Why this forest is special . . . (and the real reason the Corporate Yard is inappropriate)

The Pebble Beach Company Corporate Yard was initially proposed then rejected as a site for the low-income housing. We surmise that the Company didn’t want the project there because it would devalue large, ocean view lots planned for that site. (The view from the Corporate Yard is exquisite by the way. See below.)

View from Corporate Yard

View from Corporate Yard

Click here for a draft Corporate Yard site plan showing the then proposed inclusionary housing directly behind the new ocean view lots.

Arguing against the Corporate Yard site, Mark Stilwell of Pebble Beach Company said in his July 19, 2012 presentation to the Board of Supervisors “We believe that placing high-density affordable housing in a large-lot residential subdivision makes little sense.” We agree.

Nor does it make sense for the currently proposed Congress Road site. Coincidentally both sites as well as the adjoining Huckleberry Hill “Natural Area” are located on the same Assessor’s parcel (APN# 008-041-009-000 ). Click here to view illustration of parcel and contemplated sites. and Click here to view assessor’s parcel map (color added).

In fact this particular Assessors parcel comprises perhaps the largest contiguous area of undeveloped land owned by the Pebble Beach Company in the Del Monte Forest. Unlike many other open space areas, such as the steep Pescadero Canyon, this largely forested tract is highly accessible, featuring an extensive network of quality hiking trails. Click here for aerial view of parcel (blue outline.)

Strangely, multiple and arcane zoning codes apply to this one parcel, some of which are “under review.” We have many questions about what is going on with the zoning and development plans for this parcel. Click here to look up zoning on county planning web site. (Enter APN# 008041009000 without hyphens.)

Regulatory minutiae aside, contiguity and access are why this vast and much-loved tract of forest has become such a popular recreational area for surrounding residents. Hiking a patchwork of green belts scattered among housing developments or trails next to roads is not the same. Nor is it the same for deer, mountain lions, bobcats, and other wildlife.

We believe that locating a high-density low-income housing project within this area conflicts with existing neighborhood patterns, disrupts dwindling wildlife corridors and degrades both the value of the adjoining open space as well as that of surrounding properties. Certainly, with the entire Monterey Peninsula to choose from, there must be a more appropriate site.