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Politics and Issues

Vote NO on Measure I Preserve Mission Trail Park

October 2009
Flanders Mansion
Looking toward the Flanders Mansion (hidden in the trees) from the Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area in Mission Trail Park. Photo by Bill Englander

For 10 years the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea has sought to sell 1.25 acres of parkland including the National Historic Register property, Flanders Mansion. This lovely building is located in the middle of an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area in Mission Trail Park/Nature Preserve. The proposed sale is on the ballot in Carmel-by-the-Sea on November 3 under the title of Measure I.

If sold, the property would create an inholding within the nature preserve resulting in a large number of conflicts in use. The sale is in clear violation of state laws and city policies in the General Plan/Local Coastal Plan, which speak to the preservation, protection, and enhancement of city parkland and open space. Sierra Club recommends a NO vote on Measure I.

Mission Trail Park is the largest park in Carmel-by-the-Sea and is very popular with hikers, birders, artists, dog walkers, etc. Three of its five trails cross the Flanders property. A sale would result in a loss of trails, views, park ambiance, as well as result in fragmentation of habitat threatening both environmental and recreational resources.

Fiscally, it is not prudent to sell treasured parkland for a one-time short-term gain. In 10 years the City has sought no grants or donations for Flanders Mansion or the park and has denied an important grant for the Memorial Native Plant Garden. In 10 years the City has sought no adaptive uses for the structures.

This park is also a county asset. There are monthly walks with cultural and natural history talks. This nature preserve is a unique regional asset and must be protected for future generations.

Vote no on Measure I.