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KUSP Land Use News
Week of February 15, 2016 to February 21, 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 15, 2016 to February 21, 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


Working On The Waterfront In Monterey
Monday, February 15, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The City of Monterey may soon have a new Waterfront Master Plan.

The Monterey City Council meets on Tuesday, February 16th. There is really only one substantive item on the agenda for the evening session, which begins at 7:00 p.m. If you care about the Monterey Wharf, and how it will be used and developed in years to come, take a look at the City’s proposed new Waterfront Master Plan. There is a link to this document at

The draft Waterfront Master Plan was released in September 2015, so it has been around for awhile. In fact, the City Council has already considered the proposed Plan once before, on January 27th. Concerns were raised at that time, and those concerns included a proposed Tyler Street Bridge/Scott Street Extension; the Del Monte/Washington intersection; parking; and leasing strategies. These are significant issues, so if you care, you need to put tomorrow night’s meeting on your calendar.

The Council is not planning to do a full scale Environmental Impact Report. The materials before the Council say that while the Plan would have some adverse environmental impacts, mitigation measures have been incorporated into the project, so there is no need for more study, or for more public participation on the possible environmental impacts. Tomorrow is probably your last chance to speak up!

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

A Coastal Coup
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

There is a statewide uproar over coastal protection!

As many listeners may know, the California Coastal Commission met last week in Morro Bay, and considered whether or not to fire Dr. Charles Lester, the Commission’s Executive Director. The Commission gave notice to Dr. Lester that it intended to terminate him, and he exercised his right to have a public hearing on this termination notice. It was quite a public hearing!

Starting at 10:00 in the morning and running to dinner time, the Commission heard from Dr. Lester and hundreds of individuals and organizations. All the testimony was in favor of Dr. Lester. A letter signed by 95% of the Coastal Commission staff supported him, and as one person said, when you added up all the members of the various organizations who supported Dr. Lester, more than a million people were asking the Commission to keep him on.

With no public explanation at all all, and in a closed door session, the Commission voted 7-5 to fire
Dr. Lester. The Governor’s four appointees, who serve at the Governor’s pleasure, led the charge, and while Commissioners denied it, it sure looks like a developer “coup d’etat!”

Assembly Member Mark Stone, who represents the Monterey Bay Region, had an immediate reaction. Stone has announced his intention to introduce legislation that will change how the Commission conducts its business. There are links to more information at

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Pot Farming In Carmel Valley?
Friday, February 19, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

What do you think about pot farming in Carmel Valley?

On Tuesday, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors held a special meeting to consider the issue of marijuana cultivation. The Board is planning for another special meeting, on February 26th, to consider extending and perhaps amending the County’s interim ordinance. That ordinance currently prohibits cultivation. If you have an interest in this topic, mark your calendar for February 26th.

Friends in the Big Sur area have told me that there is, in fact, at least some interest in permitting marijuana cultivation in both Carmel Valley and Big Sur. In an email, a copy of which I obtained, cultivation proponents complained that “the only interests being represented [representing - sic] are deep pockets from Salinas Valley. These folks’ interests mainly reflect large scale green house cultivation and because of this, the framework that is being constructed for legislation is reflecting their interests.” The email went on to say that its purpose was to “gather support from ... those who are interested in shaping the future of Outdoor Cannabis Farming” in Carmel Valley and Big Sur.

Proponents are currently putting together a group to provide local representation for those who live in Big Sur and Carmel Valley, and who want outdoor cultivation. An attorney has been engaged to help in the effort. There is more information at

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Persons interested in being part of a group to support outdoor marijuana cultivation in Carmel Valley and/or Big Sur should contact or

Pay Attention To San Benito County
Sunday, February 21, 2016 / 7:30 a.m.

What’s happening in San Benito County?

The Monterey Bay Region officially includes San Benito County. Santa Cruz County and Monterey County residents sometimes forget that, because San Benito County doesn’t directly touch the Monterey Bay. San Benito County is not far away, though, and San Benito County, and the cities within San Benito County, are all members of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments, or AMBAG. That’s our local regional governance association.

Sometimes, of course, San Benito County is actually ahead of its bayside siblings. Just to take fracking as an example, the people of San Benito County enacted an anti-fracking ordinance in 2014, and that important topic is now coming to the public’s attention in Monterey County. On the issue of fracking, of course, Santa Cruz County gets bragging rights, because the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors simply adopted an ordinance itself. There was no need for the voters to have to go to the ballot box.

My purpose today is not, really, to talk about fracking. I’d like KUSP listeners to know that the City of San Juan Bautista is just about to adopt a new General Plan. A public hearing is scheduled for Friday, February 26th. Also, “heads up” on a major new residential subdivision proposed in the City of Hollister. Get more information at

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Get information on the proposed Roberts Ranch Subdivision in the City of Hollister by contacting Abraham Prado - (831) 636-4360. A project description can be found at the City of Hollister's website.

Information on the City of San Juan Bautista General Plan is available from Roger Grimsley. Contact him at - (831) 623-4661. The San Juan Bautista Website will have other 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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