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KUSP Land Use News
Week of January 11, 2016 to January 17, 2016


KUSP provided a brief Land Use Report on KUSP Radio from January 2003 to May 2016. Archives of past transcripts are available here.

Week of January 11, 2016 to January 17, 2016

The following Land Use Reports have been presented on KUSP Radio by Gary A. Patton. The Wittwer & Parkin law firm is located in Santa Cruz, California, and practices environmental and governmental law. As part of its practice, the law firm files litigation and takes other action on behalf of its clients, which are typically private individuals, governmental agencies, environmental organizations, or community groups. Whenever the Land Use Report comments on an issue with which the Wittwer & Parkin law firm is involved on behalf of a client, Mr. Patton will make this relationship clear, as part of his commentary. Mr. Patton’s comments do not represent the views of Wittwer & Parkin, LLP, KUSP Radio, nor of any of its sponsors.

Gary Patton's Land Use Links


Tomorrow At 701 Ocean Street
Monday, January 11, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors is holding its first meeting of 2016 tomorrow. You may or may not decide to attend, but if you do, you'll find a lot of land use related items on the agenda. Here's a sampler:

  • Supervisors McPherson and Leopold are asking the Board – and the public - to support the Transportation Commission's expenditure plan for its 2016 ballot measure to fund transportation projects.
  • Supervisors McPherson and Leopold are also asking the Board to support federal legislation that would address airplane noise issues. Lots of Santa Cruz County residents will welcome that!
  • Agenda Item #45 will see the election of a new Chair and Vice-Chair. If the Board follows the recommendations of outgoing Chair Greg Caput, that McPherson-Leopold team will be elected Chair, and Vice-Chair, respectively.
  • Agenda Item #47, to be heard by the Board at around 10:00 o'clock in the morning, proposes that the Board adopt a new “Housing Element” for the County General Plan, to guide the County on housing related issues during the period from 2016 to 2023. This may be one of the most consequential items that the Board will consider all year, in terms of long-term land use impacts.

You can get information on all these items in today's transcript. Review the agenda at

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Focus Ag
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Agriculture is big business in the Monterey Bay Region, and it's important not only economically, but in terms of the role that agriculture plays at the foundation of our local communities. Despite the importance of agriculture, I bet that not many of us really understand or appreciate agriculture as much as we probably ought to. If that's true for you, there is a solution. The nonprofit organization Agri-Culture operates a program it calls “Focus Ag,” and the group is now accepting applications for Focus Ag Class # 27 (which Agri-Culture denotes using ancient Roman numerals). Don't let that fool you. If you are lucky enough to get a spot in the program, you will find that agriculture in our region is not out of date or behind the times.

The Focus Agriculture program is designed for selected community leaders, to help them learn about agriculture in Santa Cruz County and the Pajaro Valley. The program consists of once-a-month, daylong seminars, held for nine months. The sessions cover such topics as environment and technology, ethnic groups in agriculture, and regional diversity of commodities produced. They also include numerous farm tours and hands-on experiences.

There is more information at You do have to act promptly. The application deadline is January 15th.

This is Gary Patton.

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A CLUE Review
Friday, January 15, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Back in 2008, a community group in Santa Cruz called “CLUE,” the “Coalition to Limit University Expansion,” was part of a settlement that ended several lawsuits that challenged the Long Range Development Plan of the University of California at Santa Cruz.

It is undeniable that the growth of the UCSC campus, over the years, has had negative impacts on the City of Santa Cruz, and, in fact, on Santa Cruz County. How many of the cars in that traffic jam on Highway One, going north every weekday morning, are transporting a worker at the UCSC campus to his or her job? Well, lots of them! In fact, the growth-related impacts of UCSC not only affect traffic, they affect water and housing, too.

There are definitely lots of positive impacts that come from UCSC, including significant positive impacts on the local economy. CLUE, however, was formed to make sure that the negative impacts were not overlooked, and that they were addressed with real mitigation measures.

Because of the legal settlement in 2008, the City, the County, the University, and CLUE now have a process in place to measure the housing, traffic, and related impacts of UCSC growth. Last Tuesday, the City Council got a report. I have a link in today's transcript. You can check out that report at

This is Gary Patton.

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CropManage Workshop
Sunday, January 17, 2016 / 7:30 a.m.

On Wednesday, I talked about the Focus Agriculture program, designed to help educate local community leaders about the role that agriculture plays in the Monterey Bay Region. Today, let me talk about an upcoming workshop aimed at professionals who work in agriculture.

CropManage is a free online decision support tool for water and nutrient management of coastal crops, including strawberries, head and romaine lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, and spinach. With unprecedented drought conditions, an over-drafted groundwater basin, and water quality regulations that are closely linked to nutrient management, efficiently using water and nitrogen fertilizer is a high priority for Pajaro Valley growers. CropManage can play an important role in providing quick decision support on water and nutrient management. A free workshop on the CropManage system is scheduled for Tuesday, January 26th. At this free workshop, participants will get hands-on training. Spanish interpretation will be available, too, for those who need that assistance.

While this workshop is free, you do need to make a reservation, since space is limited. You can get full information at, including information on how to RSVP by January 22nd. If you're interested, don't delay!

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

RSVP by January 22, 2016 to Erin McCarthy at 831-475-5159 or

Archives of past transcripts are available here

LandWatch's mission is to protect Monterey County's future by addressing climate change, community health, and social inequities in housing and infrastructure. By encouraging greater public participation in planning, we connect people to government, address human needs and inspire conservation of natural resources.



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