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Chapter Chair's Column
Proposed General Plan does not adequately address impact of growth
Get involved; attend a hearing
April 2010

The Ventana Chapter has been involved in the General Plan process for Monterey County for over a decade. County officials have now approved a schedule that calls for starting public hearings on the latest draft of the general plan update, now known as GPU2010, in mid April. The first hearing was April 14, and later hearings will be conducted during regularly scheduled commission sessions, April 28, May 12, and May 26.

Club members are encouraged to attend these hearings and comment on the proposed plan which includes a lot of growth and a serious lack of protection for the environment. We are also concerned that the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) does not adequately address the cumulative impacts of proposed policies on key rangeland areas.

Based on projections by the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG) the draft general plan provides guidelines for adding up to about 10,000 new housing units, as well as new commercial and other development. It predicts the impacts of that growth on the County’s traffic, water, open space, public services, agriculture and biological resources through the year 2030.

The Chapter has been especially focused on biological resources in the plan. Monterey County has over 2000 species of plants, 37 of which are found nowhere else on earth, and 178 species of birds. We are very concerned about the impacts on these species as well as water, traffic, steep-slope development, and loss of agricultural land. Carmel Valley and the surrounding Peninsula communities could be particularly impacted as developers already have proposed projects that will greatly increase density at the mouth of the valley and harm the Carmel River.

Please consider attending these hearings and let your views be known. Refer to the County website for more details at: www.co.monterey.ca.us/planning

Thank you for your help.

—Rita Dalessio



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