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Survey Shows C.V. City Opposed: Critics Say Study is Unscientific

Monterey Herald, Feb. 21, 2003



By KEVIN HOWE
khowe@montereyherald.com

Opponents of Carmel Valley incorporation have bolstered their case with a mass-mailed survey of property owners that came up 84 percent against forming a new city in the valley.

Results of the poll, conducted among property owners in 15 associations and 75 business owners at the mouth of Carmel Valley, were counted Thursday at the Salinas offices of the Monterey County Local Agency Formation Commission.

Proponents of the survey, conducted by a group called Carmel Valley Watch, say the results show overwhelming opposition to the idea of incorporating Carmel Valley as its own city.

Critics of Valley Watch’s surveys, notably the Carmel Valley Association and the Valley Form, have contended that the surveys are unscientific and meaningless. The Valley Forum is circulating a petition to hold an election to further an incorporation study.

Proposals call for making a city out of the entire Carmel Valley Master Plan area, a 28,000-acres land mass greater than that of all seven Monterey Peninsula cities combined.

Robert Sinotte of Valley Watch said the 770 returned survey ballots represented one property each, through they could represent two or more people.

Not all business or property owners are valley residents and able to vote in an incorporation election, he said, but they would pay property taxes to support a future city if it were formed.

The Valley Forum has until April 8 to file petitions for an incorporation study, said LAFCO Executive Director Catherine West.

The group must gather signatures from 25 percent of the registered voters living within the proposed incorporation boundaries before the commission will begin the incorporation process, she said.

The decision to incorporate, West said, will be up to the registered voters.



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