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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Chapter Chair's Column
General Plan to come before Supervisors
October 2008

The blueprint for the future for Monterey County will be submitted to the Board of Supervisors in a few months. As presented, it will not meet the Sierra Club's goals of defending valuable farmland, scenic easements, water resources and wetlands, wildlife habitat, and coastal protections.

The Ventana Chapter has strong concerns about hillside and steep slope ordinances that will encourage projects in Monterey County's scenic foothills. The Chapter also seeks stronger protections for oak woodlands —that otherwise might be sacrificed for sprawl and leapfrog development— and the few remaining stands of rare Monterey Pine Forest, which need an overlay district with strong conservation guidelines.

Moreover, the Draft General Plan (GPU-5) will be subject to further review and possible amendment by a developer/agribusiness/tourist industry-controlled Board. We expect these pro development interests to put heavy pressure on their Supervisors to further weaken the plan.

Environmentally-sensitive Supervisor-elect, Jane Parker, will likely be denied an opportunity to represent the voters when GPU-5 is brought before the Board. To prevent her from doing so, the Supervisors have limited the review period for the 1000-page plan and the Draft Environment Impact Report (DEIR) to just 45 days, so that they can vote on the plan before Parker takes her supervisorial seat.

Your Ventana Chapter has been working nearly nine years to bring Monterey County a general plan that balances the needs of its residents and protection of natural resources. We have participated fully in the County process, pouring over documents and spending thousands of hours at hearings and meetings. Now we need your help.

Please write, telephone, and fax or email each Supervisor now and let them know that you want Monterey County farms, open space and valuable resources protected from developer sprawl. Your prompt communication will help to protect Monterey County for future generations.

Email the Clerk to the Board before October 28 at: or each individual supervisor at , district2 , etc up to 5. Call 755-5066.

—Rita Dalessio

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