Forest v.s. Parking Lots

On Wednesday January 8, 2014, the Monterey County Housing Advisory Committee echoed opponents concerns when it included a recommendation for additional parking in its approval of the Pebble Beach Company inclusionary apartments.

Proposed project site

Proposed project site

The project has also drawn sharp criticism for the needless destruction of native forest habitat. (716 trees would be cut down in addition to the 6,700 elsewhere in the DMF build-out.) The two issues seem unrelated. But in reality, the parking problem arises out of an unspoken need to conserve the forest.

A prior proposal at the Corporation Yard provided considerably MORE parking for FEWER people. Why would the PB Co. now propose a project lacking adequate parking? Because the forest at the Corporation Yard has already been denuded. In contrast, providing more parking at the current site means cutting down more trees.

New parking lot at Spanish Bay Inn

New parking lot at Spanish Bay Inn

The Company hired a biologist and sought out representatives of Landwatch, Monterey Pine Forest Watch, and even League of Women Voters to pronounce the forest “degraded” and therefore worth sacrificing. If the habitat truly has already been destroyed, PB Co. should cut down even more of these worthless trees and build adequate parking. However, if it is in fact a valuable natural resource, the entire project should be relocated. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.