The recent KION TV news story “Low Income Homes in Pebble Beach,” (Jake Reiner, October 23, 2013) contained factual errors and mischaracterized the controversy over proposed affordable apartments in Pebble Beach as a hospitality worker versus NIMBY issue.
Reiner: “Pebble Beach Company estimates cutting down at least 160” trees to build.”
Fact: 133 Monterey Pine and 583 Oak trees will be removed, according the permit application filed with the County. Thus a total of 716 (not 160) trees are to be destroyed. Worse yet they are specially protected native Monterey Pine and Coast Live Oak. This habitat destruction will be on top of the over 6,000 trees already being sacrificed to PB Co’s “final” build-out of the Del Monte Forest.
News anchor: “People in the hospitality industry, especially at Pebble Beach, travel quite a ways to and from work, and that could change soon as they may find housing they can actually afford in Pebble Beach…(But) many residents in that area are saying ‘Not in my back yard.’”
Comment: The mantra of PB Co. and its friends in the affordable housing and carbon offset industries is that car trips will be saved by relocating the workforce closer to the work site. They assert that the supposed reduction in “carbon footprint” renders the project “green.” (Never mind the senseless destruction of native forest.)
However, according to an email from PB Co. executive Mark Stilwell to a concerned Pebble Beach resident, “the income requirements for a family of four to rent one of the townhouses will mainly be in the $36,000 to $82,000 range, though we will have a few units for employee families with incomes under $36,000.”
PB Co. has 1.500 employees. Only a select few will occupy the units. Even then, in the income range outlined, there is no evidence they will relocate from any further than Pacific Grove. Zero evidence for any reduction in carbon footprint or any other environmental benefit.
Conclusion: We hope KION will do a follow on story in which we may be allowed to present our concerns and our research more fully.