdiction of the Owners' Appeal of the Planning Commission's denial of their Project Application.

Sincerely,


JURISDICTIONAL HEARING LEAVES DEVELOPERS WITH MANY FUTURE OPTIONS

The Jurisdictional Hearing only concerns the current Project Application and has nothing to do with any plans the Developers have for the remainder of the 142 acres. A denial of the current Project Application will also not prevent the Developers from submitting a revised Project Application that complies with the County General Plan and Ordinances. If the Developers eventually sell to the public, it will be for appraised fair market value. The Developers have many future options for the Property remaining; they just can't build on the steep slope as they planned.

DEVELOPERS' FUTURE PLANS FOR THE PROPERTY

Very recently the Developers have talked to the Trust for Public Land about selling some of the 142 acres to the public (excluding 20 or so acres around the proposed Project) and have also met this month with Supervisors and the County Planning Department to discuss the same, but have taken no other action on this option and continue with their Appeal of the Project denial.

The Developers' future plans for the Property could also include sale of the 142 acres to another real estate developer or, as they have mentioned on numerous occasions, subdivision of the Property into large lots for upscale homes. They have often mentioned blocking all public access to the Property and its trails between Cabrillo, Nisene Marks, and the neighborhoods, including the popular Scout Trail into Nisene Marks along the ridge by the big water tank.

QUESTIONABLE MOTIVES OF DEVELOPERS

Only time will tell if the Developers are serious about selling to the public or if they are just trying to influence the Supervisors' decision at the Jurisdiction Hearing on April 5th. To date the Developers have taken no definitive action to facilitate sale to the public and the Developers have even gone so far as to suggest that they may never sell to the public unless the public supports approval of their Project Application recently denied by the Planning Commission. In any event, its up to the Developers to comply with the County General Plan and County Ordinances, and hopefully, at some point they will decide that the most profitable solution for them is sale to the public for current fair market value.

THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND REMAINS
WILLING TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PUBLIC ACQUISITION PROCESS

The Trust for Public Land (See www.tpl. org ) remains willing to assist with the public acquisition of the Koch-Carmichael Property. This national organization has as significant resources, financial and otherwise, that would be available once they formally become involved. Over the past year, the Developers have initiated communication with TPL, but have refused to obtain an appraisal that TPL can use in the public acquisition process. We are hopeful that they will change their minds.

OPEN SPACE ALLIANCE AGREES TO HELP WITH THE ACQUISITION OF THE PROPERTY

The Open Space Alliance (See www.santacruzosa.org), a local organization that is dedicated to the permanent protection of significant open space lands in the Santa Cruz County and the Monterey Bay Bio-region, has agreed to assist TPL with its efforts to preserve the Koch-Carmichael Property as public open space.

NISENE MARKS GENERAL PLAN SUPPORTS PRESERVATION OF THE NISENE 2 SEA CORRIDOR

The Forest of Nisene Marks General Plan was formally approved by the State Parks Commission in mid 2003. This Plan supports preservation of the Nisene 2 Sea Corridor and collaborative, conservation focused, educational activities between State Parks, California Department of Forestry, and Cabrillo College.

CABRILLO COLLEGE SUPPORTS ACQUISITION

Cabrillo College remains supportive of public acquisition of the Koch Property and preservation of the Nisene 2 Sea Corridor which provides easy trail access between Cabrillo College and The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park.

See Additional Nisene 2 Sea Corridor Information
at
www.nisene2sea.org

For Further Information Call 688-7724 or
Email: info@nisene2sea.org

A FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION WILL HELP INSURE THAT THE NISENE 2 SEA CORRIDOR WILL BE PROTECTED AND ACCESSIBLE AS PUBLIC OPEN SPACE FOR GENERATIONS TO COME


Please make a financial contribution and provide your contact information:

Name:______________________________________________________________________
Address: ___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
Telephone:_________________________________________________________________
Fax: ______________________________________________________________________
Email:_____________________________________________________________________


Please mail your contribution and the above information to:
Nisene 2 Sea
3757 Vienna Drive,
Aptos, California 95003

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

 


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