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Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county

Ventana Chapter Submits Comments to the California Coastal Commission Challenging the Revised HPP for Monterey Bay Shores Resort

March 2016
Snowy Plover Chick Western snowy plover chicks are severely threatened by proposed Monterey Bay Shores Resort in Sand City dunes.

The Chapter retained environmentalist biologist Scott Cashen to submit comments (PDF of letter here) to the CCC regarding the revised Habitat Protection Plan (HPP) dated Nov. 11, 2015 prepared by the developer, Security National Guarantee (SNG) for Monterey Bay Shores Resort planned for 39 acres of beachfront dunes in Sand City. The Project calls for a 1.34 million foot mixed-use resort which entails approximately 680,000 cubic yards of grading, 20.37 acres of "habitat restoration," utility extensions and infrastructure, and related development (e.g., roads, parking lots, signs, and lights). The chief concern is the long-term presence of breeding western snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus nivosus) on this site.

The revised HPP claims it contains measures for the protection, preservation, and recovery of the western snowy plover but we do not agree. The HPP says the proposed Project would not: (1) significantly impact plover habitat, (2) impair essential behavioral patterns (including breeding, feeding or sheltering), or (3) cause take or harm of any snowy plovers. Scott Cashen’s 69-page letter explains in what ways these claims and conclusions are unfounded and contradict existing evidence. Indeed, the revised HPP provides no evidence that a project similar to what SNG proposes has ever been built without having a significant impact on the western snowy plover. To the contrary, there is overwhelming scientific evidence that projects similar to what the SNG proposes have had numerous direct and indirect impacts on the species.

The basis for Cashen’s detailed comments are concerns cited by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("USFWS") in a letter dated April 7, 2014 and submitted to the CCC regarding the Project impacts on the western snowy plover. A brief description of concerns still unresolved in the revised HPP are: 1. Inadequate or misrepresentations of plover breeding and nesting activities on the site, 2. The 11 "biological objectives" listed in the revised HPP provide only superficial benefits to the snowy plover, 3. Insufficient seasonal restrictions and other measures to ensure "nesting protection zones", 4. Lack of details for a predator prevention plan, 5. Inadequate discussion of success criterion for western snowy plover and 6. Negative impacts likely to occur in critical habitat from ongoing existence of the Project.


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section title

Ventana Chapter Retains Third Expert to Submit Comments to the CCC Challenging the Habitat Protection Plan for Monterey Bay Shores Resort
February 2017

Sierra Club Files a Notice of Intent to Sue for Violations of the Endangered Species Act from Construction and Operation of the Monterey Bay Shores Development
August 2016

Ventana Chapter Submits Comments to the California Coastal Commission Challenging the Revised HPP for Monterey Bay Shores Resort
March 2016

Ventana Chapter Submits 2 Sets of Expert Comments on Biological Resources and Snowy Plover Habitat for Monterey Bay Shores Resort Dunes Restoration Plan
August 2015

Monterey Bay Shores Resort Hearing at the California Coastal Commission
May 2015

Financial Settlement Reached in Lawsuit between Monterey Bay Shores Resort and Lender
February 2015

California Coastal Commission Votes to Schedule Collections Resort Appeal Hearing in 2015
December 2014

New Financial and Compliance Woes for Monterey Bay Shores Resort
November 2014

Plans for Monterey Bay Resort Deemed Deficient
September 2014

Public Outcry Over Threats to Snowy Plover Nests at Sand City Project Site
May 2014

Coastal Commission Approval of Sand City Resort and Condominium Project Undermines Rare Species Recovery Plan
April 2014

Sierra Club Submits Letter Opposing Monterey Bay Shores Resort to California Coastal Commission
April 2014

Chapter Appeals Sand City Approval of The Collection Resort to the California Coastal Commission
January 2014

Chapter Urges Sand City City Council to Deny The Collection at Monterey Bay Resort Project
November 2013

Monterey Bay Shores Eco-Resort Decision may go to Appeals Court
August 2013

Chapter Submits Comments on The Collection at Monterey Bay Proposed Mega Hotel Complex in Sand City
February 2013

Coastal Commission Denies Dunes Project
February 2010

Sierra Club opposes Coastal Dunes Resort
April 2009