Two years from now, will you have enough water to take a shower, wash your clothes or flush your toilet? Maybe not if you live on the Monterey Peninsula.
The State Water Resources Control Board has ordered a 70 percent cut in pumping from the Carmel River, the source of most of our water. We have been given an ultimatum. Find a new water source or face deep rationing after 2016. Make no mistake. This will impose genuine hardship. Residents may be required to get by on a mere 35 percent of current use.(1) This will be particularly grim since per capita water use on the Monterey Peninsula is already the lowest in the state.
In the face of the looming water crisis, Pebble Beach Company has embarked upon a $200 million development project in the Del Monte Forest. The project includes a new 100 room hotel and spa at Spyglass Hill, another 100 new rooms at the Spanish Bay Inn and the Pebble Beach Lodge, a new conference center, 90 new residential lots, a new driving range, an equestrian center re-do, and a 24 unit low-income apartment complex. Continue reading
Which is it, Mr. Stilwell? Are the 90 new estate lots currently being advertised, the last lots the Company will develop in the Del Monte Forest, or aren’t they?
The public has been told over and over that the “final” Del Monte Forest Build-out allows the creation of 90 to 100 new single-family residential lots. (To view examples of media coverage, click here.) But now, as bulldozers clear vast swaths of forest to make way for spacious half acre and one acre lots and the PB Co. is running ads saying “These 90 estate lots are the last ones that Pebble Beach Company will develop in Pebble Beach”, comes a surprise. In reality more homes may be allowed in a previously unmentioned 13 acre tract of native Monterey pine forest called “Area D.” Continue reading
The community of Pebble Beach was designed as a semi-rural area to preserve the natural beauty and forest environment. There are no sidewalks or street lights, and the streets are quite narrow and often winding. There are many blind curves.
Ortega Rd. between Congress & Forest Lodge
In short, it can be a dangerous place to walk, and many walkers are elderly. (In fact according the the last census 54% of households in the Del Monte Forest have members 65 years or older.) Exacerbating this hazard is the fact that many people going to and from work at the hotels, golf courses, etc. use narrow residential streets as “short-cuts”.
Ortega Rd. near Forest Lodge
“We think this is a really, really ideal site for affordable housing rental project for our employees,” Mark Stilwell, Pebble Beach Company Executive Vice President of Real Estate, speaking at the Monterey County Housing Advisory Committee Meeting, January 8, 2014 Continue reading
By Peter Mathews
When something doesn’t make sense, it usually means you don’t have all the information. That is certainly the case with the inclusionary housing arrangement between the County Board of Supervisors and the Pebble Beach Company. The PB Co. originally wanted to pay an in-lieu fee of $5 million rather than build rental apartments in the Del Monte Forest.
Then an agreement was made for the County to hold the $5 million in escrow until the apartments were built “somewhere” on the Monterey Peninsula, with an additional $2 million penalty to be imposed if no inclusionary housing was built within 5 years of the agreement. The County would then have $7 million to build inclusionary housing wherever they deemed appropriate. So far, the agreement makes sense.
But then at the June 19, 2012 Supervisor’s meeting when the Del Monte Forest build-out plan was approved, Supervisor Dave Potter unexpectedly launched into a monologue/history lesson about when he was on the Monterey City Council in 1991. He brought up a mysterious “MOU” (Memorandum of Understanding) between the City of Monterey and the Company that had been “put in escrow and there it sat” (Potter’s words). He said the MOU pertained to the “Old Capitol” site, 135 acres of undeveloped land across the freeway from the Del Monte Shopping Center. Potter then alluded to recent conversations about it between himself and Mark Stilwell, VP Real Estate for the PB Co. And then things got very murky.
“This habitat destruction will be on top of the over 6,000 trees already being sacrificed to PB Co’s so-called “final” DMF build-out.
A recent flurry of editorials and media coverage presents the affordable apartments proposed for Pebble Beach as an environmentally beneficial project, opposed only by selfish NIMBY’s. PB Co. executive Mark Stilwell has been conducting frequent tours of the site and press interviews in an apparent attempt to sanitize an environmental nightmare and preempt balanced reporting and legitimate criticism.