Best in Showdown

Canine Sports Center co-owner Martha Diehl says opponents to her proposed project prowl the property, take pictures and shout drive-by obscenities.

The Monterey County Planning Commission unanimously approved the Carmel Canine Sports Center last Wednesday, after a public hearing that reportedly lasted more than four hours and brought comments from a large turnout of both supporters and opponents.

The proposed facility, on about 45 acres of land formerly used for organic agriculture near Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley, would include membership-based dog training and competition areas and a dog park. The center would host up to 24 event days per year, with up to 250 human and 300 canine attendees, and 70 RV parking spaces.

The project's vocal opponents include Quail Lodge, Friends of Quail and Carmel Valley Association.

"The commissioners dismissed well-researched and clearly presented arguments regarding the significant negative impacts the project would have on traffic, noise, and water," CVA's Aug. 27 email newsletter states.

Fifth District Planning Commissioner Martha Diehl is co-owner of the project, with partners partners Ken Ekelund and Ernie Mill. Diehl recused herself from the vote, as did commissioners Keith Vandevere and Amy Roberts.

CVA officials did not respond to questions of whether they planned to appeal the decision to the County Board of Supervisors. But the CVA newsletter includes a strong hint that they will:

"We will keep you posted as to the next actions we will take. If you wish to join us in working to stop this ill-conceived project, please contact us at president@carmelvalleyassociation.org, and/or write letters opposing the project to all Monterey County Supervisors."

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