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KUSP Land Use News
Week of January 18, 2016 to January 24, 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 18, 2016 to January 24, 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


City Says "No" While The County Says "Yes"
Monday, January 18, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The Monterey City Council meets tomorrow. If the Council follows the advice of its staff, the Council will reject a proposal that the City release a condominium unit from an affordability restriction. When the condominium development was approved, the City set up a system to control the price of future resales, to maintain an affordable price for some of those units.

This kind of development condition, to preserve affordable housing opportunities, is associated with what is called an "Inclusionary Housing" program. Last December, I discussed a proposal to release 168 units of affordable housing from an affordable housing condition imposed on a development in Monterey County.

Unlike what the staff is proposing in the City of Monterey, the Board of Supervisors voted, four to one, with Supervisor Jane Parker voting "no," to remove affordability restrictions on the so-called "Moro Cojo" housing development. These restrictions were intended to benefit lower income agricultural and other workers. The effect of the Board’s action (not quite yet final) will be to provide a windfall profit, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, to the current owners, but will eliminate the future affordability of all those 168 units.

It looks like the City of Monterey is going to opt for the opposite approach, and will protect affordable housing in the City.

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

To Be Or Not To Be: Meeting Tomorrow
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

"To be, or not to be?" These famous words, perhaps the most famous of all the words that Shakespeare penned, can be placed in a land use context this week. Tomorrow, the Planning Commission of the City of Santa Cruz will decide whether or not Santa Cruz Shakespeare will be able to move their theatrical productions to the upper reaches of the City’s DeLaveaga Park.

Information can be found at There is a public hearing scheduled, for tomorrow evening, that’s Thursday, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The City is anticipating a big crowd, with both supporters and opponents coming out in large numbers, so the Planning Commission will hold its meeting at the Civic Auditorium. If you’d like to get personally involved (always something that I suggest), you should plan your evening ­­­accordingly.

Folks around the Monterey Bay probably know that the University of California at Santa Cruz kicked Santa Cruz Shakespeare out of their traditional location on the campus, without any good reason that anyone can figure out. That move by the University has Santa Cruz Shakespeare looking for a new home. You can have your say tomorrow evening at the Planning Commission, and you should mark your calendar for a City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 9th. That’s when the Council is likely to make a final decision on whether a new location for Santa Cruz Shakespeare is "to be, or not to be."

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Lighting Up The Riverwalk
Friday, January 22, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Those who want to get involved in land use, water, transportation, and related issues can act individually, and I definitely encourage that. They can also get together with others who share similar perspectives and concerns, and that is by far the best way to have an impact on the land use decisions that so fundamentally affect our local communities. Any long time listener to the Land Use Report has heard that before. My "unhidden agenda" is to stimulate the residents of the Monterey Bay Region to get personally involved, individually and in groups, in land use, transportation, and water issues. We like to think that we have "self-government" here in the United States, but self-government only works when we get involved ourselves.

Today, let me pitch a local nonprofit organization that works in both Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, namely the Coastal Watershed Council. I have links to more information at Two items in particular might be of interest. There is a San Lorenzo Lighting Ceremony taking place today, Friday, at 5:15 p.m. on the San Lorenzo Riverwalk. You can take part by showing up on the levee near the Warriors’ stadium at the right time.

You might also be interested in a "Connecting the Drops" presentation being given at the New Brighton Middle School on January 28th. Learn about our water supply challenges.

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Sunday, January 24, 2016 / 7:30 a.m.

On January 13th, I advertised the Ag Focus program, which is aimed at community leaders who would like to learn more, in depth, about agriculture in Santa Cruz County and the Pajaro Valley. Today, let me introduce you to a comparable program, aimed at community leaders in Monterey County. This program, called AgKnowledge, is sponsored by the Grower Shipper Foundation, and applications are now being accepted. The deadline for applications is February 28th, so you do have time to research whether you’d like to be involved, and to get your application in.

The AgKnowledge program will expose participants to the key issues facing today's ag industry, and issues that will determine its future.  Participants commit to nine months, including nine, daylong sessions. These intensive sessions provide AgKnowledge Fellows with a broad understanding of the agriculture industry and its local, national and global impact. Experts from both within the agriculture industry and outside speak to a wide range of topics and issues. This broad spectrum approach is intended to ensure a balanced and informed educational experience.

Sessions on water, the agricultural workforce, and food safety and security are all planned. And participants are going to spend a "day with a farmer, too." Track down more information at

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

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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