Trip Bennett's Letter to CPOA

March 2, 2004

Dear CPOA members,

As a follow up to my presentation on February 23, 2004 at “Grange Hall” I first want to congratulate you and acknowledge all that continue to participate in the update of your Community Plan. During the presentation I was asked “what should we (CPOA) do ?” to prevent what happened to us in La Jolla . Some of the things I would recommend you have already implemented, however, for you consideration I submit the following to share with your neighbors:

  1. It is your community, all residents must take ownership. Stay the course, stand united.
  2. Learn as much as you can on all information that you are being asked to accept. Enroll and seek the advice of relative professionals (architects, land use experts, etc.) that live in the area and/or work in your area to fully benefit from those looking at it from your point of view.
  3. At any public forums, presentations, hearings, etc. whereby your interests are being considered, continue to make sure that the members of your community are informed well ahead of time, understand the issues at hand, and ‘outnumber” the state and county officials 20 to 1 or more (The elected officials will surely “get it” that you are to be heard).
  4. Enroll Coastal Commissioner Potter to work with you. It is my experience that when it comes to local issues (like the Big Sur Community Plan), the other Coastal Commissioners will likely follow the lead of that area's Commissioner. It will be a much easier path having the Commissioner as your advocate and not your adversary before the plan gets to the Coastal Commission for approval. ( we did not have Commissioner Peters, from La Jolla , as our advocate)
  5. Enroll Coastal Commissioner Potter into meeting with you on a regular basis and agree on some type of protocol whereby his office keeps CPOA apprised of any and all CCC changes to the plan in a timely manner. It may not eliminate it, but it could reduce the potential of last minute changes by the Coastal staff.
  6. Five years from now all the parties that have contributed to the updated Community Plan may no longer reside or work in the area, therfore:

a) Complete the updated Community Plan without the need for supplemental explanations. DO NOT rely on amendments, revisions, clarifications, and etc. to the final version of the updated plan. It will only add confusion.

b) DO NOT rely on a verbal commitment, statement, clarification, etc. It must be clear in the Community Plan without the need for recall as to who said what when? For example, on the night of the 23 rd , when Commissioner Potter assured you an unacceptable modification to the Plan “will fall off the table”, it will be up to CPOA to follow-up and make sure that it does.

As far as what is next for us, I have embraced the idea for a state-wide property owners organization and am confident that SDSLU and CPOA can be the catalyst. Tomorrow night ( 3-3-04 ) I will be giving our group a “debriefing” of my Big Sur trip with the recommendation that we work with you in creating such an organization. I would hope that in the very near future you would accept an invitation to come down to begin formulating the framework for this.

In closing, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with you and thank you for your gracious hospitality. I trust that we will see each other again.


F.H. “Trip” Bennett, III


Coast Property Owners Association, P.O. Box 59, Big Sur, CA 93920
© 2004 by Coast Property Owners Association