CPOA Alert, March 20, 2004
Meeting on Coastal Commission staff's proposed changes to the Monterey County General Plan Update / Big Sur Local Coastal Plan
Where: Big Sur Grange Hall, Tuesday March 30 th , 5:00 - 8:00 pm
Food and Drinks courtesy of Big Sur Bakery
An informal meeting will be held so you can voice your concerns about coastal staff's recommended changes to the Monterey County General Plan / Big Sur Coastal Plan. Your attendance and input can make a difference. Coastal and County staff will be present. Following are some policy changes coastal staff are proposing that may affect you.
Expansion of Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA)
A new definition for ESHA is proposed that would encompass much more land in Big Sur. . Historic, current, and potential future ESHA areas would be treated as if they are currently ESHA. Property with no ESHA would be treated as if it had ESHA if neighboring property has ESHA. The proposed ESHA policies could result in a building moratorium in Big Sur.
Expansion of Viewshed
Coastal staff is proposing further tightening of critical viewshed policies by such things as restricting air rights over existing and future buildings (even in exempted areas). Also, views from the ocean and views from trails are now proposed to affect use of land.
Coastal Commission executive director Peter Douglas defended the idea of protecting views from the ocean at the recent Coastal Commission hearing in Monterey, “The boating community is a constituency whose use of ocean space has to be taken into account. We've heard from them about the value of rural views from the sea.”
Requiring Conformance with the Coast Highway Management Plan (CHMP)
The CHMP states that it is not a regulatory document and that it is not to be used for regulatory purposes. However, coastal staff is proposing that permit applicants be required to show they have complied with the CHMP, and otherwise proposes to incorporate CHMP policy in the GPU. The CHMP has no boundaries on the width of its corridor, and expresses a bias against private land and visible homes.
Mike Reilly, Chair of the Coastal Commission, expressed concern at the Coastal Commission hearing in Monterey that staff was making this recommendation in the face of clear opposition from the community and despite the understanding that the CHMP is not to be used for regulatory purposes. Let's be sure they continue to hear from us.
See you at the Grange on the 30 th !