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Rather let county handle it

Carmel Pine Cone – Oct. 30, 2009

Dear Editor,

Historically Carmel Valley has done a
good job of restricting development, everyone
loves our rural setting, but when Carmel
Valley Ranch was built, we lost a beautiful
vista. The lessons learned from their water
issues influenced today’s regulations. The
CV Master Plan was debated for years,
resulting in policies that protect our Valley.

Getting minor projects approved is extremely
complicated. What major projects go
through is mind-boggling: EIRs & revisions,
studies, hearings, reducing, refining, a
process that takes years and millions, with
hundreds of approval conditions and possible
lawsuit resolutions, before building can start.
With all the checks and balances, not all projects
make it.

The supervisors must absorb the facts;
and when a property owner has a superior
project, they must respect property rights. It
may be easier for our area supervisor to vote
with his heart against a project, knowing the
others will vote with their heads and approve
where appropriate under the law.

Anyone who sees Tehama knows it’s the
best model we have for treatment of the land,
other than no development. Tehama, Santa
Lucia Preserve, and Berta Ranch were
approved on huge tracts with very low density, in the hills
above the valley. The first two are outside the proposed incorporation
boundaries. Pro-incorporation literature mentions
other threatening projects; some are not on the county website,
and in some cases the land has been for sale for years.

Some projects list low numbers of units and seem rather beneficial.
Rancho Cañada Village has yet to be analyzed but offers
affordability, so our kids might finally buy. As a neighboring
property, CUSD will be part of the review and jumped the
gun giving support to incorporation as a way to object to the
project. This is the project the Yes folks vow to stop. With
this attitude, fighting everything regardless of benefits or
property rights, the new city will spend all its money on lawsuits
and attorneys. Can you imagine fierce debates like
those incorporation has spawned, occurring all year round? I
would rather have the county handling these land use fights
in Salinas.

The pro-incorporation folks sent out a mailer showing
ridgeline development above Garland Park, subdivisions on
30 percent slope in Garzas Canyon and San Jose-type houses
on tiny lots. This will NEVER happen, the C.V. Master
Plan, Title 21 Zoning Codes and the Monterey County
General Plan prohibit this, and the five people shown on that
mailer know it. I can only conclude they were trying to scare
a gullible public for their own political aspirations, and for
that I am voting NO on G.

Marj Ingram Viales, Carmel Valley

Last Updated: Oct 31, 09

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