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01-11-08 - Environmental review starts for GPU5

10-17-07 - Month delay likely for general plan: April is new target date; minor revisions suggested. CLICK to read details in the Monterey County Herald story at (external link).

9-26-07 - Supervisors hear public testimony about General Plan, then directed staff to return Oct. 16 with a draft of GPU5.

  • For more details CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's September 26, 2007 story, "Supervisors consider plans for growth" on their web site, (external link).

9-19-07 - Board of Supervisors schedules public hearing of Planning Commission's GPU5 recommendations for Tuesday, September 25, 2007.

Supervisors and other speakers expressed differing opinions about accepting or making changes to the "package".

  • For more details CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's September 19, 2007 story, "GPU5 gets a warm reception" on their web site, (an external link).

9-17-07 - The Monterey County Planning Commission Subcommittee on GPU5 has completed its report and recommendations. Resident's are encouraged to make their views known regarding GPU5 and to participate in the upcoming Board of Supervisor's meeting, Tuesday, September 18, 2007 (1:30 pm) or Tuesday, September 25, 2007 (TBD) at the Board of Supervisors Chambers, 168 West Alisal St in Salinas.

  • Information regarding the report on GPU5 and LandWatch's recommendations are available at

6-09-07 - Monterey Herald Editorial suggests supervisors think again about immediate implementation of GPU4.

CLICK here to read the Monterey County Herald's June 9th, 2007 editorial, "Slow down GPU4 plans" on their web site, (on this website )

4-4-07 - The JUNE ‘07 BALLOT will include three important Measures about a new GENERAL PLAN for the unincorporated areas of MONTEREY COUNTY and the proposed Butteryfly Village development in North Salinas area.

Our organization agrees with other controlled-growth groups and recommends the following:

Vote YES on Measure A - Should a citizens-authored alternative general plan (the Community controlled-growth plan), be adopted?

Vote YES on Measure B - Should the county-approved general plan (Supervisor’s pro-growth plan) be repealed?

Vote NO on Measure C - Should the county-approved general plan (Supervisor’s plan) be adopted?

Vote NO on Measure D - Should the County-approved Butterfly Village project (large proposed development in North County) be approved?

3-15-07 - A new comparison of the COMMUNITY GENERAL PLAN and the COUNTY SUPERVISORS' GPU4 PLAN has been prepared by the League of Women Voters. Read it and you will be convinced to VOTE for the Community General Plan.


3-15-07 - Use FACTS in your Letter to the Editor about the COUNTY GENERAL PLAN.

  • CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's February 22 story, "New rules on 'plan' letters" on their website, (external link).
3-14-07 - Voters will be able to VOTE ON THREE (3) different County GENERAL PLAN MEASURES in JUNE. Keep in touch with this Web Site and the LandWatch Web Site for more information that may become available before the June election.

2-22-07 - The Environmental Impact Report for the County's GPU4 General Plan for the Monterey County unincorporated area is the focus of a lawsuit filed on February 2 by LandWatch and several other organizations. It does not fully reflect the impact of potential future development allowed under the plan according to Chris Fitz, Executive Director of LandWatch.


2-15-07 - Voters may now read and compare these two general plans (external links).
• The Community General Plan Initiative:
• The General Plan Update 4:


2-15-07 - Interesting new letters to the Herald's Editor on the Supervisors' new General Plan are worth reading.

  • To read the letter from Larry Parrish, "Political junk mail" refers to the Sheryl McKenzie realtor issue and the letter from Paula Lotz, "Informed decision" including the websites of the Community Plan Initiative and also the GPU4, CLICK here to read their letters to the Editor on their website, (external link).

2-14-07 - The Petition covering a Referendum against the County Supervisors' new General Plan, GPU4, has been certified and accepted by the Supervisors for placement on the June 5th ballot. On February 27th Supervisors will consider whether to immediately repeal GPU4 or to place the Referendum on the ballot. Yesterday the Supervisors also approved an interim ordinance that would delay any new major rural subdivisions until after the special June election.

  • For more information on the Supervisors' meeting CLICK to read the Monterey County Herald's February 14th story, "Projects put on hold until June election" on their web site, (an external link).

1-17-07 - Have you signed the Referendum PETITION on the County Supervisor's Update #4 of their version of a Proposed new COUNTY GENERAL PLAN? 9000 voter signatures are required to allow a third measure on the June ballot that asks voters whether or not they like the Supervisor's approved version of a General Plan. Locations where you can sign the PETITION are listed on a separate page on this website


1-17-07 - County voters will have an opportunity in June to vote on three different measures associated with a new GENERAL PLAN. That PLAN will cover the rural growth over the next 20 years for unincorporated areas of the County. A final lineup of Measures for the June ballot won't be definite until a Feb 27th hearing in the U.S. District Court on two pending land-use lawsuits.

9,000 voter signatures are required to allow a third measure on the June ballot that will ask voters whether or not they like the Supervisors' approved version of a General Plan.


01-10-07 - All County voters who want controlled growth for the next 20 years are urged to sign the new petition - a referendum on the Supervisors' developer-friendly, recently approved County GENERAL PLAN. With enough signatures, the June ballot will include a new measure to stop the County's PLAN - a recipe for urban sprawl. Signatures are being obtained at various locations in the County.


01-04-07 - The fourth update of Monterey County's GENERAL PLAN was approved by the Supervisors on Wednesday, January 3rd. They also voted to place the Alternate CONTROLLED GROWTH GENERAL PLAN INNITIATIVE on the June Ballot along with their PLAN.

Opponents of the Supervisors' Plan vowed to immediately kick off a referendum campaign to put another measure on the June Ballot to overturn the Supervisor's Plan. If enough signatures are collected the Supervisors' Plan would be held in abeyance. If not, the Supervisors' Plan would be the County's basic land-use law for several months before the election in which voters could decide to repeal it.


01-02-07 - COUNTY SUPERVISORS expected to vote on their 20-year GENERAL PLAN for future growth in unincorporated areas of the County at Wednesday's public meeting, January 3, in Salinas.

A decision is also expected on placing their PLAN and the COMMUNITY GENERAL PLAN (Initiative for controlled growth) on a future ballot.


01-01-07 - More letters to the Herald Editor on action taken by COUNTY SUPERVISORS and LAFCO on proposed development in MONTEREY COUNTY.


12-31-06 - New views on the County's TWENTY YEAR General Plan in today's Herald.

  • To read Bill Monning's commentary and Tom Carveyu's comentary, CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's December 31, 2006 story, "Debate rages on for forth general plan" on the Commentary page of their web site, (external link).

12-23-06 - Monterey County SUPERVISORS willing to place BOTH their own General Plan (GPU4) and ALSO the voter initiative Community (slow growth) General Plan on June ballot.

Today's "Herald View" editorial approves the supervisors' impending decision to be confirmed at their public hearing January 3, 2007.


12-20-06 - COUNTY SUPERVISORS will consider putting their proposed 20-year GENERAL PLAN and the SLOW-GROWTH COMMUNITY GENERAL PLAN (Initiative) on the BALLOT for COUTY VOTERS at the next appropriate election date. Supervisors will hold a public hearing January 3, 2007 to approve their version of the Plan.

Supervisor Calcagno's move to put both their General Pan and the Initiative Slow Growth Plan on the same ballot may guarantee that both documents would be printed in English and Spanish.

  • For more details CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's December 20, 2006 story, "GENERAL PLAN MAY GO TO VOTERS" on their web site, (external link).

12-14-06 - "Supervisors are determined to force (this) wasteful development on residents by any means necessary" -- a line in Carolyn Anderson's Letter to the Editor in today's Herald. Since the October 21 Editorial, "Board vote on C. V. as example of arrogance", and the November 25 Editorial, "Board clearly ignoring voters", the residents in Monterey County have written more than 28 letters to the Editor with strong opposition to actions of the Supervisors.


12-13-06 - Possible "Shoot-out" over COUNTY GENERAL PLAN and the slow-growth COMMUNITY GENERAL PLAN (Initiatiave) at the ballot box.

County Supervisors expect to finally approve their version of the 20 year rural growth General Plan at their January 3, 2007 meeting. Lawsuits are pending on the need for printing in Spanish and English. The recent request from the United Farm Workers Union to have the final General Plan printed in Spanish will delay printing a final Plan.

  • For more information CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's December 13, 2006 story, "General plan work nears end" on their web site, (an external link).

12-11-06 - The Monterey County BOARD OF SUPERVISORS "need to listen" and have made decisions that provide "grounds for recall" according to some County residents. These quotations and others criticize the Supervisors in recent Letters to the Herald Editor. They cover concerns about the Supervisors' action on: INCORPORATION OF CARMEL VALLEY, COMMUNITY GENERAL PLAN, and PEBBLE BEACH COMPANY'S WITHDRAWL OF MEASURE "A".

CLICK on any of these following links on this website to read recent Letters to the Editor on each subject:


12-7-06 - Supervisors endorsed a new idea for Monterey County's 4th version of the 20-year GENERAL PLAN during their recent meeting. This new idea would make it tougher for cities in the Salinas Valley to encroach onto prime farmland.

Officials from Soledad and Greenfield criticized the idea which was proposed by Supervisor Lou Calcagno.


11-26-06 - Another GENERAL PLAN story in the Commentary section of today's Herald. "A map to nowhere" and "Obsessing over details has effectively replaced public policy with regulation and has served to feed, rather than finish this protracted mess." These are lines found in this informative article.

  • To read the full story CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's November 26, 2006 Commentary, "General Plan: a map to nowhere" on their web site, (an external link).

11-25-06 - Monterey County SUPERVISORS WERE ELECTED TO LISTEN AND LEAD, NOT TO DICTATE! Today's "Herald's View' sends an important message to all concerned residents, service clubs, everyone who believes in fair play and democracy and to the County Supervisors.

Voters in Monterey County want to vote on an overarching version of land use in the County. The lengths to which the Supervisors have gone to block a public vote, and what angles they're willing to try next, raise issues much larger than zoning.


11-22-06 - GENERAL PLAN (Controlled Growth) INITIATIVE goes back to the U.S. District Court judge in San Jose. On Monday, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the case to be reheard.

Chris Fitz, Executive Director of LandWatch Monterey County, said, "It's a victory." However, Charles McKee, County Counsel said, "the change of courts doesn't mean the litigation is headed for a quick resolution."

  • To read more CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's November 22, 2006 story, "General plan's foes win one" on their web site, (an external link).

11-22-06 - County Supervisors continue PUBLIC HEARINGS on their GENERAL PLAN (GPU4). A policy requiring mitigation measures from developers and cities was strongly opposed at Tuesday's Hearing. Next Hearings scheduled for December 5, 6, 12 with final action to be taken on December 19.

  • To read more CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's November 22, 2006 story, "Sparks fly over compensation plan" on their web site, (an external link).

11-14-06 - Board of Supervisors Public Hearing on COUNTY GENERAL PLAN began today with a briefing on the Planning Commission’s recommendation. Next Hearings are tentatively set for Nov. 21 and Dec. 5, 6, 12, and 19th. This is the fourth version of the 20-year growth plan for the County.

Two ballot measures—the “Community (slow-growth) General Plan” and a measure to overturn Supervisors‘ approval of the proposed Butterfly Village golf-subdivision in Rancho San Juan near Salinas—are entangled in federal litigation with the next hearing in December. Opponents of the County’s proposed General Plan include Chris Fitz, executive director of LandWatch; Julie Engall, chair of Rancho San Juan Opposition Coalition and Alex Urciuoli of the Salinas group, Citizens for Responsible Growth. Jyl Lutes, as Salinas City Councilwoman also opposes this 4th version of the plan. She claims the county officials are “hijacking democracy as they march forward with their deeply flawed, sprawl-inducing plan.”

  • For more details CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's November 14, 2006 story, "Hearings start today" on their web site, (an external link).

11-03-06 - Backers of the GENERAL PLAN INITIATIVE are awaiting a decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to expedite a decision which would allow county voters to decide on the plan for Monterey County's unincorporated areas.

A Santa Monica-based attorney, Fred Woocher, filed a motion on October 25, 2006. The LandWatch Monterey County organization and other slow-growth supporters argue that voters should decide whether or not the Alternative General Plan (Initiative) should be implemented.

  • For more details CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's November 2, 2006 story, "Growth plans in 'quagmire' " on their web site, (an external link).

  • You may also read the Carmel Pine Cone's November 3, 2006 edition for the story, "General plan initiative backers file motion to speed up court ruling".

10-26-06 - County Planning Commission forwarded the 4th GENERAL PLAN to the Board of Supervisors. The vote was 7-2 with Commissioners Vandevere and Diehl casting the dissenting votes. Vandevere said the proposed plan would allow far more development of good farmland than necessary to meet housing needs. Diehl said the plan would allow too much growth without addressing infrastructure woes faced already by county residents. The proposed plan potentially affects all property in unincorporated areas, except for land in the coastal zone. Current coastal zone plans will stay the same because the county doesn't want the plan process to be subject to Coastal Commission scrutiny.

The Board of Supervisors will begin hearings next month. Concerned residents are urged to attend the hearings and to provide input regarding this important document which will be a blueprint for development in the county for years to come,


9-25-06 - Monterey County 4TH DRAFT GENERAL PLAN UPDATE (GPU4) requires your public input. It is incomplete and includes significant errors and omissions. All Concerned Residents are urged to write to Mike Novo, Interim County Planning Director, 168 West Alisal St. 2nd floor, Salinas, CA 93901. Let him know you are aware of the problems in the DEIR and GPU4 that are outlined in the LandWatch letter to members.


9-20-06 - The full U.S. Circuit of Appeals ruled (14-1) on Tuesday that election materials (petitions) are not required to be printed in other languages (such as Spanish.) The Monterey COUNTY COMMUNITY GENERAL PLAN initiative and the referendum to stop the BUTTERFLY VILLAGE in the Rancho San Juan area north of Salinas may now go before the voters in special elections by January, 2007.

The Orange County case, known as Padilla v. Lever was used by Latino activists to block two County Land-Use ballot measures. This new decision by the full Court reversed an earlier decision by a three-judge panel of the Court. Lawsuits are still pending. Representatives of LandWatch and Citizens for Responsible Growth have asked County officials to quickly schedule elections on the two measures.

8-19-06 - COUNTY GENERAL PLAN draft EIR identifies several "significant and unavoidable" impacts if the County grows as proposed in the draft General Plan. Agencies and the public have until October 6th to comment on the draft EIR.

  • CLICK here to download the "Draft Program EIR for GPU" (warning 64 MB pdf file) (an external link)

  • For additional information, CLICK here to read the Monterey County Herald's August 19, 2006 story, "General Plan EIR Released" on their web site, (an external link).

8-11-06 - COUNTY's LATEST UPDATE OF THE GENERAL PLAN now available. The Planning Commission will begin a series of Public Hearings on August 16th at 1:00 PM in Salinas. The Coastal Commission District Planner, Rick Hyman, sent the County Planning Director, Mike Novo, a letter on July 25th providing comments on the policies included in the recent updated General Plan.

8-11-06 - LANDWATCH MONTEREY COUNTY urges all concerned County residents to attend the Salinas City Council Meeting on Tuesday, August 15, at 7:00 PM in the City Hall Rotunda, 200 Lincoln Avenue. Details of the GENERAL PLAN Fourth Update (GPU4) will be presented for comments on the many deficiencies and defects in this Plan. LandWatch calls this Update "A Plan for Sprawl!"

7-20-06 - Planning Commissioners agreed at their meeting yesterday to obtain input from the Local Land Use Advisory Committees with their recomendations on the final rewirte of the fourth version of the MONTEREY COUNTY GENERAL PLAN.

7-18-06 - On Wednesday July 19, 2006 County Planning Commissioners begin a series of several public hearings on the update of the old 1982 COUNTY GENERAL PLAN. The fourth version of the plan has lead to controversies over farmland conservation, environmental protections, housing policies and rural growth areas.

6-23-06 - No decision yet on placing the COMMUNITY GENERAL PLAN INITIATIVE on a future ballot. Yesterday, in San Francisco, a full panel of U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judges discussed the question of requiring Spanish as well as English on petition forms, but gave no indication when they will rule on the matter.

4-27-06 - The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has scheduled a new hearing for June 22nd to review a prior ruling in the Padilla v. Lever case which required a recall petition to be printed in Spanish and English. The new decision will relate to the recently blocked COMMUNITY CONTROLLED-GROWTH GENERAL PLAN INITIATIVE from being placed on the County ballot because the petition was not printed in Spanish.

  • For more information, see prior items on this website and also CLICK here to read the Monterey County Herald's April 22, 2006 YOUR TOWN column and story entitled, "Circuit court sets date to consider elections case" on their web site, (an external link).

4-22-06 - COMMUNITY CONTROLLED-GROWTH GENERAL PLAN INITIATIVE and other potential ballot measures involve County Registrar of Voters, who has resigned. Officials learned Friday that the Community General Plan Initiative may have new life after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ordered a new hearing in Padilla v. Lever case concerning the need to have petitions printed in Spanish.

The California Attorney General's Office and other government bodies have been pushing for this rehearing as soon as possible.

  • For more information CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's April 22, 2006 story, "County registrar of voters resigns" on their web site, (an external link).

4-14-06 - More about the Community CONTROLLED GROWTH GENERAL PLAN INITIATIVE. Various individuals and groups provide comments about what will happen to the Initiative and Board of Supervisors' draft of a (developers) Monterey County General Plan, dubbed PGU4.

Gillian Taylor, Chair of the Ventana Chapter of the Sierra Club said, "Unfortunately, we have seen no evidence that the board of supervisors is ready to start listening to the public. We'll continue to consider and exercise all appropriate options going forward, as we have before."

4-12-06 - State Attorney General (on Monday April 10th) asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for a new hearing on the case of Padilla v. Lever (an Orange County recall election matter.) This involves the Voting Rights Act and printing Petitions in English and Spanish. It also relates to the 4004-06 and 3-24-06 items below about the CONTROLLED GROWTH COUNTY GENERAL PLAN INITIATIVE.

  • For more details CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's April 12, 2006 story, "Ruling favors Rancho foes" on their web site, (an external link).

  • Also see the website which posts information about the Community General Plan Initiative, "Take a Stand Against Sprawl in Monterey County" on their website, (an external link).

4-09-06 - Monterey County General Plan (GPU4) and the Community Group's CONTROLLED GROWTH GENERAL PLAN INITIATIVE - a compromise is needed.

A final County General Plan won't be issued soon. Both the developers and the community groups are still actively working on what they feel will be a good 20 year plan. County Supervisors' meetings and Court decisions are required. Both groups will probably have to compromise.

  • For a good summary read the Monterey County Herald's April 9, 2006 story, "Compromise on General Plan?" on their web site, (an external link).

4-06-06 - The 18 community organizations involved with the important ”Controlled-Growth County General Plan Initiative have not given up in their efforts to prohibit future ”urban sprawl” in Monterey County.

The request for an emergency order to place the Initiative on the June 6 ballot was rejected by the two-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week. However, the court may decide to rehear the controversial decision on the Orange County “Padilla” case that threw out a recall election over the lack of printing bilingual election materials (same problem as the General Plan Initiative.) There is also a possibility that they may take another look at the appeals submitted to the Court last month due to the Board of Supervisors refusal to put the Initiative on the June ballot.

In addition, these 18 community groups are encouraging everyone concerned about the future growth in the County to write to their Supervisors and make it clear that the current 4th Draft of a new 20-year growth General Plan update will create many problems with resulting “urban sprawl.”

3-24-06 - Judge Ware said yesterday that the Controlled-growth COUNTY GENERAL PLAN INITIATIVE violates the federal Voting Rights Act. The attorney for the proponents of the Initiative, Fredric Woocher, plans to file a petition to hear the case on an emergency basis with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. LandWatch and many other groups that support the Initiative don't agree that the petitions for the Initiative should have been printed in Spanish and English.

3-21-06 - Today County Supervisors will receive the County's latest 150 page "Draft General Plan 2006" (the 4th version of the updated 20-year plan.) It should be on the County's website today. Also U.S. District Court Judge Ware is expected to hear arguments from attorneys today in San Jose on the two law suites associated with the Slow-growth General Plan Initiative.

  • For more details CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's March 21, 2006 story, "New general plan released" on their web site, (an external link).

  • CLICK here for the County's website to see the Table of Contents or download the entire "Draft General Plan" (600 KB .pdf) document (an external link).

3-17-06 - U.S. District Court Judge James Ware will likely rule next week on whether the CONTROLLED-GROWTH GENERAL PLAN INITIATIVE should be on the June Ballot.

3-14-06 - Community (Controlled-Growth) General Plan Initiative Committee now has a new website, on the Internet with up-to-date news about the Initiative, the issues and the law suit.

County Supervisors voted against placing the Community General Plan Initiative on the June 2006 ballot for the voters decision on the future growth in Monterey County. The Committee sued the County early in March.

3-03-06 - SUPPORTERS of the Controlled-Growth GENERAL PLAN INITIATIVE FILED SUIT IN THE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT late Wednesday, March 1, 2006. They say SUPERVISORS BROKE THE LAW by refusing to put the Measure on the ballot. They want the opportunity to take a STAND AGAINST SPRAWL

They submitted petitions in December, 2005 with 15, 475 voter signatures, more than required to qualify the measure. However, at the public hearing last Tuesday, three Supervisors voted against calling an election, citing claims of legal defects wth the measure.

3-01-06 - MONTEREY COUNTY (CONTROLLED-GROWTH) GENERAL PLAN INITIATIVE may not be on the June ballot. At the February 28th meeting Supervisors Lindley, Smith and Armenta voted against placing the Initiative on the ballot. Supervisors Potter and Calcagno dissented. Initiative proponents vow to sue the County to force the measure onto the ballot. Opponents of the Initiative threatened Supervisors with a lawsuit if they do put it on the ballot.

In addition, County Latinos have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit contending Initiative proponents violated minority voters' rights by not circulating the petition documents in Spanish.

  • To read more CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's March 1, 2006 story, "General Plan Initiative voted down" on their web site, (external link).

2-16-06 - Today the "Plan for the People", a new coalition of Monterey County farmers, ranchers, residents, organized labor, hospitality, affordable housing and social justice advocates held their public meeting at the Portola Plaza Hotel, Monterey. This group calls the "Controlled Growth" General Plan Initiative a big mistake for the future. Concerned Residents of Pebble Beach and Monterey County do not agree with their well-financed opposition.
  • For more information on this well-financed group visit their website at Don't be misled by many of their misleading statements.

2-12-06 - Opposition to the Initiative for a controlled Growth County General Plan to be covered in a $50-a-seat conference at 8 a.m. Thursday at the Monterey Marriott. The conference is sponsored by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. Environmental and community groups not on panel of speakers.

Chris Fritz, executive director of LandWatch Monterey County (one of the sponsors of the Controlled Growth Initiative) decided to pull out as a panelist at the conference. He thinks the event will be lopsided with presentations from business, agricultural, labor and tourism representatives who generally favor a less restrictive (pro-growth) new County 20-year General Plan.

  • For more detail on this conference CLICK here to read the Monterey County Herald’s February 12, 2006 story, “General plan forum boycott” on their website, (an external link).

  • Also read the 1-31-06 and the 2-01-06 items (below) on this website for more information on the "Controlled/Restricted" growth General Plan Iniitiative.

1-31-06 - “Restricted growth” County General Plan Initiative qualifies for ballot. Voters will decide how Monterey County growth should be managed. The business and agricultural communities are expected to put up an aggressive fight opposing the Initiative. Board of Supervisors are expected to decide on placing this Initiative on the June ballot or holding off setting an election until it receives an independent analysis of the measure’s potential impact on the county.

  • For more details CLICK here to read the Herald’s January 31 story, “General Plan initiative qualifies” on their website, (an external link).

2-01-06 - Decision by County Supervisors on placing the “restricted growth” General Plan Initiative on the ballot is being delayed until February 28. An independent report that will analyze the economic impacts and legal implications of the Initiative is expected by then.

  • For more information on this ”restricted growth” Initiative and a 16-page document challenge by a “consortium of Monterey County land-owners and civic rights groups”, CLICK here to read the Herald’s February 1 story, “General plan initiative will be analyzed” on their website, (an external link).

12-13-05 - The COMMUNITY GENERAL PLAN PETITIONS with over 15,000 signatures were submitted to the County on Monday. Supervisor Dave Potter said, "This is an early Christmas present to Monterey County." If 8,690 signatures are verified, this GENERAL PLAN INITIATIVE will be on the June 2006 ballot.

12-07-05 - Nearly 15,000 signatures of county voters obtained on the PETITION OPPOSING RANCHO SAN JUAN BUTTERFLY VILLAGE. County officials have 30 days to determine if the required signatures (about 8,700) are valid. This OPPOSITIION TO ANOTHER DEVELOPMENT will be on the June ballot if signatures are okay. Another PETITION to put a COUNTY GENERAL PLAN INITIATIVE (Controlled growth of development) on the June Ballot is being circulated by several organizations throughout the County.

  • For more details CLICK here to read the Monterey County Herald's December 7, 2005 story, "Rancho Opponents Submit Signatures" on their web site, (an external link).

11-29-05 - Supervisors voted (3 to 2) for a NEW standard in the proposed updated COUNTY 20-YEAR GENERAL PLAN that permits more traffic at peak times. Supervisors Potter and Calcagno cast dissenting votes.

County staffers and regional transportation officials argued that lowering the "level of service" standard from "C" to "D" would not cause major traffic bottlenecks.

  • For more details CLICK here to read the Monterey County Herald's November 29, 2005 story, "More road congestion allowed" on their web site, (an external link).

11-23-05 - COUNTY 20-YEAR NEW GENERAL PLAN: Supervisors continue meeting on one version. Registered Voters continue to sign PETITIONS for Community Group INITIATIVE for CONTROLLED GROWTH PLAN. Supervisors to hire consultants to examine potential financial, environmental and legal impacts of proposed Plan covered by Initiative for June 2006 ballot.

11-15-05 - County's fourth DRAFT OF NEW 20-YEAR GENERAL PLAN received criticism by many at Supervisors' meeting on Monday, November 14, 2005. Their next meeting to discuss the General Plan is set for Monday, November 28, 2005.

  • For more information CLICK here to read the Monterey County Herald's November 15, 2005 story, "All sides critical of plan" on their web site, (an external link).

11-15-05 - Gathering signatures for two new petitions covering INITIATIVES for the JUNE 2006 BALLOT is going well, according to Cris Fitz, Executive Director of LandWatch Monterey County. One petition is for a new CONTROLLED-GROWTH COUNTY GENERAL PLAN. Please read Supervisor Dave Potter's letter (on this website) urging registered voters to sign the petition for this new General Plan.

The other petition covers rejection of the recently approved "smaller" development in the Rancho San Juan area of North County.

11-12-05 - Supervisor Dave Potter first to sign PETITION for NEW COUNTY GENERAL PLAN to be on JUNE 2006 BALLOT. Alvin Edwards, Peninsula Water Management District board member, also signed. He said this INITIATIVE WON'T STOP GROWTH, BUT TELL US HOW TO DO SMART GROWTH.

  • For more information on why you should sign the petition, CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's November 11, 2005 story, "General plan activists start peitition drive" on their web site, (an external link).

11-10-05 - Coastal Commission Staff announced that PUBLIC HEARINGS ON THE P.B. CO.'s APPLICATIONS for major construction projects in Del Monte Forest (and Measure "A" Initiative) are now TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED for MARCH 2006 in MONTEREY.

The Coastal Commission Staff envision a Commission field trip as being part of the March 2006 agenda to get Commissioners out into the Del Monte Forest to see the LOCATIONS of the PROPOSED MAJOR CHANGES in the Forest, the environment and residential community.

11-09-05 -- Coastal Commission Staff requires additional information from the County on the PROPOSED AMENDMENTS to the LOCAL COASTAL PLAN (Forest Land Use Plan) covering P.B. Co.'s Measure "A" Initiative and proposed development projects. A five-page letter to the County dated October 24, 2005 outlined the need for the ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REQUIRED BEFORE PUBLIC HEARINGS ARE SCHEDULED.

11-05-05 - Supervisors criticized 5th District Supervisor Dave Potter and members of various groups working to obtain the required signatures for a NEW INITIATIVE FOR THE JUNE 2006 BALLOT. If approved by voters the COUNTY'S GENERAL PLAN will be amended to control new developments in the County with new policies and strict new requirements for developers. HELP SAVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE AND ENVIRONMENT IN MONTEREY COUNTY. SIGN THE PETITION.

  • To read more about the misguided Supervisors and their sharp comments in last week's meeting, read the Carmel Pine Cone November 4, 2005 story "Supervisors speak out against general plan committee".

11-04-05 - Proposed INITIATIVE, written by the County legal staff for the June, 2006 BALLOT covering a new COUNTY GENERAL PLAN is satisfactory per Chris Fitz, Executive Director of LandWatch Monterey County. Fitz represents several groups that want a new 20 year guideline for controlled growth in the County that restricts excessive development and includes new policies that the Supervisors have not included in their discussions.

10-26-05 -- A new landmark INITIATIVE called "QUALITY OF LIFE, AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND VOTER CONTROL", to amend Monterey County's GENERAL PLAN was announced by Monterey County LandWatch and 17 community groups on October 20, 2005. Volunteers will soon be gathering signatures to qualify the initiative measure for the June 2006 ballot.

Supervisor Dave Potter has joined other community leaders ad citizens in this effort to protect the County's agricultural land and world famous natural resources from massive developments without adequate water and positive transportation solutions.

10-21-05 - A coalition of environmental and community groups that have continually asked the County Supervisors for a new 20 YEAR GENERAL PLAN WITH TIGHT GROWTH POLICIES filed a notice of intent to circulate petitions with the County election department on Wednesday, October 19, 2005. They expect their version of a new County General Plan to be on the June 2006 ballot.

Representatives from the Elkhorn Slough group, LandWatch Monterey County, and North County will be gathering signatures for a ballot measure that represents the County residents, not the developers. Supervisor Dave Potter said he will be the first signatory on this initiative. He also indicated that it is now time for the public to take action and protect the County's world-famous natural resources and its rich farmland.

10-12-05 - COUNTY'S "20-YEAR GROWTH" UPDATED GENERAL PLAN was covered by Supervisors and the public during Tuesday's October 10, 2005 Public Hearing. Additional hearings to be held in 2006 when a final draft plan and EIR is scheduled to be released.

County Planners expect the Planning Commissioners will hold hearings in April and May. The Board of Supervisors' hearings are scheduled for May and June, 2006.

  • For more information CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's October 12, 2005 story, "General Plan hits snags over land use" on their web site, (an external link).

7-22-05 - On July 21, 2005 the County Supervisors gave County Planners new definitions and decisions on major policies for the 20-year growth General Plan. The Planners are to develop a new "rough draft" on key parts of the new Plan. No date was set for the next meetings on this six year old project.

  • For more information CLICK here to read "Plan gets word work" in the July 22, 2005 Monterey County Herald on their web site, (external link).

7-20-05 - SAVE OUR PENINSULA COMMITTEE HAS FILED A LAWSUIT in Monterey County Superior Court to stop the County from approving subdivisions that are not consistent with the existing 1982 COUNTY GENERAL PLAN. The Committee has asked County officials to repair (update) the current Plan or to seek state permission to keep using it to process projects.

The group will seek an injunction within three weeks if the County doesn't halt processing projects which are not consistent with the existing General Plan, according to their attorney, Richard H. Rosenthal. He referred to the County's approval of the Rancho San Juan mammoth project and Pebble Beach Company's major development plans as "pretty scary."

7-08-05 - County Supervisors made major policy decisions on the next draft of the COUNTY 20-YEAR GENERAL PLAN. They endorsed new water and sweage-system rules for rural development at Thursday's meeting. Slow growth representives said it is clear the staff is being responsive to the pro-development majority.

6-21-05 - County Supervisors made decisions yesterday at their public hearing to NOT REVAMP the PLANNING COMMISSION that could include new members from the pro-growth Refinement Group, and to scrap several other proposed policies for a proposed administrative section of the GENERAL PLAN. The new plan will not include a policy on big-box retail stores in the unincorporated areas of the county.

For more information on the public hearing, CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's June 21, 2005 story, "No big-box policy in new plan" on their web site, (external link).

6-21-05 - General plan Time Line update

Monterey County planners Monday said the county's long-awaited general plan should be ready for final approvals in a year.

Here's the latest time line for the 20-year growth blueprint:

• On July 7, the Board of Supervisors will review proposed infrastructure policies on water, traffic and sewage. Supervisors also must make decisions on coastal issues and area plans before planners can start writing a final draft plan.

• The county will hire environmental consultants to finish the plan's environmental impact report after supervisors make infrastructure decisions. A draft EIR likely won't be released until next February or March.

• A draft plan -- the fourth version in the five-year-long general plan debate -- should be released in November or December.

• The county Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors will hold formal hearings on the draft plan next spring or early summer 2006.

6-18-05 - County Supervisors hold public hearings on the new General Plan, making several decisions on housing policies. They will continue hearings on Monday, June 20th. The agenda includes big-box stores, local minimum wage and other economic issues.

  • For more information CLICK here to read these articles on the Monterey County Herald's website, (external link)

  • 5-24-05 - During the Tuesday meeting County Supervisors ordered county planning, public works and water officials to rework proposed new General Plan policies and to use less stringent language. The firm water-related policies and rules will be re-written to be more flexible for the developers. Several changes are to be made including less stringent restrictions on proposed developments in flood-prone areas.

    • CLICK here to read the May 25, 2005 story in the Monterey County Herald', "Softer water-rules urged" on their website, (external link).

    5-06-05 - County Supervisors still working on traffic and water policies for the new General Plan. They failed to reach an agreement on the traffic standards at Thursday's meeting. Next meeting set for May 19th.
    • For more information CLICK here to read the Monterey County Herald's May 6, 2005 story, "County delays traffic decision" on their web site, (external link).

    5-02-05 - Supervisors continue to modify the proposed new County General Plan. Their series of workshops have produced changes that are not acceptable to many who have contributed to this important project. The developers are encouraged by the recent decisions and those who recommended slow-growth and protection of the environment say they are not including policies and conditions that the public has told then they want.

    4-20-05 - Pro-development Refinement Group provided Supervisors with more recommendations for the updated County General Plan at an April 19th meeting.

    4-02-03 - Supervisors continued meeting on updating the County General Plan on Friday April 1st. However, they must make policy choices on several other sections of the plan. More meetings are planned in April and May, 2005.

    4-01-05 - Supervisors debated how the new County General Plan should cover land use rules for the next 20 years at Thursday's public meeting and will continue today in Salinas.

    • CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's April 1, 2005 story, "General plan still divisive" on their website, (external link).

    3-28-05 -- County Supervisors holding special meetings this week on text for new updated County General Plan.

    3-27-05 - Recommendations from two groups on what the Supervisors should include in the new County General Plan are published in the March 27th Herald story.

    Read these articles on the Herald's March 27th Commentary page,

    3-16-05 - A series of six Workshop meeting for "piecing together" a new County General Plan will begin with an all-day meeting on March 31. The Supervisors made this decision after a "firestorm" discusson at the March 15th public hearing.

    3-13-05 - John Delessio's summary of a proposed new Monterey County General Plan, known as the Community General Plan, is included in the Herald's Commentary page. Jay Brown's views on this proposed plan are also covered in a response to the question . . . Does it promote sound planning?

    Read these articles on the Herald's March 13th Commentary page,

    2-24-05 - During a Wednesday meeting the Board of Supervisors heard presentations by two differing groups on what the final New County General Plan should include. The Refinement Group and the Community Plan coalition have sharply different ideas for the new 20-year growth plan. More special meetings will be held over the next few months.

    2-02-05 - A new County General Plan all-day Workshop is set for February 23, 2005. Supervisors have agreed to holding a special session to hear from representatives of two groups who will present their versions of a 20-year county growth plan.

    • For more information, CLICK here to read the Herald's February 2nd story, "County general plan workshop set" on their website, (external link).

    1-12-05 -- Community General Plan unveiled. A coalition of 18 community groups announced the completion of their 261 page version of a 20-year growth County General Plan.

    The group urged County Supervisors to adopt this plan as law or face a possible inititive campaign to put their plan to a county-wide vote.

    11-10-04 - County's Updated New Draft General Plan & EIR now expected to be ready by mid-2005 per Scott Hennessy, Planning Director.

    9-24-04 - The 21st Century Solutions Group, a business oriented group, is developing their version of an Updated County General Plan (GPU).

    This 18 member group with representatives of real estate, construction, agriculture, labor, hospitality, low-cost housing and Latino advocacy groups, will distribute copies of their version of the General Plan Update to County Supervisors and the County team working on the next official version of the GPU.

    9-15-04 - Community Group Held 2nd Meeting on County General Plan Update. Representatives from 18 different environmental and slow-growth groups met on September 14th in Carmel Valley to continue work on their proposed Update of the County General Plan.

    Approximately 160 individuals met to develop recommendations on ow the Land Use and Housing Elements sections of the County General Plan (GPU) should be updated. This was the second in a planned series of five meetings. The next meetings will be held in Salinas, King City and Seaside. Call the LandWatch Monterey County office, 831-422-9390 for details.

    The group expect to wrap-up its recommend actions for the County supervisors in late October or early November, 2004. The final document will cover all sections of the GPU and recommend that new developments be steered toward cities and sharply limited in rural areas to existing lots and five communities - Castroville, Pajaro, Boronda, Fort Ord and Chular.

    For more information about the September 14th meeting, read the September 15th story "Coalition meets on general Plan" in the Monterey Herald.

    8-23-04 - On August 21, 2004, a large group of Monterey County citizens began work on a new draft for updating the County General Plan. A separate business-oriented group is also working on their proposal for the General Plan Update (GPU).

    The Citizens Group, representing more than 17 different organizations that are concerned about the future developments in the County during the next twenty years, met in Prundale to begin drafting their version of a new County General Plan that will be presented to the Board of Supervisors to consider as they decide on how the 1982 obsolete General Plan will be updated.

    Additional workshop meetings will be held during September and October to obtain input for the new draft. The dates and locations for future meetings at various locations in the County will be published later. (The schedule in the Herald has been changed.)

    Two other County Groups are working on their version of an updated General Plan.

    The County Counsel, Charles McKee, and Planning Director, Scott Hennessy, have been instructed to work on writing a new Gen. Plan Update (GPU) that will satisfy various interests in the County.

    A separate group of business-oriented individuals are also working on their version. This group represents real estate, construction, agriculture, labor, hospitality, low-cost housing and Latino organizations.

    6-30-04 - LandWatch, Planning and Conservation League and other groups vow to keep the County General Plan Update debate before the public. A series of community forums will be held throughout the county during the next few months. They plan to draft an updated General Plan in keeping with guiding principles endorsed by County Supervisors.

    At a Tuesday news conference in Salinas, Gary Patton, executive director of LandWatch said, "We're not going to let attorneys for developers ghostwrite the General Plan behind closed doors."

    6/09/04 - On Tuesday, June 8th, County Supervisors approved the County Counsel's plan to start over with a new team to draft a new General Plan. See 6/08/04 item (below).

    6/08/04 - New Monterey County Team to try drafting a new General Plan "everyone can live with".

    County Counsel, Charles McKee will present a new recommendation today to the Board of Supervisors proposing that his office will join with Planning Director, Scott Hennessy to head a new team that will pick and choose from existing "update" documents and the 1982 General Plan to develop a new General Plan that will be more acceptable to all groups.

    McKee expects the proposed new team would spend a great deal of time with various groups in the community and there will be a substantial effort toward reconciliation (between environmentalists and developers). He estimates it will take at least another 16 months and up to $890,000 more to complete this latest effort. The County has already spent almost five years and nearly $5 million on the general plan update work.

    5/26/04 - County's General Plan Update delayed again by Supervisors

    At the public Hearing on May 25th the Supervisors voted 3-2 to have the County Planners rework the old 1982 County General Plan to meld in portions of the most recent updated draft. The County Counsel, Charles McKee was asked to provide a new more detailed schedule for completing this work for the Supervisors' meeting in two weeks.

    Read the May 26th news story "Board delays general plan again" on the Monterey Herald website at, (external link)

    5/21/04 - County Supervisors delay decision on new County General Plan

    On May 18, 2004, Monterey County Supervisors postponed making a decision on the updated County General Plan. The County Counsel, Charles McKee was requested to return to the next Supervisors' meeting with several items including a list of new optional ways to consider action on this major plan. McKee will review the possibility of sending the Plan back to the Supervisors in an area-by-area review that would allow the Board to consider specific areas in the County individually (so the Del Monte Forest may be considered separately.)

    Read the May 21st news story, "General Plan - back to the drawing board?" on the Carmel Pine Cone website at, (external link)

    Read the May 19th news story "Supervisors postpone general plan decision" on the Monterey Herald website at, (external link)

    4/30/04 -- Monterey County Draft General Plan given preliminary approval by County Planing Commission.

    Read the April 29 Monterey Herald news story, "Planners pass General Plan Update" at, (extermal link)

    Click HERE to read the April 30 Carmel Pine Cone news story, "General Plan heads to county supervisors" (on this website)

    4/22/04 - Monterey County Planning Commissioners voted 9-1 to keep the General Plan on schedule.

    Read the April 22 Monterey Herald news story, "Planners pass General Plan Update" (on this website)

    Read the April 30 Carmel Pine Cone news story, "General plan heads to county supervisors" (on this website)

    4/22/04 - Monterey County Planning Commissioners voted to remove the Rancho San Juan from the General Plan amid discussion of opposing views.

    Read the April 22 Monterey Herald news story, "Planners want Rancho San Juan axed"

    March 18/22, 2004 - Monterey County Planning Commission holds third and fourth public hearings and receives contentious comments.

    Click HERE to read Monterey Herald news story, "Public weighs in on general plan" (on this website) or http://www.monterey (external link)

    Click HERE to read Monterey Herald news story, "Affordable housing plans criticized" (on this website) or http://www.monterey (external link)

    4/16/04 - LandWatch Director Gary Patton states the new general plan has been compromised by other interests. Next public hearing is set for April 21.

    Click HERE to read the April 16th Carmel Pine Cone news story, "LandWatch discusses affordable housing, general plan" (on this website)

    4/02/04 - Big Sur residents heard Coastal Commission Planner Rick Hyman comments on Monterey Pine and the County General Plan.

    "Hyman said his proposals for changes to Monterey County's coastal land use laws would be submitted to county planners for inclusion in the county's general plan update process, which has already dragged on for years and which faces an uncertain future because of widely divergent views on what the plan should contain."

    Click HERE to read the April 2nd Pine Cone news story, "Coastal planner gets an earful in Big Sur" (on this website) or (extermal link)

    The Monterey County Planning Commission held hearings on the latest version of the proposed General Plan Update.

    You can get a copy of the latest draft at

    March 17, 2004, 9:00 a.m., Third Hearing by Board of Supervisors Chambers in Salinas
    Click HERE to read Monterey Herald news story, "Public weighs in on general plan" (on this website) or http://www.monterey (external link)

    March 22, 2004, 6:00 p.m. Fourth Hearing by Board of Supervisors Chambers in Salinas
    Click HERE to read Monterey Herald news story, "Affordable housing plans criticized" (on this website) or http://www.monterey (external link)

    January 19, 2004 - Monterey County New Draft General Plan due for release today. This updated Draft is scheduled to be available on the County's website.

    Copies of this large document will be available for purchase from the County ($45) next week. Free copies of the CD-ROMs will also be available. These may be obtained at the County Planning Department offices in Salinas and Marina. Call 831-755-5353, the County General Plan Update office, for more information.

    Click HERE to view "Draft general plan up for review" article from the December 19th Monterey Herald (on this website) or (external link)

    Letters to the Editor - Monterey County Herald

    Click on the title to read the whole letter

    • June 22, 2004 - Not a special interest - environmental groups ...want the natural heritage belonging to everone protected for the future