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KUSP Land Use News
Week of February 8, 2016 to February 14, 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 February 8, 2016 to February 14, 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


One Big List Of Meetings
Monday, February 8, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

I have a long list of meetings for you!

Listeners to the Land Use Report are often treated (if that's the word) to advisory messages about land use-related meetings that are coming up. Local and state government bodies of all kinds have important meetings, and I like to encourage public participation. Check the Land Use Report blog at for more information about today's long list:

  • Today, Monday, the City of Santa Cruz will hold a "Corridors" Planning Meeting from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Louden Nelson Center.
  • Tomorrow, Tuesday, Public Water Now and LandWatch will hold a meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Monterey, to discuss water and land use, and a recent Cal-Am settlement agreement.
  • Tomorrow, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors is going to receive a report on medical marijuana regulations.
  • Tomorrow, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors is going to consider adoption of the 2015 Housing Element of the County General Plan.
  • Tomorrow, the Santa Cruz City Council will vote on whether to allow Santa Cruz Shakespeare to present its plays in DeLaveaga Park.
  • Wednesday, the California Coastal Commission is meeting in Morro Bay, and will decide whether or not to fire its Executive Director.

How's that for a list of meetings? I hope you'll get involved!

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Are You In Morro Bay, Today?
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

For the future of the coast, the stakes couldn't be higher!

The California Coastal Commission is meeting today, Wednesday, in Morro Bay, and will decide whether or not to fire the Commission's Executive Director, Dr. Charles Lester. Usually, the public doesn't pay much attention to the personnel action of governmental agencies. This is definitely NOT the case with respect to the proposed termination of Dr. Lester. Dr. Lester has requested an open public hearing on his proposed termination, and more than 14,000 comments have been received by the Commission, almost all of them urging that the Commission not terminate Dr. Lester.

I have links in today's transcript to the Commission's agenda. If you are not in Morro Bay yourself, and want to watch the meeting, you can do that on a live webcast.

I believe it is clear that this particular personnel matter is really about how zealous the Commission should be in its coastal protection efforts. Dr. Lester's termination has been urged by the more "pro-development" members of the Commission, based on a Coastal Protection Scorecard compiled by environmental groups. All of those seeking to terminate Dr. Lester were appointed by Governor Brown.

Ultimately, the question is whether the staff of the Commission should work for the public, to carry out the public mandate for coastal protection enshrined in the Coastal Act, or whether the staff should take its direction from politically-appointed Commissioners who may have a different agenda.

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Let's Get Together On Presidents' Day
Friday, February 12, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

There is a meeting next week on the proposed Coastal Rail Trail.

The proposed Coastal Rail Trail in Santa Cruz County would have lots of positive impacts, and maybe some negative impacts, too. It is to be expected a proposed project of this kind would be controversial, and so it is, though I think it's fair to say that the majority opinion is that building a new trail from Watsonville to Davenport, along the existing rail right of way, would have lots of positive benefits. The "rail" part is, perhaps, more controversial than the "trail" part, but the current conception is that there would, ultimately, be a genuine "Rail Trail."

Let me tell you about a meeting to be held next Monday, Presidents' Day, February 15th. Friends of the Rail Trail will be hosting Jeff Boothe, an expert transit consultant from Washington, D.C., who will present specifics on a variety of light rail systems around the United States. This will be an opportunity for interested persons to get an idea about what kind of options might be out there for rail transit, and how it might be possible to fund rail transit in Santa Cruz County. Bruce Sawhill, Chair of Friends of the Rail and Trail, will give a short exposition on the specific demographics of Santa Cruz County, and its suitability for rail transit.

The meeting on Monday will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Vet's Hall in downtown Santa Cruz, located at 846 Front Street.

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Rogue Bike Trails
Sunday, February 14, 2016 / 7:30 a.m.

Rogue bike trails threaten our environment.

I quite often hear from listeners who would like me to broadcast information about one land use item or another. I definitely encourage that! Every Land Use Report is not only aired on KUSP, it is memorialized in a written transcript, usually with some links to more information. If you visit, you can not only read those transcripts, you can send me an email giving me your views, and making any suggestion you might have about topics to be covered in future editions of the Land Use Report. I do encourage that! I hope to hear from you!

Recently, I got an email alerting me to what the Monterey Herald has called "rogue" bike trails being constructed on county-owned lands near Toro Park, off Highway 68 in Monterey County. The trails have been constructed, apparently, by mountain bike enthusiasts, but without any permission, and their environmental impacts appear quite damaging. One person called the trails "eco-vandalism" at a recent meeting of the County Planning Commission. So far, County authorities have not taken any effective action, and if you care about the issue, you might want to contact your County Supervisor. In today's transcript, you will find a link to some news stories that provide more information. The Planning Commission will next address the issue on March 3rd.

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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