A field guide to Pebble Beach Development

Featured

Few are aware that a massive $200 million development project is currently under way in Pebble Beach, which because of its demands on water, traffic capacity, and forest resources, will affect the entire Peninsula.Equipment-2

The only part of the Pebble Beach Co. project most people seem to know about is the new 285 space parking lot at Spanish Bay which was carved out of forest adjacent to the Rip Van Winkle Open Space. And almost invariably, they are appalled that so much native forest was cut down for a parking lot.

This is poignant because while 234 trees were destroyed for the parking lot, a whopping 1,300 robust Monterey Pine and Coast Live Oak trees will be hacked out of prime native forest to make room for only 10 luxury home sites at Indian Village.


An unsuccessful appeal by the Sierra Club to save the habitat near Indian Village :

“… we wish these lots set aside because they are prime ESHA, contain robust stands of rare Monterey Pine Forest, include coastal dune habitat and contain many federally and state endangered and special species native plants and wildlife.” Sierra Club letter dated May 9, 2012 regarding PB build-out.


The full project

Sadly, Indian Village is a mere fraction of the total build-out. The full project will destroy nearly 7,000 trees to build:Monterey Pine Forest

    • A new 100 room hotel with 20,000 square foot spa, meeting space, restaurant, and 300 space parking facility at Spyglass Hill (or alternatively 10 additional estate lots)
    • 100 new hotel rooms in total at the Lodge and Spanish Bay
    • 90 to 100 large new estate lots
    • Expanded meeting facilities and the above-mentioned 285 space parking lot at Spanish Bay
    • A full equestrian center re-do
    • A roundabout and reconfiguration of the main entrance gate at Highway 1 to accommodate the flood of traffic generated by the new development

The last minute low-income apartments (not yet approved)

Although all of the above is a done deal, the inclusionary housing component is not. In a last minute switch, PB Co. proposed to destroy yet another 700 to 800 native trees to build low-income apartments in a forested habitat which is an extension of the delicate Huckleberry Hill ecosystem.

Artist's rendering of proposed apartment building

Artist’s rendering of proposed apartment building

Most disturbing is that this is completely unnecessary. A better site is available on property the Company owns at Sunset and 17-Mile Drive in Pacific Grove, which has already been denuded of trees. Or if a suitable site is not approved by mid-2017, an in lieu fee may be paid.


Enough is enough

Enough is enough. More valuable habitat need not and should not be sacrificed to build low-income apartments. The Del Monte Forest Land Use Advisory Committee and City of Pacific Grove Planning Director Mark Brodeur oppose building the project in this location. Hundreds of people have packed public meetings to speak out against it, petitions in opposition have garnered over twelve-hundred signatures, and a group of neighbors has retained a land use attorney. Please help us stop this folly by exploring the website, signing the petition, getting on our email list, telling your friends and neighbors, and most importantly attending the upcoming public hearings. It is up to us to stop this, and our success depends on you.


References

Project Description from Board of Supervisors’ June 19, 2012 resolution approving project
Tree Removal Table from Draft EIR PB Buildout

Map of Development Areas (Excluding Low-income apartments) Site Plan Fig 2-2 of EIR

Map of Development Areas (Excluding Low-income apartments)
Site Plan Fig 2-2 of EIR. Click to enlarge.

Quick Bites

Proponents of the proposed income-restricted apartment complex in the forested habitat adjoining the Huckleberry Hill preserve advance a variety of arguments that are misleading and lacking in substance. Be prepared to refute them with confidence! Here is a handy reference. (Also available in PDF.)


The habitat is degraded because neighborhood children built a few bike ramps, there is trash, and some trees are dead.

Rebuttal: Trash is easily picked up and bike ramps dismantled. Despite a few dead trees, the area continues to serve as a vibrant, functioning wildland and buffer for the Huckleberry Hill preserve. During the throes of a historic drought and related massive statewide tree die-off is hardly the time to needlessly destroy rare native forest.


Trees will be replaced in a two-for-one ratio, so the forest will be better than before.

Rebuttal: Prior PB Co mitigation efforts have failed abysmally. One needs only to look across the street at the pitiful state of the Sawmill Borrow after more than twenty years of “restoration”.


Sunset and 17-mile Drive (which has already been denuded of trees) is not an acceptable alternative because it is zoned commercial.

Rebuttal: The City of Pacific Grove zoning code already allows both commercial and residential use by right in this particular zone. No re-zoning would be required to locate the project there.


Continue reading

Draft EIR released: Now your turn

EIR Commenting FlatWHAT: The draft  EIR for the PB apartments has been released for public comment. Our success depends upon your input, so now is the time to step up. Don’t worry; EIR commenting is not rocket science. Anyone can do it, but there are some important rules. Below you will find everything you need. Written comments are currently sought. Public hearings will be held later.

WHEN: Comment period April 30 through June 19, 2015

HOW TO:

WHERE: Submit your written comments to:

Email : CEQAcomments@co.monterey.ca.us

An e-mailed document should contain the name of the person or entity submitting the comments, and contact information such as phone number, mailing address and/or e-mail address and include any and all attachments referenced in the e-mail. To assure your comments are included, the RMA recommends obtaining a confirmation of receipt.

Hardcopy

Joseph Sidor, Associate Planner
Monterey County Resource Management Agency – Planning
168 W. Alisal St., 2nd Floor
Salinas, CA 93901
Phone: (831) 755-5025/5262
E-mail: SidorJ @co.monterey.ca.us