April 5, 2004 LAFCO and the San Mateo County Coast
The future of the San Mateo County Coast is under discussion in the
context of a set of LAFCO hearings focusing on whether or not the Midpeninsula
Regional Open Space District should be allowed to expand to include
parts of the San Mateo County coastside not currently within the District.
LAFCO, as frequent listeners surely will not have forgotten, is the
acronym that stands for "Local Agency Formation Commission."
LAFCOs are established pursuant to state law, and exist in every county
in California. Their assignment is to oversee the "organization"
of local governmental agencies, and that specifically means annexations
The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District has acquired lands in
Santa Clara, San Mateo, and even Santa Cruz Counties, but mostly on
the "Bay" side. The District would now like to expand its
jurisdiction to the "Coast" side of San Mateo County, and
there is some definite resistance to the idea. Because Santa Cruz County
would be affected, the Santa Cruz County LAFCO has also held hearings
on the proposed expansion, but the real decisions will be made by the
San Mateo County LAFCO.
If you particularly value the coast, you may want to find out more about
this land use controversy. The next public hearing will be held on Wednesday,
April 7th, at 2:30 p.m., at the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
Chambers, 400 County Center, in Redwood City.
San Mateo County LAFCO - http://www.sanmateolafco.org/smc/department/esa/home/0,,5526264_5530410,00.html
MROSD Application - http://www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/smc/department/home/0,,5526264_5530410_8503256,00.html
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District - http://www.openspace.org/
Tuesday, April 6, 2004 Community Across Regions
A week from today, on Tuesday, April 13th, one of the countrys
leading community organizers will be appearing in Santa Cruz. Ernie
Cortes, who is the recipient of a MacArthur "genius" award,
is the Southwest Regional Director of the Industrial Areas Foundation.
He will be speaking on "Building Community Across Regions - Organizing,
Networks & Power in a Changing America." His presentation will
take place in Holy Cross Hall, 170 High Street, Santa Cruz, beginning
at 7:00 p.m. The event has been organized by the Center for Justice,
Tolerance & Community at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
The public is most definitely invited.
The Industrial Areas Foundation is a network of community organizations
that has fought for living wages, equitable public investments, and
effective public school reform. They have also been involved in (and
perhaps are becoming increasingly involved in) key land use policy issues.
Since one of the theme songs of this Land Use Report is that we cant
have self-government unless we get involved ourselves, I thought it
was appropriate to bring this program to your attention. Im giving
you lots of time to put this on your calendar. Since land use policy
decisions have profound economic, social, and environmental effects,
it behooves all of us to pay attention, and to become engaged in the
local issues that affect us most.
Center for Justice, Tolerance & Community - http://cjtc.ucsc.edu/index.html
7, 2004 Fort Ord Toxics
The redevelopment and conversion of Fort Ord from military use to civilian
use is one of the biggest land use challenges confronting Monterey County.
The Fort Ord Reuse Authority is carrying out a broad range of activities.
The federal Bureau of Land Management, and the State Department of Parks
and Recreation, are also deeply involved with land on the former Fort
The cities of Marina, Seaside, Del Rey Oaks, and Monterey, and Monterey
County Government, are all pursuing reuse projects. Monterey Peninsula
College, and a host of nonprofit organizations have plans in motion.
The state government is actively pursuing the creation of a Veterans
Cemetery. The Army itself is still playing a large role, and of course
the California State University at Monterey Bay is perhaps the most
visible new and significant occupant of the former Army base.
Among the issues confronting all of these agencies and organizations
is the issue of toxic contamination and toxic cleanup. If youd
like to find out more about that topic, let me alert you to a meeting
to be held this evening, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the Stilwell Community
Center, Building 4260, Gigling Road in the Ord Military Community, and
to a meeting to be held tomorrow night from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the
Casanova-Oak Knolls Park Center, at 735 Ramona Street in Monterey.
For information concerning Community Involvement Workshops or meetings
of the Fort Ord Community Advisory Group, please contact Melissa Hlebasko
at 831-393-1284, or by email at Melissa.firstname.lastname@example.org,
8, 2004 First Tee
The Seaside City Council, some time ago, approved a project known as
"First Tee." This is a golf course project, and it was fairly
controversial, not least because it would use scarce potable water supplies
to water the grass of the new golf course.
Local citizens who thought that the project was ill-advised filed a
lawsuit, but the Superior Court found that they hadnt followed
the correct procedures, and dismissed the lawsuit on technical grounds.
The issues may still be on appeal, but certainly the courts didnt
seem to promise any prompt attention to the concerns of those who opposed
Project opponents then drafted and circulated a petition to place an
initiative measure on the ballot. The initiative begins with this statement:
"The people of the City of Seaside find that the economic future
of the City
[depends] upon an adequate supply of potable water.
golf courses within the city should use non-potable water but there
is presently no such supply of non-potable water available to serve
existing or new golf courses. [Therefore], no new golf courses should
be built in the City of Seaside unless and until there is available
non-potable water to initiate irrigation and maintenance of a golf course."
Whatever the merits of the arguments on either side, the opponents of
First Tee have shown that concerned citizens can be successful in bringing
key land use issues forward for a community decision.
Information on First Tee Initiative - http://www.landwatch.org/pages/issuesactions/seaside/021104firsttee.html
Friday, April 9, 2004 Santa Cruz County Planning Resources
The County of Santa Cruz makes available a genuinely outstanding set
of resources for those interested in land use policy. First, Santa Cruz
County makes its complete County Code available on line. If you want
to research any aspect of the local laws governing land use in Santa
Cruz County, its easy to get access. Thats not true most
Second, the Board of Supervisors makes its complete agenda packet available
on line, so any member of the public can get access to exactly the same
planning staff reports and other materials that the Board itself will
be consulting. Most (but not all) public agencies put their meeting
agendas on line, so the public can see the topics to be covered. Its
unusual for public agencies to make agenda packet materials available,
however. In Santa Cruz County, after youve read the materials,
you can also send an email comment, that will be considered by the Board,
and a copy of which will go to each Board member.
Another great resource is the Santa Cruz County Geographic Information
System. Again, this is available to the public online. If you havent
ever tried this system, click on the Land Use Report link at www.kusp.org,
and look up the transcript for todays Land Use Report. Youll
have a lot of fun with these interactive maps, that let you locate everything
from existing parks, to riparian habitats, to old Rancho lines.
For KUSP, this is Gary Patton.
Santa Cruz County GIS - http://gis.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/
Santa Cruz County Code - http://ordlink.com/codes/santacruzco/index.htm
Board of Supervisors Agenda - http://sccounty01.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/bds/Govstream/archive/ArchiveIndex.asp