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From the Monterey County Herald
Serving Monterey County and the Salinas Valley

August 13, 2002

Zoning requests face fight



Many development-minded landowners are not likely to get what they want in Monterey County's new general plan.

Of the 270 requests to change zoning on specific properties, changes to be incorporated into the general plan, county planners are recommending that just 57 be approved.

While county supervisors take a break most of this month, the Planning Commission is charged with reviewing the mass zoning change requests. The first of three public hearings starts at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Supervisors could begin to review the requests as early as Aug. 27.

County planners are recommending no zoning changes in several areas, including Pebble Beach, Carmel Highlands, Aromas and Bradley.

The planners are supporting zoning changes to accommodate housing ventures on nearly 28 acres in Castroville, about 50 acres in Pajaro and nearly 140 acres in Prunedale.

But even if a zoning change is approved by county officials, it does not necessarily mean a proposed project on that land will win approval.

The planners are tending to look most favorably on rezoning proposals intended to accommodate low-cost housing, particularly for local workers. For example, planners are supporting four requests on the Monterey Peninsula but on condition that the property be used exclusively for affordable housing.

Land Use Advisory Committees throughout the county have been grappling with the landowner requests for the past several weeks.

Two of the most controversial came from the Toro Park area, requests involving up to 700 proposed homes along the Monterey-Salinas Highway. The Toro Land Use Advisory Committee rejected both of those proposals last week.

County planners have also recommended those proposals be denied, as well as dozens of other requests that would have called for more housing in areas considered primarily agricultural.

Requests recommended for denial involve:

- More than 2,000 acres of farmland near Marina proposed for residential and mixed use. The requests, made by the Martin Jefferson and Armstrong families, were also denied by advisory committees.

- Twelve properties in Carmel Valley, primarily proposed for housing. Among the owners are Peninsula developer Nader Agha, who asked that nearly 50 acres in mid-valley be rezoned for high-density housing, and John Rita Dalessio, requesting zoning that would allow a minor subdivision on 40 acres on Via la Encinas.

- A proposal by Paul Miller and Ron Whitehead to allow zoning for housing on more than 300 acres near Prunedale, as well as a request by the Brothers family to allow portions of nearly 461 acres off Harrington Road for high-density housing.

Other North County requests include one by owners George Amaral and Albin Morisoli to convert 1,156 acres of prime farmland off Crazy Horse Canyon Road to housing. Castroville-area landowners Hugo Tottino and C. Edward Boutonnet also failed to win staff support to develop nearly 144 acres of agricultural land.

The county had asked property owners two years ago to submit their requests by September 2001. Since then, advisory committees have sifted through each one, making their own recommendations.

Approved zoning changes will be written into the final general plan, scheduled for approval in December.


Victoria Manley can be reached at 646-4478.

Copyright (c) 2002, The Monterey County Herald, 8 Ragsland Drive, Monterey CA. 93940 (831) 372-3311
A Knight Ridder Newspaper

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