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‘Big-time developers’ — are they behind drive to make C.V. a town?

Carmel Pine Cone – Oct. 9, 2009


IF YOU believe the campaign ads, the
Town of Carmel Valley will eventually be a
hotbed of development if voters approve
incorporation Nov. 3.

As evidence, campaign ads claims “bigtime
developers” are the driving force behind
the proposed Town of Carmel and stand to
make a lot of money if the town is created.
The ads, by the anti-incorporation group
Save and Protect Carmel Valley, name Tom
Gray, May Waldroup, Mike McMillan and
Dave Potter as part of a group of self-interested
developers who have contributed “over
$200,000” to get the city approved.

“Somebody is going to make a lot of
greenbacks from the new city, all at the
expense of taxpayers,” the ad claims, citing
state requirements that cities provide affordable
housing and the pressure most cities are
under to raise tax revenue — something
that’s easy to do if a lot of construction is
going on.

So are Gray, Waldroup, McMillan and
Potter developers?

McMillan, an outspoken proponent of
incorporation, is a businessman. He’s the
CEO of Doctors on Duty, a local chain of
medical clinics, his wife, Vicki, said.
“He has never developed anything but
film,” she insisted.

Gray led the creation of the Santa Lucia
Preserve, a project that subdivided the
20,000-acre Rancho San Carlos into 300
buildable lots, while setting aside 18,000
acres as open space. It also includes a golf
course and clubhouse.

But Gray told The Pine Cone he neither
supports nor opposes incorporation.

In 2000, a nonprofit group called the Carmel Valley
Forum was formed to determine the fiscal viability of creating
a town. Gray donated $10,000 to pay consultants for a
study. “My only interest was to find out if incorporation was
feasible,” Gray told The Pine Cone this week. “I’m not taking
a position on it.”

Opponents have charged the Santa Lucia Preserve, which
lies just outside the boundaries of the proposed town, will
eventually be annexed because the new town won’t have
enough revenues to cover its expenses, particularly after the
recent loss of Quail Lodge. In response, Gray said he has no
say in how the upscale community is run.

“The Preserve is managed by a community services district,”
Gray explained. “I have no control over what they
decide to do.”

So in Gray’s mind, he has neither the incentive or the
authority to bring the Santa Lucia Preserve under the jurisdiction
of the new town.

Like Gray, Waldroup certainly qualifies as a developer.
With her husband, John, she created the Barnyard Shopping
Center in 1972.

But Potter, despite his history as a general contractor, has
long been a voice against development in Carmel Valley. Last
week, he urged the Carmel Unified School District Board to
endorse incorporation because “The board of supervisors
have never said ‘no’ to a project in Carmel Valley.”
“Potter has voted against every major development proposed
in the valley for 12 years,” Vicki McMillan added.
“Look at his record.”

Debate set

The Carmel Valley Chamber of Commerce will host a
debate on incorporation, Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 5 to 7
p.m. at Carmel Valley Community Park.
The park is located at 35 Ford Road. The debate will happen
outside, so participants are encouraged to dress warmly.
For more information, call (831) 659-4000.

Last Updated: Oct 10, 09

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