What’s the Deal?

More than one year ago, on June 19, 2012, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors at last approved the Pebble Beach Company’s development plan for its remaining undeveloped land in the Del Monte Forest. This approval represented the culmination of roughly two decades of controversy and was referred to by Supervisor Dave Potter with evident pride as a “legacy.”

Inclusionary housing was required as a condition of the County’s approval. Oddly, though the rest of the development plan was extensively documented, the inclusionary housing component remained undefined.

At the meeting, Mark Stillwell, Executive Vice President of Real Estate of Pebble Beach Company, expressed a preference for paying a $5 million in lieu fee (which is allowed given appropriate findings) instead of building. However, County planners and the Board of Supervisors appeared determined to force the Company to construct the inclusionary housing.

Stillwell and Supervisor Potter appear to have worked out a draft compromise ahead of the meeting. (During the meeting, video of which is available here and on the County Supervisor’s website, they referred to pre-agreed wording.) The agreement was finalized at that meeting and approved by a resolution of the Supervisors.

During the “public comment” portion of the meeting, representatives of numerous surrounding municipalities, public agencies, environmental groups, and affordable housing industry organizations weighed in on the inclusionary housing component.

It was agreed that the Company would work toward building the inclusionary housing “somewhere on the Monterey Peninsula.” Though detailed site plans were presented for nearly every other phase of the development, no specific locations were disclosed for the inclusionary housing. Supervisor Potter mentioned being personally aware of at least two suitable locations within the Del Monte Forest but did not say where. Thus no members of the public from potentially affected neighborhoods had an opportunity to comment.

Though the deal was made more than one year ago, it was not until late August of 2013 that public was notified of the location of the proposed inclusionary housing. And then only those within 300 feet.

This agreement is so complex and difficult to understand, we believe there is more to the story. Below you can watch an 18 minute video derived from the Supervisors meeting where it was finalized. It provides an excellent overview of the arrangement. We think this was a very strange deal and have a lot of questions. What do you think?