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KUSP Land Use News
Week of April 18, 2016 to April 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 April 18, 2016 to April 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


Generally (Plan) Speaking
Monday, April 18, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The Monterey County General Plan gets a review tomorrow.

Tomorrow, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors will be undertaking its annual General Plan review. The Board will be reviewing the work program for the County Resource Management Agency, too. That’s Agenda Item #14, which the Board will take up shortly after 10:30 in the morning. Check the links at, where you can track down a staff report that lays out just where the Board is on its efforts to implement the General Plan, and what the Resource Management Agency is going to be working on during the coming year. The Board meets in the County Government Center, at 168 West Alisal Street in Salinas.

State law requires the Board to make an annual report on the status of its General Plan, which is properly called the County’s “Constitution for land use.” A substantial list of actions can be found in the report, and though looking backwards isn’t exactly the most exciting perspective, the same report also forecasts what planning issues are going to be dealt with during the year ahead. Short-term vacation rentals, medical marijuana rules, expanding the Salinas Valley Water Project, undertaking zoning to make land uses around the Airport compatible with airport operations, and delineating Monterey County wildlife corridors are all on the list.

And that’s just a partial list!

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Vision Capitola
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Capitola residents should be thinking about that “vision thing.”

If you have some ideas about what Capitola should look like in the future, you will want to show up at a meeting scheduled for this evening, Wednesday April 20th.

“Vision Capitola” is a grassroots effort, organized by former mayor and longtime business owner Gayle Ortiz. A workshop session will be held this evening at 6:30 p.m. at the Jade Street Community Center. There will be another meeting, a week from today, on Wednesday, April 27th. At that second meeting, participants will discuss the results of the workshop being held this evening, and will help prepare a report to the Capitola City Council.

The “Vision Capitola” effort, in other words, is not city-sponsored; it’s a community effort that plans to deliver a message to the Council about what local residents are thinking, as they look towards the future.

Here is what former Mayor Ortiz says, as quoted in a recent article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel: “Vision Capitola is about a positive visualization of where we’re headed as a community. It’s not about looking back or complaining. Let’s find out what we value and build a city that reflects that.” The key to success in this effort, Ortiz said, is participation.

Hey, I think that’s my line, too! For more information, track down today’s Land Use Report blog at

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

City Of Santa Cruz: Expansion Pack
Friday, April 22, 2016 / 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

How would you like more density in your residential neighborhood?

The City of Santa Cruz has big plans for a lot more density and a lot more development along the City’s major transportation corridors. Find out how to plug into the process at

I strongly advise you, if you live or work in the City of Santa Cruz, to pay attention to what the City is proposing. Pay attention and get involved, to be more specific!

What is being proposed is a change to the City’s land use regulations to allow five-story, and maybe even seven-story buildings along Mission Street, Ocean Street, Water Street, and Soquel Avenue. Parking would be limited, and both commercial and residential uses would be housed in the new, high-rise structures. A member of the City’s Planning Commission explains the program in a recent article in the Good Times weekly newspaper. The title of the article is quite appropriate: “Expansion Pack.”

If you think local streets are already “packed” with traffic, and that the “expansion” of the UCSC campus, and other major developments, like a hotel in a residential neighborhood on Broadway, have already “packed” the City quite enough, get ready for a lot, lot more.

Unless, of course, community involvement suggests that the City’s plans aren’t really what local residents want. No one is going to know what you want if you don’t get involved yourself!

This is Gary Patton.

More Information:

Hacking Housing
Sunday, April 24, 2016 / 7:30 a.m.

Keep your eye on the Monterey County Housing Advisory Committee.

Last Wednesday, April 20th, the Monterey County Housing Advisory Committee met in Salinas. Usually, I like to give advance notice of important land use related meetings, but when that’s not possible, it sometimes does make sense to provide a little recap. I can tell you, by way of plotting your future schedule, that the next two meetings of the Monterey County HAC, as the Housing Advisory Committee is known, are scheduled for Wednesday May 11th, and Wednesday July 13th. If you are a Monterey County resident who cares about housing issues, you might want to put those dates on your calendar. You also might want to browse around a bit on the County’s website devoted to housing issues. The County has placed its housing efforts under the jurisdiction of the Economic Development Department, and there is a good bit of information available online.

Last Wednesday, the HAC received a presentation on the so-called “Carmel Casitas” affordable housing development, also called Rancho Cañada Village. There was a real debate about the income levels at which the affordable housing will be offered. The Committee has been pretty much split on the question as between “moderate” income units, and “very low income” units. There is a big difference there, and there is still time for you to get involved.

Check out the links 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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