If built, this project would represent the first and only high-density rental apartments within the Del Monte Forest, a tranquil community of single-family homes on lots zoned for minimum lot sizes of one quarter acre. The project would represent a radical departure from historic land use patterns in the Del Monte Forest, perhaps even signaling a sea-change in the Pebble Beach brand.
Despite the high level of public concern, evidenced by crowds of residents left outside, straining to hear the proceedings, the LUAC did not appear to welcome public input.
Chair, Rod Dewar, began by discussing how to limit participation, including restricting each speaker to two minutes as well as limiting the total number of speakers, prohibiting speakers from asking questions of PB Co. representatives, and proposing to close public comment after less than one and a half hours.
Committee member Rick Verbanec remarked with impatience that two hours would be “more than enough time to beat it to death.”
Then County Planner, Joe Sidor, told the eager-to-speak public what would and would not be appropriate to bring up. Further underlining the lack of interest in public input, Sidor added that as a public meeting not a public hearing, notice requirements were confined to a posting at the meeting site 72 hours in advance. He referred to notices mailed to a handful of surrounding neighbors as merely a “courtesy.”
Unable to gain access to the building, many members of the public left without having the opportunity to speak.
A motion to reject the proposed project was put forth by Joella Szabo but failed to receive a second. Sandy Getreau entered a motion to approve, which was seconded by June Stock. However, that motion failed to receive any votes either.
At that point, a dismayed Dewar huddled with County planner Joe Sidor who indicated that they could send a report which neither approved nor rejected the project but made “recommendations.” This was was the action ultimately taken the the LUAC. “That gives us an ‘out’,” concluded Dewar.