HOPE - Helping Our Peninsula's Environment
Box 1495, Carmel, CA 93921                     Info(at)1hope.org
831/624-6500                                                  www.1hope.org
 
 

General Plan Refinement Group Issue Concern Identification -- from Helping Our Peninsula's Environment


"Please identify your top three General Plan policy issue [Problems] and submit to Giovannis Montero, [email protected] by August 5 by noon. The facilitators will compile your issues for review and prioritization at the Thursday, August 7 meeting." 
 
 
HOPE opposes the current general Plan's -- 

1. Requiring use of wildly inflated population numbers as growth goals. 

2. Mandating 3 new 4-lane freeways to our Monterey Peninsula.

3. Entirely Missing Wildlife and Habitat Protection.

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Issue 1. The specific policy HOPE objects to is: 

The fundamental assumption that the General Plan should accommodate the inflated population growth numbers handed down by the State Department of Health Services, Department of Finance, and AMBAG and support tens of thousands of new houses and the loss of tens of thousands of acres of land. 

We cannot find a specific policy that mentions this fundamental assumption that all other policy choices depend on, although it is clearly described on page one of the 2001 General Plan Executive Summary. 

2. Describe the problem with the policy or policies 

A. The population of all cities on the Monterey Peninsula and the nearby unincorporated areas are going down. Yet the General Plan accepts accommodating population numbers that increase in all of those areas.

B. The County has the choice to reject these numbers and lose the trivial amount (a few million dollars) of development funding as a result of that choice -- just as Santa Cruz has chosen to do for at least 10 years. 

C. The County can totally accommodate all the growth the State's overinflated numbers without subdividing a single parcel or increasing density in any way. 
 
 

3. Explain how it affects your groupís interest. 

HOPE's primary mission is to protect our natural environment. Population growth leads to a cumulative increase and synergetic increases in every form of environmental impact by allowing an increase in human activity. 

Population growth forces new roads or freeways which increase potential for logging, mining and development; directly change the hydrology of slopes and stream channels, increase natural resource exporting, increase air pollution (including plant harming dust) and water pollution (heavy metals from gasoline additives), decrease stream health, and create noise, increase impermeable surface area, increase soil compaction, increase erosion and landslides, fragment wildlands, increase poaching and legal hunting and fishing, cut animal migration paths, cause massive numbers of deaths of wildlife called "roadkill" (especially for amphibians), increase wildlife hunting and poaching, modify animal behaviour (home range movement, altered movement patterns, decreased reproductive success, and decreased escape response), increase invasion of destructive non-native plants, insects and microorganisms; and divide human communities

What we need instead is Down-zoning!

The reduction in density so that the County will not accommodate any more growth and will cut back on population until it reaches an amount sustainable with the natural resources (such as water, forests and wildlife habitat) available. 

Please also refer to our article on how to create affordable housing without new buildings.

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 Issue 2: 

Circulation - Creation of new and increasing capacity of existing roadways.

HOPE opposes Policies C-1 (new draft) or C-3.8 (New Roads in 1rst draft). 

Specifically -- 

  • Widening of State Route 156 to four-lane  
  • Construction of State Route 68 4-lane bypass  
  • Widening of State Route One to four lanes (Castroville the Santa Cruz County) 

2. Describe the problem with the policy or policies 

Essentially all traffic experts agree there is overwhelming evidence that You Can't Pave Your Way Out Of Congestion.

Increasing roads to alleviate congestion is like loosening your belt to cure obesity. 


 


3. Explain how it affects your groupís interest. 

HOPE's primary mission is to protect our natural environment. Roads can lead to every form of environmental impact by allowing any kind of human activity into formerly inaccessible natural areas. 

New roads or freeways can allow population growth, increase potential for logging, mining and development; directly change the hydrology of slopes and stream channels, increase natural resource exporting, increase air pollution (including plant harming dust) and water pollution (heavy metals from gasoline additives), decrease stream health, and create noise, increase impermeable surface area, increase soil compaction, increase erosion and landslides, fragment wildlands, increase poaching and legal hunting and fishing, cut animal migration paths, cause massive numbers of deaths of wildlife called "roadkill" (especially for amphibians), increase wildlife hunting and poaching, modify animal behaviour (home range movement, altered movement patterns, decreased reproductive success, and decreased escape response), increase invasion of destructive non-native plants, insects and microorganisms; and divide human communities

___________

Issue 3: 

Inadequate Wildlife and Habitat Protection 

1. The specific policy is: 

Missing!



The words "Mammal" and "Bird" do not appear in the environmental resource policies. The word "animal" does not appear except in one place asking that soils be repaired after bulldozing, and in another related to livestock ranching. 
 
 

2. Describe the problem with the policy or policies 

Forty nine (49) animal species living in Monterey County are facing extinction to the point of needing official protection by Federal and State laws because Monterey County has failed to adequately protect them. 

3. Explain how it affects your groupís interest. 

HOPE's primary mission is to protect our natural environment. We are intensely interested in protecting wild animals, their habitats and the food chain they need in order to survive for the next few hundreds of years. 

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