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KUSP Land Use News
Week of March 14, 2016 to March 20, 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 March 21, 2016 to March 27, 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


Advise And Consent
Monday, March 14, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

My advice is: don’t ignore that “Consent Agenda.”

Tomorrow, both the Monterey County Board of Supervisors and the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors are holding regular meetings. Not too much is happening on the regular agenda of either of these Board meetings, but those who would like to know what their local elected officials are doing should always pay attention to the Consent Agenda, as well as to the Regular Agenda.

In Monterey County, the Board of Supervisors is likely to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Soledad. That proposed agreement is being considered as Item # 32 on the Board’s Consent Agenda. There won’t be any discussion. That’s too bad. The agreement is looking forward to the annexation to the City of Soledad of more prime agricultural land, to permit continued residential and other development.

On the Consent Agenda of the Santa Cruz County Board, as Item #13, the Board is proposing to carry out a study, costing about half a million dollars, which would result in a plan to reuse the CEMEX property adjacent to Davenport. It’s possible that Davenport would become a major tourism center and the gateway to a North Coast National Monument.

On the Board’s “Written Correspondence Agenda,” you’ll find that a group called “We Are Aptos” is just about to sue the County over the Aptos Village Project. There is more information at

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Monterey County Board of Supervisors

  • Consent Agenda Item #32 - Agreement With Soledad
Consider A Planning Commission Visit
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Residents of the City of Santa Cruz should be thinking about going to a Planning Commission meeting.

The City of Santa Cruz Planning Commission is meeting this Thursday, at 7:00 p.m. Review the Land Use Report blog at for more information.

The Commission doesn’t have any projects on its agenda tomorrow night. Instead, the Commission will be looking at three major policy documents that set out goals and objectives that are intended to drive the City’s future growth and development.

“Growth and development” is probably a pretty good way to put it, too. As listeners may be aware, the University of California is planning big new growth on its Santa Cruz campus, and a lot of the impacts will hit the City. In general, I think it’s fair to say that the City itself has growth in mind. The proposed “Corridors Plan,” currently winding its way through a public process, would increase heights and density along Mission, Soquel, Ocean, and Water. The City’s General Plan pretty much goes along with that. The City’s Housing Element anticipates a significant amount of new growth, and the Climate Action Plan doesn’t suggest that Santa Cruz should be looking for a low-growth future.

If you care about growth and development in the City Santa Cruz, the Planning Commission will be discussing the City General Plan, the City Housing Element, and the City’s Climate Action Plan at its meeting tomorrow night.

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

STR Rules
Friday, March 18, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Short-term rentals are making the news on both sides of Monterey Bay.

One of my assignments as a private attorney is to work for the Monterey County Vacation Rental Alliance, so be aware of that as I provide this report on what turns out to be a hot topic on both sides of Monterey Bay.

A recent article in the Monterey County Weekly details what is happening in Pacific Grove. Neighbors have been worried about the character of their neighborhoods, as local homes are rented on a short-term basis to visitors. Homeowners, who would like to rent their homes, are seeking a clear set of guidelines that protects the neighborhoods but that does let them utilize their properties in ways that will be advantageous for them. City officials, in the middle, are trying to find the right balance, especially since short-term vacation rentals are bringing in a considerable amount of revenue to the City of Pacific Grove.

According to the article, a link to which is available in today’s Land Use Report blog, a good middle ground has been found in Pacific Grove. That also seems to be true in Santa Cruz County. There was considerable debate about short-term vacation rentals, but now there is a system in place that appears to be pretty much win/win/win. There’s a link to the Santa Cruz County program at The County website has a whole page devoted to the Santa Cruz County program.

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Candidate Forum Today
Sunday, March 20, 2016 / 7:30 a.m.

Listen up! Today, I have some news you can use.

Our local governments are, actually, susceptible to control by the public. That is, of course, the way it ought to be, but if you don’t think that your local government is doing a good job representing you, there is an antidote. You can get involved. And right now is a particularly good time to get involved, because elections are coming up. In Monterey County, as an example, the Fifth District Supervisorial seat will be contested in June. Candidates are current Fifth District County Supervisor Dave Potter and challenger Mary Adams, who is the former Executive Director of the Monterey County United Way.

Today, Sunday, March 20th, you can ask questions and hear from the candidates. The Carmel Valley Association is sponsoring a candidate forum that will begin at 2:00 p.m. and go until 4:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Casa Fiesta Room at Hacienda Carmel, which is located just east of Rancho Cañada, across the bridge at the end of Via Mallorca Road.

Land use decisions are incredibly important for the future of our local communities. There are lots of big issues facing Monterey County, and each member of the Board of Supervisors has twenty percent of the voting power of the local agency that has the most to say about land use.

I hope many KUSP listeners will attend the CVA forum this afternoon.

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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