General Plan Update

In 2005, the County of Monterey updated its seriously outdated General Plan. The decisions made by the Board of Supervisors determine the future of Monterey County for decades to come.

General Plan

  • Letter: Comments on the General Plan Implementation (173K PDF)
    LandWatch reviewed Exhibit -1 Summary 2021 Annual Report Matrix and compared it to our matrix that identifies policies categories requiring implementation. We are pleased to see some implementation progress. However, of the over 70 policy categories identified, 28 are under development, including the DES, and 43 have no schedule. As noted in our prior annual comments, it is essential for the County to provide adequate resources to assure full implementation of the 2010 Monterey County General Plan. (03.05.22)
  • Letter: Comments on the Monterey County General Plan Update Implementation (536K PDF)
    LandWatch sent another reminder to the County that the implementation requirements of the General Plan have not fully been met—10 years after adoption. A request was made to the Board of Supervisors to provide the resources needed to implement the General Plan. (03.22.21)
  • Letter: LandWatch Comments on Plan Implementation (581K PDF)
    LandWatch noted in its letter that the County must provide an accurate accounting of its policies and their status by April 1st to the State of California. Numerous errors were identified by LandWatch and the request was made to update the matrix. (01.21.21)
  • Letter: LandWatch Weighs In On VMT Thresholds (525K PDF)
    In a letter to the County Planning Commission, LandWatch reiterates the requirements of SB 743, requiring local agencies evaluate traffic impacts using thresholds of significance based on Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT). LandWatch encouraged the Planning Commission to pursue a single countywide threshold. (01.07.21)
  • Letter: LandWatch Comments on Climate Action Plan (60K PDF)
    For the late October Board of Supervisors’ meeting, LandWatch provided substantive comments on the proposed Climate Action Plan, supporting the Planning Commission’s unanimous support. (10.23.20)
  • Letter: LandWatch comments on Monterey County’s Development Evaluation System (DES) (212K PDF)
    LandWatch strongly recommends that projects that fail the objective, pass/fail DES criteria be denied, consistent with the language of the County’s adopted General Plan, and that the County affirm its discretion to deny projects even if they have a passing score under the DES. (07.07.20)
  • Letter: LandWatch Supports Mixed Use Provisions (223K PDF)
    LandWatch supports adoption of the draft Ordinance that will implement mixed use provisions in the 2010 General Plan. Mixed uses help reduce trips and greenhouse gas emissions by consolidating employment, shopping, and residential opportunities. (05.22.20)
  • Letter: LandWatch Comments on Development Evaluation System (DES) (522K PDF)
    LandWatch notes that the DES is a required feature of the General Plan and is not optional in its results. Meaning, the Supervisors cannot opt to override it. The project either passes or it fails, it can’t fail with a possible override by decision makers. (04.27.20)
  • Letter: Grading System Set Up, LandWatch Opposes
    In the County’s creation of a Development Evaluation System, certain minimum size projects would subject to a pass/fail grading system on value versus impact. Passing grades move projects forward. Failing grades projects can go to the Commission for a variance. LandWatch opposed this set up because the project can still move forward after a failing grade.  (12.04.19)
  • Letter: County Open to Additional Risk (132K PDF)
    LandWatch submits comments to the County after only 11% of identified policies have actually been implemented. (08.07.17)
  • Letter: Sups Postpone General Plan Amendments Vote
    Amendments proposed to the Board of Supervisors as part of a legal settlement with LandWatch Monterey County were voted down earlier in the month. Now the Board has postponed the amendments until September. LandWatch believes a compromise will be found. (05.12.15)
  • Letter: Board’s Performance Amounts to Political Theater
    While the Supervisors were saying they couldn’t bow down to the environmentalists demands, the reality is they essentially cancelled the settlement agreement that took four years to reach.  Playing to their political supporters, they claimed the policies would strangle the economy when in fact, they have very little influence at all on the county’s economy. (05.03.15)
  • Article: Ag Interests Overwhelm Policy Debate
    The 2010 General Plan has not been enacted because of litigation.  Policies meant to solve the concerns were rejected.  Ag interests showed up in force to fight the proposed amendments that impact them.  The amendments removed streamlined permitting for vineyards and prohibit development on slopes greater than 25%. (04.29.15)
  • Article: Supervisors Reject Policies for Settlement Compliance
    Yesterday was disappointing as the Board of Supervisors considered proposed General Plan amendments in compliance with a settlement agreement with LandWatch and others. The Board voted down the amendments with one Supervisor saying he hoped to send a message that the proposed amendments were unacceptable. LandWatch’s Executive Director Amy White mentioned it would be unfortunate if we had to go back to court over this. Yes, it would be, wouldn’t it? (04.28.15)
  • Article: County Rejects Settlement Plan
    With four years of negotiating under their belt the settlement agreement between the County and litigants like LandWatch came to a head.  The Board of Supervisors rejected six policies, but agreed to continue to negotiate for two more weeks. (04.28.15)
  • Article: Policies to End Litigation Get Denied
    Two groups sued the County over its General Plan and as part of the settlement policies were to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.  Those policies were denied in a 4-1 vote.  The County needs to weigh its options on how to move forward as these policies were required parts of the settlement agreement. (04.28.15)
  • Article: Policies Head to Board of Supervisors
    As part of a settlement agreement, the County of Monterey is preparing to present policies to the Board of Supervisors.  The six amendments will be heard and if the Board votes against implementing them the County may end up back in court with LandWatch. (04.27.15)
  • Letter: LandWatch Submits Letter on Evaluation System
    LandWatch Monterey County sent a letter to the County with preliminary comments on the proposed Development Evaluation System, which will fulfill GPU 2010 Land Use policy 1.19. The comments outline concerns with inappropriate agricultural exemptions and provisions, as well as specific criteria comments. (02.10.14)
  • Article: County Suit Ends in Settlement
    LandWatch Monterey County and The Open Monterey Project sued the County of Monterey over its 2010 General Plan Update. Concerns included the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin, impacts to agriculture, habitat and wildlife movement, and more. A settlement was reached and announced in mid-January. (01.13.15)
  • Press Release: Settlement on County General Plan Reached
    Monterey County, The Open Monterey Project, and LandWatch Monterey County have reached an agreement that could settle the remaining litigation over the 2010 Monterey County General Plan. This new settlement calls for the County to consider various additional amendments to the 2010 General Plan. The proposed amendments to the General Plan will undergo a full public review process, including hearings at the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors, and be subject to environmental review. It is anticipated that this process will begin in February and conclude in late April or early May. (01.14.15)
  • Article: Monterey County Lawsuit Deal
    A deal was struck with Monterey County to settle an ongoing lawsuit between LandWatch on the General Plan. Part of the settlement agreement was to work to pass important policies that support sustainable land use through a transparent public process. (01.13.15)
  • Article: LandWatch Settles County Suit
    LandWatch Monterey County has struck a deal with the County to settle an ongoing lawsuit over the 2010 General Plan. One of the most important deal points was water sustainability in “Zone 2C” where nitrate contamination and overdraft conditions exist. (01.13.15)
  • Article: Four Years’ Worth of Litigation Settled
    Concerned groups, including LandWatch, filed a lawsuit on the 2010 Monterey County General Plan. The settlement focuses on important topics and new policies that will go before the Board of Supervisors on water, agriculture, and wildlife corridors. (01.13.15)
  • Action Alert: Board of Supervisors Hearing February 12th
    The Board of Supervisors will consider whether to settle a lawsuit on the general plan which requires them to change a number of policies in the document. The Supervisors will consider whether to extend the exemption for proof of long term water for all development in the Salinas Valley. LandWatch thinks this is both irresponsible and untimely because our lawsuit is not yet decided. (02.07.13)
  • Press Release: LandWatch Continues Lawsuit Over General Plan Adequacy
    After 18 months of negotiations, LandWatch will move forward suing the County of Monterey over its General Plan. Concerns mainly focus on the assumptions the County made to provide for water for future urban and ag uses. (05.08.12)
  • Letter: LandWatch Submits Letter to County on Plan Update (102K PDF)
    Though the General Plan was adopted in 2010, many of the programs still need to be implemented, including Ag Land Conversion Mitigation Program, Oak Woodland Policies, Criteria for Proof of Long Term Sustainable Water Policy, Development Evaluation System, and many more. LandWatch urges the County to start the RFP process to get the expertise to help the County meet its implementation priorities. (11.02.10)
  • Update: LandWatch Continues to Pressure the County on GPU 2010
    LandWatch delivered our response to the final environmental document on GPU 5, now known as GPU 2010, we have submitted an additional seven letters to the Board of Supervisors. (10.24.10)
  • Letter: LandWatch Submits a Second Letter to the Planning Commission on the Final EIR for GPU 2010
    The final environmental impact report (FEIR) for GPU 2010 was released in March 2010. After submitting our comments on this document in May, LandWatch uncovered some troubling facts about how the County planned to address erosion and sedimentation issues and the Salinas Valley water supply. We then submitted a second letter to the County addressing these issues on July 20th. (08.01.10)
  • Letter: LandWatch Submits Impressive Letter on GPU 5 Final EIR
    The final environmental impact report (FEIR) on the general plan update (GPU 5) was released in March 2010. LandWatch immediately went to work studying the massive document and preparing our comment letter. We submitted our letter on May 25th for the Planning Commission to review. There will be more Planning Commission hearings on GPU 5 through the summer, and then the plan goes to the Board of Supervisors. Our main concerns are: erosion and sedimentation, the water supply of the Salinas Valley, the Agriculture Winery Corridor, and traffic. (06.01.10)
  • Letter LandWatch Delivers Impressive Response Letter on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for GPU5
    The DEIR comment period recently ended on February 2nd and because of member support, LandWatch evaluated the DEIR with exhaustive thoroughness and precision. On February 2nd LandWatch delivered a comprehensive 162 page letter to the County evaluating the DEIR. It included 70 additional pages of expert analysis from biologists, and water and traffic engineers. Together, the LandWatch comments and our expert testimony represent an impressive accomplishment that will help us push for a better General Plan for the people and environment of Monterey County. (03.08.09)
  • Update: GPU 5 Status
    GPU 5, the County’s updated General Plan, is getting closer to a vote by the Board of Supervisors. The public comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Report was extended again, but LandWatch remains cautiously optimistic about GPU 5’s adoption. (11.13.08)
  • Action Alert: Development Interests Have Demanded Changes in the General Plan Schedule
    Less than two months ago, planning staff informed the Planning Commission and the public that the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the General Plan (GPU5) would have a public circulation period of 60 days and the schedule included multiple public hearings before the Planning Commission. (07.28.08)
  • Update: General Plan Update 5 (GPU 5) November 6, 2007
    LandWatch has been monitoring the policies in the new “compromise” GPU 5. The plan is currently having an Environmental Impact Report prepared. That report should be released in the summer of 2008.
  • Update: General Plan Compromises at Risk with a 2-2 Vote on the Board of Supervisors
    LandWatch has been involved with the current draft language for the Monterey County General Plan, GPU 5. That plan includes several policies that need protection. While these policies fall short of what we had hoped for with Measure A, they represent important progress towards a “middle-ground” that the Board of Supervisors promised the voters after the June election. (02.07.08)
  • Letter: LandWatch Comments on GPU5 Recommendations
    LandWatch has reviewed the recommendations on GPU 5 by the Ad Hoc Planning Commission subcommittee. We have 14 recommendations for the Planning Commission to consider. (09.12.07)
  • Letter: LandWatch Message to Board of Supervisors
    LandWatch will continue to follow the actions of the Board of Supervisors as they move forward, modifying the “GPU4 Template” in the aftermath of the June 5th election. At their 10:30 meeting tomorrow, the Board intends to set the parameters for a compromise General Plan and to set the time table for that promise and final adoption of a new General Plan. The staff report for the meeting lays out important policy issues/parameters, however, it omits other important issues which should be included in the debate. The LandWatch letter urges the Board to include the full range of important policy issues. (07.30.07)
  • Article: No On Measure A Outspends Yes on A Efforts
    Opponents of Measure A have raised over $1.42 million, while Yes on A supporters have raised $814,992.  Supporters of Measure A believe it is in the best interest of agricultural workers to vote yes on the measure.  The opposition is having to spend twice as much money to deceive people reports A-activist Chris Fitz. (05.31.07)
  • Article: Residents Vote on Measure A (or Measure C)
    The Supervisors have failed to provide a General Plan—after seven long years of work—and without this document the long-range vision for the County is fuzzy.  Residents get to vote on the citizen-sponsored General Plan Initiative, GPI, (Measure A), put on the ballot when more than 16,000 voters signed the initiative, or the Supervisor’s GPU4 (Measure C), adopted by the County Supervisors in April 2007. (05.10.07)
  • Action Alert: Democracy in Monterey Under Attack
    January 3rd, 2007, in a 4 to 1 decision, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors approved GPU4. We must stop this “sprawl now, pay-later” plan from becoming the law of the land. (01.20.07)
  • Letter: LandWatch and Other Local Groups Comment on the Monterey County General Plan Update Draft EIR (928K PDF)
    The following comments on the Draft Program EIR on the 2006 Monterey County General Plan Update were submitted by LandWatch Monterey County, the Carmel Valley Association, North Monterey County Citizen’s Oversight Coalition, Highway 68 Coalition, the Ventana Chapter of the Sierra Club, Prunedale Neighbors Group, Prunedale Preservation Alliance, Rancho San Juan Opposition Coalition, and Citizens for Responsible Growth. (10.08.06)
  • Letter: LandWatch Monterey County is Reviewing the Latest Draft of the General Plan (GPU4)
    GPU4 fails to provide build-out data, a fundamental requirement in a General Plan. Not only does GPU4 fail to integrate important plan elements, important policies among the elements are dramatically inconsistent. In short, GPU4 is a planning disaster! (08.17.06)
  • Letter: LandWatch Takes a Strong Stand Opposing Monterey County’s Irresponsible Plans with the City of Salinas’ Sphere
    The City of Salinas is told in a letter from LandWatch about GPU 4 that will result in the urbanization of thousands of acres of unincorporated lands on the outskirts of the City of Salinas. It’s a plan for sprawl that will guarantee gridlock, water problems and economic hardship for the city. (08.16.06)
  • Letter: LandWatch Requests More Information on the Current General Plan Update (GPU 4)
    LandWatch requests from the County “build-out” data for the most recent General Plan Update, GPU 4. Without this important information it will be impossible for the public to have meaningful participation in the upcoming workshops to discuss GPU 4. The current draft of GPU 4 has serious flaws. (04.26.06)
  • Letter: LandWatch Comments on Draft EIR for Proposed General Plan
    LandWatch wrote this comment letter to Monterey County regarding the fourth Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed General Plan. (03.16.06)
  • Letter: No More Development Where Water Overdraft Exist
    LandWatch says that Monterey County shouldn’t be developing more houses where there is already an insufficient long term and sustainable water supply. The new County General Plan seems to be heading in the opposite direction! (05.25.05)
  • Letter: Proposed Infrastructure Policies Shortchange The Public
    Developers will be permitted to make traffic and water overdraft conditions worse for existing residents, if the Board of Supervisors ultimately adopts the “infrastructure” policies they discussed on May 5th. (05.05.05)
  • Letter: LandWatch “Modest Proposal” On The GPU Process
    In response to an abortive effort to ram through an aggressively pro-development General Plan Update document, LandWatch offers a “modest proposal” – that the Board of Supervisors actually follow the “normal” process, and set the Planning Commission recommended General Plan for a set of public hearings. (03.17.05)
  • Update: The Community GPU Forum Will Be Broadcast On Community Television
    Channel 24 will broadcast a video of the Community GPU Forum held in Prunedale. You can “tune in” on the web, too! (08.25.04)
  • Action Alert: “Community GPU” Process Will Maintain Public Voice
    The five forums scheduled this summer are going to be critically important in ensuring that the community’s priorities for the General Plan are not disregarded, in favor of a “wish list” submitted by those wanting more rural development. (08.08.04)
  • Action Alert: Here’s The Schedule For The “Community GPU” Forums
    This schedule gives the latest details on the “Community GPU” Forums scheduled around Monterey County during August, September, and October. Your attendance is vitally important! (08.08.04)
  • Action Alert: We Need A “Community GPU”
    LandWatch has joined forces with the Planning and Conservation League Foundation, and a host of Monterey County community groups, to sponsor a set of Community GPU forums. The schedule will be out soon. Your participation is vital! (07.02.04)
  • Letter: LandWatch Urges Board to Complete the GPU Process
    LandWatch wants the Board of Supervisors to finish the General Plan Update process they began almost five years ago, and to keep that process “public,” not convert it into an “insider” process, in which County staff makes key decisions behind closed doors. (06.15.04)
  • Letter: Board Refuses To Make The Tough Choices
    LandWatch Monterey County urged the Board of Supervisors to make the tough choices, and to adopt a General Plan Update that would focus future growth into existing urban areas, protecting and preserving both agricultural land and natural resources. Instead, the Board has started a whole new process! Here’s the LandWatch letter to the Board, written prior to the Board’s decision. (05.27.04)
  • Letter: Changes Needed
    The latest version of the County General Plan Update is fundamentally flawed. LandWatch has authored a joint letter that not only critiques the Plan, but offers positive suggestions to fix it. (03.26.04)
  • Workshop Agenda: “Boot Camp” Materials
    These materials from the GPU “Boot Camp” held on Saturday March 20th will help individuals and organizations who want to comment on the latest draft of the General Plan Update, or on the Draft Environmental Impact Report. Deadline for GPU comments is March 26th. Deadline for EIR comments is April 2nd. (03.21.04)
  • Letter: LandWatch Comments on the Economy, Jobs, and Housing
    A New Economic Impact Analysis shows what’s wrong, and what’s right, about the draft General Plan Update. (03.16.04)
  • Workshop: Boot Camp Session Will Prepare Participants
    An important public hearing on the GPU is scheduled for Monday, March 22nd. Attend the Saturday training session on March 20th, to get prepared! (03.12.04)
  • Letter: LandWatch Joins Group Statement on GPU
    LandWatch has joined other local groups in urging significant changes in the current draft of the GPU, to achieve the 12 Guiding Objectives that are supposed to be the foundation of the new Plan. (03.03.04)
  • Action Alert: Mark Your Calendars!
    The County Planning Commission will soon be holding hearings on the latest version of the County General Plan Update. LandWatch urges you to mark your calendars now. (02.17.04)
  • Letter: GPU Must Limit and Phase Growth To Match Infrastructure
    A “Traffic Model” recently developed by County government shows that traffic and transportation problems are going to get much worse, unless strong growth management protections are incorporated into the General Plan. (10.04.03)
  • Letter: GPU Refinement Group Has Been Ineffective
    Pointing out its ineffectiveness in helping to solve General Plan problems, the LandWatch Board has called for a return to the public process, and a prompt decision on the General Plan Update. (08.31.03)
  • Memo: General Plan Update Refinement Group
    Unedited videotapes of the meetings of the GPU “Refinement Group” are available at the Seaside County Library (see Bonnie) or at the Steinbeck Library in Salinas. For LandWatch’s initial letter, click here. For a LandWatch memo to Refinement Group members, click here. (08.02.03)
  • Letter: LandWatch Calls For Public Review of The GPU
    The General Plan belongs to the public. Decisions about the GPU should be made in a public forum, not in specialized “committees” that are given a privileged ability to rewrite the draft document. (06.22.03)
  • Action Alert: Don’t Shortchange The Public on GPU Process
    The special interests fighting the General Plan are trying to shortchange the public process. LandWatch says, “no way.” (06.22.03)
  • Schedule: GPU Workshops Set By Board
    Workshops scheduled for the next several weeks will play a key role in the General Plan Update process. (05.21.03)
  • Letter: LandWatch Wants A Prompt Decision on The GPU
    Proclaiming one thing, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors did just the opposite. On May 4th, The Board established a schedule for the General Plan Update that will put the final vote into next year. That means the final vote on the GPU will probably occur only AFTER the next Supervisorial elections. (05.15.03)
  • Update: Keep To The Guiding Objectives, Says LandWatch
    This article outlines what’s “good” and “bad” in the newest General Plan Update. (05.15.03)
  • Letter: Maintain The Integrity of the General Plan Update Process
    The Board of Supervisors is seriously contemplating setting up a series of “committee” meetings, to begin redrafting the General Plan Update. Even worse, the Board is seriously considering letting a special interest consultant have a privileged position to give the Board advice on how to change what the public process has brought forward. The meeting on May 6th will be critically important! (05.02.03)
  • Update: A New Coalition on Monterey County Land Use
    LandWatch is pleased to see the formation of a new, broad-based group to support strong General Plan policies. (04.08.03)
  • Letter: Important GPU Decisions on November 26th
    LandWatch urges all County Supervisors to reject “political compromise” as the foundation of the General Plan Update. This LandWatch letter went to all Board Members. (12.03.02)
  • Action Alert: Letters To The Editor Are Needed!
    Write a Letter to the Editor and help save the heart and soul of the draft General Plan Update. (10.03.02)
  • Nature Conservancy Poll Shows Support For Draft County General Plan Update
    80% of the public wants the General Plan Update to contain urban growth, and to protect agricultural land. The Nature Conservancy’s press release outlines striking poll results. (09.23.02)
  • Letter: Board of Supervisors To Make Key Decisions Soon
    The Monterey County Board of Supervisors will soon be making key decisions on the General Plan Update. This LandWatch letter outlines what is at stake. (08.29.02)
  • Letter: LandWatch Wants The GPU Process To Be Public
    The General Plan process has resulted (so far) in a draft General Plan that would help prevent Monterey County from becoming like the Silicon Valley. Now, business interests want to take the process behind closed doors. LandWatch says “no.” (07.17.02)
  • Action Alert: Your Testimony Is Needed!
    The Board of Supervisors has scheduled hearings in July, to take testimony on the “First Draft” of the General Plan Update. This item gives you the dates of the hearings, and provides talking points for your testimony. (07.05.02)
  • Action Alert: Let The Board of Supervisors Know Your Thoughts!
    The County Planning Commission is recommending changes to the Draft General Plan Update (GPU). The Board of Supervisors will be taking action soon. Now is the time to let the Board of Supervisors know what you think. LandWatch hopes that you will read the following “Joint Letter,” and then take action, as outlined in the memo that follows. (06.20.02)

  • Letter: Don’t Change the Basic Policies of the GPU
    This letter urges the County Planning Commission to preserve the heart and soul of the GPU, as it makes changes in reaction to public commentary. (06.06.02)
  • Hearing Dates: Public Hearing Dates For County General Plan Update
    Public Hearings have now been scheduled on the County’s Draft General Plan Update. Here is the latest listing. (3.28.02)
  • Document Available: Draft Monterey County General Plan Update Now Available
    The draft Monterey County General Plan Update (GPU) is now ready for review. Copies are available at all branches of public libraries, at all branches of the Free Monterey County Libraries, and on the county website. (01.08.02)
  • Letter: LandWatch Urges Strong General Plan Objectives
    It’s important that the Board of Supervisors establish a strong set of “Objectives,” as the basis for the new General Plan Update. LandWatch is urging the Board to approve the Planning Commission’s version, which is consistent with LandWatch’s policy priorities. (07.12.01)
  • Meeting Schedule: Upcoming Meetings on the General Plan Update
    The County has been holding lots of meetings on its General Plan Update. Here is a listing of the latest round. We hope you will plan to attend! (06.28.01)
  • Letter: LandWatch Position on General Plan Objectives
    This letter critiques the County’s 1979 Growth Management Policy, and outlines the kind of strong objectives that should guide preparation of the new General Plan Update. (06.07.01)
  • Letter: The LandWatch Approach To the General Plan Update
    This extensive letter responds to a report considered by the Planning Commission on May 30th. It outlines the policies that LandWatch believes should form the basis of the County’s General Plan Update. (05.29.01)
  • Meeting Schedule: Next Round In General Plan Update Process
    The County is updating its General Plan. The latest set of workshops, coming soon, will focus in great detail on what sort of land uses will be allowed in specific areas of the County. Call LandWatch, or the County, to get further information. (05.10.01)
  • Action Alert: County To Hold Important General Plan Meetings
    This February, the County will be holding three meetings on its proposed General Plan Update. Your participation is important!

Ordinances

  • Letter: LandWatch Writes About Concerns Related to the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance
    LandWatch supports consideration of a non-residential impact fee because the information the County gathers on alternative means of funding affordable housing is good regardless of the ultimate decision. We also endorse a high level of public participation (e.g., workshops, Planning Commission participation) because more information is better here, too, regardless of decisions ultimately. (09.13.21)
  • LandWatch Supports The Creation of a Private Road Ordinance Which Would Require Proof of Access to a Private Road Before a Project Receives a Discretionary Permit
    On October 27, 2011 LandWatch sent a letter to the Planning Commission regarding the proposed Proof of Access Ordinance and we support staff’s concept of the ordinance. This ordinance would require proof of access for a private road prior to processing a discretionary permit. The proposed ordinance would ensure that issues which may arise over the use of private roads are resolved by the parties at the time an application is submitted to the County. Alternatively, if disagreements arise later, proof of access must be resolved prior to the commencement of the land use allowed by the approval. The hearing was November 9th with a decision to continue the item until December 14th for language changes. (12.10.11)

Ballot Measures

  • LandWatch and Other Organizations Settle With County on Attorney’s Fees
    The Monterey County Board of Supervisors and a coalition of local environmental organizations have reached agreement covering the costs and legal fees incurred by the organizations in connection with last year’s litigation over the placement of the Community General Plan Initiative (Measure A) and the Rancho San Juan Referendum on the June 2007 ballot. Click here to read the details. (01.10.08)
  • Post-Election Analysis
    Although Measure A did not prevail in last Tuesday’s election, the election results, on the whole, were not a defeat! We battled the opposing General Plan Measure C to a draw (since it did not prevail either), and we scored a wonderful victory on Measure D, defeating for the second time the Rancho San Juan/Butterfly Village development, this time by a 64% to 36% margin. (06.17.07)
  • Ninth Circuit Rules 14-1 Citizen Petitions Need Not Be Translated
    “The full Court of Appeal’s opinion emphatically rejected the argument that privately circulated initiative, referendum, and recall petitions must be translated into Spanish under the VRA,” said Fred Woocher, an attorney with Strumwasser and Woocher, who argued the case on behalf of LandWatch and other plaintiffs. “There is obviously no longer any basis for the County to claim otherwise. Furthermore, there is no legal basis for the County to delay moving forward with the elections on the qualified petitions – one an initiative to amend the County General Plan and one a referendum overturning approval of Rancho San Juan.” (09.21.06)
  • Status of the Initiative and the Referendum Campaigns
    LandWatch remains hopeful that the Community General Plan Initiative and the Butterfly Village/Rancho San Juan Referendum measures will be placed on the November ballot. You can read the details of what the Monterey County Board of Supervisors has been up to. GPU 4 is being rushed. LandWatch and our allies have filed litigation to challenge the blatant violation of the California Election Code. (06.08.06)
  • LandWatch Warns the Board About Withdrawing Measure C from Ballot
    LandWatch warns the Board of Supervisors that they must seek a court order to take Measure C, the Referendum against Butterfly Village off the June 6th ballot. No legal challenge contesting the referendum’s validity has been filed. The Board has no legal authority to unilaterally withdraw Measure C from the ballot. (03.28.06)
  • LandWatch Asks Registrar of Voters to Femind Board of Election Laws
    LandWatch urges that Tony Anchundo, Registrar of Voters, should make it clear to the Board of Supervisors that they should not remove Measure C, the Referendum against Butterfly Village, from the June 6, ballot. Election Code section 9605 clearly directs that the election shall not be amended or withdrawn after the 83rd day prior to the election, which was March 15th. (03.26.06)

The Commmunity General Plan

  • Article: It’s a Matter of Priorities (452K PDF)
    In this article published in the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, Gary Patton explains exactly what the Community General Plan does for Monterey County. The Community General Plan was developed by LandWatch along with 17 participating community organizations during workshops held throughout the County. The plan was then submitted to the Board of Supervisors. This article highlights of the Community General Plan. This article has been licensed for posting on the LandWatch Website. (04.26.06)
  • Article: Take a Common Sense Approach (812K PDF)
    In this article published in the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, Chris Fitz explains how the Community General Plan initiative is a common sense approach to future land use decisions in Monterey County. LandWatch has been actively involved in the Community General Plan initiative along with many other endorsers of the initiative including Supervisor Dave Potter. The initiative is very simple, read what the initiative will do. This article has been licensed for posting on the LandWatch Website. (04.26.06)
  • Letter: Community General Plan Initiative Should Go on the Ballot (655K PDF)
    A very strong letter was sent out from Fred Woocher, attorney for The Monterey County Quality of Life, Affordable Housing and Voter Control Initiative in response to the Rutan & Tucker letter which urged the Board of Supervisors to keep the initiative off the ballot. There are NO legal grounds to silence the voices of more than 15,000 Monterey County voters who signed petitions to place the initiative on the ballot. (02.11.06)
  • Letter: Leagues State Strong Support For The Community General Plan
    The two local chapters of the well respected League of Women Voters have written to the Board of Supervisors, pointing out that the Community General Plan, submitted to the Board by LandWatch and seventeen other local community organizations, has many positive benefits, which carry out adopted League of Women Voters policies. (03.26.05)

Brown Act Violations

  • Letter: Board Procedures Contrary to Brown Act Requirements
    The Ralph M. Brown Act requires all meetings of governmental agencies to be “open and public,” and the Act also includes a number of  procedural safeguards, designed to make public participation meaningful. LandWatch has complained to the Board of Supervisors that the Board appears to be violating these state law provisions, thus shortchanging the public. (04.25.05)
  • Guide: The “Community General Plan” Is Controversial
    LandWatch is supporting the Community General Plan, developed by LandWatch and seventeen other community groups. Because it would really make a difference, the Community General Plan has become quite controversial. (03.10.05)
  • Letter: Community General Plan Groups Want Speedy Action
    Many of the groups that sponsored the Community General Plan process (including LandWatch) have urged the Board of Supervisors to use that Plan to adopt a “faster, better, and cheaper” alternative to a new General Plan Update. (02.01.05)
  • Press Release: Community General Plan Now Available to The Public
    There are several ways that members of the public can get a copy of the Community General Plan. (01.28.05)

Local Land Use Plans

Land Use Advisory Committee

Tools Available

  • Tool Available: Community Planning Model Available Online
    This press release from the Monterey County Planning Department will tell you how to make use of a new Community Planning Model, now available online. LandWatch members are encouraged to try out this online planning tool.
  • Workshop Scheduled: Plan To Attend the Carrying Capacity Workshop on July 24th
    A public workshop for the Monterey County General Plan Update is scheduled for Monday, July 24, 2000 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM. The meeting will be held in the Carmel Valley Middle School Cafeteria located at 4380 Carmel Valley Road in Carmel Valley. Some of the issues that may be discussed during the evening include: How do you define carrying capacity? What are the issues the General Plan should address first in these Planning areas? If these issues are resolved, what level of growth should be planned for during the next 20 years? All interested persons should plan on attending! (07.06.00)

Monterey County
Issues & Actions