P. G. City Council, Oct. 16

Overview

On October 16, 2013 numerous residents of the Del Monte Park neighborhood of Pacific Grove and others appeared before the Pacific Grove City Council in an appeal for assistance. After hearing numerous concerns, the Council responded by creating an ad hoc committee to function as a liason between residents and the Pebble Beach Company and the County.

To view video of the Council meeting, click here. (Item begins at 1:40 of the videol)

The following are selected comments prepared for the Pacific Grove City Council on October 16, 2013. The Council agreed to form an ad hoc committee to work with residents to address their concerns.

In a nutshell

Traffic. Parking. Noise. Loss of privacy. Light pollution. Increased density. Decreased property values. Lack of notification. Change in neighborhood character. Destruction of the forest. Loss of recreation for our children. The list of negatives on this project is so long, we cannot believe it is being seriously considered.

We support inclusionary housing. But an alternate site should be found that does not disrupt the character of a neighborhood

We are present today, to set forth our opposition to the Project, as proposed. We are a group of Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove residents, working together to, among other things, protect valuable resources in our area, preserve the existing character of our neighborhoods, ensure that public officials fully understand the impact of policy decisions on their constituents, and actively seek creative solutions to issues affecting our community.

We vigorously oppose the Project, as proposed!

The citizens of both Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove, are not opposed to inclusionary housing, and support the elements of the Monterey County General Plan. However, we believe there are alternative locations for inclusionary housing that would not impose the burdens inherent in this Project.

We are currently a neighborhood of single-family residences surrounded by trees. This proposal to replace over 700 trees with a 2.6 acre apartment complex fundamentally changes the character of the neighborhood.

Contrary to many claims in the press, the project will not be hidden from view in a way that doesn’t affect the neighborhood’s character. Cars will be parked 20 yards from the end of Miles Ave — and all trees between the start of the parking lot and the buildings will be cut.

In addition, the complex will have a significant impact on our daily lives, particularly in the form of overflow parking that our already crowded, narrow streets will not be able to accommodate.

These marked changes to the character of the neighborhood will have a negative effect on property values. (Most of us bought in this neighborhood because of its forested single-family character.)

At the June 2012 Board of Supervisors meeting, Dave Potter indicated that Pacific Grove officials had expressed a willingness to work with the County to find appropriate sites for alternative housing within Pacific Grove. We ask that the PG City Council consider alternative sites that can achieve the goals of the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance but without the significant costs of the current proposal. We welcome affordable housing in the general area, and look forward to working with all stakeholders to achieve the goals of the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, in a manner that maintains the quality of life in the Del Monte Park area and preserves property values.

“NIMBY” is an ad-hominem attack not an honest debate

Any of you who have been following the inclusionary housing issue in the papers have probably heard all sorts of ridiculous and outrageous things about the people who oppose it. But I attended those meetings, and I am here to say that although some of the things quoted were said, they were vastly outweighed by some very intelligent and considered observations and opinions.

Dismissing someone as a “NIMBY” is an ad-hominem attack. It is not an honest debate and exchange of ideas.

Caring about our neighborhood, quality of life, home value and the forest environment is NOT selfish.

Many of us chose to live where we do because of the nature and beauty of our surroundings, and because we value the unique character of our neighborhood. We think the inclusionary housing project is good, but we think the site that has been chosen is not appropriate.

There must be a site where destruction of yet more forest and disruption of an entire neighborhood is not necessary. We hope the Council will stand with us in preserving our quality of life.

Over 6000 mature trees have already been destroyed

I want to talk about trees. Pacific grove values its trees. At times our tree ordinance has been a contentious issue. But the number of trees cut down in Pacific Grove over the years pales in comparison to what is happening in Pebble Beach as we speak.

The Pebble Beach Company has a right to develop the property it owns. And it has reached an historic agreement with the Coastal Commission to do that. But Area D was not part of that agreement.

Over 6000 mature trees have already been destroyed. We were told this was the “final buildout”. Now they want to cut down over 700 more trees to build an apartment complex. It may not violate the letter of the law, but it certainly violates the spirit of it. I urge the Council to work with the Pebble Beach Company, the Board of Supervisors, and the Water Management District to come up with a better site for this project. Thank you.