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KUSP Land Use News
Week of February 22, 2016 to February 28, 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 22, 2016 to February 28, 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


Don’t Be Bored Tomorrow
Monday, February 22, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

All sorts of hot topics are on the agenda tomorrow; that’s Tuesday! If you are thinking you might be “bored” tomorrow, with nothing to do, consider attending one of our local “Board” meetings. Both the Monterey County Board of Supervisors and the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors meet tomorrow. I have links to their agendas, and references to other information, at I also have a link to the agenda of the Santa Cruz City Council, which is holding a study session at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow, to discuss Water Financial Planning and Rate-Making.

At 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors will receive an update on Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin planning under California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. It would be hard to overstate the importance of this groundwater management effort. It would also be hard to overstate the impacts that the so-called Ferrini Ranch development will have on the Highway 68 corridor. The Board is planning to change project conditions to save the developer almost half a million dollars.

Tomorrow, the Santa Cruz County Board will be considering an ordinance on the overnight parking of recreational vehicles, essentially prohibiting such parking anywhere in the County. The Board is looking for more transportation funding, and more affordable housing funding, and will also be discussing groundwater management.

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Parks Master Planning In Monterey
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Parks are being planned in the City of Monterey!

This afternoon, the Monterey City Council is going to be meeting with the City’s Parks and Recreation Commission, and with the City’s Planning Commission, in a joint session. The meeting will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Monterey City Hall. Up for discussion will be a proposed Parks and Recreation Master Plan for the City of Monterey. You are most cordially invited to attend.

The City Council has budgeted $150,000 for an update to the current Parks and Recreation Master Plan, and has authorized a $140,000 consultant contract. The City doesn’t think it has to do an Environmental Impact Report, which may, or may not, be a legally sustainable position. The City’s agenda says that this will just be a “plan,” after all, so there won’t be any foreseeable physical change on or in the environment. Maybe so! On the other hand, the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, does generally require environmental review at the planning stages as projects move from plans to reality.

The process is still at a relatively preliminary stage. A draft statement of “vision and goals” is what is being explored now. As listeners probably realize, this is definitely a case of “if you care, be there!”

You can get more information at

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Cannabis Cultivation In Two Counties
Friday, February 26, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Pot farming in rural areas is a big issue around the Bay!

Last Friday, I told listeners that there would be a special meeting of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors today, Friday, February 26th, to consider an interim ordinance relating to the cultivation of medical marijuana. The hearing is set for 9:00 a.m., and if you are hearing this on the “morning edition,” then there may still be time for you to get over to Salinas for the special meeting.

Those who would like to have Monterey County permit the cultivation of medical marijuana in Carmel Valley and Big Sur will be speaking out at the hearing this morning. As it turns out, there is a comparable group in Santa Cruz County, calling itself Santa Cruz Mountains for Sustainable Cannabis Medicine, or SCM2. I have a link to that group’s online survey at

SCM2 is trying to gather information from those currently cultivating marijuana in the mountains of Santa Cruz County. If you happen to be in that category, you will undoubtedly be interested in the survey. Maybe even if you are not! There are significant environmental and community impacts involved in the cultivation of marijuana, and coming up with good rules is going to be critical. I know that the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors is already deeply engaged, and is hearing from people with divergent views.

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

Gilroy And Growth
Sunday, February 28, 2016 / 7:30 a.m.

I have news today about a proposed Urban Growth Boundary.

In Monterey County, the City of Marina has an Urban Growth Boundary, established by an initiative measure enacted by the voters some years ago. I am pretty sure that Marina is the only city in Monterey County that has taken action to stop the kind of urban sprawl that is still all too typical around the state. Supposedly, each county’s Local Agency Formation Commission, or LAFCO, is supposed to set boundaries against sprawl, but in Monterey County, at least, that system has allowed cities like Salinas and Greenfield to annex and develop huge areas of agricultural land.  

Santa Cruz County jurisdictions have taken a more positive approach to Urban Growth Boundaries. The City of Santa Cruz has a voter-approved “Greenbelt Ordinance.” Watsonville has also established a voter-approved line, to prevent sprawl, and of course the County’s Measure J Growth Management System, adopted by the voters in 1978, prevents the kind of unincorporated sprawl development that would undoubtedly have occurred in Santa Cruz County without the enactment of that measure.

In Santa Clara County, where sprawl was king for many years, keeping pace with precedents in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in the South, voters in Gilroy are now likely to get an opportunity to enact an Urban Growth Boundary for that city. There is a link to 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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