General Plan Update

The City of Greenfield, located in the center of the Salinas Valley, prepared a General Plan Update, and proposed major annexations of commercially productive agricultural land, to allow significant new residential and commercial development. Future land use decisions in Greenfield raise important planning policy questions.

LandWatch Position: Opposed the Project
Project Status:

Quick Facts

  • The City of Greenfield prepared a General Plan to direct planning efforts from 2005 to 2025.
  • The city limits include about 1,000 acres and the Plan proposes to annex 1,400 more acres nearly doubling the size of the community.
  • The City of Greenfield is the Lead Agency

Project Status

Project Location Map

This map shows the existing city boundaries
and sphere of influence as well as the proposed
sphere of influence.

Full Size Map (4.7M PDF)
Credit: City of Greenfield General Plan (May 2005)

Credit: LandWatch (April 2003)

Resources at Risk

  • Improper Process
    The City though holding a vision planning workshop doesn’t seem to follow standard and approved planning procedures including basics like a timeline and work plan.
  • Loss of Agricultural Resources
    The conversion or loss of agricultural resources is a outlined in the plan but the conversion is not quantified. In addition, the direct hit to the Monterey County economy with the loss of this viable farmland is not mentioned.
  • Population Growth
    The consultants failed to link the amount of people/houses the land can accommodate and what the projected populations actually are for the city. The projections in the Draft General Plan take the city to build out, tripling the existing population.

LandWatch Involvement

LandWatch engages in the public process in a variety of ways. For this project, here is a list of our engagement strategies.

  • Letter: Comments on the Draft General Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Report (213K PDF)
    The proposed City of Greenfield General Plan would pave over commercially productive farm land for the construction of residential subdivisions that would provide housing affordable mainly to upper income commuters. There’s a better way to plan for growth! (05.12.05)
  • Letter: Comments on the City’s General Plan’s Land Use Element (152K PDF)
    This LandWatch letter urges full environmental review for the proposed City of Greenfield General Plan Update. (09.09.13)
  • Letter: Advising Greenfield on Redevelopment Law (132K PDF)
    Redevelopment law only allows cities to redevelop land that is “blighted.” The City of Greenfield wants to say that includes commercially productive agricultural land. LandWatch has warned Greenfield that this is contrary to state law requirements. (06.12.03)
  • Letter: Request for an Environmental Impact Report (94K PDF)
    The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires full environmental review when a proposed governmental action might have a negative environmental impact. The City of Greenfield appears to want to delay such review, and make important decisions without an EIR. LandWatch says, “don’t do it!” (04.03.03)
  • Letter: Preliminary Comments on the General Plan (143K PDF)
    The City of Greenfield is proposing a new General Plan Update that could have profound effects on that city, and on the future of agriculture in the Salinas Valley. LandWatch urges Greenfield to preserve and protect agricultural land, as much as possible, and to follow a public process that leads to full public participation. (03.16.02)

Salinas Valley
Issues & Actions